This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
by Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks
In the Philadelphia School District, Friday might be an especially bad day to be called to the principal’s office.
On Thursday night, the union representing District principals and other school administrators heard the details of a tentative deal struck between union leadership and the District.
If accepted, the deal would cut salaries by as much as 17 percent and would include health-care concessions.
The proposed three-year contract would take District administrators from a 12-month to 10-month pay schedule, and call for 5 percent to 8 percent health-care contributions for all members, staggered over the life of the deal.
To this point, members of the Commonwealth Association of School Administrators (CASA) have not been required to make health-care contributions.
Robert McGrogan, the leader of CASA, spent close to two hours presenting the plan to his members.
"It was a very difficult evening," he said. "Their annual salary is being reduced by an extraordinary amount."
All employees would effectively take a 20 percent pay cut – 3 to 5 percent of that could be made up by working on summer reorganization in August.
In a breakdown provided to CASA members, union leadership illustrated how an assistant principal now earning $106,287 per year would see his or her salary reduced to $88,570.
McGrogan said he thought that this is the best deal the District is willing to broker. If union members reject it, he believes the School Reform Commission will impose contract terms on CASA that would be even more unfavorable.
"I believe that in the absence of accepting this agreement, that the District will move forward to implement whatever changes it feels fit to achieve the savings that are necessary moving into the next fiscal year," he said.