SEIU workers concerned about pending Philadelphia school layoffs

The clock is ticking for workers at the Philadelphia School District who may watch their work sent to private contractors.  A Friday deadline is looming over the talks.


Almost 3,000 members of the Service Employees International Union, ranging from bus drivers to custodians have already received their layoff notices.  Gabriel Morgan says the union has offered concessions, but the school district wants more.


“These are low-wage workers predominately there are some who make a middle-class income,” said Morgan.  “They are asking us to concede tens and tens of millions of dollars we said we will to a point in return for them keeping schools open in return for them not laying workers off and in return for them not contracting out all the work.”

Jerry Jordan, who heads up the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers says this is a move to break a union, and he’s concerned what will come next.

“This is the very first step towards dismantling the Philadelphia Public School System,” said Jordan.

School district Spokesman Fernando Gallard says he cannot comment about the talks except to say the district is looking for savings from the union to save the jobs.

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