In the Event of a Philadelphia Teachers Strike

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

To all Penn faculty and staff:

On Tuesday, September 5, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers authorized a strike if an agreement with the City was not reached. We hope that a strike is averted. However, we recognize that if a settlement is not reached, parents of children enrolled in the Philadelphia schools may need contingency plans for their children. We want to remind you of resources and options already provided by the University to which you can turn in this situation.

Penn provides free dependent care resource and referral services for faculty and staff through the LifeBalance Program. At select "LifeBalance online" for a tip sheet on How to Find Back-Up Child Care During a Strike. This website also has information about existing and expanded school-age child care resources to use during the strike. If you are asked for a logon and password and do not have that information from former mailings, please contact the Quality of Worklife Office at (215) 898-0380. If you prefer, you can call the LifeBalance Program at 1-888-203-6847 for one-on-one assistance. They are expecting your calls.

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.

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.

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

Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 6, October 3, 2000

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