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Philadelphia School District Seeks Concessions From 5 Unions To Help Balance Budget

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia School District is banking on millions of dollars in concessions from its unions to balance its budget. But the unions are not eager to cooperate.

The School Reform Commission is giving the district's five employee unions until June 30th to reopen their contracts and agree to $75 million in concessions. Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan is refusing to do that.

"We negotiated in good faith. Why would we? How can we ask or trust to negotiate a reopener with? They have shown that they are not credible people," said Jordan.

The SRC says without concessions, they'll cancel the contracts and impose their own - something state law gives them the power to do. They've never used that power, but Deputy Superintendent Lee Nunery says it could happen.

"It took a lot of political will and courage to get to that point. Most of the time you have power like that or stipulations like that and don't use them. And I think they are prepared to do that."

If contracts are cancelled, the unions could strike and disrupt summer school.

Reported By Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio

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