Tonight the PFT met at a ratification meeting for our new contract. Contract meetings are always interesting, and this one was no exception. Our Union President started the meeting by announcing all the things we received, and some things we didn’t give up, as a result of the never-ending negotiations. The crowd of teachers clapped and cheered progressively louder as the president went through the list. I am still trying to figure out why the clause, “teacher’s may use reasonable force to defend themselves” got such a resounding round of applause. Huh? Things got a bit dicey when the teachers took turns voicing their opinions at the extremely loud microphones placed around the room. The Renaissance initiative seemed to cause the most consternation. When all was said and then some, it was time to close debates and ratify or not ratify. Ha, in Philly it seems all you need is a loud “yeah” from the crowded room. Yes, we did have paper ballots, but I am not sure they will even be counted. The contract was a done deal before we ever set foot in the room. We do things differently in Philly….