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Philadelphia Teachers' Union Asks Pa. Court To Preserve Contract Seniority

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The union representing Philadelphia's public school teachers is asking the state Supreme Court to toss out the school district's petition to change seniority rules.

The school district last week asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to affirm its right to sidestep seniority rules (see related story).

Now, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers has filed a response, saying the district chose to negotiate four teacher contracts over the last 13 years rather than using its power under Act 46 -- the state takeover law -- to impose terms.

The union says the district is asking for relief from agreements that it negotiated -- and that any disputes should go through the standard labor grievance process.

In a statement, union president Jerry Jordan asked the high court to dismiss the district's petition with "deliberate speed."

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