School District of Philadelphia workers vote to authorize strike amid contract negotiations

Service employees within the School District of Philadelphia have voted to authorize a strike as union leaders say their safety demands have not been met by district officials. 

Workers represented by the Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ held a vote with members Saturday to decide whether strike if their demands are not met by August 31.

"Enough is Enough! 32BJ members who work hard to keep the Philadelphia School District running have voted to strike," the union tweeted Saturday.

The workers involved include bus drivers, mechanics, attendants, building cleaners, engineers, and trades workers. 


Union officials say an estimated 2,000 school district employees are represented under the expiring contract. 

The current contract for those employees expires on Aug. 31. Union officials said in a news release Friday that negotiations on a new contract have stalled over "fair pay and standardized training programs that workers need to safely do their jobs and keep school students, teachers, and staff safe."

The district released the following statement prior to the vote:

"We deeply value the work of our staff who are represented by 32BJ SEIU District 1201. We continue to actively participate in conversations and negotiations to secure a new contract as soon as possible, without disruption to in-person learning to begin the 2022-2023 school year. Schools are hubs of our community. Last year, we saw firsthand the joy and excitement of our students, families, and staff as they reconnected in person and began to re-engage in the caring school communities they missed so much. Keeping this momentum going is what’s best for our young people. We remain hopeful that we will be able to agree to fair and sustainable terms of a contract that values and supports our employees."