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Judge Rules Philadelphia Can't Cancel Teachers' Union Contract

A Commonwealth court judge in Philadelphia has ruled that the School Reform Commission, which governs the Philadelphia School District, cannot unilaterally cancel the teachers' union contract and add new conditions, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The School Reform Commission and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers have been in court trying to settle a dispute that erupted when the body hastily met on Oct. 6 and voted to cancel the teachers' contract. The move provoked a firestorm of controversy in Philadelphia and beyond.

The two sides had been operating under the terms of an agreement that had expired in 2013. Multiple bargaining sessions had failed to yield a new pact.

At the time, the district said that canceling the contract and asking union members to contribute toward their health benefits would net the district about $43.8 million in savings. 

The action was set to go into effect on Dec. 15, but the union won an injunction against the SRC.

"This is a very big victory," union president Jerry Jordan told the Inquirer on Thursday.

The newspaper said it was unclear whether the district planned to appeal. 

This post will be updated.

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