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SUPERINTENDENT EXPRESSES OPTIMISM FOR PITTSBURGH PUBLIC SCHOOLS AFTER TEACHERS RATIFY CONTRACT

 The ratification of a new three-year agreement with Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) by the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers (PFT) represents a new era in public school education for the city’s children, according to Superintendent Dr. Anthony Hamlet.

“I am optimistic that both the District and our teachers can now focus on our mutual top priority as educators: the students we serve,” said Hamlet. “I would like to thank our parents, stakeholders, and the larger city for their patience as we worked our way through the collective bargaining process in an effort to reach an agreement that is fair to all parties and empowers us to achieve our goal of the best possible education for all our students.”

The agreement, which was ratified on April 11, 2018, ends 19 months of negotiations between the District at the PFT and establishes a framework for much-needed long-term structural change. Some highlights of the contract provisions include:

The salary schedule for teachers hired after July 1, 2010, will transition to a 12-step salary schedule, with 2 percent pay increases at each step, in line with increases of all other PFT-represented professionals.

Pay raises of at least 2 percent for early childhood educators during each year of the contract;

Greater flexibility for principals to schedule kindergarten through fifth-grade teachers, with mechanisms for teachers to both express their assignment preferences and appeal decisions; 

A revision to the contract that will reduce the amount of teacher churn and provide greater stability in the highest needs schools

A full description of the new contract’s provisions can be found on the District website here.
 

As the District moves forward into the rest of the current school year and plans for 2018-19, School Board President Dr. Regina Holley expressed her hope that the new agreement would allow both sides to work together toward meeting some of the goals expressed in the District’s strategic plan, Expect Great Things.

“With the difficult work of collective bargaining behind us, we can now turn our focus to the most important part of our mission: the future of our students,” said Holley. “Together, we can create a public school education of unparalleled excellence. Our city, our families -- and most importantly, our children – deserve nothing less.”  

The School Board will vote to approve the contract at its April 18th Special Legislative meeting.  The Board will also vote to approve collective bargaining agreements for the District’s 565 paraprofessionals and 20 technical-clerical employees also represented by the PFT.  
 
 
Source: PPS

 

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