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September 1, 2006

Statement from the Office of Catholic Education
Regarding Teacher Contract Negotiations ~ 10:00 p.m.

Negotiations began this afternoon and concluded late this evening. No agreement was reached but the Archdiocese and union exchanged proposals which now need to be studied. Negotiating sessions are scheduled throughout the holiday weekend with the next round of talks set for Saturday, September 2, 2006. The teachers' union has scheduled a ratification vote by members for Tuesday, September 5, 2006 at 11:00 a.m. The Archdiocese is willing to talk day and night to accomplish the goal of a signed fair contract in place for the start of the school year.

The contract between the Archdiocese and the 955 high school lay teachers expired at midnight Thursday (August 31st). The process of discussing all of the aspects of the contract began in April and the Archdiocese is disappointed that a new agreement is not yet in place. As we negotiate we are respectful of the needs of teachers but also mindful of the needs of parents, students and the entire school system.

School is scheduled to open on Wednesday, September 6, 2006. Students are expected to report. In the event of a strike, contingency plans would be announced; however, school will open the first week regardless of any action by the teachers' union.

Editor's Note: The contract now under negotiation will affect 955 high school lay teachers. In the five-county region 21,260 students attend Archdiocesan high schools (as of the 2005-2006 school year). Please note that Archdiocesan elementary and special education school teachers are not members of the secondary school teachers' union. The first day of school is Wednesday, September 6, 2006.

Donna Farrell
Director of Communications

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