Philadelphia, May 12, 2016 – Councilman Derek S. Green (At Large) introduced a resolution urging the School Reform Commission (SRC), Superintendent William Hite, and the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) to actively negotiate a mutually agreeable new contract with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) that provides adequate staffing of our schools, acknowledges the contributions and sacrifices of teachers, and other staff, and respect both seniority and traditional payment structures, like step pay.
There has been no collective bargaining agreement between the School District of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers since the end of the mutually agreed upon one-year extension of the most recent contract, which had been set to expire in August 2012.
“I think it is only fair to have a deserving contract for our teachers and staff, but more importantly our students; they are the ones who suffer.”
Dozens of schools have been operating without a full-time counselor and more than half the schools lack a full-time certified school nurse, 17 of which have such a nurse one day a week.
“Having a Special Needs child in the School District, and not always having a permanent teacher was unconscionable to me. It is imperative that all students with or without special needs have consistency, and accessibility to permanent teachers, and other professional staff, such as counselors and nurses.”
-Councilman Derek S. Green
Despite the unwillingness of the SRC, Superintendent Hite, or SDP to work with the PFT, they have remained willing to return to the bargaining table. The effort to craft a fair deal between adults in light of the inadequate funding provided by the Commonwealth is most important to the children who deserve a respected teacher in each classroom, available nurses and counselors, and more certainty than has been available since contract cancellation.
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Councilman Derek S. Green, Esquire is currently serving his first term as an At Large member of Philadelphia City Council. Green is Chair of Council’s Committee on the Disabled and Persons with Special Needs. More information at www.phlcouncil.com/DerekGreen