Teachers to Fly Angry Banner Over NFL Draft

Photo illustration by Joe Trinacria.

Photo illustration by Joe Trinacria.

After going 1,300-plus days without a new contract – and still counting – many Philadelphia teachers are pissed. So pissed that some of them raised money to hire a pilot to fly their message of displeasure over the Parkway before tonight’s NFL Draft without remorse for how bad of a look it will be for the city.

“You know what, it will be an embarrassment,” George Bezanis, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers’ building rep for Central High School and the man behind the airplane banner, told Philly Mag. “But what should be an embarrassment is how the city is neglecting its teachers.” Read more »

Teachers’ Union Head Rejects District’s $100M Contract Offer

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers has reportedly rejected a $100 million contract offer from the School District of Philadelphia.

The Inquirer reports that PFT president Jerry Jordan won’t take the contract to his membership. The PFT says the deal doesn’t include retroactive pay or cost-of-living adjustments. Philadelphia teachers have been without a contract since August 2013 — a total of 1,187 days.

As a result of not having a contract, district teachers have not received raises in four years. The contract offer, per the report, would not retroactively move teachers up in “steps” that guarantee teachers higher pay. It would not give teachers increases for earning advanced degrees — instead using $32 million in bonus pay to help fill positions at difficult-to-staff schools. Read more »

Will Supreme Court Break the Power of Philly’s Municipal Unions?

The U.S. Supreme Court | Shutterstock.com

The U.S. Supreme Court | Shutterstock.com

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday heard a case that could undermine the power of Philadephia’s powerful municipal unions.

The case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, doesn’t directly involve Philadelphia. But the issue it decides — whether civic unions that serve the School District of Philadelphia, City Hall and other public institutions can force non-members to pay union dues as a “fair share” of the benefits they receive from union activity — could have a big impact here.

“All of the unions in the city of Philadelphia, certainly the school district, and the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, have negotiated fair share agreements. So if the court were to overrule that decision, it would have very serious consequences for all local unions, including the uniformed services,” attorney Elaine Williams told KYW. Read more »

7 Big Shots on Jim Kenney’s Speech

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Brand-spanking-new Mayor Jim Kenney delivered a concise and warm inaugural speech on Monday, which praised police officers and the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as longtime Philadelphians and recent transplants, alike. (You can read our full story on Kenney’s inaugural address here, and check out photos of the ceremony here.) We asked seven boldface-name Philadelphians, from Kenney ally Johnny Doc to Kenney foe Bill Green, what they thought of his speech. Here’s what they said: Read more »

Insider: Why the Teacher’s Union Didn’t Endorse the Teacher Candidate

Kristin Combs, a PFT member and City Council candidate, did not get the PFTs endorsement.

Kristin Combs, a PFT member and City Council candidate, did not get the PFT’s endorsement.

(Editor’s note: This is an opinion column from a Citified insider.)

Maybe you’re having a rough fall. At least you’re not Chris Christie.

Voters don’t like Christie. They don’t like him in New Hampshire, they don’t like him Iowa. That’s a problem when your goal is to win a national election. But it’s worse across the river in New Jersey, where more than two-thirds think he should quit running for President because he’s been a lousy governor.

What went wrong? Here’s my take: Christie’s campaign was over the minute he was caught in a joyous, 4-year-old-who-just-unwrapped-a-pony moment with Jerry Jones, President of the Dallas Cowboys.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with rooting for the Cowboys, or sitting in a box seat, or being excited about sports. Christie’s problem is that he became the guy we all hated in High School — the Teamhopper.

If you grew up in the late 80s or 90s, this is the guy who rooted for the Lakers, the Yankees, and “The U” until Florida State came along. He loves Mayweather. His Dad got him sweet tickets to game 7 of the 2010 Eastern Conference semi-finals, but you haven’t seen him in Flyers gear since.

We hate guys like Christie because they believe one can experience the thrill of 2010 without the wretched agony of 1993.

Christie thought rolling with winners made him a winner. He was wrong. Read more »

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