By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The financially strapped Philadelphia School District has opened negotiations with the teachers union by proposing that teachers work longer days for less money.

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In its opening contract proposal, the district wants teachers’ work days extended from seven to eight hours with teachers at the top of the pay scale taking a 13-percent salary cut.

Other district proposals include doing away with seniority rights for assignments and transfers, removing class size limitations and even eliminating drinking fountains in schools.  Philadelphia Federation of Teachers’ president Jerry Jordan declined to be interviewed about the proposal.

Deputy superintendent Paul Kihn won’t comment on specifics, but he says the proposal is made with the district facing a $1-billion deficit over five years.

“We’re asking for wage concessions from everybody. So it should come as no surprise that we are looking for wage concessions from our colleagues in the teaching profession along with everybody else.”

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Masterman teacher Luigi Borda says teachers are being punished for the poor choices of those running the district.

“The teachers are being made scapegoats for a change in society,” he told KYW Newsradio, “and I hope the teachers don’t sit back and just take it.”

The current teachers’ contract expires at the end of August.


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