Roman Catholic high schools in Philadelphia are set to open this week but teachers still don’t have a new contract to replace the one that expired on August 31st. The two sides were talking Monday, anticipating a contract vote Tuesday morning. The contract affects more than 700 lay teachers at 17 high schools, but does not involve elementary schools in the five-county archdiocese.Rita Schwartz is the President of the Association of Catholic Teachers Local 1776.”From the very beginning we have had an inordinate number of proposals on the table and because there have been so many on the table it’s been difficult to try to handle all of the different items,” Schwartz said.
“We have a number of items ranging from salary, benefits, to working conditions and there are some things that are significant changes in the contract,” she said.Negotiations have been underway for months. Schwartz said it will be up to the union’s members to accept or reject what the archdiocese offers.