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Philadelphia Teachers' Union Wins a Round in Court Over Imposed Employment Terms

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- In a major victory for the Philadelphia public schoolteachers' union, Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has ruled that the School Reform Commission cannot cancel the teachers' contract.

"I am very pleased that the Commonwealth Court affirmed the PFT's position," said Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan, after hearing the ruling.

The court ruled that the School Reform Commission did not expressly have the authority under state law to cancel the terms of the teachers' contract.  The cash-strapped school district imposed terms last October, in an effort to save $54 million.

"We said that it was illegal, it was wrong, and it was totally disrespectful of the employees," Jordan said today.

The school district is now deciding whether to appeal to the state Supreme Court.

School Reform Commission chair Bill Green, in a tweet, warned of an $80-million deficit next year, and said, "Those cheering this decision, please show me the money?"

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