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Principals hear contract pitch that includes major salary reductions

By the Notebook on Mar 6, 2014 11:09 PM

by Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks

In the Philadelphia School District, Friday might be an especially bad day to be called to the principal's office.

On Thursday night, the union representing District principals and other school administrators heard the details of a tentative deal struck between union leadership and the District.

If accepted, the deal would cut salaries by as much as 17 percent and would include health-care concessions.

The proposed three-year contract would take District administrators from a 12-month to 10-month pay schedule, and call for 5 percent to 8 percent health-care contributions for all members, staggered over the life of the deal.

To this point, members of the Commonwealth Association of School Administrators (CASA) have not been required to make health-care contributions.

Robert McGrogan, the leader of CASA, spent close to two hours presenting the plan to his members.

"It was a very difficult evening," he said. "Their annual salary is being reduced by an extraordinary amount."

All employees would effectively take a 20 percent pay cut – 3 to 5 percent of that could be made up by working on summer reorganization in August.

In a breakdown provided to CASA members, union leadership illustrated how an assistant principal now earning $106,287 per year would see his or her salary reduced to $88,570.

McGrogan said he thought that this is the best deal the District is willing to broker. If union members reject it, he believes the School Reform Commission will impose contract terms on CASA that would be even more unfavorable.

"I believe that in the absence of accepting this agreement, that the District will move forward to implement whatever changes it feels fit to achieve the savings that are necessary moving into the next fiscal year," he said.

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Comments (147)

Submitted by Think About It (not verified) on March 6, 2014 11:39 pm
If you read the article in the Inquirer, it states exactly how CASA will be taking a pay cut. Instead of being paid for 12 months, they are moving down to 10 month employees. Except Promise Academy administrators; They won't get a pay cut, since they will still work 12 months. Ackerman gave all Administrators a raise a few years ago, when they switched to 12 month employees. For us... PFT members... the pay cut the want is quite different. Unlike the proposal to CASA, they want us to work more time and get paid less! I'd be happy to take a 13% percent pay cut, if I'd become an 8 month employee lol. There is no way CASA's contract will have the same effect on ours. What it will do is make some of the incompetent administrators more likely to take it out on teachers. This whole thing is a tactic to divide the unions. A 500 member union is not as strong as the PFT. So it is a waiting game I guess. I'm not agreeing to a pay cut. I'd contribute to benefits which everyone will be doing soon. I'll consider that a pay cut. But after this year: working more with less, being a teacher/counselor/parent/security guard all in one day with little or no support? C'mon who are they kidding.
Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on March 7, 2014 8:36 am
This was all preplanned. The principals never even asked for the 12 month contract with the salary raise. This plan was a win-win situation for the dismantlers of the system. Give principals a raise. Dig the system deeper in the hole financially. Take away the raise. Cry that the principals have made huge shared sacrifice concessions. Then go after the PFT. Who are they kidding is right!!!!!!!!
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on March 7, 2014 9:41 am
Exactly--The Hidden Ball Trick rides again and we're dumb enough to assume the position and keep quiet about it. Being redundant I know but UNTIL the UNIONS here and everywhere band together for their common good, the corporate types will dismantle worker rights and protections one or two or twenty two at a time. If we allow that to happen, then we deserve the consequences. For the record, unions are good for ALL workers, not just unionized ones.
Submitted by J.J. McHabe (not verified) on March 7, 2014 3:04 pm
Reminds me of the guy who used to be always working at the gas station I would frequent when I was in high school. I would spend $10 on gas, go inside to pay and he would without fail always say something to me like, "That will be $25 for the gas, but with the discount, you only have to pay $10". He would sometimes follow it up with "And that will be $5 for the soda pop, but for you I will give you a discount. You only have to pay me 90 cents". Sounds like this guy quit the gas station job and got employed for contract negotiations with CASA. Get a pay cut, but work the same hours and pay you had a few years ago. I hope he is involved in PFT negotiations!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 7, 2014 1:03 pm
Obviously, union officials don't understand what unity ,solidarity is. Unfortunately ,we have very complacent unions representing workers in the SDP. Jordan (PFT), has caused a lot of division, apathy, an unsupportive member environment due to his disrespecting members now and has been for many years. Additionally,the PFT does not reach out to their members, like they should, or even have the courtesy of returning calls, emails, or other communication submitted to them when you need them. Grievances filed with PFT officers fall by the wayside as the district sees this as a weak union for not executing valid grievances in violation of the CBA. SDP figures why adhere to a contract now or in the future if the PFT leaders allowed breaches to go on for a long time. Administrators (440) and "reformers", rich , and some politicians had their own agenda in dismantling the union and just pay teachers and staff a shabby salary and eventually eliminate benefits and work rules. Email Jordan and other leaders at the PFT, before he follows suit with McGrogan, Demand he be a union leader, for a change,serving his members and get a fair contract no matter what the SDP tells him. It is now or never. Email addresses of some PFT officials bargaining with the SDP:
Submitted by Education Grad ... on March 7, 2014 6:49 pm
So the question now is, WHO IS GOING TO BUILD SOLIDARITY AMONG CASA AND PFT MEMBERS? In some buildings, the administrators and teachers and other PFT members work well together and are quite friendly. In other buildings, there is a great deal of conflict between administration and the rest of the staff. The question is, especially in schools in which there is conflict, how do PFT and CASA members build bridges and unite for the greater good of The School District of Philadelphia and the children and families we as SDP employees serve? Ultimately, these concessions are not good for anyone. These will reduce morale. Perhaps it will affect how often administrators go "the extra mile." These concessions will make it more difficult for the District to attract talented and committed administrators. Perhaps there needs to be a joint general membership meeting of CASA and PFT members. Having attended a number of rallies, I do notice that administrators (CASA members) tend to lack a presence. Perhaps this is due to it being a smaller union and perhaps it is due to the long hours that many principals work. The point here is that administrators and other building staff members need to COME TOGETHER!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 9, 2014 6:20 pm
CASA is affiliated with Teamsters ,they advertise America's strongest union ,so email PA. Teamster conference president ,William Hamilton ,at email below and ask him is this the best the so-called strongest union can do on CASA' s behalf. Attn: William Hamilton
Submitted by anon (not verified) on March 6, 2014 11:20 pm
union leadership is just folding up the tent without even a whimper. just rolling over and assuming the position for bill green, gleason and the rest of the yahoos calling the shots here. pathetic. grow a pair.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on March 7, 2014 10:59 am
I tend to agree with you overall but McGrogan---whom I don't know--seems so kowtowing and pathetic and wussy that maybe he's playing fox and not mouse and expects and WANTS a war !! Either that or he's almost unbelievably cowardly. It's hard to believe that a union leader would speak the pathetic words he's employing. You may be right though but Jerry Jordan sounds like George Patton compared with this guy.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 7, 2014 1:50 pm
McGrogan is barely a vertebrate. He's the first to publicly bend over during every negotiation and he never fights for his members. Never. How can the principals continue to led him drag them down? I'd be embarrassed to admit he was my union leader. Let's hope Jerry Jordan uses his example to see how not to lead a union. We need Willie Brown and Karen Lewis, not weaklings like McGrogan.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on March 7, 2014 1:42 pm
Yes, I don't know him but he's been around for years in that capacity I believe. He's a union leader not, Francis Assisi for crying out loud !!! More Teamster, Less Mouse.......................Unless, he's just playing mouse right now. Actually, even the mouse population would be chagrined by McGrogan's words. Embarrassingly wimpy stuff so maybe it's a con...................hopefully !!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 7, 2014 2:16 pm
McGrogan is a nice person but not great with union leadership. CASA needs a barracuda with a nice large pair!!!!! CASA make SRC force their hand. Let them impose the terms and get ready to fight this mess in court.
Submitted by inthetrenches (not verified) on March 7, 2014 3:54 am
Administrators are only paying for health insurance. Moving back to 10 month employees is not a pay cut. They will be able to increase their salary by working in August. Teachers are being asked to actually take a pay cut and work the same number of months on top of paying for health care. We are already bled dry.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 7, 2014 6:53 am
Moving back to 10 months is a paycut. Ackerman gave principals a nice increase when she gave the option to go 12 months. Any decrease in pay is a paycut. CASA is part of the Teamesters, the Teamsters union needs to shut down SRC, Hite and Green. Stick together unions, don't bend nor give in.
Submitted by anon (not verified) on March 7, 2014 7:14 am
agreed. shut it down.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 7, 2014 6:01 pm
but some admins never took that 12 month former vp left my former school so that she could have her 10 months and be able to provide for her child at home......I agree that when your bills are still the same and then you are told to take a pay cut all the while looking at ads for "new principals" in the same district where cuts are being made is crazy.....
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 7, 2014 6:33 am
How is making administrators ten-month employees "putting students first"? Working in the summer to effectively plan and prepare is a common sense national best practice. Let's be honest, any decent Princial is still going to spend most of their time preparing those 2 months, now they just will do it for free!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 7, 2014 10:06 am
which is what many teachers who spend their summers planning and attending professional development programs do anyway.....
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 7, 2014 8:25 am
Let them impose and let's settle it in the courts. Stop threatening us with Act 46 which is illegal anyway. Both the union management and district management use that threat. It is not real people.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 7, 2014 8:34 am
Let them impose and let's settle it in the courts. Stop threatening us with Act 46 which is illegal anyway. Both the union management and district management use that threat. It is not real people.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 7, 2014 6:57 pm
How is it illegal?....wasn't there a vote and it passed?...I agree that it is immoral and unfair but it is a law so if we strike then let us call it what it is.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 7, 2014 9:50 pm
Illegal due to equal protection clause of US Constitution that the act violates.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 7, 2014 9:44 pm
Pick ANY Civil Rights Law ever passed or the 14th Amendment. Act 46 is flat out discrimination against a specific group of people, based simply on who they are. Let the District impose a contract on the PFT, I'd love to see the State defend Act 46 in federal court as a Civil Rights, not Labor, issue! Bring it!
Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on March 8, 2014 7:06 am
I watched the movie Lincoln 3 times this year and I advise everyone to watch it in the context of the events of today. He died because of his leadership in passing the 13th Amendment and the 14th Amendment was passed shortly thereafter. The importance of the 14 Amendment in the fight for the "ciivl rights" of all Americans for equal protection of the laws and equal opportunity within all states cannot be forgotten in this fight for public education and the equal rights of all of Philadelphia's citizens and Pennsylvania's citizens. One of which is the right equal education in integrated schools, and another is the freedom to bargain contracts like everyone else in PA. I certainly, as a civil rights attorney, agree with you. I have maintained all along that Act 46, on its face, is unconstitutional, and also, as applied. The Greatest civil rights issue of our times is not education itself, as the psychobabblers of privatization refrain. It is the stripping of the rights of Philadelphia's citizens to participate meaningfully in the governance of their supposedly public schools. These are historic times, and everyone should think deeply about what is happening right here in the birthplace of American democracy, and what it means to all of us.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 8, 2014 10:13 pm
It used to be a law that you could own people too. Just because a law was passed does not mean it's constitutional. I look forward to seeing Act 46 played out in court. Even if the PFT doesn't initiate it in thd court system as people impacted by the law we can file our own class action lawsuit. Yes we are the PFT but PFT leadership needs to show that they're ready to fight to the end. Btw is there parking at Girls' High?
Submitted by Headstart Teacher (not verified) on March 7, 2014 8:31 am
Exactly! See if this is an empty threat or not. I for one, am sick and tired of being beaten over the head with act 46. Poo or get off that pot SRC! Also, why doesn't Hite and all the other useless admin at 440 go to 10 month employees and pay into their health care?????? Now THAT would save some cash.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 7, 2014 6:03 pm
Hite claims he took a cut but how do we know that?...what was his salary when he came?...what was his salary when he left Baltimore? and what is his salary contrubution to his own benefits? me the money sonny! Linda K.
Submitted by Christa (not verified) on March 8, 2014 8:15 am
He may have taken a "cut" but he still makes more than many superintendents in the area. My son attends Bristol Township School District, the superintendents salary is $137,500 Pennsbury School District Superintendent $180,000 Central Bucks $215,000 (largest district in Bucks County) Upper Merion $175,000 Lower Merion $218,000 Hite was hired with a salary of $300,000/year...I believe he is supposedly now at $270,000/year. That still makes him a better paid superintendent that Lower Merion considered one of the best districts in the state and he makes at least $100,000 more than the superintendent for the Upper St. Clair School District in Allegheny County which is #1 in the state, their superintendent currently makes around $150,000- $170,000/year.
Submitted by annon (not verified) on March 8, 2014 8:19 am
Philly is a corporate model since Vallas / Ackerman and now Hite. The Superintendent makes considerably more than principals and teachers. (Hite's staff also make much more.) In the US, heads of corporations - and universities for that matter - make much more than the people that do the day to day work. This contributes to the "income inequality" that permeates the US. Even if Hite took a 10% deduction, he still is eligible for bonuses - just like Ackerman. Do we know Hite's benefits package? Hopefully, it isn't as ludicrous as Ackerman's but... (The SRC of the Ackerman era - including Archie - should be held accountable for the fiasco. Meanwhile, CEO's of individual charter schools are also making hefty salaries. Global Leadership Charter - Naomi Johnson Booker - makes over $200,000 for ONE school. (There is also a principal.) The CEO of Mastery - Scott Gordon - makes over $200,000. Mastery schools have layers of administration in EVERY school. The top heavy administrative costs - including Hite's new hires for his central administration - strip money from school. No one in Hite's office - inculding Hite - are providing office supplies.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 7, 2014 9:02 am
Any principal who wants to have any dignity and self-respect must vote no to this extortion. They are holding a gun to your head. Let them impose their dictatorship so people can see who the real enemy is. Let history judge them, not you!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 7, 2014 9:16 am
When PFT attacks CASA, everyone loses. Principals are not the enemy. Its the Principal who has their head on the block when anything goes wrong. Principals are currently the counselor, school police, dean of students, nurse, etc. Doing all the jobs they cut principals still must lead instruction with an expectation of daily observations. Most principals had no choice in moving to 12 months. It was move or be replaced. You shouldn't speak on what you don't know. Many of the SDP "proposal" stipulations are not the article. When unions don't support each other we sink
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 7, 2014 10:43 am
It is not PFT who is attacking CASA, it is CASA's own president attacking them. I would vote him out and put in a stronger leader. One who will not just bend over and take it!!
Submitted by Education Grad ... on March 9, 2014 9:08 pm
You are correct that PFT members need to stop attacking CASA. The District is asking CASA members to take a very large pay cut. The proposed contract for CASA is a fairer than what the District wants from PFT because the pay cut for administrators also coincides with fewer days of work whereas the District wants more hours from PFT members while also cutting pay. However, with the cutting of staff, principals are being asked to do so much. Being a principal is an incredibly difficult job.
Submitted by Headstart Teacher (not verified) on March 7, 2014 9:52 am
But we are supporting CASA by telling them not to accept a raw deal. They are worth more, deserve more and should not be bullied into settling for crumbs.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 7, 2014 1:54 pm
Agreed. And we should have been negotiating with CASA, the school police and the other unions. Together, we would have been unbeatable, but now we'll all hang separately.
Submitted by Christa (not verified) on March 8, 2014 8:35 am
This is how SEPTA does it...they time all of the Union contracts together so that they all have to be negotiated within a few months of each other..This is a major reason as to why they are so powerful in negotiating. Not to mention SEPTA is how people get to work so they have a tremendous amount of leverage. When SEPTA strikes it almost shuts down the city...The PFT could do this too! Everyone is soo scared. Think about it...the PFT was so large that they were able to lay off 4,000 members...There are THOUSANDS of PFT members...they would never be able to replace us in enough time to finish the school year. There is also legal precedent in our favor. IN January the State Supreme Court of Louisiana ruled it illegal for New Orleans to have fired 7,500 teachers after Hurricane Katrina. The Judge ruled it unconstitutional for them to be fired without "just cause." This precedent could perhaps lay the ground work for a legal fight for the PFT if the state attempted to take our certifications should we strike. The PFT is being specifically targeted and everything happening in Philadelphia has been tried already. It has taken a few years but the courts are catching up to these shenanigans and they are siding with teachers a good portion of the time. WE HAVE TO FIGHT!!! Everyone needs to educate themselves on the politics of education in the state and the country. We need to organize and mobilize and tell them NO WAY!
Submitted by annon (not verified) on March 8, 2014 8:01 am
PFT already agreed to pay towards health insurance and no raises for this year. (We haven't had a raise since Jan. 2012). Nutter finally has an agreement with DC 47 - it includes raises and city workers pay far less toward their pension. Principals are NOT getting a pay cut - they are once again 10 month employees and will get paid for working in August. Hite/SRC/Gleason want to pay for the negligence of Nutter / City Council / Corbett / PA Legislature to fund public schools.
Submitted by Gtown_Teach (not verified) on March 7, 2014 10:34 am
If I were a principal, I wouldn't accept this deal. If the SRC had real power they wouldn't be bargaining. Call their bluff, vote no. Put it to the courts, and watch the house of cards crumble. CASA has the power and right to do this. If CASA puts up a tough time, it's only bad news for Corbett, Green, and Hite. Those guys are banking on their own bark.
Submitted by Gtown_Teach (not verified) on March 7, 2014 10:30 am
Another question... Are principals keeping their steps? Or, are they going to be given merit pay like it's proposed for teachers??
Submitted by Poogie (not verified) on March 7, 2014 10:28 am
The APs contract calls for a 15% pay cut but they go from working 12 months to working 10 months. So they are taking a 15% pay cut to work 16.6% less. THAT IS A FREAKING RAISE!!!!!!! Yet the proposal for teachers is for a 15% cut and we work at least 5 hours more a week. So we are getting cut AND REQUIRED to work more whereas the APs are getting no cut whatsoever since the ate working 16.6% less.
Submitted by Gtown_Teach (not verified) on March 7, 2014 10:53 am
Yeah, I agree. Them working less, but taking less pay is a pretty obvious white-wash. I still think they're upset at getting a pay cut, but let's compare apples to apples. I think we need to push the Inky to write an opinion piece about the disparities.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 8, 2014 9:08 am
and that extra 5 hours is five hours less that someone would be able to work a second job to make up the pay difference. Many teachers are married to teachers so their households will be truly devastated by these proposed cuts.
Submitted by ParentCitizen (not verified) on March 7, 2014 10:25 am
As a non-public sector union member, I cannot understand why the PFT is so reluctant to make concessions. In a private sector union situation, negotiations have to be give and take. Concessions must be given (i.e health care, raise %, merit, etc). It is the reality of the world we live in today that things like 100% employer paid healthcare, job for life, full pension with no 401K or 403B component are just not realistic. We may not like it, but we must face the realities. Refusing to give an inch or give up anything is not a negotiation.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 7, 2014 12:10 pm
"ParentCitizen" can you afford to take care of your family if your pay and healthcare benefits are significantly reduced????
Submitted by Lisa Haver on March 7, 2014 12:20 pm
Whose reality? The reality of management which negotiates in bad faith or that of union members just trying to hang on and still be part of the middle class? In the private sector, the choice is paying workers a decent wage and benefits or putting more money in the pockets of the stockholders and the CEOs. The disparity between those who run corporations and the average worker has grown exponentially in a few short years. No one who works hard in either sector should have to wonder whether they will have to live in poverty after they retire. But the real difference is that the state is responsible for funding the schools adequately and equitably. When they do not honor their responsibilities, and get away with it, those who do not understand that or have an anti-worker agenda, continue to use that as an excuse to blame those who have had nothing to do with underfunding the schools, and everything to do with doing right by their students,
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 7, 2014 1:28 pm
Lisa, well said. What has been happening to workers all over the country is all for the self -serving, controlling, greedy, wealthy have an agenda to make the average person make peanuts and control the voting rights of the citizens to get politicians in power to uphold their agenda-mostly Tea Party radicals. This is all a plan by the rich to control people and let them work for the bare minimum, as they selfishly increase their bank accounts, which many aren't even in this country but overseas to avoid their fair share of taxes. We all need to wake up and fight back vigorously now against this group of filthy rich manipulative element. If they win their agenda our lives and wages ,etc will be more controlled by them.
Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on March 7, 2014 3:42 pm
So a principal of a school making 125K instead of 150K is peanuts? Actually, they are in the top 5% for wage earners, and if they have two of them married? 1.5%ers!!!
Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on March 7, 2014 4:44 pm
How about the reality of the 89% of workers in this country who are non union? And many of us do quite well, thank you, without a union. And it isn't just the top. Try unionizing Google. They would laugh at you. From the bottom up. I still argue that the good teachers should band together and start your own charter schools. You would make much more money and be happier in your work environment by casting off the ineffective teachers, bloated bureaucracy, etc.
Submitted by annon (not verified) on March 7, 2014 4:03 pm
and, like many charters, the most needy students. Just look at how many students Universal Charter / Audenreid has booted this year.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 7, 2014 6:28 pm
What about the union making some of their high paid cronies give up their jobs? What about streamlining benefits so union cronies and district employees don't have to administer benefits? How about they cut the fat from people who can go to work everyday and not have to see one student? This can be 440 or union headquarters. Don't make union teachers foot the bill for people in patronage union jobs and don't even tell me they don't exist. Let's be real and cut our fat before they can call us on it, and I don't mean counselors, nurses, or instructional support. That's cutting muscle.
Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on March 7, 2014 3:14 pm
Agreed. When the union is negotiating, they need to understand the financials of the other side. You can't try to back someone into a corner that doesn't have the ability to pay. That is what the Hostess workers did. Now they are out of work and will receive about 25 cents on the dollar on their pensions through the PBGC.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 8, 2014 10:40 pm
Taxpayer, you make a good point about the Hostess workers but we aren't peddling out snack cakes. The Hostess employees union was so misguided. It's shameful what happened to all of those hardworking men & women. But if the city of Philadelphia has $15 million dollars to save Temple's rowing program surely the city has the money to fuel public education. How about Mayor Nutter, Corbett and the Archbishop should send the Pope an email or tweet instead of using tax payer funds for a visit. The money is there it's just all about priorities. My biggest joy this school year was discovering I was finally at a school that didn't have a rodent infestation. The SDP can't pay me enough. I love my students. I buy materials as a matter of practice and I drive a 14 year old car. Teachers are not living high on the hog at all.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on March 7, 2014 4:00 pm
Parentcitizen----Are you serious? Whose reality are you talking about? Whose talking points are you reading from? Are you really a union member or Taxpayer being Taxpayer?? If you are a serious person and not a member of the 5% club, read history and understand the facts before you accept and assume the position of dunce and/or pawn. ALL workers need to demand justice or the corporations will rob all of us of our rights. This isn't about conscience, it's about profit for the already enormously rich and handpicked folks from that ilk. You deserve to be here, You have a right to be here and not be beholdin to wannabe dictators. Grow a pair.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 7, 2014 6:33 pm
Do you spend $1,000-$2000 of your salary to buy products so you can do your job are they supplied? you have to do work before, during, after and on weekends for your job?....If you do then perhaps you would not mind a pay cut with the same bills you have. I will agree to adding health care in that we all get sick and want to be cared for correctly but as for the must be kidding. Linda K.
Submitted by Dating Over 50 (not verified) on April 25, 2014 10:49 pm
Hurrah! At last I got a website from where I can genuinely get helpful facts concerning my study and knowledge.
Submitted by gloriaendres (not verified) on March 7, 2014 11:12 am
Those who wish to make this a test case are on to something. The way Act 46 is written is against existing law. Seniority is a state law. If teachers "concede" on this point, they are acquiescing to an illegal call. The entire state takeover needs to be challenged in court. They have only made a mess of things and are using their power to dismantle schools in the city against our state constitution.
Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on March 7, 2014 3:31 pm
The unions in Detroit tried to argue the same thing. That the state constitution would protect them. That has been thoroughly knocked down by a FEDERAL judge. Indeed, the unions knew that the promises made no sense and couldn't be kept. But they lobbied for them anyway under that false belief. That they would just raise taxes infinitely to accommodate the contracts. Guess what? Nope.
Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on March 7, 2014 7:52 pm
So what about Chicago?
Submitted by Christa (not verified) on March 8, 2014 8:40 am
So then how do you explain the judgement in Louisiana from January of this year stating that the Parish School District and the Louisiana State Board of Education ILLEGALLY fired teachers after Hurricane Katrina because they violated due process rights and seniority rights. All teachers were fired shortly after Hurricane Katrina so that New Orleans could become the first "recovery district" in the United States. New Orleans has been like a master laboratory of education reform experiments. A few are working but most are failing. Just to note: The teachers who were fired won back pay and benefits compensation dating back to the day Hurricane Katrina hit.
Submitted by gloriaendres (not verified) on March 8, 2014 10:18 am
Thanks, Christa, for this valuable information. Not only is this a violation of our state law but, as Rich M. states above, a violation of the 14th amendment. There is no "equal protection" if teachers in one school district are treated differently than teachers elsewhere, only because of where they work. I have said also that laws allowing tuition tax credits to go to corporations that donate money for tuition to private schools need to be challenged in court. They are definitely circumventing out state constitution by allowing a form of backdoor vouchers to go to private and sectarian schools from our public education budget.
Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on March 8, 2014 9:59 pm
First off, correlation does not equal causation. New Orleans is bankrupt. Chicago is bankrupt. They just won't admit it yet. If you think the rest of us should be slaves, working to support public sector servants, you got another thing coming. The PFT will get a fair offer that we can afford. If you don't like it, you are free to go find employment elsewhere.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 8, 2014 9:55 pm
Taxpayer is Green in disguise.
Submitted by gloriaendres (not verified) on March 8, 2014 11:42 pm
Taxpayer, first of all, no one here is your "servant". And no one is offering anything remotely "fair" in the proposed contracts for teachers. Balancing the school budget on the backs of workers who did not cause the mismanagement of the budget is grossly unfair. The take or leave it attitude is for serfs not professionals. The only correlation going on here is the obvious MO of the oligarchs who are forcing the issue for one purpose only - to destroy all collective bargaining, all job security and to have absolute power over workers. It is what management always wants in a feudal society. The bottom line is always obtaining the most profit at the lowest cost. This has nothing to do with improving education.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 11, 2014 5:49 pm
You didnt cause the mismanagement? Back in 2001, your lobbyists were pushinv through the pension sweeteners that put the state billions in the hole. Multi BiLLION dollar theft from is taxpayers. Now the district dedicates increasing amounts to that pension debt. So, yes you are responsible for the fiscal mismanagement. Not solely respo.sible, but hardly blameless.
Submitted by gloriaendres (not verified) on March 11, 2014 5:38 pm
Well, if you mean the only COLA granted since the year I retired (1997), I would hardly call that a budget buster. What you fail to mention is the 12 year holiday that the state took from paying its share into the pension. They used that money to pay other bills. That is what has finally caught up to Harrisburg. The pension fund was solvent and in surplus when I retired, so don't blame me for anything, directly or indirectly. The recession that hurt the whole country also hurt our pension fund. Add to that the malfeasance of using school worker's investments as a state slush fund and the result is before us now. The pension fund would be fully funded if not for the cumulative effect of the banking crisis, resulting in a sluggish economy, and the state's neglect of its fiduciary responsibilities
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 12, 2014 3:39 pm
We went from fully funded to $47 billion in the hole over 12 years? So the state should have been contributing $4 billion a year? Over 13% of the budget. Yes, there was a massive multi-billion dollar theft that occurred in 2001, and you were the beneficiary. Fact is in 2001 you guys gave yourselves a Detroit style 13th check. And just to screw everyone else a little more, it is state income tax free! Only us private sector suckers have to pay our "fair share" apparently. Sure, the problem was compounded by Rendell not funding the plan. But stop pretending like teachers are some innocent bystander here. Your money paid for the bribery that enabled this massive fraud.
Submitted by gloriaendres (not verified) on March 12, 2014 5:36 pm
Nonsense. The pension fund gets its money from three sources: workers' contributions, the state's contributions and returns on investments. The only part of that formula that never ceased or was lowered was the workers' contributions. So that $47 billion deficit arose from other factors including the recession. A big chunk was lost when Enron folded. Again, poor management and poor investments. I have no idea what you mean by tax free. I get taxed by the state and federal governments on all my income and always have. Medicare premiums come out of Social Security also. I do not have the luxury of a business tax abatement or property tax abatement like so many "suckers" in the private sector. My home has been taxed since I bought it over 40 years ago. And as a retiree, I no longer pay dues to the union, so am not politically connected to anything. The fact is that our pension was raided by every governor during that decade to balance their budgets. And the bill is overdue. But all you want to make a big stink over is a once in two decades COLA? Horsefeathers!!!!
Submitted by germantowntaxpayer (not verified) on March 7, 2014 11:58 am
There exist better ways to resolve this but leadership will need to have the 'WILL' to apply those practices. Those at 440 are educated individuals who should apply best practices in their decision making (even union negotiations) and how these action are impacting children and their learning. That is THE MISSION of all school districts. Have we lost site of this mission? That being said, stop lumping everyone at 440, as the bad guys in this mess. Folks at 440 took a pay-cut, pay for their health benefits and are doing the work of 3 people. The commonwealth of Pennsylvania is at the bottom of the list of the fifty states within the USA that fund public education. This is not just a Philadelphia issue, this is a STATEWIDE issue. School Districts throughout our commonwealth our making tough decisions regarding budgets. Make education funding an issue this election year! This is a far from fair contract or negotiation. Negotiations is a win-win situation. I do not know anyone who wants to take a pay cut and should have to take one. Prior to making principals 12 months, leadership at the district, the SRC and the city should have done a feasibility study, to see if this was something that the District could sustain. The SRC allowed this change to occur, now they want to take it back. The members of CASA/PFT should be outraged, they have family and financial responsibilities based upon their current income. If you have a child in college, your aid is based upon your previous year's income, parents just can not go in to the college bursar's office and say 'Sorry, I can not continue to pay for my child's education this year.'
Submitted by Education Grad ... on March 9, 2014 10:32 pm
germantowntaxpayer, You are completely correct that the lack of funding is a statewide issue. Suburban districts are offering teachers early retirement, raising class sizes, and not hiring as many new teachers as they would if there were adequate funding. The increasing pension costs are really impacting many suburban districts. (There was a great article about the pension crisis in 2013 in the Inquirer, but I couldn't find it when I looked online.)
Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on March 7, 2014 3:32 pm
This is great news for the taxpayers of Philadelphia. Nutter's proposed budget includes no new tax increases, of which we have had three in the last few years. He is also trying to shore up the city's pension plan, which is woefully underfunded. He doesn't want us to be another Detroit down the road. My only question is thus: I hear a lot of griping by PFT members, who happen to be the only adults who haven't sacrificed yet, about how none of this is "fair." Life isn't fair. But I am unaware of the PFT hiring an actuarial consultant to actually dispute some of these numbers. I don't get it. Why not???
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 7, 2014 6:25 pm
Taxpayer.. sacrificed yet? Let me explain something to you.. I spend over 50 dollars every weekend having to purchase needed supplies for my class. Everything from pencils, copy paper, toilet paper and paper towels. If I have to take a 13% cut, I will be buying NOTHING for my classroom... I sacrifice everyday!!!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 8, 2014 2:36 am
In addition to the supplies that you've mentioned, many teachers, myself included, buy daily snacks for their students. We know that when children are hungry (traumatized, exhausted, distraught, full of rage … fill in the blank), their learning takes a back seat. Most teachers dip into their own pockets on a regular basis. I've personally paid hundreds of dollars toward field trips for students who didn't bring in their money. "No child may be excluded due to the cost," is a statement that must be written on field trip permission slips. This often means that the teacher foots the bill for the shortage. I'm not looking for a pat on the back. Most of the teachers in my building go the extra mile for their students, day in and day out, and our 'giving' is not merely financial. My comment is meant to enlighten the minds of those who depict SDP teachers as selfish and greedy and to create some cognitive dissonance. I am, after all, an educator.
Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on March 8, 2014 9:08 pm
You're an enabler. We have the highest rate of childhood obesity in the world, and Philly is right on the top of the list of cities. And you're giving junk food to your students? You should be fired. You don't need a pat on the back. You need an escort out the door.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 8, 2014 10:50 pm
You need to return to elementary school and learn to read more critically. At no point did I state that I provide junk food for snacks. My 7-year old students will gladly teach you how to do a better job at inferencing :)
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 8, 2014 10:00 pm
Most of our schools have launched a healthy snack initiative for our students. I highly doubt that any educator is providing junk food. I supply snacks for my kindergarten students and I buy snacks aligned with the Eat, Right, Now initiative.
Submitted by Education Grad ... on March 7, 2014 6:19 pm
I thought that this part of the article was very interesting: ---- Most administrators leaving the meeting Thursday night declined to comment for this story. In off the record conversations, some fumed with anger and frustration, others seemed wearily resigned to changes they felt were inevitable. Tracy Scott, principal of Duckrey Elementary School, fell into the latter group, though she wouldn't commit on how she would vote. "It's the devil you know, as opposed to what you don't know," she said. "Me as a single person, it's not bad, but for people who are parents and have kids and things like that, it might be hard for them to make an adjustment in the middle of the year." ---- I can definitely relate to "the devil you know versus the devil you don't know" line of thinking. I guess one has to weigh if it's worth settling for "the devil you know" or better to fight for something greater, fight for what you believe is right. Desperate times call for desperate measures. People need to have courage and stand up for themselves and for children. Where's the criticism of Corbett and the Legislature?
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on March 7, 2014 6:26 pm
Do yourself a big favor and Google The Manning Report--Revolution or Martial Law.
Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on March 8, 2014 5:55 pm
Thanks Joe, I watched the Manning Report. I have to agree with you.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on March 8, 2014 5:29 pm
Thank You----Coming from the position that even a blind squirrel finds a nut here and there but Manning's Video on "Revolution or Marshall Law" is an amazingly accurate depiction of what's happening in this country now. Look at PGW as another example. Cut jobs and pay and destroy all worker rights. Take it or leave it----That's called dictatorship and that's where we're heading.
Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on March 8, 2014 5:38 pm
Or as I like to say, "Even a broken clock is right twice a day!"
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on March 8, 2014 11:39 pm
The point is a change in mindset, is what's needed. Don't go along with the "well, that's just the way it is nowadays." Demand your rights and unify against the corporate bully tactics. It's not about arms, it's about brains.
Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on March 8, 2014 9:42 pm
LOL! That would be a good one. Armed teachers waddling down Broad Street. Those in the top 5% of wage earners demanding more money from the rest of us. Go for it.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 8, 2014 10:48 pm
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 9, 2014 9:54 am
The is a pretty bankrupt presentation. He rants about our current political situation but offers no concrete proposal for what must be done other than "revolution", whatever that means.
Submitted by ParentCitizen (not verified) on March 7, 2014 7:06 pm
I resent being called a "dunce" and will not participate name calling. Respectful dialogue from all is appreciated and expected. Is it "fair" that sometimes my own union had to take certain cuts as far as benefit contributions? Maybe not. But the fiscal reality of the organization made both raises and no healthcare increases impossible. So, we NEGOTIATED and accepted one thing in lieu of another. That is the art of compromise and it's not perfect. I'm not just talking about the PFT, look at what's happening with PGW. They private company purchasing it committed in writing to no layoffs for 3 years and the union STILL isn't happy b/c they will have no negotiate their next contact with a private company, which means they may have to actually negotiate. Thus the difference between public and private sector unions.
Submitted by Lisa Haver on March 8, 2014 9:08 am
The company trying to purchase PGW has absolutely NOT made any kind of commitment to the workers. Or to the customers, for that matter. When anything from a school or the Camden police force to a utility company is privatized, unionized jobs with a living salary and benefits are abolished. The workers--sometimes---are allowed to apply for their former jobs. Nowhere does it say that the company has to rehire anyone. Expect rates to skyrocket after those three years are up, possibly before. Read Daniel Denvir's article to get some actual facts on this:
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on March 8, 2014 10:24 am
Yes, Privatization is code for union busting and all thinking people know it....hell, even I can figure that out. ALL unions better wake the frig up. Google The Manning Report---------Revolution or Marshall Law. Granted Rev. Manning is the same as Westboro religiously but in this video, he makes lots of sense. Usually, I watch his stuff for the comedic value and before I die I want to see The Westboro folks up close and personal because it's hard to believe they believe that stuff but still this video is right down the middle for a strike or as Richie Ashburn liked to say,"Right down the middle for a ball."
Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on March 8, 2014 10:26 pm
You either don't know or you are flat out lying. UIL agreed to no layoffs and no rate increases for three years if there is a purchase. There is no reason for the utility to be publicly owned and no city of our size owns one. Stop the lies.
Submitted by Ms.Cheng (not verified) on March 9, 2014 10:28 am
It's no use Taxpayer. It's usually a retired teacher trying to defend their pensions. Pensions that are taking from the current teachers' pay and benefits in the form of debt service. I'm not saying they don't deserve these pensions, but you have to wonder why they're so defensive, to the point of blocking constructive change that would benefit all. I have found these comments riddled with inaccuracies and out of context interpretations. Insular, and defending the status quo... welcome to Philly... The privatization bandwagon? Sorry to remind you, but State taxes, and pensions depend on profits. No profits = no taxes, and, no stock/shareholder dividends. These "privatizers", that would be you and me. Evil profits? That would be hard work, and innovation that create value. It doesn't matter, because these privatization criers, had their chance to step up with their teacher run networks (it was not all private foundations that were proposed to run them) with the BCG report, but decided to pass on it. So now they're left with the charter exodus. Just as well. Then there's the complaints of being "trapped" by these pension benefits. That could be taken care of by moving to a defined contribution (401k) from the defined benefit (pension). Then public school teachers would be free to move as they pleased, but I guess they're going to pass on that as well. Oh and personal attacks, they usually mean you've hit some truth.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 9, 2014 11:10 am
Are you arguing with Lisa Haver or Daniel Denvir? You drank so much Chicago School of Economics' cool-aid, it's not even funny. Can you give one example of innovation by privatized public service entities besides cutting workers' pay and benefits and cutting corners on quality of the service?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 9, 2014 11:06 am
Check out this article if you want to see where the cool-aid is coming from:
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 9, 2014 1:48 pm
Sure, Wall Street fingers are all over the place. Where are the last big pots of money in this country? Education, public utilities, public sector pensions (including Social Security). Unless Ms. Chang is married to a Wall Street broker, she will have to switch to the cat food, too.
Submitted by Ms.Cheng (not verified) on March 9, 2014 1:59 pm
You forgot Health Care :)
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 9, 2014 1:21 pm
Healthcare is already privatized. BTW, healthcare is a good example of how "great" privatization is. We are spending at least twice as much as any other country with socialized medicine on a much worse quality.
Submitted by Ms.Cheng (not verified) on March 10, 2014 7:47 am
Yes, healthcare here is in dire need of reform. You need a mix. Even in Singapore, private care options are included. I think you need to examine the insurance industry if you want to point to a culprit. Profits do drive innovation, and although breakthroughs in research have happened in many countries, I would say the necessary investment to bring them to application happens more quickly in the U.S. than elsewhere. Keep this in mind. We are watching the Affordable Care Act to see if it can reform the insurance industry by introducing more consumer driven controls/competition (kiosk). Certainly private insurers have been more effective at controlling costs than government programs such as Medicare/Medicaid.
Submitted by Ms.Cheng (not verified) on March 9, 2014 1:01 pm
You can't argue with them because they don't want solutions, just a stage. Perhaps the problem is the mindset of public service entities, which are the very ones that are mismanaging their own. I would have loved to see teacher led/managed "achievement networks", as well as community schools. The major obstacle to these happening has been the "privatization" bandwagon. Ms. Haver seems to think there's no such thing as anonymous $$ donors who are sincerely trying to help. Never mind in Cincinnati, which is used as an example of successful Community Schools, the United Way is a key player. The nonprofit I volunteer with depends on these $$ donations, and none of them ask for privatizing maneuvers.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 9, 2014 1:41 pm
"Public service entities" have their own "mindset"? Who are you talking about? Teachers are not "mismanaging" the district, we criticize and protest the mismanagement. Don't try to paint us as "status quo" defendants, because we are not, and you can observe it at every SRC meeting. But we have a good sense to understand that privatizing won't fix the problem. I am not aware of the alleged success in Cincinnati. May be there is some, may be not. But we all know many examples of failure, corruption and mismanagement by charters right here in Philly, just open a newspaper. You you clearly don't have a good sense to understand the harm done by privatizers to the society. Probably due to insurmountable amount of cool aid delivered by the media, and consumed by you for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 9, 2014 2:47 pm
Today's charter story:
Submitted by Ms.Cheng (not verified) on March 10, 2014 7:16 am
Politicians and legislators are also public service entities.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 9, 2014 11:36 am
I see you've come out of retirement to do you usual hit job against teachers. You promote the divide and conquer tactics of all oligarchs. All school district employees pay into the pension fund so it will be there when they retire. Many school districts and municipalities have not been meeting their part of pension obligations. Once again, you blame the mismanagement of the politicians and school districts on the public employees.
Submitted by Ms.Cheng (not verified) on March 9, 2014 12:20 pm
Yes, and where are these pension funds invested?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 9, 2014 11:55 am
Since when is fighting to defend your standard of living so hard to understand?
Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on March 9, 2014 8:46 pm
Some of these people seem to be living in a fantasy world. They think if they just whine loud enough, they will get whatever they want. That is not the case. Again, there is no new money coming to the SDP. They will have to do some belt tightening. That includes significant concessions from the PFT. If they cannot accept what we can afford to pay, they are free to find employment elsewhere.
Submitted by Philly Taxpayer, Teacher and Parent (not verified) on March 9, 2014 9:50 pm
Do you have any children in the SDP? Do you care about the type of education they receive? Education on the cheap is just that - cheap. A professional teaching staff is necessary for an equitable education.
Submitted by Education Grad ... on March 9, 2014 10:52 pm
Ms. Cheng, Pensions are an issue, but the governor tried to get reform and got nowhere with that in a Republican-dominated legislature. 401(k) plans aren't foolproof either: "There’s nothing wrong with 401(k)s, except the players involved," How exactly could achievement networks have been run by teachers? An administrator would have to be in charge of a network, just as an administrator is in charge of each school. Yes, most (if not all) administrators have teaching experience, but they are classified as administrators, not teachers. The District already had networks during the Vallas era when it turned over schools to Edison, Victory, universities, and others. The results weren't exactly stellar. The governor could do more to raise revenue. He could tax extraction of natural gas. Pennsylvania is the only state which doesn't tax extraction of natural gas. The Marcellus Shale isn't going anywhere. The bottom line is that the Commonwealth has a broken school-funding formula that needs fixing. All of the poorest districts in the state---Philadelphia, Reading, Allentown, Chester-Upland---are close to bankruptcy, and it's because of the funding formula first and foremost.
Submitted by Ms.Cheng (not verified) on March 10, 2014 7:38 am
EGS, you're one of the few who takes the time to actually read comments instead of categorically responding. Yes, there are problems with 401ks. They put more of the risk on the employee, and choices with employers are limited to the employer's plan; however, with the nature of work today (often more contract like than not), they at least offer portability. In addition there is a "saver's credit" already established on a tax return, that can be expanded by the government. Use your imagination with the achievement networks. Teachers were invited to submit proposals in the BCG summary published on the SDP's website. My proposal would have been to rotate the administrative function amongst the membership schools. If you used the current hierarchy, it would have been the school principals that would fill this. It could also been a committee made of teachers from the membership schools that would fill this function. The point remains that no proposals came from teachers, and the plan was so vilified by the conspiracy theorists based on who wrote it and who funded it, that it was never looked at adequately. Besides teaching financial literacy in schools, we need to start teaching economics. Yes, of course we can push to tax big business more. We need to understand the consequences of this however. You only need to look at Philly to see where the start up tech firms prefer to operate - outside of Philly. You only need to cross the City line, to see where the growth is. My understanding of the natural gas companies drilling is they are required to keep a large reserve in the case of cleanup needs (a high probability considering the method of fracking). But we can keep pushing. A funding formula is not going to guarantee more money, just that Philly/the poor districts will take more of what is allocated for education. This will have a hard time passing the legislature. The formula in place is poverty based already. I believe the State was awarded the right to determine the definition of "thorough and efficient", and that is/will be the "bottom line", regardless of formulas.
Submitted by First Grade Teacher (not verified) on March 8, 2014 8:45 am
PFT has sacrificed. Our negotiated step increases were eliminated at the beginning of this school year. Teachers earning extra degrees and credits did not receive the salary increase that they were entitled to. Most teachers spend money every week on their students. It's nearly impossible to do the job without providing basic supplies that students need. What will happen to needy students if salary cuts are made?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 8, 2014 4:55 pm
what will happen is that our students at school will HAVE to go without even less than some of them have now. I love my students, BUT my own kids and family must come first when it comes to paying the bills each month :-(
Submitted by Tired (not verified) on March 8, 2014 6:32 pm
I'm with you there. I've devoted years of my life to my students. But these last few years, and especially this year, have drained me. The SDP is clear about its intentions. Jerry Jordan is full of shit. I've gone to every PFT rally and event - often the only staff member at my school to do so. I'm not going later this month. If I hear Jordan's empty rhetoric and the drones clapping one more time I will lose my mind. There's only so much a person can take.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 8, 2014 7:20 pm
This is not the strategy to take. You are just internalizing your despair. People are going to have to get on the road of struggle. This is the only way to keep your sanity. The PFT meeting should be flooded. Demand answers. Do not let them use parliamentary procedure to control discussion. Robert Rules of Order were created for orderly discussion. In the hands of the PFT leadership they have manipulated the rules in order to stifle democracy at union meetings. Do not walk away! Do not let it happen! The union is the rank and file, not the leadership. Take it back!
Submitted by Education Grad ... on March 9, 2014 10:55 pm
The union is the rank and file, not the leadership. - AMEN to that! We need to demand that the PFT be holding the District accountable for honoring the contract as written.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 8, 2014 9:54 pm
We need to stop Jordan in his tracks . His meetings are useless, controlled by his maneuvers, his plants in the audience, gives us no information - totally disrespects us. If he starts the crap shut him down. Take back the union and tell SDP to shove. Email Jordan and tell him to be prepared to treat us with dignity and all his wussy ways. If this battle is not won this contract-it's over,back to low wages, no decent benefits, no work rules, fire at will, more chaotic times,and the PFT would dissolve. Email Randi Weingarten too rweingarten@
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 8, 2014 9:19 pm
Strike or use and tactic necessary to push back the enemy,which is Corbett, Hite, Nutter, and many other carpetbaggers trying to get their grimy hands on education money and could careless about students ,especially in urban schools. Randi Weingarten email
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 9, 2014 2:27 pm
Randi Weingarten will have to get permission from Bill Gates first!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 9, 2014 5:48 pm
You are right about that. Weingarten is another awful union leader. The AFT union and affiliates ,like the PFT, are weak and kiss ups to districts and do not fight the battles they should. Look at Newark and what they are doing there among many other districts aligned with the AFT. Weingarten was a part of that Newark contract like she is in Phila., that's why the CBA will suck . Jordan and Weingarten are two peas in a pod-worst union leaders ever. The main reason for the decline of the AFT/ PFT. Email Weingarten and Jordan
Submitted by Timmy (not verified) on March 8, 2014 9:04 am
George Bush Jr. invaded Iraq to accomplish what his father failed to do.....Destroy it! Bill Green Jr. became the leader of the SRC to accomplish what HIS father failed to do.....Destroy the PFT!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 8, 2014 11:40 am
PFT membership meeting on March 19th., 4:30 at Girls High. Spread the word. Insist on every staff member show up. Solidarity people!!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 8, 2014 2:02 pm
Insist the PFT leaders be respectful and eliminate the plants and be honest to their members. Jordan is going tell members his hands are tied.more wuss talk of course
Submitted by Mayday (not verified) on March 8, 2014 5:23 pm
The March 19 general meeting had better NOT be another wimp out. Jerry, this is a golden opportunity. STRIKE right before the PSSAs. There will never be a better time. See thousands of teenagers out in the streets, some wreaking havoc. See parents who can't go to work because their little ones are not in school. Watch Corbett/Nutter/Hite freak out when NO Philly child takes the PSSAs. Do we mean what we say? We haven't shown it. I am tired of Jerry's refrain that we will "look like the bad guys" if we strike and inconvenience parents and students. We already have been vilified by every political entity from the SRC to City Council to the Mayor's and Governor's offices. And PFT members, stand united as one giant set of brass ones. A strike timed correctly won't last a week, Act 46 be damned.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 9, 2014 2:46 pm
It time for the public school teachers of Philly to look like the BADDEST GUYS in town, time to shut down this city and occupy 440. No pay cuts and demand that the clown show known as the SRC be removed permanently. Either we get a say in how things are run in this school district or the politicians themselves will have to step into the classrooms themselves. It could be a good learning opportunity for the clueless legions that badmouth teachers all the time.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on March 9, 2014 3:36 pm
Yes, it is time for "Civil Disobedience" as they say. AND if the clowns play hardball, we play harder ball....................whatever is necessary to end this blatant abuse of our civil rights. ALL thinking people know what is necessary so let's do it and be done with it. Bullying is what Billy Green has always been about and we all know how to deal with bullies. I still hold out hope that CASA and The PFT will join together for OUR COMMON GOOD and not play the fool that Nutter, Hite et al are counting on. Don't allow them to divide and conquer. Solidarity and force this clear abuse and corruption to stop.
Submitted by Education Grad ... on March 8, 2014 6:29 pm
WE are the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and WE must attend this meeting!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 8, 2014 9:21 pm
That is correct,members make the would just be a lot stronger and unified if we had some aggressive PFT leaders that had a strategy in place and for once stood up to the bullies at 440, Corbett,Nutter,Gleason,Legislature, and all the other outside forces trying to destroy public education as well as shove anything down workers throats. My prediction is Jordan will be limited in information and tell members that negotiating is not moving and SDP will impose Act 46. Scare tactic to accept the bs he negotiated. Let SDP impose it and fight it out legally then.Most would rather have that then this controlling factor SDP keeps dishing out. This is our only chance to fight back . By the way, this Manufactured money crisis is a sham. The state ,city, district have money they just aren't using it properly for education. I still think the District is dishonest about the actual shortfall just like all the other years but find money when they hire more of their incomplete cronies. Email Jordan let him know it is our union and lead like he is supposed to. Either your legacy will ad to your wimp ness or maybe come out on top.Surprise us Jerry.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 9, 2014 10:18 pm
You are correct, however, Jordan has plants that show up early and purposely sit right next to the microphones to quick jump up and say "I second that Jerry", "I third that Jerry" just like the last meeting. Those who are against should show early and sit right next to the microphones and say, "No". In addition, the word needs to be spread that Jordan cannot silence anyone. Every teacher has a right to speak. All teachers need to speak up and if you don't agree with him speak up!!
Submitted by Education Grad ... on March 9, 2014 11:35 pm
People CANNOT leave the PFT meeting early! This is what happened at the meeting in September. As people left, it created a chain reaction and others followed. This meeting is too important for people to leave. We need to stand together and make our voices heard. The District needs to start honoring the contract by providing adequate textbooks and supplies and providing step raises, among other things.
Submitted by Education Grad ... on March 9, 2014 11:02 pm
And not just teachers, but paraprofessionals, and nurses, and counselors, and secretaries, and all other PFT members!
Submitted by J.J. McHabe (not verified) on March 10, 2014 7:32 am
At the September meeting THE VERY FIRST speaker read from his phone some scripted motion about "I put into motion that we close debate and give President Jordan full confidence to do what is best for our members". Everyone groaned and people were yelling out, "plant! plant!". Horrible. Then this guy sat down with a big smirk on his face. Nobody had a chance to debate or talk about anything.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 10, 2014 5:33 pm
The PFT leaders, namely Jordan, has plants at all the meetings .The reason being he doesn't want democratic membership meetings. Just like the sham PFT /AFT elections they have for the leaders with no member election or accountability. The general meetings and contract votes are manipulated by Jordan,Weingarten and s/he attempts to use undemocratic tactics to get his spineless agenda implemented. That makes his cushy job easier yet. Email Jordan and other officials at the PFT as well as Weingarten (AFT ,President) and demand a fair meeting and a decent contract or have a strategy in place if that isn't the case. Randi Weingarten's email:
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 8, 2014 9:40 pm
Q: Why is the PFT meeting scheduled AFTER CASA members vote? A: To keep us (PFT and CASA) from banding together!!! Something doesn't pass the smell test. It's time for PFT members to take their union back.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 8, 2014 10:30 pm
What ever passes the smell test anymore when Jordan ,Kempin, Harris, Phillips, Kirsch,Weingarten,etc. are involve. Email them all tkirsch@yuaw@com
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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 8, 2014 6:05 pm
We need to strike. I can be wordy at times, not this time. Short and sweet. I am worth my weight in GOLD and should be respected for the job I do.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 8, 2014 10:15 pm
Well said.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on March 8, 2014 6:30 pm
Yes, this is a strategically great time to strike. It's a case of "They have us right where we want them." Act 46 MUST be challenged. By the way, I disagree with those who submit that the Principals are NOT making concessions. For SURE, they need to strike. Hite and his cretins are strangling them too. Obviously, CASA and The PFT should refuse to play along and band together. Google--The Manning Report--Revolution or Marshall Law
Submitted by Poogie (not verified) on March 8, 2014 7:25 pm
We all know that if a tree falls in the woods and there is no bear in the area taking a crap then it does not make a sound. Right? But did you ever think the same applied to the the PFT contract??? For example the SRC just gave the APs a 16% reduction in work time for a 15% pay cut which all of you math teachers know equals a 1% pay raise. Yet the chorus of hosannas arsing from the 4th estate praises this deep pay cut by CASA. The PFT resonates silence. As it contract gets ripped up more silence. WHY???? Hello darkness, my old friend I've come to talk with you again And no one dared Disturb the sound of silence
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 9, 2014 10:41 pm
Teachers need to storm the microphones and demand that the PFT Attorneys do something about ACT 46. Maybe someone should say, "Let them impose the terms". Then, the PA Supreme Court wil hear the case and the PFT Attorneys can challenge it's constitutionality!!!! It's pretty clear to me--let them impose, then file that ACT 46 is unconstitutional. Let them "lock you out". Then you can get unemployment while striking!!!! Hello......the union should be talking about this.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 10, 2014 12:17 am
The PFT should be talking about a lot of things -but silence is golden to them. The SDP leaders are pathetic ,but the PFT leaders are in the same boat.They partially created this mess by not speaking up or executing grievances, making demands that the SDP adhere to the CBA or action will be taken. A few court cases , a strike, the blue flu , or other strong tactics along the way might have push the District back. None of this was done by Jordan and crew in many years so the District figures what the heck, let's weaken them further ,knowing the PFT leaders will stand complacent illustrating their inaction, as usual. Flood Jordan's and Weingarten's email box with emails telling him/her to have a strategy for the members and shock us all and get some big brass balls finally.Stand up to the officials at the SDP. Who cares about Green. We can oust him of his role at SRC. I mean really who the h-- is Green? He is a nothing .His daddy was a awful mayor, baby Billy was an awful Council rep. and now he will be an awful SRC member.Squash him like a cockroach right from the start.Green likes power and if you give him an inch he will take much more than a yard. So don't satisfy him. He is just Corbett's puppet. As for Hite he doesn't care about anything but getting his inflated pay,dismantling the union and his large pension stock piling as well as his golden parachute when he is forced to leave town.We all seen this before -Vallas, Ackerman, etc. Jordan email Randi Weingarten (AFT ,Pres.)
Submitted by Headstart teacher (not verified) on March 8, 2014 9:44 pm
Most of us are just waiting for the call to strike. I'm tired of useless meetings. I'm tired of being told what I do matters but we have no money to pay you for the difficult job you do. I'm tired of being vilified by those who know nothing about what it takes to be a teacher, all day, every day. Lastly, I'm tired of parents expecting miracles when they refuse to invest even the slightest bit of effort into their child, school or community. I am a teacher. I do NOT want sainthood. What I do want is some respect and a decent wage. Stop trying to make me feel ashamed for that!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 8, 2014 10:02 pm
Making a call out to any available Ironworkers Union 401 that can come to March 19 meeting and show Jordan what a union leader does for his members. We are soooooo sick of his same speech and non answers and his condescending ways with his members. We could have done this all back in August since his negotiations went nowhere. Tell the SDP to shove their measly contract and demand a fair CBA.. This is Philadelphia not some city in Nebreska.I thought Philadelphians had balls and fought back hard when needed. We can still win this but do not accept this nonsense. If we do many will be not working in Phila.SD and eventually this bs will reach the suburbs. The filthy greedy rich want us to make about 25,0000 a year with no benefits or work rules. They are control freaks.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 9, 2014 10:09 pm
Let them "lock you out". Then you all can get unemployment while striking. Otherwise, you won't get paid.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 10, 2014 6:08 pm
here, here! That's the smart move
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 10, 2014 7:03 pm
How does a lockout occur, and what's the likelihood?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 8, 2014 10:19 pm
I meant 25,000 I mistakenly had an extra zero .
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 9, 2014 11:05 pm
I read the Manning Report. Are you as crazy as the Reverend Manning? He's one twisted fellow.
Submitted by Joe K. (not verified) on March 10, 2014 10:33 am
I don't mind your calling me crazy but I resent being called a fellow.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 10, 2014 6:45 pm
we all been ,had,hoodwinked,bamboozled led astry run no !!!!!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on March 10, 2014 9:59 pm
It took Randi Weingarten all this time to detach the union from a top private school "reformer" aka as Bill Gates. See below condensed article. The American Federation of Teachers, to date the recipient of more than $11 million in Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation largesse, will no longer accept Gates funding, Politico has reported, citing increasing criticism from members. AFT officials said the union's President, Randi Weingarten, made the announcement at the Network for Public Education conference last week in Austin, Texas. NPE is an advocacy group begun by Diane Ravitch and other critics of so-called "corporate education reform." I'm shocked Randi actually listened to members ,even though , it was way too late- it's better than never ,I guess. Tell (email address below) Randi Weingarten that her job is to listen to members and stand up to districts and stop the "collaboration" (buzz word for giving in to districts-screwing members over) strategy that is all one - sided and that one- side is usually in favor of the districts .Her definition of "collaboration" is detrimental to her members. Ultimately, AFT union members are stuck with a lousy contract and work rules with Randi's paws all over the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement).

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