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PITTSBURGH - Educators at Environmental Charter School here have in December for union representation in an official ballot conducted by the National Labor Relations Board.

A clear majority of ECS teachers and other professionals elected to unionize after signing a petition last month stating their desire to join the American Federation of Teachers. Voter turnout was 100 percent.

ECS teachers, nurses, counselors, social workers, academic coaches and educational assistants will now move to collectively bargain a first contract with their administration that bolsters voice in decision making and

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Teachers and support staff at New Foundations Charter School in Philadelphia ratified their first union contract unanimously after 11 months of negotiations. The faculty and staff voted to join the Alliance of Charter School Employees, Local 6056 of the American Federation of Teachers, AFT Pennsylvania, in 2017. 

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AFT Pennsylvania President Ted Kirsch congratulated Conor Lamb, the apparent winner of a tight race for Congressional District 18 in Western PA.

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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out the Congressional District maps approved by the Republican-controlled legislature in 2011, ruling on Monday (Jan. 22) that the voting districts were gerrymandered to give GOP lawmakers an electoral advantage. "The court's decision is a huge victory that protects voters from being marginalized by a dominant political party. AFTPA is proud to have played a role in protecting the rights of thousands of Pennsylvania voters." AFTPA President Ted Kirsch said.


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A new law in Pennsylvania makes significant changes to the way that teachers, school nurses, librarians and other professional education employees are laid off (furloughed), reinstated and realigned following layoffs. The Q&A provides information about the new language in the school code. Download the FAQ here.

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The omnibus school code bill, Act 55 of 2017, became law on Nov. 5, 2017. Despite concerns about the furlough provisions, Governor Wolf allowed the bill to become law without his signature to ensure that state funds would be paid on time to public schools and to protect other provisions in the bill, including extending the moratorium on Keystone exams, requiring opioid abuse education and ending “lunch shaming” of students. AFTPA opposed the school code bill because it changes the way layoffs are conducted, places emphasis on a flawed evaluation system and interferes with collective bargaining rights.

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