Willig, Williams & Davidson Wins Major Victory For the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers
January 23, 2015
Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) attorneys from Willig, Williams & Davidson defeated the School Reform Commission’s attempt to unilaterally cancel their Union contract. The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, on Thursday, January 22, 2015, ruled that the School District of Philadelphia lacked the authority to cancel the PFT’s contract when the School Reform Commission voted last fall to do so and to impose new health care terms on union members.
According to Ralph J. Teti, labor law attorney for the PFT, “The Court affirmed what we have been saying for months: the School Reform Commission's move last October to unilaterally cancel the teachers’ contract was an unjust and deliberate violation of the teachers’ collective bargaining rights.” He said, “The decision is a major victory and reaffirms that union contracts should be negotiated, not forced. We stand behind PFT President Jerry Jordan and the entire teachers’ union when we say it is time to get back to the bargaining table.”
PFT President Jerry Jordan released the following statement, “The PFT is calling on the school district to immediately resume bargaining sessions with the union. It's time to redirect the energy and resources wasted on litigation to negotiating a contract that will ensure our schoolchildren and educators are given the best possible tools for teaching and learning.” He said, “The ruling, a victory for the PFT, bars the district from restructuring the collective bargaining agreement between the teachers’ union and the school district and sends the issues back to the negotiating table.”
The decision has been covered locally by various news outlets.
ABC6 - Ruling made in Philadelphia teacher contract dispute
CBS Philly - Philadelphia Teachers’ Union Wins a Round in Court Over Imposed Employment Terms
Education Week - Judge Rules Philadelphia Can't Cancel Teachers' Union Contract
NBC10 - Court Rules in Favor of Philly Teachers
Newsworks - Court rules in favor of Philly teachers, saying SRC had no authority to cancel contract
Philadelphia Public School Notebook - School District lacked authority to cancel teachers' contract, court rules
Philly.com - Court: SRC can't cancel teachers' contract
About Willig, Williams & Davidson – Willig, Williams & Davidson is one of the largest and most respected union-side labor law firms in the United States. The firm has offices in Philadelphia, Media, Jenkintown and Harrisburg, Pa., as well as Haddonfield, N.J. Founded in 1979, Willig, Williams & Davidson focuses on representing labor unions, employee benefit funds and individual working people and their families on a variety of legal fronts, including national, regional and local contract negotiations; dispute resolution through mediation, arbitration and litigation; tax and benefit law compliance issues; discrimination and other employment matters; prepaid legal services for union members; and workers’ compensation matters in Philadelphia and beyond.