Strike looms for Catholic teachers?

Catholic schools will be opening.
RIKARD LARMA/METRO

Today is a big day for thousands of Catholic school students and their families as the Archdiocese of Philadelphia tries to reach a new contract with its teachers’ union before classes begin tomorrow.

The Association of Catholic Teachers Local 1776, which represents 736 secondary school lay and religious teachers, is expected to vote on a possible deal or whether to authorize a strike this morning.
The outcome would affect 17 archdiocesan high schools and roughly 16,000 students. Elementary schools are not part in the negotiations.

The two sides were expected to work late into the night yesterday following extensive negotiations Saturday and Sunday.

“They are hopeful that they’ll have a contract to bring to the members at the general meeting [today]. And then school is scheduled to start on [Wednesday], so they’re going to work hard to come to a resolution that works for both parties,” teachers union spokeswoman Heather Cummings said.

The archdiocese sent a letter to parents ensuring them that school would start tomorrow, as scheduled.
 An official could not be reached for comment yesterday. The sides have been negotiating since March on approximately 300 items, many of which included changes to bring Catholic education into the 21st century.



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