Philly teachers’ union puts pressure on contract negotiation

Christel Deskins

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Philadelphia teachers’ union is considering working to the letter of its contract to ramp up pressure during contract negotiations. The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers is emailing members this week to gauge whether they’d be willing not to do any grading, planning or extra work […]

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Philadelphia teachers’ union is considering working to the letter of its contract to ramp up pressure during contract negotiations.

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers is emailing members this week to gauge whether they’d be willing not to do any grading, planning or extra work outside of the hours of their workday. It would be a move to ratchet up the heat as teachers continue to work remotely under an expired contract.

When the teachers’ contract expired at the end of August, PFT President Jerry Jordan said he was proposing a one-year extension with 2% wage increases. But Jordan said the district wasn’t willing to talk about economics until the union approved the School District of Philadelphia’s reopening plan in response to COVID-19.

“The district is attempting to shake down our membership and I won’t allow it,” Jordan said at the time.

School district spokeswoman Monica Lewis said in a statement, “The School District of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers continue to work toward reaching a collective bargaining agreement. We remain hopeful that we will be able to come to a resolution that allows for both parties to do what matters most — provide high-quality instruction and supports that best meet the educational needs of children throughout the City of Philadelphia.”

Jordan is expected to meet with his 13,000 members next week to talk about a potential job action.

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