Our political work has an impact on us in the workplace so it’s something we need to do in the union too.

~ Anthony Faulk, 32BJ Member, Mid-Atlantic District

Newsroom

Newsroom Feature
Was comatose school boiler tech victim of maintenance shortfall?
ED STEIN, Jim Whitehead, and Chris Trakimas had this year's hunting and fishing trips all figured out. Read More »
Was comatose school boiler tech victim of maintenance shortfall?
ED STEIN, Jim Whitehead, and Chris Trakimas had this year's hunting and fishing trips all figured out. Read More »
School Maintenance Workers Demand Safety Improvements After Worker Burned In Boiler Explosion
Members of the union representing Philadelphia School District maintenance workers held a protest outside school district headquarters Friday, demanding safety improvements, after a worker was severely burned in a boiler explosion at an elementary school this week. Read More »
‘Happy’ Gets Very, Very Lucky
Even more delicious is "We Are Happy From Philadelphia." It depicts a staff of custodial workers cheerfully cleaning up the School District of Philadelphia administration building, at 440 N. Broad St. Read More »
Labor Unions Pack Pa. Capital Over Paycheck Bill
Labor unions packed the Pennsylvania Capitol for a raucous rally Tuesday as they widened their fight over legislation that aims to prevent the state, school districts and local governments from deducting union dues and political action committee contributions from the paychecks of unionized workers. Read More »
Would-Be Democratic Pa. Governors Lace into Corbett
Five of the eight Democrats seeking to unseat Gov. Corbett next year lobbied for the limelight and lit into the incumbent Saturday at a candidate forum that exposed few gaps between them on policy and yawning chasms separating their styles. Read More »
Thousands Rally Nationwide in Support of an Immigration Overhaul
Thousands of supporters of an immigration overhaul held rallies on Saturday at more than 150 sites in 40 states, trying to pressure Congress, despite the partisan turmoil in Washington, to focus on passing a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants here illegally. Read More »
Local 32BJ Grows by Organizing
“Unless we’re organizing, we’re going backwards,” says vice-president Rob Hill, 32BJ’s organizing director. Read More »
PFT Head Blasts Cantor’s Visit
“Eric Cantor can re-brand ‘school choice’ all he wants, but ultimately it’s the same privatization agenda that has starved PA public schools of $1 billion and funneled scarce education dollars into unaccountable charter schools,” said Gabe Morgan, Vice President and PA Director of 32BJ SEIU. Read More »
Parents, Teachers Complain about School Cuts
At the forum, held at SEIU District 1201 offices in North Philadelphia, parents described scenes of cuts and chaos: classes with about 40 students where those in the back of the room take notes on their laps and can scarcely hear the teacher. Read More »
Philly Schools Open Today With Less Staff
The first day of school in Philadelphia is also the start of a grim new normal for the district's 137,000 students and their families. Read More »
Immigration Reform Supporters Call for Fitzpatrick to Support Immigration Reform
Immigration reform isn’t about being white, black or Latino. It’s about keeping families together and making the nation’s economy stronger, supporters said at a Wednesday rally. Read More »
Philadelphia School Reform Commission Suspends Teacher Seniority, Other Rules
The Philadelphia School Reform Commission unanimously approved suspending some teacher seniority rules and other state code regulations in order to cope with the school district's budget crisis. Read More »
For Schools Advocates, $400 Million Prison Expansion Is a Bitter Pill
Over the past several weeks, as teachers and students have protested in the streets over the devastating layoffs of 3,859 Philadelphia public-school employees, workers at a sprawling construction site 30 miles to the north have been making orderly progress. Their work site? The future state prisons, Phoenix I and II, that is planned to replace Montgomery County’s State Correctional Institution at Graterford, at a... Read More »
Bevy of children, laid off school employees descend upon capitol to decry Philadelphia school cuts
District schools are set to cut counselors, assistant principals and support staff in July as a result of a massive $304 million deficit. More than 20 percent of the district’s staff – about 3,800 people – received layoff notices. Read More »
Philadelphia School District Still Faces Shortfall
Even with a series of concessions from its biggest unions, givebacks by staff, a wave of announced school closings and other painful austerity measures that have outraged parents and students alike, the School District of Philadelphia announced more grim news after its School Reform Commission meeting last Thursday: for fiscal year 2014, it is facing a budget deficit of $304 million. Read More »
Future Of Paid Sick Leave Bill Now In Mayor’s Hands
The ball is now in Mayor Nutter’s court on a paid sick leave bill passed yesterday in Philadelphia City Council, just before the relocation of his budget address in that raucous session. Read More »
Protesting … Mostly in Vain
A day that began with big crowds, high spirits, and defiant speeches ended with disappointment for most opponents of Philadelphia’s school-closings plan. “I’m totally numb,” said veteran activist “Mama” Gail Clouden as the crowd filed out of the auditorium at School District headquarters after a series of votes that closed 23 schools and spared just Read More »
SEUI Local 32BJ Blasts Corbett Over School Funding
Stating that public education in Philadelphia is encountering its “second manufactured crisis,” local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union blasted Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration for inadequate education funding, and the recent sequestration that has gridlocked Congress and is causing a fiscal ripple effect that the union and the White House say will affect Read More »
10 Schools Spared in Revised Closing List
Ten schools would be spared closures or program mergers if new recommendations issued this morning by Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. are adopted. Read More »
Philadelphia’s School Superintendent Says District Will Make Changes to Its School-Closing Plan
Saying he was impressed with the input he has received, Philadelphia School Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said Monday that changes would be made to the controversial school closings plan, but he declined to be specific. Read More »
Let’s Not Hurry to Close Schools
Sacrificing 37 schools - in some of Philadelphia's most deprived neighborhoods, in the name of austerity - is neither necessary nor inevitable. Read More »
Advocacy Groups: Proposed School Closures Are Discriminatory
ADVOCACY GROUPS charged Monday that the Philadelphia School District's proposal to close 37 schools in June disproportionately affects minorities and disabled students and speaks to a widening gap between the city's economically disenfranchised youth and their more fortunate counterparts. Read More »
One in Six Philadelphia Public Schools Targeted For Closure
Despite the union's concession, the district still has a $282 million deficit, and the Philadelphia School District's plan to save money is closing one in six public schools in the area, a move that activists, clergy, and some officials say will disproportionately affect students of colors, as well as poor and disabled students. Read More »
Memo to Congress: Give Low-Wage Workers a Fair Deal; Pass the American Jobs Act
Our communities face stubbornly high unemployment, low wages and crushing poverty. Many jobs pay wages so low that employees get food stamps and public health care, while profitable corporations game the system so they pay no taxes. Read More »
Philly’s ‘Broke’ School District Boosts Salaries of 25 Nonunion Workers
“It seems immoral to me,” said George Ricchezza, 1201 District Leader for 32BJ SEIU. The union agreed this summer to forgo raises for four years and contribute $100 million back to the district. “If I would have known prior , I would have had a more intense conversation about it so I could Read More »
A Message on Hurricane Sandy from 32BJ President Héctor Figueroa
Be assured that 32BJ will fight to ensure all contract provisions are enforced, and that all members in need will get whatever help and assistance they require. Read More »
Charter schools drain much needed funds
IN PHILADELPHIA, 2,700 blue-collar workers recently agreed to contribute more than $100 million from their own pockets to save the city’s schools and help close the school district’s budget shortfall. For these men and women who work every day to keep our schools clean and safe, this is a very real sacrifice. Most earn less Read More »
Philly SRC signs off on contract with blue-collar union
After months of negotiations and protests over possible layoffs to cut costs at the cash-strapped city schools, the Philadelphia School Reform Commission unanimously approved a contract with its blue-collar union Monday that preserves jobs and provides $100 million in savings over the next four years. Pedro Ramos, chairman of the SRC, praised both the district’s Read More »
Many Philadelphia School District Blue Collar Worker Jobs Remain Up In The Air
The fate of 2,700 blue-collar workers at the Philadelphia School District is still unknown. Layoff notices for 2,700 school district bus drivers and maintenance workers are scheduled to take effect July 15th, if talks with the union, 32BJ, don’t yield an agreement. Read More »
District’s blue-collar union offers $25M in concessions
Threatened with the layoff of its entire workforce, the union representing 2,700 blue-collar workers in the Philadelphia School District has put more than $25 million in projected savings on the table – but the district has stopped talking. George Ricchezza, head of SEIU 32BJ, Local 1201, said he offered five years of no wage increases, Read More »
SEIU workers concerned about pending Philadelphia school layoffs
The clock is ticking for workers at the Philadelphia School District who may watch their work sent to private contractors.  A Friday deadline is looming over the talks. Read More »
On MSNBC, Daniel Denvir discusses Philly as ground zero for school privatization
Putting Philly’s (and Pennsylvania’s) school funding crisis in a national context, CP’s Daniel Denvir continued his media tour with an appearance on “Melissa Harris-Perry” on MSNBC this weekend. Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy Read More »
Council members move to delay school funding until union settlement
Yesterday, Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sanchez introduced a resolution calling on the School Reform Commission to reach a settlement with the blue-collar union SEIU Local 32BJ District — or else Council will delay its decision on school funding. The resolution, which 10 other Council members have signalled they support, also demands more funding from Harrisburg. Read More »
1000s demonstrate against cuts to education in Pa.
Thousands of demonstrators statewide took to the streets Wednesday to protest education cuts they say have decimated school districts across Pennsylvania, and they called for lawmakers to reject further reductions Gov. Tom Corbett proposes for next year. A total of 25 people were arrested during massive demonstrations in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh as they blocked traffic Read More »
Thousands protest school privatization plan in union-led march, 14 arrested
The state-controlled School Reform Commission‘s plan to close 64 schools and privatize management of potentially all that remain open has sparked widespread opposition across Philadelphia. The plan would also outsource all blue collar work, and today members of SEIU 32BJ led thousands of protesters down Broad Street. More than 2,000 workers―from bus drivers to maintenance Read More »
14 arrested at Center City education rally
As an act of civil disobedience, 14 protesters were arrested after sitting down at Broad and Race. Their mission was to condemn what they see as a plot to privatize Philadelphia’s public schools. This was the final act of a much larger rally and march today organized by the SEIU, the Service Employees International Union. Read More »
Pennsylvania school workers protest layoff notices
Protesters marched in at least two major cities in Pennsylvania on Wednesday in response to proposed state budget cuts intended to close gaps in public school funding. The protests were led by property service union 32BJ SEIU, which represents more than 3,000 Pennsylvania public school aides, bus drivers, attendants, cleaners and maintenance workers. In Philadelphia, Read More »