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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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No seniority? No water fountains? More on the cont

<span style="font-size: 14pt"> <span style="font-weight: bold"> No seniority? No water fountains? More on the contract
</span> </span>
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
<span style="font-weight: bold"> Kristen Graham</span>

I’ve read the Philadelphia School District’s full list of demands from teachers, and it’s a doozy. (That’s on top of details reported last night and in this morning’s Inquirer.)

Some bullet points:
First, the financials - as already reported, pay cuts 13 percent for those who make $55,000 and above, with lesser cuts for those who earn less. (Employees who make under $25,000 would take a 5 percent cut.)
But there would also be benefit givebacks. Teachers and other Philadelphia Federation of Teachers members who are paid over $55k would have to pay 13 percent toward their benefits, and so on - same percentages as the pay cut.
Employees who are eligible for health coverage under their spouse or domestic partner and do not take it would pay a $70 surcharge. The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers Health and Welfare Fund, which has long administered benefits, would cease to exist; the district would administer benefits.
There would be no more sabbaticals for teachers who’ve worked 20 years. Termination pay for employees who leave or retire would be reduced to $160 per day, as opposed to the current daily rate teachers are paid.
There would be no more “steps” - graduated salary levels within categories of employees. There would be no more elevated pay categories for teachers with master’s degrees, master’s plus 30 credits, doctorates, and “senior career teachers” - those at the highest pay scale.
There would be no more bonuses for those achieving prestigious National Board Certification. There would be no more extra pay for teachers who miss prep periods to perform other work as directed by their administrators.
Layoffs and recalls would be subject to the superintendent’s discretion, and would only require seven days notice, much less than the current notification period.
On top of the longer work day (eight hours for teachers as opposed to the current seven hours, four minutes), teachers would also have to lead professional development, attend meetings, perform bus, yard and lunch duty and be available for parent meetings outside work hours with no extra pay.
That’s a big change to the current contract language. Teachers wouldn’t be able to leave the building during the work day, either, without principal approval. Nurses who are called in early or tend to emergencies during their lunch periods wouldn’t be given comp time.
Seniority would be eliminated; all teacher vacancies would be filled by site selection, with the principal given final say in picking teachers. If there are vacancies on August 1, teachers could be transferred to fill them; the district would have discretion over this.
Schools with more than 1,000 students would no longer be required to have librarians or librarian assistants.
Schools would no longer be required to have counselors, and counselors’ caseloads would no longer be capped.
Teachers could be assigned to unlimited classes outside their subject area, and high school teachers could be assigned an extra class without pay. There would be no limit on amount of consecutive time taught in a school day.
There would be no limit on class size. (Current limits are 30 for the lower grades and 33 for the upper grades, large class sizes by anyone’s measure.)
There are some major work rule changes, too - the one that jumped out at me was teachers no longer being able to use reasonable force to defend themselves. The district would no longer be required to provide copy machines, or “a sufficient number of instructional materials and textbooks.”
The district would no longer have to provide a teachers’ lounge, water fountains, parking facilities, desks for teachers, a designated room for speech and language staff and psychologists or “accommodation rooms” for students with special needs. Counselors would no longer be guaranteed to have rooms with privacy and confidentiality, a telephone, a locked filing cabinet and a door.
The district retains the right to subcontract, outsource or assign PFT bargaining unit jobs. Does that mean outsourced teachers? Temp secretaries?
It's quite a list. Of course, it's the very first proposal, and the contract doesn't expire until August, so we're in for months of talks. And there's a question of whether the School Reform Commission has the power to impose terms on the PFT, and whether the PFT can strike, etc.
What do folks think? Please, keep it civil!
I’ve read the Philadelphia School District’s full list of demands from teachers, and it’s a doozy. (That’s on top of details reported last night and in this morning’s Inquirer.)

Some bullet points:


First, the financials - as already reported, pay cuts 13 percent for those who make $55,000 and above, with lesser cuts for those who earn less. (Employees who make under $25,000 would take a 5 percent cut.)


But there would also be benefit givebacks. Teachers and other Philadelphia Federation of

Teachers members who are paid over $55k would have to pay 13 percent toward their benefits, and so on - same percentages as the pay cut.


Employees who are eligible for health coverage under their spouse or domestic partner and do not take it would pay a $70 surcharge. The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers Health and Welfare Fund, which has long administered benefits, would cease to exist; the district would administer benefits.


There would be no more sabbaticals for teachers who’ve worked 20 years. Termination pay for employees who leave or retire would be reduced to $160 per day, as opposed to the current daily rate teachers are paid.


There would be no more “steps” - graduated salary levels within categories of employees.

There would be no more elevated pay categories for teachers with master’s degrees, master’s plus 30 credits, doctorates, and “senior career teachers” - those at the highest pay scale.


There would be no more bonuses for those achieving prestigious National Board Certification.

There would be no more extra pay for teachers who miss prep periods to perform other work as directed by their administrators.


Layoffs and recalls would be subject to the superintendent’s discretion, and would only require seven days notice, much less than the current notification period.


On top of the longer work day (eight hours for teachers as opposed to the current seven hours, four minutes), teachers would also have to lead professional development, attend meetings, perform bus, yard and lunch duty and be available for parent meetings outside work hours with no extra pay.


That’s a big change to the current contract language. Teachers wouldn’t be able to leave the building during the work day, either, without principal approval. Nurses who are called in early or tend to emergencies during their lunch periods wouldn’t be given comp time.


Seniority would be eliminated; all teacher vacancies would be filled by site selection, with the principal given final say in picking teachers. If there are vacancies on August 1, teachers could be transferred to fill them; the district would have discretion over this.


Schools with more than 1,000 students would no longer be required to have librarians or librarian assistants.


Schools would no longer be required to have counselors, and counselors’ caseloads would no longer be capped.


Teachers could be assigned to unlimited classes outside their subject area, and high school teachers could be assigned an extra class without pay. There would be no limit on amount of consecutive time taught in a school day.


There would be no limit on class size. (Current limits are 30 for the lower grades and 33 for the upper grades, large class sizes by anyone’s measure.)


There are some major work rule changes, too - the one that jumped out at me was teachers no longer being able to use reasonable force to defend themselves. The district would no longer be required to provide copy machines, or “a sufficient number of instructional materials and textbooks.”


The district would no longer have to provide a teachers’ lounge, water fountains, parking facilities, desks for teachers, a designated room for speech and language staff and psychologists or “accommodation rooms” for students with special needs. Counselors would no longer be guaranteed to have rooms with privacy and confidentiality, a telephone, a locked filing cabinet and a door.


The district retains the right to subcontract, outsource or assign PFT bargaining unit jobs. Does that mean outsourced teachers? Temp secretaries?


It's quite a list. Of course, it's the very first proposal, and the contract doesn't expire until August, so we're in for months of talks. And there's a question of whether the School Reform Commission has the power to impose terms on the PFT, and whether the PFT can strike, etc.

My ability to remember lyrics from songs of the 60's far exceed my ability to remember why I walked into the kitchen
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 06:21 PM
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Re: No seniority? No water fountains? More on the cont

Apparently they want to loose some teachers to other school districts or other professions..
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 06:49 PM
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Re: No seniority? No water fountains? More on the cont

Employees who are eligible for health coverage under their spouse or domestic partner and do not take it would pay a $70 surcharge

Blatently ridiculous. Around here the economic climate is such that employers are frequently going out of business, switching health care companies, or spouses are divorcing. It surcharges the employee who may have a pre-existing condition and can't afford to take the spouse's coverage and then lose it when the company shuts down, the spouse gets fired, laid off, separates, etc.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 07:32 PM
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Re: No seniority? No water fountains? More on the cont

While some of these are pretty ridiculous, I gather that this is a reaction to the decades long policy of the teachers unions basically writing their own tickets.

I would also assume that some of the sillier things in this contract are there to "trade off" in negotiations with the union.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 07:46 PM
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Re: No seniority? No water fountains? More on the cont

Ouch an eight hour work day. Doesn't look any different than the first draft of the contract the company I worked for used to give the teamsters union. Ask for the moon then give up concessions from there
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 07:51 PM
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Re: No seniority? No water fountains? More on the cont

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeflonDon
Ouch an eight hour work day. Doesn't look any different than the first draft of the contract the company I worked for used to give the teamsters union. Ask for the moon then give up concessions from there
I'm sure the unions initial proposal will look equally ridiculous. Then they'll negotiate and trade off silly demands, each side whining of the consessions they made, and eventually the deal will get done.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: No seniority? No water fountains? More on the cont

Mayor McNutjob of Phila has tried to break all the cities unions backs.
He has fought in court 2 times and lost yet still refuses to give the city's firefighters the package the union won in arbitration. He will not even talk to the city's blue collar union who gave back major concessions a couple years ago.

There is no doubt in my mind he intends to shove those stipulations he called an offer down the teachers unions throat.

End result will be all teachers teaching in Philly will be Philadelphia Community College graduates and the kids will be the biggest losers.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-28-2013, 04:24 PM
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Re: No seniority? No water fountains? More on the cont

Well it looks like the Teachers Union has its work cut out for the summer.
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