Citing funding concerns and stating that negotiations were at an impasse, the SRC decided to impose new health care provisions in order to save money. These provisions will require cash-strapped teachers to pay into their insurance to keep it afloat. Moreover, the old insurance deals have been cut and new ones imposed on educators across the city. The Caucus of Working Educators has created a great spreadsheet to explain the new costs imposed on teachers. Some people will have to pay up to $8,000 per year for insurance that used to cost nothing. Add that up with the missed raises teachers have not received over the past two years and there is potential for $20,000 lost income since the contract lapsed.
This is a sorry state of affairs but there is some potential for hope. Today, students in the High School for Creative and Performing Arts as well as Science Leadership Academy protested in front of their schools against the unilateral move of the SRC.
There are others who propose that the teachers, themselves, strike. The only problem with that plan is teachers would risk losing their state certification if they do so - a rule that only applies to Philadelphia area teachers.
The final blow in all this is the fact that even though it's possible a majority of citizens in the city want an elected school board (something every other district in PA has), they might not be allowed to get it - even through a vote! - because the only people who can disband the SRC are the commissioners themselves.
I hope there is a resolution soon. If there is a strike, I might be tempted to take a day off and go.