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NEWS
October 16, 2014 | By Susan Snyder and Amy Worden, Inquirer Staff Writers
An eleventh-hour proposal to give Pennsylvania's governor the power to abolish the Philadelphia School Reform Commission died in committee Tuesday under deep protest from Democratic lawmakers. "We have suffered under this SRC and its actions," State Sen. Vincent Hughes, a Philadelphia Democrat, told a packed Harrisburg hearing room as he sought support for the measure. Hughes and fellow Democrats, angered that the SRC had canceled the Philadelphia teachers' union contract and imposed terms that included new payments toward health insurance, targeted the commission for elimination.
NEWS
October 15, 2014 | BY LISA HAVER
THE DECISION by Chairman William Green and members of the School Reform Commission to invalidate its long-standing contract with school district teachers, nurses, counselors and secretaries - in a meeting which was, for all practical purposes, closed to the public - is about issues much larger than money. Their decision represents a violation of the civil rights of those who educate our children, and signals another step in the almost casual obliteration of the rights of the many Americans who work in public service.
NEWS
October 15, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
A PHILADELPHIA Democrat wants to give the power to abolish the School Reform Commission to the governor. State Sen. Vincent Hughes plans to offer an amendment in the Senate this week that would authorize the governor, through the Secretary of Education, to dissolve the SRC. Currently, the SRC would have to vote to dissolve itself. The amendment will come a week after the SRC unilaterally canceled the school district's contract with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers - an unprecedented move - and imposed changes to health-care benefits.
NEWS
October 12, 2014 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
The leader of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers said Friday that he expected the union's lawyer to go to court next week to fight the School Reform Commission's decision to cancel the union's contract. At a news conference, PFT president Jerry Jordan was joined by Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, who came to the city to blast the SRC's action. Weingarten called the SRC's move "reckless, illegal, and immoral. " The union leaders were backed by a large contingent of city and state political leaders showing their support for the union's 15,000 teachers, counselors, nurses, and secretaries.
NEWS
October 11, 2014 | By Thomas Fitzgerald and Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writers
Democrat Tom Wolf said Thursday he would push, if elected governor, to abolish the School Reform Commission and transfer state control of Philadelphia schools to a locally elected school board. Wolf took exception to the dramatic step the SRC took last week when it canceled its contract with the teachers' union and imposed terms requiring members to pay 10 percent to 13 percent of the cost of their health-care benefits; currently they pay nothing. "I'm against what [the SRC] did," Wolf said.
NEWS
October 9, 2014 | BY JENNY DeHUFF, Daily News Staff Writer dehuffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
IF WHAT happened Monday with the School Reform Commission's decision to break its teachers contract feels like deja vu, the feeling is not entirely misplaced. It's easy to find several parallels between the actions of SRC Chairman Bill Green and those of his father, former Mayor Bill Green III, who oversaw the biggest teacher strike in Philadelphia history in 1981. First, some background: In September 1981, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers went on strike for 50 days over a promised 10 percent pay raise that never materialized.
NEWS
October 9, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
ONE DAY AFTER effectively blindsiding the teachers union by unilaterally canceling its contract, School Reform Commission Chairman Bill Green said the SRC waited to take the action to avoid jeopardizing passage of the cigarette tax in Harrisburg. Green's admission came in response to speculation that Monday's action by the SRC - imposing major health-care benefits changes on thousands of teachers, counselors, nurses and other Philadelphia Federation of Teachers members - was done to aid Gov. Corbett's floundering re-election efforts.
NEWS
October 9, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
When the Philadelphia School Reform Commission moved - with little notice, in a fast, early-morning meeting attended by few members of the public - to unilaterally cancel the teachers' contract, they had the support of Mayor Nutter. But the mayor, speaking at a news conference Tuesday, made it clear he was not turning cartwheels over the action. A negotiated settlement, he said, is always his preference. "Look, it's not the proudest moment in the city's history," Nutter said of the SRC's Monday move.
NEWS
October 8, 2014 | By Joe Dolinsky, Inquirer Staff Writer
  Instead of focusing on her students Monday morning, Anissa Weinraub, an English teacher at Academy at Palumbo in South Philadelphia, said she was stunned by the School Reform Commission's sudden decision to cancel its teacher contract. "When the SRC unilaterally imposes . . . what else are they going to try to impose on?" Weinraub asked at a rally outside Gov. Corbett's Philadelphia office Monday afternoon. Weinraub said she believed the teachers' union was negotiating in good faith and was shocked by Monday's news.
NEWS
October 8, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
AFTER MONTHS of threats, Bill Green officially declared war on Philadelphia public school teachers. In a bold but unsurprising move, the School Reform Commission, chaired by Green, voted yesterday to unilaterally cancel the teachers union contract and impose health-care-benefits changes - during a hastily called 9:30 a.m. meeting - sparking outrage from union leaders, elected officials and education activists. District officials said the benefits changes will save about $44 million this year and $200 million over the next four years, which will be redirected to schools for key resources, such as counselors and nurses.
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