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Contract agreement “a win-win”

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

Both parties see today’s contract agreement as "a win-win," according to a source knowledgeable about the contract settlement reached today between the School District and the 17,000-member Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.

"Both sides got a lot," the source said.

Details of the agreement are being withheld until a union ratification meeting on Thursday evening at the Liacouras Center. But the multiyear agreement does include a further expansion of the site selection process, which gives schools the right to interview and hire teachers, the source reported, as well as across-the-board raises for teachers.

One major issue in negotiations was the Renaissance Schools initiative, the District’s turnaround plan for struggling schools, and the two sides reached agreement on staffing issues involved in the plan. Some of the District’s lowest-performing schools will face a longer school day, but staff at these schools will be compensated for the time, the source reported.

The agreement was the product of many months of bargaining on a contract that originally expired in August 2008, was extended for a year and then extended three more times up to the latest deadline – last Friday, January 15.

When Friday’s deadline was not met, negotiators hunkered down starting Saturday morning for a marathon weekend of more than 40 hours of talks – till midnight Saturday and Sunday and then from 3 p.m. Sunday until the agreement was reached at 9:30 a.m. this morning.

Update – 12:55

The Inquirer is reporting that the agreement is for three years, which would return the contract to presidential election years.

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