This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
Philly’s public school principals ratified a new contract Thursday, nudging their school district ever closer to a long-awaited moment of labor stability.
Members of the Commonwealth Association of School Administrators Teamsters Local 502 (CASA) – which represents Philadelphia principals, assistant principals, and a hodgepodge of other administrators – approved the pact by an overwhelming 91 percent majority.
The new deal is slated to run through August 2021.
If the city’s School Reform Commission approves the new CASA deal at its next meeting, nearly every unionized employee of Philadelphia’s public school system will have a labor contract for the first time since the summer of 2013. The union representing school police officers is still without a contract, although it is one of the system’s smallest bargaining units.
With the School District projecting a small budget surplus this year, Philadelphia’s public schools could be on the verge of a rare combination: one full school year of relative labor peace and fiscal solvency.
The solvency part might not last long, but for now, it’s a milestone moment in the system’s long climb from a series of jarring financial crises in the early 2010s.
"Four years ago, during our deep financial crisis, CASA members made the decision to approve cutbacks for the benefit of our schools and students," said District Superintendent William Hite. "Today I am proud to announce a ratified agreement with our principals, assistant principals, and other school administrators that acknowledges the tremendous contributions they make."