Without public discussion or debate, the SRC moved today to void the contract of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and impose 45 million dollars in cuts to health care benefits.
The SRC’s long term plan is to finance a bare bones education program on the backs of school workers. SRC chair Green touts “sacrifices” by other District unions to justify imposing terms on the PFT. But these were not voluntary contributions but concessions that the District coerced.
Notably, in listing the sacrifices made by working people, Green fails to mention that corporate interests have not stepped up to fund the schools, nor has the business friendly SRC taken any steps to demand they do so. Banks make millions on financing school debt, big corporations and developers get tax abatements, and mega non profits pay no taxes to support the schools.
These concessions will not give us the schools our children need. At best this is an ineffective, stop gap measure that distracts from the fundamental changes needed to fully fund our schools.”. The long term consequences of cutting the compensation for teachers and other professionals, who already are paid less than their suburban counterparts, will make it more difficult to attract people to work in our schools.
The crisis facing our schools is rooted in the state’s failure to provide adequate revenue and an equitable formula for distributing it. Governor Corbett is the face of that failure and Bill Green is his willing accomplice.
Once again the SRC shows its contempt for the public by failing to advertise this meeting (except for a practically invisible announcement in yesterday’s Inquirer). Once again the SRC shows its lack of respect for the District workforce by refusing to treat them fairly and engage in good faith bargaining. Once again the SRC shows that it has no equitable and sustainable program for funding our schools. Once again the SRC demonstrates why we must abolish it and replace it with real democratic governance.