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Teachers' union ads target Mayor Nutter

By the Notebook on Aug 22, 2013 03:58 PM

by Holly Otterbein for NewsWorks

The Philadelphia teachers' union is taking a shot at Mayor Nutter with a new ad campaign.

The group's TV, radio, newspaper and online advertisements tie Nutter, a Democrat, to Gov. Corbett, a Republican, who has been knocked for cutting schools funding in past years.

"You've sided with Gov. Corbett, against my kids, against their teachers," says public school parent and activist Kia Hinton of Nutter in the radio ad. "You've let us down. You've been starving our kids of the education they deserve."

These ads come in the midst of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers contract negotiations with the School Reform Commission. The SRC and Superintendent William Hite are asking teachers to accept pay and benefit cuts in order to help shore up the School District's budget.

A voice-over in the PFT's radio spot says, "Over the past three years, Mayor Nutter has stood with Gov. Corbett as he gutted funding for Philadelphia's public schools, putting kids' safety at risk, overcrowding classrooms."

Mayoral spokesman Mark McDonald said there is no truth to the ad's characterization of Nutter. He said the mayor is fighting tooth and nail for the city's schoolchildren.

"I think the ad is unfair and inaccurate, and is union propaganda," he said. "I understand why they might want to put something out like that. It would take the public's collective eye off the ball. The ball, by the way, is in the negotiations at the bargaining table between the SRC and the teachers' union."

McDonald pointed out that Nutter has signed property and use-and-occupancy tax hikes into law to raise money for the Philadelphia School District. He has also proposed a soda tax and a liquor-by-the-drink tax increase, which were both shot down by City Council, as well as a cigarette tax, which Council passed but Harrisburg rejected.

The Corbett administration, meanwhile, has said that the state is making historic investments in education. Corbett argues that most of the school cuts occurred in past years as a result of federal stimulus money drying up.

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Comments (80)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 4:54 pm
It's interesting that the PFT has plenty of money for these attack ads, but they claim they can't afford to make any concessions or sacrifice like everyone else already has.
Submitted by Teachin' (not verified) on August 22, 2013 7:12 pm
The PFT is the only union that actually handed over $48 million to the district a year or two ago to help balance the budget. It has a budget paid for by union members, but the individual members can't afford to lose thousands a year at a time when the economy is improving while district officials, who make ten times the salary of a teacher, continue to make six figures, none of which comes out of their pockets to pay for school supplies for students.
Submitted by Ray (not verified) on August 22, 2013 7:08 pm
Hey Teachin, I don't mean this as a criticism, but it was actually $55million from our Health & Welfare Fund. I agree with everything you said, I just wanted to point that out, we should make sure everyone is aware that we gave the district a "loan" which I'm sure will never be paid back.
Submitted by Teachin' (not verified) on August 22, 2013 7:38 pm
Sorry, I pulled the number from my memory. Thanks very much for the correction.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 7:49 pm
That money was a loan and is expected to be paid back. That's not sacrifice. The economy is not improving. The federal government is borrowing until we go bankrupt just to keep it from collapsing. 77% of all jobs created this year have been part time jobs. If you count them and the people who gave up looking for work, the real unemployment rate is over 18%.
Submitted by HS teach (not verified) on August 22, 2013 10:29 pm
"77% of all jobs created this year have been part time jobs. If you count them and the people who gave up looking for work, the real unemployment rate is over 18%." And what is your solution? Lets make everybody poor! Its a shame, teachers want to stay middle class. You people are insane suggesting that cutting people's wages is good for economy. How would economy improve if I cannot afford to buy a car, a house or go out for dinner on a weekend? If I compete for a part-time clerk position at Wawa to supplement my income? Turn off Fox news. Turn on your brain.
Submitted by Just sayin' (not verified) on August 23, 2013 10:55 am
*** if you do, *** if you don't...everybody's been saying why doesn't Jerry do this...why doesn't Jerry do that...run ads...then when he finally does that, he's wasting money. What a waste of time it is to read these comments.
Submitted by activist (not verified) on August 22, 2013 4:53 pm
you never seem to remember the pay freeze and or conditions we work under
Submitted by rscherf1 (not verified) on August 25, 2013 6:25 am
1201 has a four year pay freeze and work in the same conditions. They also pay more for their health care than the PFT.
Submitted by activist (not verified) on August 22, 2013 4:15 pm
teachers in philly had a pay freeze for yrs
Submitted by rscherf1 (not verified) on August 25, 2013 6:11 am
So has other public sector unions in philly.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 5:36 pm
PFT, you lost me when you aired these ads attacking one of your few allies, Mayor Nutter. To say that he sided with Corbett is incorrect and shows a typical lack of interest in accurate reporting by Jerry Jordan and his crew. Mayor Nutter is getting the blame that should be heaped on City Council and, especially, Darryl Clarke! Try reading the newspaper, PFT!
Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on August 22, 2013 6:51 pm
The PSD got more than it asked for from Nutter. They asked for $60 Million and they received $78 Million. So what's the beef with Nutter?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 7:21 pm
We do read the newspaper!! The PFT was a huge supporter of Nutter Butter's candidacy. Just like he screwed the Philadelphia Firefighters on numerous occasions, Nutter Butter has turned his back on the teachers of this city!!! Please remeber that he only has a short time left in office. He has other agendas to pursue after being Mayor and being cozy with Corbett is a benefit to him. Nutter Butter BORROWS the $50 million, while Clarke and ALL of City Council support getting the $50 million and a lot more by going after the deadbeat tax bums who owe millions to this city. You borrow the money you have to pay it back!! Wake up!!!
Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on August 22, 2013 7:15 pm
Nutter wants to borrow the $50 Million against the increased sales tax which will be recurring revenue. Clarke wants to get the $50 Million by borrowing against the sale of school buildings, a one shot in the arm source of funds.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 7:32 pm
If I remember correctly, Ackerman put us in a $629 million dollar hole and your SRC gave her a $1 million bonus to walk. That's really fiscally responsible!!!
Submitted by Teachin' (not verified) on August 22, 2013 7:49 pm
Perhaps you should read the paper. Nutter is teacher-bashing, cutting away at teacher salaries, while his own bloated income remains untouched. He hasn't "stepped up" in the deeply personal way he's demanded of teachers.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 8:57 pm
Nutter gave himself and his entire staff a 10% pay cut.
Submitted by Teachin' (not verified) on August 22, 2013 11:37 pm
Not sure why The Notebook refuses to post my reply to you, but I'd twice attached an article link that reported that in 2012, Nutter quietly reinstated the pre-pay cut salaries to himself and his staff.
Submitted by Paul Socolar on August 23, 2013 12:11 am

You are free to post the article link. Our editors, however, do remove comment that include name-calling and foul language as per the terms of use on our site.

Also good to pay attention to whether you're responding to a comment that has profanity and name-calling in it because if you do, your comment gets deleted when theirs does.

So if you see a comment "XXX is an idiot," you would be wise to start a separate thread rather than replying. Better yet, flag the comment so that it can be reviewed. 

Submitted by Morrie Peters (not verified) on August 23, 2013 9:45 am
Nutter's wife profits from this privatization, political, ponzi scheme...enough said...and yes, that is an illiteration for the illterate:-0 Have a super day Brian Roberts...counting your millions as fast Fast Eddie and Fat Cohen do your reverse Robin Hood bidding:-(
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 6:00 pm
Too bad PFT Union Members. The majority of professionals that I know took a pay cut during the recession and have yet to make up the difference. Where's the requisite picture of PFT members with a Philadelphia Fireman?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 7:00 pm
The city cannot attract and retain teachers as it is. Teachers earned their salaries. I've never heard in my lifetime earning a salry and deserving it then being asked to give 13% of it back??? Get real scab!!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 8:16 pm
If the city can't attract teachers as it is, why do we have so many of them begging for their jobs back?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 23, 2013 4:56 pm
It's not the pay, it's the principals abuse of power, lack of support and unruly students! That's why teachers leave Philadelphia!!!!!!!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 7:48 pm
However these professionals in other fields with the educational level and experience of teaching professionals within the district generally command two to three times our salaries and don't have to supply for their own work environment. How can you cut when so much is already given and many are already struggling to keep their heads above water with what is given?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 8:52 pm
Wrong. Just about every bartender and waitress in center city has a college degree, many with masters degrees. There's no need to have a masters degree to teach K-12 anyway. For business people, getting an MBA in most jobs pays nothing more. zip. nada.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 8:27 pm
There is a need because it is a requirement for level II certification from the state. You don't need it to get the job but you need it to keep it. As I stated experienced, educated individuals with masters do command more. In the current economy there is a shortage of jobs but for many people on the higher end their profits are record breaking and their jobs through contracts are secure.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 7:54 pm
What planet are you on???? PFT members haven't seen the dinky 3% raise in 2 years plus we gave $48 million from our health and welfare fund to help the city last time. Read the LAW!!!! The State has an obligation under it to make sure schools are adequately funded.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 23, 2013 6:25 pm
'Dinky 3%'? I'd be willing to bet the vast majority of private sector employees haven't seen anywhere near a 3% raise in the last couple of years. Based on your comment, a 3% raise is nowhere near your expected annual salary increase. Teachers need to stop believing that they are entitled and deserving of unprecedented annual increases.
Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on August 23, 2013 6:37 pm
People with degrees get more than 3% raises EVERY year!! Teachers are not just employees, they are PROFESSIONALS. And they should be treated as such.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 23, 2013 8:33 pm
Become a teacher in Philadelphia then make your ignorant comments.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 24, 2013 4:52 pm
'Ignorant comments' because I feel that teachers don't deserve an automatic increase? Why would I want to become a teacher and be use the premise that I'm concerned about the kids when in reality I want a guaranteed job with annual increases?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 24, 2013 4:38 pm
Ignorant because what is being stated is not factual. One thing many people are missing is what urban school teachers across the country are actually dealing with and what is actually being asked. If there is an issue with a step salary increase (which exists in most larger districts) than give a livable reasonable wage to start with. By not providing that and then forcing wage cuts it is an attack on the teaching profession penalizing those who chose to work in the urban school system. When dealing with professionals it can't be both ways provide a sustainable wage without automatic increases or start new teachers lower with the prospect of increasing wages with time served through steps. What will be left over time are individuals who are looking to teaching as a stepping stone and are not dedicated or long term individuals who are demoralized and waiting for the next opening in the suburbs. I can't supply thousands of dollars in materials for my 1st grade classroom, while being in poverty. Maybe the union should do like McDonalds workers and actually chart the average wage of a teacher with less than five years with the costs associated with supplies and education expenses including loans. To understand how much is put in to being an effective teacher may help others understand how devastating it is to have a threat of getting even less in terms of pay.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 7:15 pm
Ever since the SRC took over 12 years ago, every year the District is millions in the hole. Never had that when there was a School Board. Oh yeah, the SRC spends millions on Charter Schools--that's really fiscally responsible!! Wake up!!
Submitted by Christa (not verified) on August 22, 2013 7:00 pm
Private sector individuals may have taken a pay cut BUT if they are savvy they can negotiate things like working from home, flexible scheduling, extra vacation or something else. My brother in law works for Rutgers and instead of receiving a pay raise he got an ipad. There are things that can be received in the private sector that a teacher would never be able to bargain for. Anyone who questions how much we make and do can feel free to visit my classroom this September. I will gladly invite any naysayers into my classroom to see what we deal with firsthand.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 8:48 pm
You already have two months vacation vs. the two weeks for private sector workers. If you want, we can work out some IPads for you in the negotiations. So 9,000 x $400 = $3.6 Million. So $130 Million in concessions rather than $133 Million. Fair enough?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 8:31 pm
Actually the vacation is "paid" by us. We have the money deducted from our paychecks during the school year and we pay ourselves over the summer. It's not like the private sector where there are paid vacations.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 24, 2013 6:10 pm
Thank you so much for informing the public that we aren't on a paid vacation during the summer by the SD, we have that money deducted from our pay for the summer months and it isn't an option, we have to do it!
Submitted by rscherf1 (not verified) on August 25, 2013 6:24 am
What about the one week off at Christmas and the one week off at Easter?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 8:41 pm
Please stop with the summer vacation BS! Most teacher work all summer in some capacity or take classes to meet state mandated certification requirements, which by the way we need to pay for! During the school year, we are up at night grading papers and lesson planning. When all is factored in, I work about 55 hrs a week, minimum!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 8:14 pm
Again another person who does not know what they are talking about before writing bs. The summer is paid for as it is taken out of our checks during the year.
Submitted by Martha McNugget (not verified) on August 22, 2013 9:47 pm
If you like two months vacation so much, why don't you become a teacher? It is not overly difficult to get certified. Compared to say becoming a medical doctor.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 6:00 pm
Nutter also did nothing while Ackerman made a mockery of the city and school district. It was only when she offended him personally that somehow she was removed.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 6:31 pm
Have you seen Philly teacher pay?? What can be cut from that?
Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on August 22, 2013 6:43 pm
Over $100K including benefits? And you're complaining?
Submitted by Also a taxpayer (not verified) on August 22, 2013 7:19 pm
100K? Who is making a 100K? No teacher in the PSD makes that.
Submitted by Teachin' (not verified) on August 22, 2013 7:58 pm
What are you smoking? You're talking about suburban teachers' pay, not here in Philly, where we make $20,000 - $25,000 less than teachers in every county surrounding us.
Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on August 22, 2013 7:07 pm
You're comparing yourself to the wealthiest school districts in the state. Try a national average or a school district with a comparable tax base. A 10 year teacher in Philly makes over $70K in salary. Ad in another 15-20K for healthcare and then another 10-15K for retirement and you're over 100K. You'll see when you finally have to pay for some of these benefits how much they cost.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 7:28 pm
YOU HEARD IT FIRST RIGHT HERE-----CORBETT WILL LOSE TO ALLYSON SCHWARTZ!!!! BET ON IT!!! PHILLY, PITTSBURGH, AND HARRISBURG WILL CARRY HER TO VICTORY!!!!
Submitted by Teachin' (not verified) on August 22, 2013 8:28 pm
She has 11,000 votes in the bag. It really depends on whether Philly gets off its collective butt and votes this time around.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 23, 2013 9:47 am
I'm concerned that Allyson Schwartz has not made a strong statement on public Ed k-12. John Hanger has though. I wonder what she's waiting for.
Submitted by tom-104 on August 23, 2013 9:27 am
I agree Schwartz is coming across as the worst sort of political opportunist waiting to see which way the wind is blowing. She has not spoken out about defending public education. Where have we heard this song before?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 23, 2013 9:32 am
She usually shows up at the Labor Day parade.
Submitted by Teachin' (not verified) on August 22, 2013 8:06 pm
I'm a 10-year teacher with a master's plus 30 and I don't make anything close to $70,000. You've been misinformed.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 8:26 pm
Here's your pay scale. Right from the PSD web site: http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/offices/e/ee/information-center/offices/e/...
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 7:28 pm
I guess you are including health benefits, but in reality most teachers in the district who have five years or less actually see half of that 100k salary. Then including supplies and the amount you have to pay into a more expensive healthcare plan if you chose to take it (which was a stipulation in the contract a few years ago) most teachers don't see that. Then with student loans that many have to obtain this job and the deductions including summer pay you might as well work in retail.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 8:18 pm
You bet I'm including healthcare. That's part of your compensation. That's a very real expense for any employer. And everyone who goes to college has to get students loans for their jobs when they graduate. Teachers are not at all unique to that.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 8:14 pm
No one stated that we were unique. You are the one making statements about our salaries and I am responding with reality. We as urban school teachers carry a financial and emotional burden that goes beyond compensation. The benefits are one of the few reasons why the district has been able to attract and keep quality teachers. No teacher enters the field to get rich, in fact we are underpaid for the job that we do which in some ways was made up through the benefits and retirement. Just like you have a right to your opinion, we have a right to fight for conditions and compensation that are fair to us and ultimately puts us in a position to continue to support our students.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 7:06 pm
$100,000????? You must be talking about the suburban teachers. Your a joke!!! Look up the information before airing false irrelevance.
Submitted by Teachin' (not verified) on August 22, 2013 7:55 pm
The mayor hasn't personally given up a single penny to help alleviate this problem, but he wants to take thousands from the pockets of low-paid school workers and claims they're not "stepping up" if they don't allow themselve to be scapegoated and fleeced.
Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on August 22, 2013 7:13 pm
The mayor gave himself and his entire staff a 10% pay cut two years ago.
Submitted by Teachin' (not verified) on August 22, 2013 8:21 pm
You've been duped, Taxpayer: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/08/04/philly-mayor-nutter-quietly-r...
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 7:05 pm
EVERYONE VOTE ALLYSON SCHWARTZ.....A LITTLE SCARED TAXPAYER???? TEA PARTY CORBETT WILL NOT BE RE-ELECTED. THE PEOPLE WILL SPEAK!!
Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on August 22, 2013 8:37 pm
Not at all. Corbett didn't need Philadelphia votes to get elected and he won't need them to get reelected.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 9:46 pm
He didn't need the votes, but he did need the lack of voter participation that would have normally favored the other side. In light of all that has happened, I doubt he will be that lucky again.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 7:40 pm
Schwartz!!!!! She will be a friend to teachers. I foresee the SRC being dismantled and back to the good old Board of Education days!!!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 9:56 pm
If I was Mayor Nutter, I would use part of that $78 Million to take out ads against the PFT. Tell the people of Philadelphia exactly what they make, including all the benefits. Then ask the people if they want their taxes raised yet again to give the PFT more money.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 9:36 pm
Let's not stop there. Let's publicize the salary of every public worker, determine their job requirements, their productivity, experience and education, and even how they got there. Another step further let's follow all of the funds. What, what was that? Then we will actually see how teachers and other educated individuals in the system are underpaid for the job they do and take notice the bloated salaries of the minions for people in power. Will never happen. They are all "dirty"
Submitted by Christa (not verified) on August 22, 2013 10:20 pm
You obviously aren't the brightest bulb in the bunch...our salary scale is posted n the school district website and you could look up teacher salaries in Pennsylvania with a simple google search....do you even know anyone who teaches in Philadelphia? My current salary is $60,787 after 5 years of service and I am dual certified in elementary and special education. In other districts my salary would be: Neshaminy $68,882..Council Rock, $74,916...Bucks County Intermediate Unit, $64,009...Lower Merion $68,497. Do you pay for your supplies to do your job?? I do. Do you have to worry about being harmed at work by students who get into fights, or in my case because I teach special ed, students who hit, kick, punch, try to stab people with pencils or destroy property? When your equipment at work is out of date does your boss purchase new equipment? When your equipment at your job breaks, does your boss have it fixed? Mine doesn't. Oh yeah you have a choice in how you want to save for retirement, I don't. THE STATE REQUIRES THAT ALL TEACHERS join PSERS...WE DO NOT HAVE A CHOICE!!! EDUCATE YOURSELF on what exactly it is that teachers do. Yes I may receive a 2 month vacation but I get that because I work with other peoples children which is physically and mentally exhausting. I also get 2 months off because the students get 2 months off...if the students only received a few weeks off a year I would only receive a few weeks off a year. Individual school districts do not mandate the minimum numbers of days school must be in session THE STATE DOES!!! Lastly...stop hating on teachers for having a union that fights to make sure we receive a living wage and protections. Private sector employees are dumb for not organizing and telling the millionaires and billionaires of the world that enough is enough. STOP HATING ON US BECAUSE YOU WANT WHAT WE HAVE
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 10:40 pm
Well said! Let us also remember that urban children deserve no less than what our suburban children have educationally. To do anything else is discriminatory. We look at our students and don't see color or class, we just see children. Don't stand in judgement of any PFT member until you have walked the walk with us.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 10:58 pm
The PFT is being asked to give more than the city and state combined. This shouldn't be.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 11:05 pm
Dear Taxpayer, I pay taxes too. That is all. Sincerely, A proud tax paying, parent, citizen and PFT representing teacher.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 22, 2013 11:29 pm
Dear Taxpayer, SEE ABOVE! another tax paying, parent, citizen and PFT representing teacher.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 23, 2013 12:01 am
The bottom line,despite the uninformed tea party nuts posting here,is no pay cut at all. Teachers in Philly are underpaid and pus up with a lot of BS. The tea party radicals would be in a Philly school less than one day screaming and running down the hall for the exits. Stay firm -NOT PAY CUTS.IN FACT, WE NEED A PAY INCREASE AS OTHER SUBURBAN DISTRICTS GOT A MODEST PAY RAISE IN THEIR CONTRACTS.
Submitted by J (not verified) on August 23, 2013 10:09 am
Why are the anti-teacher comments made by "anonymous" authors? These types have an ax to grind and should be ignored. Educators, don't let these cowards goad you into a silly back-and-forth, when you could be writing something meaningful. .
Submitted by Linda K. (not verified) on August 25, 2013 7:38 am
Well, I have found as with kids, adults who can not say what they want and hide behind Anon often are weak bullies. If you truly believe in what you do or say then state it up front. I have to wonder if some of the negative comments that are filled with such venom come from sources that work as agents for the opposition. In any case, we teachers know our salary, what are bills are and how much we pay into our retirement and individual accounts. We also know what se spend on the job to clothe, feed and educatate other peoples children who for whatever reasons can not or choose not to do so for themselves. Hang in fellow teachers......we know the good ones from the bad and we should STOP dignifying the opposition with the heated responses that they seem to enjoy...the DEVIL loves it when you are distracted from the true task..in this case, gettting the SDP to do what needs to be done to serve the students and provide a decent wage for the workers. Linda K.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 22, 2013 6:29 pm
I am a private sector educated professional that makes less than the majority of teachers I know. I don't have a pension and a 3% raise is hardly expected unless we do well during the year. I also work through the entire year and have less vacation. I'm tired of teachers complaining while I'm getting less for working more. Come to the private sector and see what you're EARNED value is.
Submitted by tom-104 on September 22, 2013 6:04 pm
Why don't you raise yourself up instead of tearing other people down?
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