Philadelphia teachers refuse to accept pay cut

Hundreds of parents and teachers of the cash-strapped Philadelphia school district protest in front of the school district's headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 22, 2013.  Credit: Reuters
Hundreds of parents and teachers of the cash-strapped Philadelphia school district protest in front of its headquarters last month.
Credit: Reuters

Philadelphia teachers continued to refuse to accept pay cuts as requested by the financially strapped public school district.

Teachers packed Temple University’s Liacouras Center on Monday, with union leaders opposing the district’s request of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT), which will likely enter the 2013-14 school year without a contract.

The Philadelphia School District is asking the teachers’ union to accept $103 million in pay cuts across the board, which would represent a salary reduction of 5 to 13 percent for educators. It also wants teachers to help pay for their health insurance plans.

“I don’t know how teachers became the funding source. The teachers did not cause this problem and somehow they’ve become a part of the equation to solve it,” teacher Luis Borda told 6ABC Action News.

PFT has indicated it does not plan on a strike for the start of the school year.

Philadelphia School District spokesman Fernando Gallard released the following statement Monday night:

We are asking the PFT to join the approximately 3,000 school district employees who are making significant contributions to help address the district’s financial challenges through salary reductions and by making reasonable contributions to their health insurance costs.

The $103 million in contributions the school district is seeking from the PFT will enable the district to rehire some teachers and counselors — and strengthen schools.



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