School District of Philadelphia v.

Philadelphia Federation of Teachers

On October 6, 2014, the SRC adopted a Resolution that canceled the collective bargaining agreement and imposed new economic terms, including changes to employee fringe benefits.

The same day, on behalf of the School District, the School Reform Commission, and co-plaintiff the Pennsylvania Department of Education, BLF attorneys Richard L. Bazelon, A. Richard Feldman, and Lisa A. Barton filed an Action for Declaratory Judgment in the Commonwealth Court. The Complaint sought a declaration that sections 693 and 696 of the Public School Code authorize the School District and the School Reform Commission to achieve needed economies in the operation of the schools by canceling the expired collective bargaining agreement and imposing new economic terms. This action was promptly stayed, pending the outcome of a related lawsuit, and was eventually dismissed by stipulation.

The Firm also represented the District and the SRC in connection with the action for preliminary injunction filed by the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers in the Court of Common Pleas on October 16, 2014, which sought to enjoin the contract cancellation described above. The Firm’s engagement included defending the District at the injunction hearing, briefing an expedited appeal to the Commonwealth Court, preparing and filing a successful Petition for Allowance of Appeal with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and briefing that Supreme Court appeal once granted.

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