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September 5, 2006

Statement from the Office of Catholic Education
Regarding the Ratification of the Secondary School Teachers Contract

We are pleased that our valued teachers have agreed to the contract proposed by the Archdiocese. The negotiation process, which began in April, was long and difficult. On Monday, September 4th, Labor Day, meetings began at 11:15 a.m. and despite one breakdown in talks, did not fully conclude until Tuesday morning at approximately 7:00 a.m. -- twenty hours. The Archdiocese had said we were willing to remain at the table as long as necessary and we continually demonstrated that, particularly during the holiday weekend.

The Archdiocese has consistently emphasized throughout the months of negotiations that while we respect the needs of teachers we must be mindful of the impact of the contract upon future tuition. The Association of Catholic Teachers was advocating for the needs of their members while we were articulating the needs of school families and teachers. No one wanted a strike to impact the school year. In the end we believe a fair and equitable agreement for all parties was reached. We are excited for the beginning of the school year and welcome our teachers and students back to the classroom for another year of Catholic education.

Editor's Note: The new contract affects 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 M. Farrell
Director of Communications

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