Union criticizes holiday pink slips for Philadelphia school nurses

More than 100 members of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers got pink slips in their stockings.  

One hundred forty-one PFT members have started receiving notice they will be out of a job by the end of the year.  Arlene Kempin is a vice-president of the union. She says while it’s no secret the Philadelphia school district has serious budget trouble, she didn’t expect the bad news this week.

“We have an office here in the administration building and you hear about principals being told they have to make cuts and the budget and you hear all that but until they sit down with us and give us numbers and you put faces with those numbers, it’s chilling,” said Kempin.

Kempin says she worries about how students will be hurt by the cuts.

“Especially when these cuts are people who directly service children,” she said.  “Out of the 141 who are being laid off, 47 of them are school nurses.”

The school district refused to provide a spokesperson for an interview.  It issued a statement saying the cuts were “very difficult but unavoidable.”

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.