Aug 29, 2022 - News

Philadelphia School District averts bus driver and mechanics strike

Illustration of a fist holding a pencil.
Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

The School District of Philadelphia and a union representing 2,000 district employees are starting off the new school year with a tentative contract agreement in hand.

Driving the news: The district and 32BJ SEIU District 1201 — which represents bus drivers, mechanics, cleaners, building engineers and trade workers — struck a deal on Friday, averting a potential strike when the union's contract ends this week.

Why it matters: A labor stoppage, which the union authorized earlier this month had an agreement not been reached, could have significantly disrupted the first week of in-person classes for the district’s nearly 115,000 students.

Zoom in: The agreement secures pay raises and training for union members — key sticking points during negotiations.

  • Details over raises were not immediately available.

What they're saying: Gabe Morgan, vice president of 32BJ, said in a statement the "contract honors the enormous contributions and sacrifices that 32BJ school workers have made, including risking their lives throughout the pandemic."

  • Larisa Shambaugh, the district's chief talent officer, said in a statement that the agreement reflects the "deep respect and value" the district has for union members.

What's ahead: Union members and the school board must each ratify the agreement, which could happen in September.

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