In a unanimous decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled on Aug. 15 that the Philadelphia School Reform Commission had no authority under Act 46 to cancel an existing teachers collective bargaining agreement or change existing terms and conditions of employment contained in such an agreement.
"This much-anticipated decision by the Supreme Court is a total and complete repudiation of the position taken by the SRC when it surreptitiously met in October of 2014 and adopted a resolution which purported to cancel the terms of the agreement with our union," says Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan, who is an AFT vice president.
"After two years and three court decisions ruling against them, we hope that the SRC has now learned that even Act 46 presumes what is required for good public schools is to work with your employees by bargaining in good faith negotiations, not brute and dictatorial actions," says AFT president Randi Weingarten.
"The costs to the taxpayers just in the sheer number of attorneys and law firms hired to advance this fruitless strategy is truly breathtaking," Jordan said, "It is time now for the district to negotiate a new contract with the PFT. Our educators and schoolchildren can't wait any longer."
[Philadelphia Federation of Teachers press release]