Strike closes Catholic high schools in Philadelphia Archdiocese starting Wednesday

The striking Archdiocese of Philadelphia High School teachers have offered an olive branch to the church, but it appears the Archdiocese isn’t ready to accept it even with schools closed beginning Wednesday.

Rita Schwartz of the Association of Catholic Teachers says she would recommend the teachers return to the job if the Archdiocese agrees to mediate the outstanding issues.

“If the archdiocese agrees to mediation I would ask our teachers to return to their classrooms and teach and they would work under their old contract until such time as hopefully the Association and the Archdiocese working with a mediator can come up with a proposal that the teachers can vote acceptance to,” said Schwartz.

The Archdiocese has repeatedly refused the call for mediation. Theresa Ryan-Szott says both sides need to bargain in good faith to work out the issues on the table.

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“We believe we know our students our teachers our parents and our schools better than any outsider we are the ones who need to sit at the table and negotiate the best contract for all the stakeholders,” said Ryan-Szott.

The key issues are teacher job security and the Archdiocese’s desire to re-write the contract to reflect modern times.

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