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Nutter urges teachers and School District to focus on negotiations and kids

By thenotebook on Aug 27, 2013 09:41 AM
Photo: WHYY/NewsWorks

Mayor Nutter of Philadelphia says it's time to cut through the distractions in the dispute between the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and the School District and work things out at the bargaining table.

by Tom MacDonald for NewsWorks

Mayor Nutter says an ad paid for by the teachers' union that contends that he's siding with Gov. Corbett in not funding the city's schools is distracting and wrong.

"The fact of the matter is that there are desperately needed reforms and changes that need to be made. Many are economic and will help us save money," he said Monday during a news conference. "Those savings will actually bring more teachers, more counselors, more noontime aides back to school."

District officials say that for the schools to open with more than the bare essentials, teachers must provide $130 million worth of givebacks.

Read the rest of this story at NewsWorks

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Comments (162)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 10:05 am

Nutter has no credibility. He did not stand up to the governor at all during this crisis.

Submitted by Anonymous on August 27, 2013 10:25 am

Our union backed him during election time.

Submitted by Laid off HS Counselor (not verified) on August 27, 2013 11:36 am

Sorta. Our union backed him against the GOP candidate. When he ran the first time (what was it? 2007?) in the primary, if you remember, the PFT basically took a straw poll of its members on who the union should endorse in the Dem primary. It was close, again, if I recall, and the PFT made no primary endorsement.

Submitted by Teachin' (not verified) on August 27, 2013 5:48 pm

Our union had no idea he'd betray us and the GOP candidate said in an Inquirer article that one of her first acts as mayor would be to go to D.C. and urge a federal mandate outlawing all teachers unions.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 8:30 pm

He pushed through two now three tax increases already.

He'd probably push through more but there is no reasonable tax increase that would satisfy the status quo in the district.

Nutter is just a feckless functionary of a bankrupt corrupt political machine with too many interest groups feeding
t the trough

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 8:48 pm

He's a stooge for a political system which is content with denying adequate services to poor populations. The constant message from PA is don't live in poor areas. If you're middle class move to a middle class area so that your children can have a decent education.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 5:31 pm

What about assistant principals, Mr. Nutter? We were 167 laid off professionals and we are only 95 NOW. We were told today only 45 are called back? What about the rest of us? Are we going to be jobless after slogging for the District for more than 15 years?
Please answer. What about families? Dr.Hite does not care about us and so is our union CASA.

Submitted by A Teacher (not verified) on August 27, 2013 7:31 pm

Is this because many of the AP's left or retired? I know a friend of mind retired back in July. Maybe this is why the number is low.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 7:47 pm

Yeah. People who can retire do and people who don't want to try and stick it out are leaving. I know a few teachers who weren't laid off who left for greener pastures. I doubt it's much different for APs.

Submitted by A Teacher (not verified) on August 27, 2013 8:22 pm

Good point.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 9:06 pm

This district is saving money from all the people who retired and resigned yet nobdody is talking about that or the savings from laid off teacher benefits. People who want to retire earlier can't because out of pocket healthcare runs a lot of money per month until you reach 65. This whole notion of "get rid of veteran teachers becuase they are expensive" is crippling this system and robbing us of experienced teachers.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 10:42 am

"No one has been able to make an argument that made any sense to me that this group of employees should pay zero for their health care in an environment where costs are growing and that is a growing pressure for the School District of Philadelphia," Nutter said.

Teachers Do Not Pay ZERO for health benefits. This show how totally disconnected and how he's lock step with the governor on justifications for doing business as usual.

Never agreed with anything this mayor has done in regard to education in this city, never voted for him and will never support him or any pol in his network. He's absolutely the worst mayor this city has ever had.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 12:30 pm

How much do teachers pay for benefits? The premium, not co-pays. Is it all existing teachers that pay premiums or just new ones that join the PSD? Is it all plans or just premium/non-hmo plans that are deducted from pay? If you already pay x% of the monthly premium, please list it. Is it in line with other districts? I haven't seen anyone post about this specific issue.

Submitted by Anonymously Anon (not verified) on August 27, 2013 2:40 pm

That's where it gets funny. The district could pay us $100 for us to have health care and we'd still make far less in total compensation. I'd pay 100% for my health insurance if I got paid on the step levels of every district touching Philadelphia.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 4:28 pm

Excellent point. Benefits are part of our compensation, as are pension contributions. Pay SDP teachers and staff what their colleagues are making in neighboring districts and there would be far less concerns about contributing 2.5-5% for healthcare.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 9:27 pm

You work in one of the poorest big cities in the us, with the average teacher making almost twice the average salary of .he workers. Yet you deserve to be paid what one of the wealthiest districts (with the best public schools) in the entire us pays their teachers.

Constant comparisons to lower merion make no sense. And even if you believe lower merion should have its education spending redistributed, that is a federal issue.

Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on August 27, 2013 10:30 pm

Amen. This comparison to the wealthiest school districts in the state is ridiculous. Philly just doesn't have that kind of tax base. It might be helpful if 40% of the PFT membership didn't live in the suburbs and supported those schools with their property taxes and instead lived here in Philly and paid property taxes here.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 11:59 pm

What "workers" are you referring to? A carousel operator? Postal worker? McDonalds employee? Doctor/Dentist? I think their salaries are fairly similar in Phila and the surrounding counties. Or perhaps pediatricians in Lower Merion should make more because their patients are healthier than those of their colleagues working in a low socioeconomic area..

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 11:09 pm

Actually, most government agencies and companies use a cost of living (or cost of hiring competitive workers) index. Philly is no New York or San Francisco but it is always near the top on those.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 5:45 pm

A non-hmo pays 5% of premium but only after 4 years of service are employees allowed to opt into this plan. Look it up. You can @ pft.org under the contract.. It is public information. If you do not take insurance from the district the SDP gives you 25% of the premium if you are covered by another means and can prove it.

Submitted by Teachin' (not verified) on August 27, 2013 5:25 pm

How much does Nutter pay for his health care? And about how much does he shell out for office supplies?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 11:08 am

What do PGW employees get for health care benefits? I think they get health care for life. No wonder my gas bills are so high. Yo Nutter I don't hear you complaining about that. Don't some city employees get health care for several years after retirement. How about DROP? Nutter is way way off.

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on August 27, 2013 11:10 am

Exactly--Nutter has NO credibility with any person who has 2 working brain cells. He's nothing more than an "overseer," selling his own people down the river for Master Corbett and those above him. To say, he's a disgrace gives him too much leeway. He's beyond civil words so I shan't go there. Having said all that, if The Notebook allows this to be posted, ALL PFT MEMBERS should be outraged by his throwing kids under the bus plus working with Corbett et al on a diabolical scheme to destroy The PFT to cut overhead so the rich can get richer and he'll get a few crumbs thrown his way. THAT'S ALL THERE IS TO HIS AGENDA.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 4:09 pm

If he allies hinself with Corbett and the SRC then teachers are thrown under the bus. and there is nothing wrong with advocating for teachers, their profession, and livlihood. We can't keep people in the middle class if the well off keep taking and taking.

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on August 27, 2013 4:07 pm

Yes, the top 10% have increased their money by 45% over the last 13 years while everybody else have lost about 10%. This isn't complicated and IT'S ALL BY DESIGN, OF COURSE. The rich get richer and everybody else loses ground, losing money to the rich. Sounds fair to me.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 11:11 am

yeah Nutter, "reforms" should be made like crooked politicians being arrested, tried and sent to jail. Making teachers work longer hours is not reform, but more of your politicial grandstanding. Until you force the Philadelphia School administrators to ACTUALLY do something about discipline in our schools the amount of hours of instruction will not matter. You pander to your voters by demonizing the teachers, but throw a hissyfit when they turn around and give you a taste of your own medicine. Stop allowing schools funds to be stolen by the politically connected. That would be a great reform to push for. Return the school district to the city instead of the trainwreck known as the SRC. Grow some and go after Corbett.We supported you once upon a time, but you haven't done jack in return.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 11:20 am

BTW, I paid $60 in copays to see two eye doctors last week.

Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on August 27, 2013 1:20 pm

Stop with the spin. What Nutter is talking about is paying a portion of the PREMIUM each month. In case you didn't know, that has to be paid for every month whether you use the healthcare or not. Everyone else pays a portion of their healthcare premiums. Or are you so detached from reality that you honestly don't understand that?

Submitted by Anonymously Anon (not verified) on August 27, 2013 2:20 pm

Again, I'll be happy to pay the percentage most others do to their premiums when I make a salary like the surrounding counties. PSD pays us far less in salary and picks up a bit more of the health care tab. Believe me, PSD wins out in that equation.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 4:35 pm

1. Stop comparing Philly to the wealthiest school districts in the state. Try comparing it to some school districts with a comparable per household income.

2. It's not your choice. You will take what the PSD can pay or you can go find employment elsewhere. Perhaps at one of those wealthy districts?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 4:04 pm

YES it's a choice, a choice to fight for what we won in collective bargaining and leave it the _____ alone! I don't see the state hurting for money and that's the problem- inadequate funding. Grow up and stop with the angle that people get other jobs that may not exist.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 7:49 pm

We make 8% less than Pittsburgh.... not a wealthy district. Phila teachers are lowest paid teachers in the state of PA. I agree that I wouldn't mind paying into my health care if I made more. Hell, I wouldn't even mind paying a small percentage if our pay stayed the same. But cutting my pay by 13% and forcing me to pay 13% towards health care puts me and my family on extremely shaky ground.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 7:24 pm

I like your solution. If you want to be paid decently teach children of wealthy parents. I think you might have hit on why there are such educational disparities.

If you don't think workers have some say in their employment then you've missed most of American history. Teachers will fight for our pay and we will see what happens.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 9:50 pm

We make 8% less than Pittsburgh.... not a wealthy district. Phila teachers are lowest paid teachers in the state of PA. I agree that I wouldn't mind paying into my health care if I made more. But cutting my pay by 13% and forcing me to pay 13% towards health care puts me and my family on extremely shaky ground.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 12:17 pm

Are you people serious! Bottom line thousands of your colleagues have been laid off, with no healthcare let alone a $60 copay. Get a grip, many professional employees pay into their healthcare. The School District of Philadelphia is known or its relatively "good" healthcare benefits, whatever that means. Stop complaining, deal with it!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 4:42 pm

NO! because today it's this and tomorrow it's that, and we end up with less money each year and fewer rights. We are not buying into this backmail of accept our terms so your colleagues can be called back. We understand how it works: once you give something up you never get it back.

"Whatever that means" is not specific enough. We know what it means, you are not obligated to know.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 5:32 pm

Also, we're assuming they're not lying when they say that union concessions will cause the district to rehire. I think it's more BS designed to divide us. Apparently, it's working.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 12:47 pm

Are you people serious! Bottom line thousands of your colleagues have been laid off, with no healthcare let alone a $60 copay. Get a grip, many professional employees pay into their healthcare. The School District of Philadelphia is known or its relatively "good" healthcare benefits, whatever that means. Stop complaining, deal with it!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 12:50 pm

I don't mind paying into benefits at all... I do have a serious problem with a paycut that will drop me back 8 yrs. ago! Can you afford a 13% pay cut?? ! My kids shouldn't have to sacrifice because someone thought it would be a great idea to mismanage funds! I also just dropped 923.45 for my classroom and two class sets of books.
How much do You spend to go to work?? With any paycut my students will lose valuable resources that I supply from MY own paycheck!! So, if you will excuse me there is much to complain about!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 1:39 pm

the pay cut is the issue. people in favor of us making concessions don't realize that we have families also. we also pay for food, school supplies, books, class trips, class dues, prom tickets and other schoo-related costs for our students if parents are unable to pay.
if i take a pay cut i wouldn't be able to help my students with the above-mentioned things because i still have a family, bills, car insurance and student loans to take care of.
and i never get the argument that everyone else has to pay for healthcare. we don't get the benefits everyone else gets: assurance of a budget to operate daily, decent working conditions, adequate pay and basic respect. give me a few of those things and then we can talk about how we should be like "everyone else."

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 1:55 pm

Daily I hear other teachers say what about the funds that they have to put out, and this is the reason that they can't take a pay cut.
Well, would you like to trade places with me. I went from being at the end of the payscale in the district to now collecting unemployment for my family (due to many of my teaching years not being in the district). Talk about a drop in salary.
When you have to do something you make it work the best that you can. I'm sure you wont switch places. Stop complaining, you have a job.

Submitted by Laid off Counselor (not verified) on August 27, 2013 2:37 pm

I am with you 100%. In my case, you can add food stamps. Senior Career Teacher to being eligible for food stamps overnight. Current contract states every school must have one counselor. However, the SRC has been trampling the CBA all summer. Hope I am back to work when the strike is over.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 2:43 pm

Thanks for understanding. When you read the other post, I guess unless you are in the situation, then it is hard to understand how we feel. You being a Senior Career teacher and myself at the end of the payscale, we took HUGE hits to our salary.

Hopefully, we can be like the poster below that stated "I DON"T NEED MY SALARY!"

I, also, hope that you we will all be back to work.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 3:31 pm

Do you think I don't want you hired back? Of course I do.

I live below my salary since my three years in the district has taught me there is no stability here. After being laid off for the first time I downgraded from my $900/month apartment to a $500/month one. When I was laid off last year I rented out the second room in my $500/month one. I'm at step 3 now. I'm not making tons of money but I save everything I have because that is the only way to survive in this district when politicians don't want to fund it. I have a year's worth of living expenses (which, are clearly not very much given how I have been forced to live).

I'm just a young teacher who hopes working here can be a career. So far I'm not convinced. There is no stability here yet. I just don't think the answer to stability is making concessions so that laid back people will be rehired. Any concession we make just teachers the state that they can drastically cut funding and the teachers will all take pay cuts and life will go on. They'll do it again and an again. Maybe that's a good deal for you if you're about to retire but for those starting our career here that would be unacceptable. I wouldn't worry too much. If the pay cuts you want go through I'll find a more stable district in another city and you'll be recalled anyways.

Submitted by Also a taxpayer (not verified) on August 27, 2013 5:34 pm

I don't believe you. And if it is by some tragic circumstance true, your quality of life is shit. Why go to college and help children to live on the poverty line? There's not quality of life there. It's pathetic.

I'm interested in enjoying my work, helping people, and enjoying life. This includes entertainment such as movies and concerts, vacations, eating well, and looking nice. I deserve these things. All working people do. They also deserve stability.

Teachers work hard and Philadelphia teachers are in a volatile climate, adding stress to their lives.

There is no reason that our children do not deserve talented and happy educators teaching them - none. What Corbett et. al. have done and proposed is shameful and criminal. There will not be concessions and those who are laid off will be hired back because people have left the district.

This whole 50 million dollars (or whatever the amount du jour) game is tiring. It's about a false sense of power, people getting their own way, and looking like the "winner."

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 7:19 pm

I mean, when you have money saved for a rainy day you don't have the same stress as someone really living at the poverty line. That's why some of my colleagues who didn't save are much more worried than I am. I made my choices because I wanted to make Philly worked but I didn't want to be destitute if I got laid off or we get a massive pay cut. I am young so living this way isn't that much different from a college dorm. It is NOT a career. I wanted Philly to be a career and I had hoped to use some of my savings to buy a house here if things were more stable. Unfortunately, instead we have another crisis. Again, this will be a year or two of hardship for middle class teachers and families, it will be a blip for young people with few attachments like me, but it will be a childhood of disenfranchisement for the students we teach if they have inadequately staffed schools and constant turmoil as every teacher who can flees.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 2:07 pm

No offense but if you're on food stamps you have failed at financial management. You can only have $2,000 in the bank to qualify for food stamps and any teacher who has not saved $2,000 is screwing his-or-herself in the future.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 2:00 pm

PLEASE TELL ME THAT YOU ARE KIDDING. What sense would it make to use your own money for food when you would need to save it to pay bills. Unemployment doesn't pay all of the bills.

A person can easily withdraw the money from your account and display a statement with less money in the bank to qualify for benefits.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 3:36 pm

I am not kidding. I've never committed welfare fraud and I never will.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 3:21 pm

If you get laid off, then TALK to me about what you need to do to survive for your family. Until, then don't post about what you would NEVER do.

You can say never when you aren't in the situation.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 3:47 pm

I have been laid off and I lived off of unemployment and my savings until I got a new job (and then was recalled by the district in October). You HAVE savings you are choosing not to use it despite that being the requirement for food stamps. If you used your savings then you would qualify and I would have no qualms with you legally using SNAP.

I save so that I will hopefully never have to use food stamps. I don't save so I can use food stamps and keep my savings.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 5:12 pm

Okay let's be clear here, it doesn't matter if you have qualms. I am so tired of hearing people pick at each other over who has less than whom then making judgements about it. WHY are people making less and less and being thrown onto unemplyment while the state does nothing? Please focus on the culprit and not the victim.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 5:00 pm

Thanks for your post.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 4:36 pm

What is your name fraudster?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 5:26 pm

Who are any of us to judge anyone else? And how is that productive or apropos? Stop with the snark and meanness.

Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on August 27, 2013 5:19 pm

Who are we to judge someone who is committing welfare fraud? We are the taxpayers who are paying for it, that's who! That money for SNAP is not intended for someone with that much money and resources. It's stealing from everyone who pays taxes. Although coming from a former public union employee, I can see where the entitlement mentality comes from. However, it is still illegal.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 6:53 pm

Well then who is it for? Oh yes individuals who spend their lives on public assistance and never put money back in to the system. With unemployment should automatically come these types of benefits specifically people with children.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 5:02 pm

TO the person that posted this IDIOTIC comment. No one says that this is what was done. What I said is that some people have to do what they need to survive.

If you look at the ignorant comment about the person not having over 2,000 saved, which is why the response was made.

You should not get down on someone because they haven't saved anything for all you know this is the only option that they had.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 7:30 pm

Thanks, that was my point. Such hostility they don't even read what you're saying!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 8:53 pm

I'm really not being hostile. I think it's incredibly important for everyone to save so they can weather these storms. These storms shouldn't happen but I feel horrible for all of my colleagues who didn't save enough to be okay during this time. I want to encourage all teachers to save and have emergency funds so that they will never have to feel desperate.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 7:49 pm

If you were a senior career teacher you made $80,000+ If you did not save at least $2,000 then you are completely irresponsible with money. There is no way around there. You NEED to save money for a rainy day and America has had a number of rainy years. I acknowledge this is Corbett's fault and is completely solvable. That doesn't mean it will be solved. I think all great teachers well into their careers deserve that pay but I also think they need to have enough saved that they can survive the turmoil that is modern politics trying to destroy the working class. Just because what's coming isn't good or isn't fair doesn't mean you can't see it coming.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 28, 2013 9:44 am

"No offense but if you're on food stamps you have failed at financial management".

What are you not undersstanding about losing a job and having to go on unemployment or foodstamps? Many teachers do not have that cushion you're talking about especially if they are single and young. Financial management is a tough one when you have no income.

Submitted by Anonymously Anon (not verified) on August 27, 2013 2:21 pm

Why would I switch places and be unemployed? Of course I won't, I have a marketable degree and I will get another job no matter what happens with the district. You seem to think because staff is laid off that it's wrong to fight to protect your wages. So anytime the state wants to cut the budget they'll do it and then pay cuts will fill the gap. If you think that's how we keep good teachers in the district you're wrong. That's how we create a district of paupers with no other options who will do anything the administration says to get their pay check.

I don't have kids and I don't need my salary. I do need my district where I live to have a good salary so that good teachers will want to teach here when I do have kids and do send them to Philly schools. Philly already has the reputation for taking the worst teachers because we pay worse than other districts and we have the worst working conditions. We need to change this. We need to pay teachers a competitive salary.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 2:28 pm

Thanks for replying with your post, why have children if you are responding like one. That' great that "I DON'T NEED MY SALARY." Well I do and the other 4,000 people do too.

IF you took the time to read, you would see that I did state that you would not take my situation (in case you missed it), didn't ask you a question if you wanted to switch. By the way, don't know what you implied about having a marketable degree, I happen to have a Master' in a very competitive subject area.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 3:33 pm

What I mean by "I don't need my salary" is that I do not spend 100% of my salary. I save a large amount. Just because I save does not mean I somehow deserve a lower salary than if I spent it all. I am just tired of teachers having to justify their salary by saying they're poor and can't 'afford' a pay cut. There's nothing wrong with saying you deserve your salary.

I also advise everyone laid off to get a job. You can still be recalled to the district. This is what happened to me two summers ago. I was laid off June 30, got a job in July and was recalled in October. There's no reason anyone should sit on unemployment if they can get a job. You can still come back to the district and it makes you feel A LOT less worried while waiting to be recalled.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 4:49 pm

OMG! A public sector union employee advocating for personal responsibility? This could be a watershed event!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 8:37 pm

My brother works in the private sector as a manager and the personal savings rate among his peers in managements and the workers under him is probably more abysmal than fellow teachers I know. Saving for a rainy day is just something that is not being done across Ameria--private sector or public sector--and I think it's a bit silly to pretend that personal responsibility is less alive and well in the public sector than anywhere else.

Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on August 27, 2013 11:44 pm

Agreed. Personal savings in this country is abysmal. The difference is that some people live with the consequences of their actions while others expect someone else to make up for the lack of personal responsibility.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 11:36 pm

Everyone lives with the consequences of their actions and ultimately society-at-large sets the social safety net and education safety net. It is not somehow a moral failing or irresponsibility for me to fight for better funding in Philadelphia's schools. This is called advocacy. Ultimately this will play out and I will be left with the results just like all of my colleagues.

Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on August 27, 2013 1:04 pm

LOL! You don't get the benefits everyone else gets. That's precious. Well pretty soon you will be getting the same benefits everyone else gets. Enjoy!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 9:11 pm

"LOL! You don't get the benefits everyone else gets. That's precious. Well pretty soon you will be getting the same benefits everyone else gets. Enjoy!"

This the kind of thinking that overseers (the 1%) love. Have the little people squabbling amongst themselves for crumbs. What you want is for everyone to get nothing so they can be in your boat instead of being more prosperous. Why would anyone want teachers to live the kind of life where they are scratching for pennies? Do you really think that those who are pushing these "reforms" are dead broke? Think again.

Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on August 27, 2013 11:02 pm

No. What I expect is for people to wake up to the reality of our situation. The recurring theme from unions is just to tax the rich more and that will solve all of our problems. It won't (Although I do agree they should be taxed more). They obviously haven't done the math. The two greatest costs to the federal government, and the ones growing fastest, are Social Security and Medicare. The retirement age for social security was 65 when it was started in the 1930's. It is still 65 today even though we live 20 years longer. That is unsustainable. For Medicare, the cost was 50 Billion in 1980 and 850 Billion last year, for a 9% compounded increase yearly. That is unsustainable. We don't have the money to give hip and knee transplants to 95 year old people who are never going to walk again anyway. This is generational theft. Tell all the doctors who swarm around the elderly to collect fees to stop it. And tell all the obese slobs we have in our society to stop using so much healthcare with their type 2 diabetes and all the associated costs with that. So me some math behind what you are saying. My calculations say that if we keep going like this then in 30 years taxing everyone at 100% of their income will not cover the costs of these programs.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 28, 2013 9:12 am

Aside from "we need flexibility in hiring " (meaning scrap union seniority so we can hire the cheapest available) "generational theft" is my other fav. Listen up whoever you are: as retiees have paid into Medicare, Social Security and the pension system YOU are going to have to get used to the idea that the baby boomer generation is due to collect.

A perfect way to make adjustments is to pass the President's jobs bill, and put more people back to work so that they are able to pay *into* these systems making them sustainable. You will not convince me to go along with the take take take notion that will leave all of us who did the right thing in poverty. They are all good systems (as most will attest to) and this country can do a lot toward making them sustainable without punishing recipients.

Not only are you putting the blame on the wrong people your viewpoint is getting fewer and fewer adherents.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 28, 2013 1:00 pm

Fine. The average person on medicare put 50K into it during their whole life, but will take 250K out. That doesn't work. I would say give them their 50K back when they retire and tell them goodbye. Or just cut them off when they hit their 50K limit. SS and medicare now take up over 40% of the federal budget. If they continue to grow at 9% per year and the federal budget grows at 3% per year, then in less than 20 years those two programs alone will take more than the entire federal budget. So what's your solution, bucko? And I don't want to hear any vague nonsense about tax the rich more or tax corporations more. Show me some math.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 28, 2013 2:32 pm

. That doesn't work. I would say give them their 50K back when they retire and tell them goodbye"

You're cute. You'll have to step over a LOT of seniors before that happens and we are a ferocious, well connected group., Both Medicare and SS are very popular with the public, it's only the austerity freaks and privatizers that want some gain from it. I don't want Wall St gambling with my furture and neither do most people. Talk on...

Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on August 28, 2013 4:40 pm

I notice you don't offer a counterproposal with NUMBERS or any RATIONALE on how these programs are going to be paid for. Personally, I'm not real worried about your special interest group. Once medicare goes bankrupt, which is a mathematical certainty, there will be a lot fewer of your generation. They we can rebuild for future generations.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 5:28 pm

Many people do not understand that teaching is a JOB. If more and more is heaped on you, then you have to pay for supplies, contribute toward healthcare, and take a pay cut, you're nothing but an indentured servant.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 7:33 pm

Then you must cast off your chains of bondage and seek employment elsewhere!

Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on August 27, 2013 1:31 pm

How about a 100% pay cut? How would that work for you? Because that's exactly what a lot of your colleagues will get if there are no concessions.

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on August 27, 2013 2:56 pm

Sounds like a personal problem.

Submitted by A Teacher (not verified) on August 27, 2013 7:27 pm

Listen, I am a laid off teacher, and I would not want my colleagues to just cave in because it would help me. It wouldn't help me to take concessions and your family suffer. If they do it once--than they will surely do it again. They will keep cutting until you are left with nothing. That is not fair either.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 8:07 pm

As a laid off employee in the District,I strongly urge no pay cuts or givebacks.Yes ,I among others are unemployed, but when eventually recalled we want to come back to decent wages and benefits.
Don't get indoctrinated in that give us cuts mentality and we will retore some jobs. The SDP will restore jobs when they are good and ready --regardless of any givebacks.

Submitted by A Teacher (not verified) on August 27, 2013 8:00 pm

So true!!! Dead on.....

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 9:12 pm

APPLAUSE!! APPLAUSE!!

Submitted by Lisa Haver (not verified) on August 27, 2013 1:30 pm

Having to pay up front for health insurance is a major giveback and will represent, over the years, a significant loss of income. The contribution goes up with every contract. Talk to your friends in other districts who made this concession and are now sorry. A friend in W. Montgomery county will lose money next year because wages have been frozen but not health care costs.

It is a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 2:38 pm

Interestingly, I'm actually fine with indexing the portion the district pays to inflation as long as they give us more options. Health care inflation is a huge issue for employees of all types. I am perfectly willing to take a higher deductible plan or pay into a better plan in the future. I think the PFT and district SHOULD be talking about controlling costs in the future. That's very different than taking what we have now. Personally, I'd love to see a day where my pay is similar to under the old contract, I have more colleagues helping out in my school, and the district is running a surplus stored for a rainy day. That will take adequate funding, district and PFT working together, and competent management at the top.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 6:38 pm

The ACA is bringing costs down in several states, It'd be a mistake to commit to givebacks now. Has this governor even accepted Medicaid expansion yet? He is SO irresponsible yet working people are asked to "share in the sacrifice." Please don't fall or anything that comes down the pike.

Submitted by Anonymously Anon (not verified) on August 27, 2013 2:03 pm

And you think that will solve teacher's problems? Why settle for a 13% pay cut and bring most of those laid off this year back? Why not a 26% pay cut and then we can bring many of those who went over the charters when they were laid off two years ago back? Or even 39%, then we can hire those laid off around the state. We don't like that colleagues are laid off and we know they have it worse but we realize that pay cuts don't solve the problem. It will just mean next round when the state cuts more they'll just ask for more pay cuts.

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on August 27, 2013 2:29 pm

I'm going to take a stab at your post but I admit, I'm not sure I understand it. Bottom line is always the same--they don't care about the kids in the inner cities, haven't for ever really but certainly since the elections of 2010, the arrogance and abuse is stunning. Next, the country is not broke, neither is PA. of course. Wall Street, the big banks and major corporations are better off financially now than ever before--EVER. Next, these schemers wouldn't dare try to see this cancer in the more affluent suburbs. They focus on the inner cities as they are the lowest hanging fruit with the Poverty Cycle and despair so prevalent. We are still, The USA, and we need to force the government and lackies and overseers like Nutter to fight for their people first, last and only. Nutter, Hite, and The SRC should have been screaming at Corbett for this SINISTER CARPET BOMBING OF THE KIDS HERE here but nary a word has come from their self serving and cowardly mouths. Masta Tom is pulling their strings and they're dancing to his tune, hoping to get a few crumbs thrown their way. By the way, Obama, has been even more of a disgrace than Nutter. Hope and Change, my ass !!

Submitted by Morrie Peters (not verified) on August 27, 2013 3:48 pm

Amen, good brother.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 3:05 pm

I agree with you. My point is pay cuts beget pay cuts and if you'd take a 13% pay cut to "help recall your laid off colleagues" then be prepared to take another pay cut on top of that to recall the next set that the state lays off after that.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 5:04 pm

If the PFT members care about the city, why don't more of them live here and pay property taxes here?

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on August 27, 2013 5:00 pm

Not going to work, not even a good effort. Work on your skills a bit more. JK

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 5:52 pm

At one point teaching in the SDP were required to live in the city of Philadelphia. The problem, PSD could not find enough teachers willing to teach and live in the city, so now employees can live outside the city. Although they do not pay property taxes, they do pay city wage tax which is 4%. I personally do live in the city and pay my taxes.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 8:19 pm

I live in the city and wanted to send my children to our school thinking that at least the elementary school in my catchment was improving. If all keeps on its current trajectory I will neither live here, send my child here, nor work here. I'm even ready for my AVI increase!

Submitted by Headstart teacher (not verified) on August 27, 2013 3:32 pm

Look - I went into teaching for many reasons. One of those reasons was a perceived career stability in lieu of a larger salary. I chose to stay in PSD for 17 years and work hard here, as opposed to elsewhere, because I believed I could raise a small family and keep us afloat on my salary and benefits.

Apparently, I was wrong. Others have seen that our union offered a semi-secure career at a livable wage and said "whoa! I'm gonna take a piece of that for myself and my corporation. "

If you think I'm not going to fight for what was my dream you are wrong. You don't get to decide to cut my pay, force concessions on my way of life and determine that I dont "deserve" to get paid my salary plus agreed benefits without me fighting back. Period.

Any sane person would and will do the same come September. I am fighting for my life, my dream and my family and I will not willingly hand that over.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 4:36 pm

So what happens on September 2? We strike? For how long? Does the district wait us out? We then begrudgingly accept a lousy contract? I don't know.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 4:25 pm

No one knows what the outcome will be. We're just fighting for a better, fairer outcome for teachers and students.

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on August 27, 2013 4:29 pm

There is no choice but to strike. There is no "Or Else" with these critters. They have bog money on their side but we have "People Power" on our side and we better use it or fully accept Wal Mart wages and benefits. I exaggerate not.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 9:14 pm

Most Philly taxpayers are against you.

And Most of the non taxpayers are smoking crack or too lazy to care.

And everyone else in the state has zero sympathy.

So good luck with that.

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on August 27, 2013 9:02 pm

I agree with you but that's NOT the point. The Government in a free society must guarantee all kids the right to a free and appropriate education, regardless of how unattractive that notion is, to Philly Taxpayers etc. Be careful of becoming so smug about the rights of others as it could well be you they come for next. Don't say it could never happen. Horrible things have been done to people by people forever. Equity must always be the goal, not separate but equal, not some people are more equal than others etc. Jefferson once said, and MANY have copied, "In a place where some aren't free, nobody is free." He didn't put his money where his mouth was but we all get the point.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 9:43 pm

Actually, it IS me they are coming for next if the PFT gets their way. My property taxes went up 600% in the last three years already. But this is not enough apparently.

And it will never be enough as long as the district is run as it has been for decades for the benefit of its workers and hangers-on with near zero regard for parents. It is a disaster and that is why people are leaving.

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on August 27, 2013 9:14 pm

600% in 3 years ???? Me thinketh you exaggerateth but I do feel your pain. BUT, you still miss the point I was trying to make.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 9:28 pm

"Most Philly taxpayers are against you" >>

WE are taxpayers, that bull is wearing thin. We have never been dependent on the public's assessment, but since you brought t up we have a lot of public support. The reason for that is because folks are seeing this "we are broke" ploy used in other states against other working people. Chicago's mayor says they are broke when it comes to schools and teachers , but they are spending money like water on new charter schools, stadiums etc- it's sickening.

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on August 27, 2013 9:24 pm

Bravo---They simply disrespect the inner cities' people as well as their teachers etc. It started with Bush and Obama fully agrees, having Duncan doing his dirty work. In any case, your are completely right, money is very scarce for Urban America but they can find plenty of it for prisons etc.----a VERY scary precedent and one that WE ALL need to resist by any means necessary.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 11:42 pm

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on Tue, 08/27/2013 - 21:50.

Bravo---They simply disrespect the inner cities' people as well as their teachers etc. It started with Bush and Obama fully agrees

I appreciate the "'bravo" but I can't call you 'friend "anymore cause you told me not to do that :( I mIght live though., I always do

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on August 27, 2013 11:11 pm

I was only kidding when I wrote that to you. I assumed you knew that, friend. Bravo, again !!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 10:49 pm

Your collective FU attitude towards the taxpayer, who in Philly is screwed every which way, is what is wearing thin.

BTW, when I refer to taxpayers, I don't mean a welfare recipient who pays sales tax on a 40 though technically that person is a taxpayer too...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 10:48 pm

It's not an FU towards Philly tax payers, it's a Philly tax payer and resident like myself advocating for better funding of schools and decent teacher pay so that I can one day send my children to school here. The two real FUs to the city would be living in the suburbs or all good teachers leaving the district for areas that pay better (or cost less to live). I value my city and I don't want to see it go down a path where public schools are so poorly underfunded that no one can get an adequate education in them.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 10:32 pm

Grow up clown. This administration, run by the SRC, has been wasting millions on sweetheart deals and corruption, but you didn't seem to mind your tax dollars being flushed away then. Just because teachers refuse to be whipping boys for the incompetent leadership of Corbett, Nutter, etc. you want to dump on teachers. What is wearing thin is clueless trolls like yourself who think they can guilt trip the public school teachers into kicking back our paychecks for the priviledge of working in one of the toughest school district in the country. Enough with your whining.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 10:52 pm

The "FU attitude" refers to the idea that we do our collective bargaining with the SDP and don't require your permission or agreement. Didn't I say that many of US are also taxpayers? I worked in this system for over 30 years and have always been a city taxpayer, I am NOT on welfare. Enough with the welfare- nobody is listening, but I will say if we had a better school system we'd attract more city dwellers and taxpayers. Doesn't Nutter understand that? Heck they might even use that fancy new skate park that was just completed. Right Mike?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 10:50 pm

Hope most of the Philly taxpayers will be willing to pitch in an teach next Sept. 9th because we will not be there. It's time you learned the conditions that Philly public school teachers are required to teach in. A chance to see where your tax dollars or going (or in many cases where they should ahve been going). Could make a real interesting reality show.

Submitted by Anonymous on August 28, 2013 4:08 pm

It's OK. The kids weren't learning anything from you anyway.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 5:43 pm

I think we should strike. It's the logical choice. And yet, I can't afford it. But if we don't, they keep taking and taking, and then I can't afford to live even with a paycheck. It's a tough decision. Short-term discomfort vs. long-term gain.

Submitted by Philly_Teacher (not verified) on August 28, 2013 12:28 am

I agree with you. A strike is a last resort, but may be necessary at this point. If you're near the top of the pay scale, you likely stand to lose somewhere between $50,000-55,000 in base salary over the course of four years (2013-2017). I understand that should a strike take place, many PFT members will find it difficult to lose salary for more than a week but the alternative is to lose tens of thousands over a 4-year period. I'll live with the pain today if it means better ahead.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 28, 2013 2:40 pm

We may be able to avoid it with a few tweaks, but seniority and the school code must be restored. That has to be a part of any deal the PFT makes. Get the money from the state and city first.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 6:53 pm

This somethng that's discussed at the PFT meeting on September 2nd, and as many people as possible have to attend and vote. Nobody says "we're striking" ahead of time.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 9:36 pm

I support a strike in lieu of giving back a percentage of my salary. My mindset is that, realistically, how long do you think a strike will last? Not long. Students are already starting school late this year (September 9). These students have been off from school for almost three months. Nutter, Corbett and the SRC will catch so much beef from parents and the community that they will be compelled to end a strike asap. Any opinions or thoughts on this?

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on August 27, 2013 4:12 pm

Bingo !!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 4:02 pm

Was told many people were being recalled via personal email TODAY.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 5:04 pm

Got an email today stating that they were looking for bilingual grade teachers to come back. Email stated no other grade teachers were being recalled at this time. It said I would be contacted if things change.

Submitted by A Teacher (not verified) on August 27, 2013 8:14 pm

It's a shame because there are plenty of vacancies on the list. You will not really know how many additional teachers are needed until the leveling of classes. I can't remember right now when that usually happens. I am thinking 1st week of October, but my memory is fuzzy on the time. It could be later.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 10:42 pm

Leveling is done the last week of Sept. so if they are going to call anyone back it will be then.

Submitted by A Teacher (not verified) on August 27, 2013 10:24 pm

Thank you. That helps me.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 6:11 pm

When another human being, not the state or the city, I mean person, Hite, his aides, Nutter, city counsel, Corbett (the highest paid governor) etc., gives back money, shares personally in the sacrifice, then come back to me and we'll talk.

Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on August 27, 2013 7:11 pm

I agree with you but no matter what happens, teachers and other PFT Members, should not be part of this scam. Don't feed into it by even remotely voluntarily offering anything back. One Term Tom Corbett is what happens when good people sit back and don't vote. Nutter and Hite......................well, you know what they are !!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 6:52 pm

Have any counselors gotten notices?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2013 6:20 pm

As a laid off employee in the District,I strongly urge no pay cuts or givebacks.Yes ,I among others are unemployed, but when eventually recalled we want to come back to decent wages and benefits.
Don't get indoctrinated in that give us cuts mentality and we will retore some jobs. The SDP will restore jobs when they are good and ready --regardless of any givebacks.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 28, 2013 8:27 am

Jerry Jordan is offering pay freezes and paying into health insurance as PFT's compromise offer.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 28, 2013 8:21 am

How could you possibly know that? Yet you put it out there as fact. Irresponsible post.

Submitted by Cray (not verified) on August 28, 2013 9:53 am

My, you are ignorant.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 28, 2013 9:20 am

KYW broadcast it this morning....I guess they could have gotten the quote wrong.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 28, 2013 9:51 am

1. A 4:01AM PFT ALERT emai.
2. The Twitter feed to the right of this page from KYW.
3. Fox29 broadcast.
4. CBS local web site

Early bird catches the most worms.

Submitted by Teachin' (not verified) on August 28, 2013 9:57 am

Thanks for your courage, foresight and selflessness. I hope when you return - and you will, if you choose - that you haven't been betrayed by PFT leadership into a contract full of give-backs.

Submitted by Pissedoff (not verified) on August 28, 2013 8:04 am

Jerry Jordan has some how miraculously thrown teachers under the bus by offering a pay freeze and for them to pay more into health insurance -- what does that even mean? Teachers will make 42k and never another dime; are they kidding? This is ridiculous! Do we have an option to NOT be Union members?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 28, 2013 4:57 pm

Oh stop it wtih throwing us under the bus, There are no specific numbers to report and we haven't assembled and voted. It's important that the vote be honored though and not imposed.

Submitted by Teachin' (not verified) on August 28, 2013 8:56 am

How sure are you of this information? Jerry Jordan should be aggressively rooted out of the presidency if this is true. It's not like we voted for him last time.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 28, 2013 8:11 am

He sent it out to members by email this morning

Submitted by Teachin' (not verified) on August 28, 2013 9:12 am

Apparently he only sent it out to some members. Nothing in my inbox.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 28, 2013 9:40 am

Are you signed up for the alerts and weekly updates? If so, maybe it was filtered Into your junk mail box? If not, you can sign up for them at the PFT website. Must have a non school district address.

Submitted by Teachin' (not verified) on August 28, 2013 9:10 am

Yes, and nothing in any of my folders, junk or otherwise. Does it mention our step pay being reinstated?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 28, 2013 9:58 am

No, it's vague & says details at sept 2 meeting.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 28, 2013 11:06 am

Me too. I'm wondering if it's not a ploy. Since when does the union announce publicly what it's willing to agree to without talking to its members? Maybe he's trying to get the public on our side knowing the district will reject the offer, but having made a good faith offer? or maybe he's trying to make sure that as many members as possible show up on Monday. Contributing to health benefits along with a pay freeze IS a paycut. That's not satisfactory to me.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 28, 2013 8:34 am

Is it possible this is Jerry's way of saying to the public that the PFT has tried to negotiate? Or is this sealed and assured. Why would the District say yes to this? If PFT is over the wheel, why wouldn't they just finish the job and say, "that's a nice offer but here are your real terms, enjoy"?

Submitted by Taron (not verified) on August 28, 2013 8:39 am

I was thinking the same thing. The public is going to look more favorably at the PFT with this step. And maybe there simply is no way of moving forward. Maybe (though I doubt it) the financial situation is that bad.
I wonder what kind of money from our paychecks we're talking about...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 28, 2013 9:50 am

It is on philly.com. So it seems to be fact.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 28, 2013 9:07 am

I think people should reserve judgement until they know what's really going on or see a proposal. PFT members should know beter than to air things in public w/out proper knowledge. All kinds of misinformation gets out that way.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 28, 2013 9:01 am

10 am press conference scheduled, again, according to headline on Philly.com.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 28, 2013 9:54 am

13 percent of salary (which the school district wants) towards health care is too much. That would come out to almost 10,000 per year at my salary level (masters). In my case (and I'm pretty old) I could get blue cross with great coverage and prescriptions for 400 a month buying it on my own. Younger people would be even less. Since the district gets a group discount my insurance probably costs them 200 or 300 per month. So why would they charge me 10,000 dollars. Talk about price gouging. Maybe we need to get our insurance through the union or find some other way to get group insurance and tell the school district to keep their hands out of our pockets. Also checking out unemployment law -- if your salary is cut by more than 20percent and you quit you can probably get unemployment. 13for salary and 13for healthcare is 26 percent.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 28, 2013 9:53 am

It is not 13% of your salary towards benefits. It is 13% of premium of the health care. It is a lot less than you are implying.

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