Price and other teachers will return to work today, to prepare for Monday's first day of school for students. The PFT contract expired at midnight on Saturday, with the two sides failing to reach an agreement. They met again Sunday and yesterday, and will be back at the table this morning, PFT officials said.
PFT president Jerry Jordan has offered to make health-care contributions and freeze wages for one year to save the district money. He has been opposed to any pay cuts for his members, who were adamant in the meeting against that proposal.
The district says it needs cuts worth $103 million from the union, including contributions toward health-insurance costs and pay cuts between 5 and 13 percent.
"We will not take any pay cuts," Jordan told the PFT membership, according to a member in attendance.
"It is not the responsibility nor is it the fault of our members for appropriating funds for the school district," Jordan told reporters after the meeting.
"We plan to remain at the table with the PFT to work toward reaching a meaningful agreement that will provide Philadelphia students with the kind of education they deserve," district spokesman Fernando Gallard said in a statement. "We remain optimistic that a fair agreement can be reached."
Even though the union is not allowed to strike as part of the state law governing the city's schools, some members said they were hoping for a strike vote last night.
Instead, members voted to give the PFT executive board the right to continue negotiating.
And, according to special guest Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, Philly is taking center stage in the national debate over what she describes as failed school-reform measures.
"The entire country is watching Philadelphia right now. It is a metaphor for how a country, a state and a city actually treats its most vulnerable charges," said Weingarten. "It is a mockery to talk the talk about education being important and then seeing the facts on the ground in Philadelphia."
On Twitter: @ReginaMedina