Teachers and support staff at New Foundations Charter School in Northeast Philadelphia, among the few unionized charter-school workers in the region, have ratified a contract that gives them raises averaging more than $5,700 for this school year, union officials said.
The increases include retroactive raises covering the 2017-18 school year for teachers, nurses, and counselors at the charter school in Holmesburg, according to AFT Pennsylvania officials, who announced the deal Monday.
Aides and administrative assistants received 3 percent raises retroactive to last year and 3 percent increases through the current school year, union officials said. Professional employees negotiated a salary scale for new hires, officials said.
"Two years of hard work was worth every second,” Jim Schmidt, a New Foundations precalculus, calculus, and engineering teacher, said in a statement. “A great school got even better. With union solidarity, our staff will remain in place for years to come, benefiting all members of our school community.”
The agreement applies only to employees at the K-12 charter’s high school, where teachers moved to unionize last year. The contract covers 62 teachers and staff, who all signed cards to join the union, officials said. They will not pay health-care premiums through 2020-21, the length of the agreement.
In the event future employees at the high school opt not to join the union, the contract establishes fair-share fees they would be required to pay, officials said. It also includes language requiring just cause for discipline imposed on staff and limits on compulsory extracurricular activities, among other provisions.
AFTPA represents teachers and staff at three of Philadelphia’s 87 charter schools, including Olney Charter High School. Teachers at that school ratified their first contract last year.