In a startling move earlier this week the Philadelphia school district canceled their contract with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.
The five-member reform commission that controls the cash-starved Philadelphia public schools announced on Monday that it was canceling its contract with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, and while it would continue to honor most contract provisions, it would change the package of health-care benefits and require all teachers to contribute to the health fund. The union said the commission’s action “has amped up a war on teachers.”
The Philadelphia School Reform Commission, in a surprise move, said that after 21 months of negotiating with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, that it would abrogate the contract, which has largely remained in effect even though it actually expired in August 2013. The commission has unilaterally taken other steps to violate contract provisions, including stopping paying teachers for “step” increases.
The cancelation of the contract could cost some Philadelphia teachers more than $600 per month.
We will certainly have more on this story in the coming weeks, but it is obviously just another attack in the war on teachers. It is important to remember that attacks on teachers in other districts, cities, and states are attacks on all of us. The PJSTA will shortly be planning an opportunity for you to show support for our brothers and sisters in Philadelphia.