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September 2, 2006

Regarding Teacher Contract Negotiations~ 6:30 p.m.

The two sides had planned to meet in a face-to-face session today but the union indicated it needed more time to evaluate the most recent proposals offered by the Archdiocese Friday evening. The Archdiocese was prepared to meet today and is ready to continue discussions on Sunday, September 3, 2006 at the next scheduled session.

A recent letter, dated September 1, 2006, from the Secretary for Catholic Education and the Superintendent of Schools provides information to teachers regarding the current status of proposals and the needs of the Catholic school system. The letter is clear that it does not contain final proposals. It has been the practice of the Office of Catholic Education to update teachers on our particular concerns regarding contract negotiations before the end of the Labor Day weekend. The letter also makes clear that the Archdiocese has sincere appreciation for the professional dedication of our teachers and at the same time must address the realities facing Catholic schools.

Because the two sides are meeting tomorrow at 2:00 p.m., we hope to be able to express our mutual concerns in a productive manner. The Archdiocese has said it is willing to come to the table whenever necessary to achieve a signed, fair agreement and that remains true.

The union has scheduled a ratification vote for Tuesday, September 5, 2006 at 11:00 a.m. School for the 20 high schools begins 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 o fCommunications

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