Philadelphia Charter School Uses Threats and $17,000 in Public Funds to Bust Union Drive Efforts

On August 8th, the Philadelphia Daily News obtained documents showing harassment by Olney Charter High School principals and administrators during a union organizing drive.  The complaint was filed by the Alliance of Charter School Employees – who is associated with the American Federation of Teachers – against the charter school operator ASPIRA Inc.

The Daily News cited that 187 teachers, guidance counselors and staff at the school intended on unionizing, but faced threats from principal Jose E. LeBron and assistant principals Bridget Bujak and Lisette Agosto Cintron.  The article states:

LeBron “threatened that Respondents would play ‘hardball’ because their employees were engaging in union activity,” according to the complaint.

Cintron warned staff that the school “would withhold a decision on the renewal of their contracts because [the school’s] employees were seeking union representation,” the document reads.

The school issued a disciplinary warning to teacher Amelia DeGory – a vocal union supporter – thus making good on the administrators’ “stated intention to play ‘hardball,’ ” according to the complaint.

The Daily News also obtained – through a Right to Know request – that Olney Charter High School used $17,o94 in public funds to bust the union’s efforts.  The school hired Eckert Seamans Law Firm.

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