A COURT injunction may have held off massive layoffs of district teachers citywide yesterday, but the fight is far from over.
A hearing next Tuesday will determine whether the court will agree with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers' argument that school-district officials violated the union's collective-bargaining agreement by exempting 200 "Promise Academies" teachers from the layoffs.
Yesterday was the beginning of what district officials called a "very dark week" in the district - layoff letters were issued to 3,024 employees districtwide.
Of those, 1,523 were for teachers, 490 others are Central Office employees.
Although the notices were rescinded by Common Pleas Judge Idee C. Fox, it did little to save thousands of teachers from being publicly humiliated, said Jerry Jordan, president of the PFT, the district's largest union.
He said teachers in at least eight schools were handed notices at the beginning of the school day, and at Overbrook High School, instructors were slipped layoff letters in the middle of their classes and in front of their students.
Jordan said he'd never witnessed such disregard for employees.
"The way they decided to go about it is not at all showing any kind of respect," he said. "It was a poorly thought-out way to lay off people."
A message left with the district's human-resources chief, Estelle Matthews, was not returned. A school-district spokesman declined to comment on the injunction, citing the ongoing case.
In its quest to close a $629 million deficit from its $2.7 billion budget, the district has given its five unions until June 30 to make concessions or risk having their contracts canceled, a move union officials say they will also oppose.
The interim budget approved by the School Reform Commission called for $75 million in savings from reopening contracts.
Meanwhile, in University City yesterday to address the first class of graduates at Boys' Latin Charter School, Gov. Corbett said that state legislators are meeting to find ways to restore funding initially cut in his austere March budget proposal.
"We're still in early stages of discussion as to what the final product will be," Corbett said of the budget, a version of which has passed the House and is awaiting approval in the Senate.
"The difficult part is that we don't have the money right now," Corbett said after speaking to more than 80 Boys' Latin graduates at the University of Pennsylvania.
Also on top of his agenda, Corbett said, are plans to "soon" name a nominee to fill the seat vacated by David Girard-diCarlo on the SRC. He left his seat in February.