Statement by Ted Kirsch, President, AFT Pennsylvania
Commonwealth Court’s ruling prohibiting the School Reform Commission
from canceling the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers contract
The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania ruled on Jan. 22, 2015, that the Philadelphia School Reform Commission did not have the right to cancel its contract with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, Local 3, or impose new terms and conditions of employment unilaterally. Ted Kirsch released the following statement.
“The Commonwealth Court’s ruling isn’t just a victory for Philadelphia educators but for all those who believe in the rights of workers to speak with one voice as advocates for what is best for their students and for their own families. The courts have rejected the SRC’s heavy-handed legal maneuvering three times – first the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling in the PFT’s favor last summer, the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia and now the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.
“It is time for the SRC to quit stalling and work with the PFT and its President Jerry Jordan to reach a new collective bargaining agreement. The SRC’s delaying tactics have wasted enough time and money – money that should have been spent in Philadelphia’s resource-starved schools and classrooms.
“Instead of doing an end-run around negotiations, AFT Pennsylvania urges the SRC to return to negotiations and bargain in good faith to reach an agreement that is a win for students and a win for the educators who teach them.”