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SRC vs. Teacher’s Union: Where Are We One Month After The Decision?

edCircuit Opinion:

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Eastern District came to a conclusion regarding teacher union contracts on Monday, August 15th. The nearly two-year battle ended in favor of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.

Legal action was taken when the Philadelphia School Reform Commission (SRC) attempted to drastically alter city teacher union contracts to lessen their yearly costs. The commission was hoping to cut spending by $54 million in one year by requiring union members to pay for a portion of their medical plans.

It was Act 46 which prohibited the commission from overstepping their authority. The overarching idea being that negotiation should have been the first course of action in replacement of imposing unexpected contract alterations.

Do you believe that the SRC was in the right to change funding? Are there other avenues that the SRC could have taken to save on their yearly budget? Comment below.

At a Glance:

  • The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Eastern District came to a conclusion regarding SRC and teacher union contracts
  • The nearly two-year battle ended in favor of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers

Around the Web:

Court papers

State Supreme Court agrees: SRC can’t cancel teacher contract

Mensah M. Dean | Philly.com

The Philadelphia School Reform Commission's nearly two-year battle to cancel the city teachers' union contract and impose new work rules to save money was soundly defeated again Monday.

The state Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision last January that blocked the five-member commission from forcing terms on the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.

Union leaders called the ruling a rebuke of a power grab, and a spokesman for the Commission and Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said no further legal action would be taken.

protesters with signs

Members of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers protest the School Reform Commission's cancellation of their contract

"We hold, at least insofar as teachers are concerned, that collective bargaining agreements are 'teachers' contracts' which are excepted from a school reform commission's cancellation powers," five justices wrote in an opinion.

PFT president Jerry Jordan said the ruling was a long time in coming for his 11,500-member union, which includes teachers, counselors, nurses, secretaries, and others.

The ruling "certainly substantiates the arguments that we have made for the last two years," Jordan said. "This Supreme Court decision is a total and complete repudiation of the position taken by Dr. Hite and the reform commission."

Reached Monday, Kevin Geary, the district's chief of external relations, said the district was disappointed by the ruling.

"We will continue to work to end our impasse so we can offer teachers a fair contract, one that includes work rules changes, and also reflects the fiscal reality of the School District's projected future budget deficits," he said. Geary said the commission's legal fight over the contract was over.

To read more visit Philly.com

Excerpt from court ruling

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