Archdiocese, teachers ratify labor pact

Posted: June 02, 2014

AFTER HEALTHY discussion, the city's Catholic high school teachers have ratified a new labor agreement, one in which health played a crucial role.

The Association of Catholic Teachers and the Archdiocese announced the ratification yesterday - much earlier than usual.

"We tried to approach it this year with a very different attitude than in years past, to get it done for kids and parents before summer break," said Chris Mominey, chief operating officer for the Archdiocese.

"We're trying to show people that both sides are approaching this from a new mind-set of innovation and growth, and not getting distracted by dragging this along through summer."

Under the new agreement - which goes into effect Sept. 1 and is valid through the 2014-15 school year - all 650 of the Archdiocese's lay teachers would receive a $1,200 raise.

Also affected are employee contributions to their medical plan: Teachers will see a slight increase in premiums.

"Everyone knows a big stumbling block in these type of negotiations is health care, because of the Affordable Care Act and all of its changes," said Rita Schwartz, president of the teachers association.

"We're only doing a one-year agreement and hoping that when we get together next spring, we'll have a more clear idea of where medical care is going."

Both sides described the labor talks as free from incident, only taking a few weeks to reach a resolution.

Mominey added that there was "no correlation" between the negotiations and the Archdiocese's looming announcement on the fate of 46 area parishes under review for mergers or closures.

A decision on their future is expected this weekend.

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