Special (Updated) Bulletin

Possible Philadelphia Federation of Teachers Strike

(Resources & Options for Penn Faculty & Staff Whose Children Attend Philadelphia Public Schools)

To all Penn faculty and staff:

On Monday, October 23rd, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers authorized a strike at the end of the school day on Friday, October 27th unless an agreement is reached with the city. The university has many faculty and staff with children enrolled in the Philadelphia schools. We realize that alternate care arrangements may be needed for these children during a school strike. Therefore, we want to remind faculty and staff of resources and options already provided by the University to help in this situation.

  1. Penn provides free dependent care (child care through elder care) resource and referral services for faculty and staff through the LifeBalance Program. These services can be reached online through the Quality of Worklife website at or by calling 1-888-203-6847. At the LifeBalance online website, you can find a tip sheet on "Finding Backup Child Care During a School Strike". This tip sheet covers short-term solutions, how to choose a back-up sitter, ideas for making back-up care arrangements work, how to identify other resources in the community, and how to determine whether or not to let your child stay home alone. Just type "strike" in the LifeBalance webpage search tool to find this tipsheet. If you prefer calling LifeBalance for one-on-one assistance, they are expecting your calls.
  2. The University has established guidelines for requesting flexible work arrangements. These are described in detail at These arrangements must be approved by your supervisor and be respectful of the research, education and service missions of the University.
  3. The University has a generous paid time off plan. In combination with the other options mentioned above, this may support your efforts to manage the impact of a school strike. We are encouraging supervisors to be understanding about the short-notice and unpredictability of this situation, however, we want to keep in mind that the business needs of the University are primary.
  4. We also want to let you know that the Parent Infant Center's After-School Program will be operating for full days during the strike and can accommodate an additional 35 school-age children up until 3 p.m. This program, at 4205 Spruce Street, has a long relationship with the University. For more information, contact Katie Martin at (215) 898-3417. The Penn Children's Center cannot expand its program to accommodate school-age children. They are filled to license capacity because they are allowing the children graduating to kindergarten from their program to stay on through the strike.

--Marilyn K. Kraut, Manager, Quality of Worklife Programs,

Division of Human Resources

Posted 10/24/2000