by Christopher Paslay
Kudos to PFT President Jerry Jordan and members of the Collective Bargaining Team. The Philadelphia School District agreed to extend the PFT’s current contract another 10 months to August 31st, 2009. Even more important, the SRC agreed to a 4% salary increase for teachers that will take effect on March 15, 2009.
Although this extension means Jerry Jordan and the PFT will be back at the bargaining table almost immediately to work out another deal, I believe the 10 month extension was a win-win for everyone. It was a win for teachers because we didn’t lose any health benefits (in fact, we were given the choice of a medical insurance opt-out program), and we also retained valuable resources such as prep time and seniority.
The extension was also a win for Dr. Ackerman and the School Reform Commission. Now the new CEO can have the time needed to acclimate herself to the district and figure out how teachers and the district can come together to accomplish the same goal: To build a better learning environment for the children of Philadelphia.
Hopefully, the PFT and SRC will start working now on a new, multi-year contract, one that is fair and respectful to all parties involved.