Catholic Teachers in Philadelphia Remain on Strike

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Though few teachers were striking last week, grumblings from union leaders were heard in districts scattered across the nation.

More than 1,000 teachers in 22 Roman Catholic high schools in Philadelphia remained on strike late last week, after being unable to come to terms with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

The teachers, who are represented by the Association of Catholic Teachers Local 1776, were supposed to report to work Sept. 2. Instead, they voted down a contract proposed by the archdiocese by a ratio of 3-to-1, in part because they were dissatisfied with proposed raises and changes in their health-insurance plans.

In the public schools, teachers in the 685-student Benton Consolidated High School District No. 103 in southern Illinois also stayed out last week. The walkout has delayed the start of school since Aug. 20 while union representatives and school officials bargain over salaries.

While those walkouts continued, teachers in Lake Stevens, Wash., joined the picket lines last week. Talks were scheduled to start late last week in both the 7,000-student Lake Stevens district and the nearby, 11,000-student Marysville district, where teachers struck Sept. 1, according to news reports.

In both districts, which are north of Seattle, disagreements center on salaries, benefits, and class sizes.

Meanwhile, union officials in Sacramento, Calif., were polling their members to find out if they were willing to strike, and Minneapolis teachers protested wage freezes.

Teachers in North Kingstown, R.I., and Springfield Township, Pa., were back in class last week, and nearly 200 bus drivers resumed their routes in Long Island, N.Y.

Assistant Editor Mary Ann Zehr contributed to this report.

Vol. 23, Issue 3, Page 3

Published in Print: September 17, 2003, as Catholic Teachers in Philadelphia Remain on Strike
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