Philadelphia, Pa., Sep 15, 2011 / 03:10 am
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia says there is “steady progress” in negotiations with the Catholic high school teachers’ union, but its high schools must shut down until an agreement is reached with the teachers’ union.
“We are willing to work around the clock to provide our students and school families with the best educational environment possible. Discussions over the past two days have been productive,” the archdiocese said on Sept. 13. “With the parties who best understand these issues remaining at the table and continuing to make progress, we can accomplish our goal.”
The contract under negotiation will affect about 800 lay teachers. There are 16,502 students at 17 archdiocesan high schools in the five-county Philadelphia region.
The schools had begun classes last week because students were mainly involved in orientation activities. However, school officials said reduced staffing could jeopardize student safety and the schools were closed on Wednesday, Sept. 14.