PHILADELPHIA – Teachers and professional support staff at New Foundations Charter High School in Northeast Philadelphia voted for union representation by the Alliance of Charter School Employees, an affiliate of AFT Pennsylvania and the American Federation of Teachers.
Ballots were counted Friday at the National Labor Relations Board’s regional office here. More than 90 percent of the 53 teachers and professional staff at the high school had signed cards calling for a union election and 73 percent of the staff participating in the election voted for union representation today.
Teachers and professional staff petitioned for a union to improve resources for their students and have a voice in the school’s curriculum, professional development and other decisions. They also hope to negotiate fair and consistent working conditions, salaries that keep up with the cost of living and job security language to improve recruitment and retention of talented teachers and staff.
“Our union will be the foundation of taking our school to the next level of student success," said English teacher Joe Burns. “This will help us retain high-quality teachers who connect with students and families. Our kids will get to keep the teachers the love.”
"The students won today," math teacher James Schmidt said.
“New Foundations’ faculty took a strong and principled stand and to have a real say in decisions that affect their students and their professional lives,” said AFT Pennsylvania President Ted Kirsch. “Charter school unions provide teachers with a chance to build a constructive partnership with administrators.”
The Alliance of Charter School Employees also represents teachers and staff at West Oak Lane Charter School, Olney Charter High School, New Media Charter School and Khepera Charter School in Philadelphia.
New Foundations High School opened in 2010 and is affiliated with the K-8 New Foundations Charter School, which opened in 2000.