Teacher’s union, school district embroiled in negotiations
Teacher’s union contracts expired at midnight Saturday, but a new deal has yet to be reached.
Negotiations between the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and the school district have dragged into the holiday weekend without any clear indication that a solution is in sight.
PFT President Jerry Jordan said in a statement Sunday that a new contract has not been met and in the meantime, teachers and staff will will continue to work under the terms of the current deal.
“We are making some progress in negotiations, but there are still difficult issues that we are working hard to resolve,” Jordan said. “We will continue to work with the district to negotiate the terms of a new contract.”
Fernando Gallard, spokesman for the school district, also released a statement Sunday in which he acknowledged the two sides remain at the bargaining table.
“The School District of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers are continuing negotiations so as to reach a multi-year agreement to replace their currently expired collective bargaining agreement,” Gallard said. “We remain optimistic that a settlement can be reached, and we are on target to have a safe and successful opening of schools on September 9. As additional information becomes available, we will provide it.”
As the school pushes for $103 million in contract concessions, union leadership expressed last week a willingness to freeze member pay raises and contribute toward health-care costs.
The union and the district have been negotiating a new contract since the start of the year.
Schools are set to open on Sept. 9.