Catholic high school teachers OK new labor contract

Posted: May 31, 2014

Parents and students at the 17 Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia are assured of at least one more year of labor peace.

The 650 members of Local 1776 of the Association of Catholic Teachers on Wednesday approved a one-year contract that gives each a $1,200 yearly increase in salary starting this fall.

"Both the association and the school system are pleased that these successful negotiations will provide assurances to the students and their parents that our schools will be poised for another year of success in September," according to a joint statement from the archdiocese and union president Rita Schwartz.

The new agreement takes effect Sept. 1. The teachers will pay slightly more for their medical insurance. "Both parties agreed to partner in exploring ways to better manage health care costs moving forward," the statement said.

The new contract was approved Wednesday afternoon during a membership meeting at the Sheet Metalworkers Hall at 1301 S. Columbus Blvd.

According to the statement, both the high school system and the union had agreed last fall "to focus on key issues in an effort to streamline the negotiations and settle the contract prior to the close of the school year."

Both sides reportedly were determined to avoid a repeat of the 2011 strike when students lost five instructional days and began the school year with staggered orientation and testing days.

The negotiations also were the first since the Faith in the Future Foundation took over management of the archdiocese's high schools in September 2012.

Additional details about the agreement were unavailable because the archdiocese's offices were closed in observance of Ascension Thursday.

Approximately 14,000 students are enrolled in the 17 schools.

According to the most recent salary schedule posted on the union's website, salaries in 2012-13 ranged from $37,650 for a beginning teacher with a bachelor's degree to $74,055 for a senior teacher with a doctoral degree.

Teachers in Catholic K-8 in the archdiocese are not unionized.


martha.woodall@phillynews.com215-854-2789

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