Catholic school teachers strike is over
Catholic high school students head back to class Tuesday morning now that a new three-year agreement has been reached between the Association of Catholic School Teachers Local 1776 and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
“I’m excited about it,” Conwell-Egan Catholic High School junior Kristen Manto, 16, said Monday afternoon. “I’m looking forward to going back and being taught by the teachers. (The strike) has been long enough.”
The 13-day strike ended Monday afternoon, when the Association of Catholic School Teachers voted 589-41 to accept the tentative agreement reached Sunday by union negotiators and archdiocese officials, ACT President Rita Schwartz said.
Right after the vote, ACT members reported to their assigned schools to organize and prepare for the start of class Tuesday morning, Schwartz said.
The three-year deal calls for ACT members to receive salary increases of: $1,300 in the first year; $1,400 in the second year; and $1,600 in the third year, officials said. The starting salary for a first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree will be $37,050, Schwartz said.
Union members’ contribution to their health care premiums will remain at about 13.5 percent for the current school year and won’t increase by more than 11.9 percent of any premium hike imposed on the archdiocese for the 2012-2013 school year, officials said. Contribution rates for 2013-2014 are still to be determined, the officials said.
ACT leaders and diocese officials were both satisfied with the new pact. [more]