Contract Win Highlights Core Teacher Issues
SOME OF THE CHALLENGES that districts across the country face-school discipline, healthcare, preserving competitive wages and keeping school-level leadership strong-took a front seat at the bargaining table in Pittsburgh. The result was that, after more than a year of often difficult negotiations, teachers and professional employees represented by the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers (PFT) secured a new three-year contract that includes across-the-board salary increases, extension of medical benefits, and new language to check school discipline problems and to promote effective administration at the building level.
The new pact, which runs from July 1, 2007, to June 30, 2010, features salary increases that are retroactive to the start of the agreement. The PFT was successful in securing retroactive increases and preservation of the district's 10-step salary schedule, along with across-the-board raises. The union also retained post-retirement healthcare coverage for current and future professional employees, and won contract language that includes domestic partners in medical benefits. District demands for a 24-minute extension of the workday were reduced during negotiations to 10 minutes, effective at the start of the 2008-09 school year.
The new contract pledges timely district action on discipline and learning-environment concerns reported by the union. …