Earlier today, the Secondary School System of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the Association of Catholic School Teachers, Local 1776 (ACT) reached a one-year agreement for a new contract for full-time, lay high school teachers in the seventeen Archdiocesan high schools.
The Office of Catholic Education (OCE) is pleased that the general membership of ACT ratified the contract today. It stands as a testimonial to academic excellence as well as the partnership of teachers, administrators, parents, and students it seeks to represent. It is the agreement we had hoped to obtain for the current and future benefit of everyone.
Since March 2017, the focus of the OCE negotiating team has been to achieve a contract that provides the best possible educational environment for the young people entrusted to our care while respecting the sacrifice and dedication of our educators.
We were able to secure a number of key elements previously outlined to school families as crucial for our schools. A sampling is bulleted below.
- Two additional after school professional development days will be added during this 2017-2018 academic year.
- New opportunities for coaching and mentoring teachers (tenured and non-tenured) will be put in place to help our educators succeed to the best of their ability effective with the 2017-2018 academic year.
- The teacher work day will be extended by 15 minutes beginning in the 2018-2019 academic year.
- Two additional professional development days for teachers will be added to the calendar prior to Labor Day beginning in the 2018-2019 academic year.
Although salary and benefits were not an area of contention during this round of negotiations, the following has been put in place with the new contract.
- There will be a $1200 increase in pay across the board effective with the 2017-2018 academic year.
- As promised by OCE, teachers will experience no increased costs for medical coverage in the 2017-2018 academic year.
These negotiations involved unique and substantive issues about the operation of our secondary Catholic schools. This was not the typical contract negotiation where the issues were primarily limited to financial matters, such as salary and benefits. The issues at stake were essential if our schools are to continue their tradition of excellence into the future. The changes implemented in the new contract are ones that will lead to improvement in student achievement and the quality of academic program offerings. Education in the 21st century is changing at such a rapid pace that it is essential to have the ability to respond efficiently and effectively to the world around us so that our students thrive.
OCE is most grateful for the sacrifices school families make for their children and takes its responsibility seriously to create classroom environments where excellence in faith formation, teaching and learning is paramount. OCE is delighted to have its students and teachers in the classroom for the start of the 2017-2018 school year.
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Editor’s Note: The contract negotiations pertain only to the 17 Archdiocesan high schools. There are approximately 13,000 students enrolled in these schools and approximately 600 full-time lay teachers who are members of ACT 1776.
Parish and regional Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia are not affected by this process.
For more information on Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia please visit www.aopcatholicschools.org/.
Contact: Kenneth A. Gavin
Chief Communications Officer