PFT approves contract extension

UPDATE 8:45 p.m.: PFT members overwhelmingly ratified a contract extension that keeps intact their 3 percent January raise. There will be no changes to their benefits.

The PFT gave the district some financial relief by letting it skip a payment to the union's health and welfare fund. More to come.

 

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers will have a special general membership meeting at 7 p.m. tonight to vote on a one-year contract extension.  No word yet what concessions - if any - the contract will have.  The 15,000 teachers and support staff in the union are due a 3 percent raise in January.

Leading up to the meeting, a "Rally For Teachers" was held outside district headquarters.  A small group of red-clad teachers and others stood in the rain.  Bilal Qayyum of Father's Day Rally Committee noted that test scores have been going up for nine years, and that something is going right.  "That rightness is teachers, parents and students," Qayyum said. 

Gerald Wright, a founder of Parents United for Public Education, earned one of the loudest cheers.

"What we're saying today is our teachers are our most important resource," Wright said.

Acting Superintendent Leroy Nunery couldn't attend the rally - he was at a district-wide principals' meeting - but spokesman Fernando Gallard read a statement on Nunery's behalf.  "I am with you in spirit and solidarity," Nunery's statement read.

More later.  Reporters aren't allowed inside the meeting, but PFT President Jerry Jordan is holding a press conference immediately after the meeting, and I'll be Tweeting from that.  Follow me on Twitter @newskag.

UPDATE 8:45 p.m.: PFT members overwhelmingly ratified a contract extension that keeps intact their 3 percent January raise. There will be no changes to their benefits.

The PFT gave the district some financial relief by letting it skip a payment to the union's health and welfare fund. More to come.

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