Hite decides not to punish teachers who protested on May 1
Superintendent Hite has decided not to dock the pay of some teachers for taking off on May 1 to protest the continued lack of a contract.
The decision was highlighted in an email newsletter sent out to members of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. A spokesman for the District confirmed the decision.
The District and the PFT have been locked in a stalemate over a new contract for more than four years, and most teachers have gone five years without any pay increase.
The expired contract limits those taking a leave day without prior permission to 10 percent in any given school. At several schools, including Mifflin, U School, and Feltonville Arts and Sciences, more than 10 percent of the teachers stayed out in protest. At a few of the schools, including Mifflin, nearly all the teachers called out.
The protest was organized by the Caucus of Working Educators, a group within the PFT. About 1,000 teachers of the 8,000 in the District stayed out on May 1, making it among the highest rates of absence of any day this year. On average, 600 teachers are absent any given day.
The "May Day" protest was part of larger actions around the city that also highlighted issues around immigrant rights, fair housing, and mass incarceration.