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Latest News - July 2015

July 26, 2015
Lawsuit against district, teachers' union dismissed

A Common Pleas Court judge this week dismissed a lawsuit against the Philadelphia School District and its teachers' union that tried to end a long-held practice of allowing union employees to remain on the public payroll.

Judge Linda Carpenter ruled Wednesday that the Harrisburg-based group Americans for Fair Treatment did not have standing to pursue its complaint.

The group, represented by the nonprofit Fairness Center, alleged that the practice was illegal, even though the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers pays the workers' salaries and benefits.

The Fairness Center alleged that the arrangement was an unconstitutional use of public money for private work.

The teachers' contract permits union workers - including president Jerry Jordan - to accrue seniority and pension time as well as receive district health insurance.

Jordan said he was pleased that the court dismissed the "frivolous antiunion suit."

The Fairness Center intends to appeal the ruling, said David Osborne, general counsel for the public-interest law firm.

"It's common sense that our government should not be staffing union offices," Osborne said.



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