The borough also pointed to what it called a “flaw” in the hiring process that led to what it called “far too much teacher rotation in our most challenged schools.” On February 28, 2018, Pittsburgh Public Schools and the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers reached preliminary contract agreements for the district`s 2400 teachers, 565 paraprofessionals and 20 technico-employees, which ended months of negotiations and extended the city`s tradition of remaining strike-free for more than four decades. The administration and the PFT failed to reach an agreement on the denials after the two-year interim agreement expired in June 2017. Negotiations were conducted until June 30, 26, 2017, without an agreement being reached, which led to an objective third-party fact-finding process, concluded by a neutral factor appointed in October by the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board. On May 18, 2016, the Board of Directors approved the two-year extension of collective agreements for the district`s 2,244 teachers and specialized employees, 568 paraprofessionals and 20 technical office employees. Members of the Pittsburgh Teachers` Federation voted to ratify the extensions on May 16, 2016. According to a summary of the agreements released by the district last week, after union members voted to ratify the contracts, the new agreements expire on June 30, 2020. The PFT was planning a strike in February and called it off later after the end of a 14-hour bargaining session with provisional contracts. Union members have been without a contract since June, when the renewal of previous contracts expired. The new teacher contract eliminates what was considered the August 1 rule. According to the factual report, if a teacher is recruited after August 1, when the headmasters` staff must be completed, the position retains a “vacant” label until the next recruitment period. According to the borough, nearly 100 employees moved from high-demand schools last year. The new agreement will replace teachers` remuneration based on 2010 performance. According to a state-appointed fact-finding report, drafted and published last fall with contributions from both sides, both sides agreed at that time to eliminate the model.
Provisional agreements over three years are submitted to the FPT Board of Directors. If the members of the Board of Directors approve these agreements, the PFT forwards them to the members for a secret ballot. Arrangements will be made to allow the Pittsburgh School District Board of Directors to vote on the proposed agreement. The union has also negotiated contracts for paraprofessional and technical-clerical workers. While 90 per cent of technical and office employees accepted the new agreement, 77 per cent of paraprofessionals did. Esposito-Visgitis said that residency requirements for paraprofessionals are something that will continue to be negotiated in the next round of negotiations. *N/A indicates that the issue has not been resolved as part of the documents verified by NCTQ. ** The number of school district teachers, enrollment, and demographics are from the 2016-2017 school year and are from the National Center for Education Statistics.
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