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PHILADELPHIA (CSB) – A tentative deal has been reached Wednesday between the Philadelphia School District and unionized school workers that would save thousands of jobs, according to union officials.

Around 500 bus aides, mechanics, cleaners and other workers were set to be laid off on July 15th to help solve the district’s budget problems. Hundreds more were expected to be laid off by the end of the year.

“This agreement will help keep public schools open, provide a clean and safe learning environment for our kids and saves jobs for thousands of hard-working men and women,” said George Ricchezza, District 1201 Leader for 32BJ SEIU.

Under the four-year agreement, union officials say blue-collar workers will make direct contributions to keep schools open and to help the district solve budgetary problems.

Union members are expected to vote on the deal July 20th. The School Reform Commission must also approve the agreement.

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