Teachers say yes to new contract

Under the deal, teachers will receive a 3 percent raise this year and in 2012. The biggest changes will occur at the academically-struggling Renaissance Schools, which are to be named later this year.

By July, every teacher at those schools will be transferred, while only 50 percent will be able to reapply for their positions.

“This agreement goes a long way toward enhancing the professionalism of the profession,” said Jerry Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. “I am relieved … this is the most protracted negotiation in the history of the federation.”

The approval was far from unanimous, however, with 67 percent of the more than 2,700 union members that voted approving the measure, according to the union.

“I think it was fair,” said Melanie Dupree, a special education teacher at Barrett Middle School. “Today when people are losing jobs, I thought it was fair.”

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