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September 5, 2003


Judge Clement J. McGovern
Chief Negotiator for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Judge McGovern is a retired Delaware County Court of Common Pleas judge

We resumed our contract discussion with the union around at 10:00 a.m.. The union presented us with the specifics of their demands, something we have been looking for, so that we can respond appropriately to teachersí concerns. After some clarifications during the morning discussions, we went into an extended caucus at our respective offices. Both the Archdiocese and the union have a number of details to work and re-work. We have been exchanging information via faxes and telephones calls throughout the afternoon and continue to labor over the details.

Itís a long road and we have a ways to travel, but itís navigable and I am hopeful. Discussions were very cordial and the tone of talks today indicates that both sides are dedicated to bringing this strike to a speedy conclusion. We certainly are willing to work long and hard to get a contract in place. We are as anxious to get our teachers back in the classroom as they are to be there. In this Catholic education system, we are looking to give a value-based education and that depends upon dedicated teachers in the classroom. We are still looking for a contract that guards against an unfair burden of tuition for the parents. As a tuition driven system, we feel a responsibility to parents to see that tuition does not get increased unreasonably and we need some "fair sharing" from the union.

Having said this, we are willing to meet as long as it takes to reach an equitable agreement for both the teachers and the Archdiocese. We want to get this contract settled.

Editorís Note

Contract talks will resume Saturday afternoon, September 6th at approximately 1:00 p.m. at an undisclosed location. An update to this statement will be posted sometime Saturday. Regarding school scheduling, the 22 high schools of the Archdiocese of the Philadelphia will be closed on Monday, September 8th. No classes will be conducted and no school activities, including sports, will be held because of the teacherís strike. Another update will be made Monday regarding future scheduling.

Catherine L. Rossi
Director of Communications

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