As contract talks stall, Catholic teachers union rallies in Philly

The union representing more than 700 teachers at Catholic high schools in the region staged a protest outside Archdiocese of Philadelphia headquarters Tuesday.

It was an early welcome home for the teachers, who are on the edge of their seats awaiting results of contract negotiations that will tell them if they are back on the job or on strike next week.

“As long as the anti-union, anti-teacher proposals are in that proposal from the system, the answer is absolutely no contract,” said Rita Schwartz, head of the Association of Catholic Teachers.

A representative said the archdiocese wants to modernize the contract.

“We have been trying to institute online grading so parents have accessibility to current grades and can review assignments,” said Richard McCarron, secretary for Catholic Education, as an example of the changes the archdiocese wants.

“I would say over 90 percent of our teachers embrace online grading but for three years the association has fought us on this,” he said.

Union members will hold a vote next Tuesday on the current offer and decide if they will strike.

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