The reassignment of more than 500 Philadelphia School District teachers has been halted after the union complained of contract violations, officials confirmed Tuesday.
Jerry Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, said he asked Superintendent Arlene Ackerman to suspend the "force transfer" process, which was to continue all week.
Teachers who picked jobs on Saturday will have to re-select them later in the month, officials said.
"It's a matter of some very poor planning," Jordan said. "There were clear contract violations."
District spokesman Fernando Gallard said the reassignment was temporarily put off because "it seems like there was a bit of confusion from staff in regard to how the process works."
Andy Rosen, executive director of employee relations, said the process has been "bumpy, but it's going to be redone in a way that will be smooth."
Gallard said he expected reassignment to begin again around June 21, when hiring for the district's new Renaissance schools will be complete. The district now wants to focus on one hiring process at a time, Gallard said.
Hundreds of teachers were displaced in the Renaissance process, under which 13 schools will be radically restructured - run as charter schools, by outside managers, or as "Promise Academies" run by Ackerman herself.
Every teacher at the 13 schools is technically forced out of his or her current job, though all may reapply for their jobs at the new schools, which will require longer hours and summer work. No more than half of the current faculty can be rehired at a Promise Academy.
Seven of the 13 schools will be charter schools and staffed with nonunion teachers, but all teachers currently employed by the district are guaranteed jobs.
Jordan listed several violations of the contract, including the district's failure to give teachers enough information about the jobs they were choosing, neglecting to get union approval for a letter that Renaissance teachers must sign agreeing to new working conditions, and using unsanctioned committees to pick staff.
Rosen said the district would list the information the union wants. Union officials will also see a letter before their members are asked to sign it.
But he disagreed with Jordan's assertion that "site selection" committees must pick teachers for Promise Academies. He offered a compromise but has not heard back, he said.
Until the union's complaint, teachers who hoped to work at a Promise Academy were eligible to choose a new assignment and then opt out if they got the Promise Academy job.
That could have caused frustration among teachers seeing desirable jobs opening after the teachers were already locked into assignments.
"It's a little bit of a cleaner process," Rosen said. "No one will pick a job they're going to come out of, therefore depriving other teachers of that position."
The teachers who chose jobs on Saturday were inconvenienced, Rosen said, "but we're trying to make it right."
This is the first year of a new process, said Estelle Matthews, district human resources chief, and "we'll be better for it next year."