June 11, 2016
Members of the union that represents blue-collar School District of Philadelphia employees voted overwhelmingly Saturday morning to ratify a new contract.
The union, 32BJ SEIU, represents more than 2,000 bus drivers, bus attendants, maintenance workers, cleaners and building engineers working across the city.
"We had open and productive talks that led to an agreement that reflects the sacrifice the dedicated workers of 32BJ have made in the past and the optimism we both have for the future of Philadelphia public schools,” said Superintendent Dr. William R. Hite. “Four years ago 32BJ members stepped up in a time of crisis and put the students of Philadelphia first. This contract recognizes the tremendous contributions that these members made which provided the District with over $100 millions in real dollar savings.”
In 2012, members of the union agreed to a contract that saw workers give between $5 and $45 per week to help reduce a multi-million-dollar budget crisis.
“I remember where we were four years ago and it wasn’t a good place. We made sacrifices not only to keep our jobs but because we love our students," said District 1201 District Leader Ernie Bennett. "Many of us have children and grandchildren in the District. We live in the communities where we work. We genuinely care. This deal shows that our sacrifice was appreciated."
The four-year agreement will go into effect on July 1 and run through August 31, 2020.