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PFT President Jerry Jordan Urges House Vote on Build Back Better, Infrastructure Bills

November 3, 2021

PHILADELPHIA—"The President's agenda has been clear since day one: historic, transformative investments in programs and services that make a difference in people's lives. The framework for President Biden's Build Back Better plan, paired with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, is a down payment on that plan.

"The time to vote on the Build Back Better plan is now.

"In Pennsylvania, passage of the BBB plan means real, tangible investments in programs for children and families that we have been fighting for for years: 

*Childcare for over 730,000 children up to age five 
*Free, quality preschool for an additional 204,000 children
*Extension and expansion of Child Tax Credit for hundreds of thousands of children

"The program does not stop there. It is a massive expansion of affordable healthcare, an investment in affordable housing, and a potentially transformative investment in tackling the urgent issue of climate change. Further, we urge the House to add back in the much needed paid leave provisions.

New PFT Report: COVID Safety Protocols and Necessary Course Corrections

September 21, 2021

PHILADELPHIA—In response to numerous concerns reported by school nurses, teachers, and other school staff, the PFT issued two surveys to analyze the issues and offer recommendations based on feedback from school nurses and our entire membership.

One survey, which took place from September 14-20, 2021, was a member-wide survey completed by 4,250 members. The second survey, for school nurses only, took place from September 15-20, 2021 and was completed by 97 school nurses.

The responses are a glaring indication that a series of course corrections, including those for which we have previously advocated, must be immediately implemented.

PFT President Jerry Jordan on Nursing Shortage, Urgent Course Corrections

September 9, 2021

PHILADELPHIA—"Amidst a surge of the even more transmissible 'Delta' strain of COVID-19 and amidst surges in childhood infections--against the backdrop of the majority of our students not even yet eligible for vaccination--the District's nursing shortage and related failures are especially dangerous.

"This nation has, rightfully, lauded the incredible efforts of our healthcare professionals throughout this pandemic. And yet, in the School District of Philadelphia, nurse vacancies abound, leaving our young people and school communities vulnerable.

PFT President Jerry Jordan on Settlement of a Tentative Agreement

September 1, 2021

PHILADELPHIA—"I was absolutely thrilled this evening to present our members with one of the strongest agreements in recent memory. It was the first on time agreement reached since before the SRC-era. This three-year tentative agreement was hard fought and brought us to the brink of a strike. This agreement is an incredibly strong step towards a more promising tomorrow for public education in Philadelphia. I am incredibly proud of the work this union has done in setting the agenda for an equitable public education system in our great city.

PFT President Jerry Jordan on Ongoing Facilities Concerns at Masterman

August 26, 2021

PHILADELPHIA—"The situation unfolding at Masterman is emblematic of the years of systemic refusal to provide the PFT, our members, and our communities with accurate, timely, and detailed information pertaining to the health and safety of our school buildings. It is exactly why the PFT not only has been the founder and driving force behind the Fund Our Facilities Coalition, but also have spent years not only defining the facilities crisis but also identifying real solutions. In our May report, we again outlined the severity of this crisis district-wide and pointing to specific actions the District must take to bring about urgently needed change.

PFT President Jerry Jordan on Vaccine Mandate, Necessary Course Corrections in Health & Safety Plan

August 24, 2021

In advance of this evening's board vote on a vaccine mandate, PFT President Jerry Jordan issued the following statement:

PHILADELPHIA—"This union has been very clear from the start-- we support vaccines, and we have been urging every member to get vaccinated. Further, we have expressed our support for a negotiated vaccine mandate. As an AFT Vice President, I helped craft our national position on vaccine mandates. But let us not forget that while a vaccine mandate is warranted and very important, nearly 90% of educators nationwide have been vaccinated.

"It is imperative to note that our students in PreK-7 are not yet even eligible for the vaccine. As such, each day, tens of thousands of unvaccinated individuals will be entering our buildings. A multilayered mitigation strategy is absolutely key—vaccines, universal masking, and universal testing. Earlier this month, we shared testimony with the PA House Democratic Policy committee on critical safety measures.

Update on Vaccine Mandate, Safe Back to School

This morning, PFT President Jerry Jordan offers written testimony to the PA House Democratic Policy Committee on a safe and healthy back to school for students and staff. In it, Jordan outlines key mitigation measures that must be in place and broader issues of infrastructure and funding that underscore so much of the work we do each day.

In his testimony, Jordan identifies key areas of concern