Judge Grants Injunction for Philly Teachers, District Unable to Move Forward With Health Care Changes

A judge has temporarily stopped the Philadelphia school district from imposing health care costs on teachers.

Common Pleas Court Judge Nina Wright Padilla issued a preliminary injunction on Monday.

The teachers union sought the ruling after the School Reform Commission canceled its contract Oct. 6.

Commissioners say the cash-strapped district can't afford the agreement, which gives teachers free health benefits. They want to impose new terms that would cost teachers up to $140 per month.

The union contends the parties must go to arbitration before any changes can be made. The two sides have been negotiating for more than a year.

Union president Jerry Jordan said Monday that he's pleased with judge's decision.

"I think the judge made the right decision and I'm happy about her decision," Jordan said. "The teachers should not be the funding source for the school district. It's not the teacher's responsibility to fund the system."

Steve Flemming, a Philadelphia teacher, told NBC10 the ruling was a "temporary victory."

"I believe that we have people who recognize that the battle doesn't necessarily belong in the courts but at the bargaining table," Flemming said.

District spokesman Fernando Gallard (gah-YARD') says the district will appeal to Commonwealth Court.

"We consider it to be a temporary hold," Gallard said. "We're going to take other legal actions and appeal immediately." 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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