Archdiocesan teachers enter week two of strike

PHILADELPHIA - September 12, 2011

The union and the archdiocese went back to the bargaining table but both sides are still divided on several key issues.

The big issue for higher paid veteran teachers is proposed language they feared could be used to target them byreplacing them with newer hires making less money.

Monday's news Union President Rita Schwartz says is the most burdensome of elements to been taken off the table.

"The repeal of tenure is gone, at least as of now. When I go back there it might go back on the table, I have no idea. There is some comfort but they still have to be vigilant," said Schwartz.

Schwartz says as many as 100 issues remain, including the increased use of part-time teachers. The union has a concern that full time teachers could be crowded out by adjunct positions.

"Part timers get no benefits and very low salaries. It's something that's more beneficial for them, rather than hiring full time teachers," said Schwartz.

Catholic teachers make between $36,000-$70,000 each year.

In a statement the Philadelphia archdiocese says it's disappointed that the union is continuing to demand a 14.5 wage hike over three years.

Aside from the debate, what the strike means is no classes for students.

As for sports it's been left up to individual schools to decide whether to practice or hold games.

Talks between both sides are set to continue sometime Monday and into Tuesday.

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