Philadelphia-Area Catholic High Schools Close Due To Ongoing Teachers’ Strike

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Most Philadelphia-area Catholic high schools will be closed on Wednesday because of the ongoing teachers’ strike.

Talks aimed at ending the week-old strike by lay Catholic high school teachers are continuing.  The teachers union says there has been progress on seniority but the archdiocese hasn’t budged from its desire to hire part-time teachers (see previous story).

Archbishop Wood High School, in Warminster, Pa., will remain open on Wednesday because it had already lost one class day due to weather, but all 17 Catholic high schools will be closed beginning Thursday.

About 16,000 students in the five-county Philadelphia area are affected.  Letters notifying parents of the temporary schools shutdown were distributed today.

The Archdiocese, in an earlier statement, claims the union is still seeking a 14.5% raise over three years and the teachers haven’t addressed what the Archdiocese calls “educational reform issues.”

Seven hundred lay teachers at 17 area Catholic high schools have been on strike since last Tuesday.  Schools had been open during the walkout, with classes being conducted by religious staffers.

Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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  • Patricia Smith

    thats why i took my kids out of cathlic school and got them out of philly schools my husband went to cathlic school his whole life and is a smart guy . but when they where telling me how much i have to put in my envelopes and then i had to put money in two more envelopes for my kids i couldnt afford it they didnt want to hear it . all cathlic school do is warry about money money money they dont care about these kids. its a joke.

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  • Christine

    I am a single parent who will probably have to get a second job to pay for my son to go to school because of cuts at my own job. I used to think that the public school teachers didn’t care about the kids. At this point I feel like no one cares about these kids. While I realize that there have been some negotiations since March, the contract only expired on August 31st. Couldn’t the teachers agree to work for a 30 or 60 day period or something without a contract? They have made this all about what THEY WANT instead of what the KIDS NEED! Isn’t that suppose to be the reason why you get a teaching degree? If they only took the job because of the money or the summers off then shame on them! I am not exactly sure what the Archdiocese wants part time teachers for or why the union is so opposed to them. If the part timers are for teaching required subjects, then I agree that they shouldn’t be there. It would not be fair for the kids to not have consistency, but if they are for electives like music and art programs that are not already in place then I say go for it! Why not give kids something else to participate in and keep them out of trouble without having to bankrupt their parents with more and more tuition increases to cover full time teachers and their health benefits. The teachers going on strike is only teaching the kids that if they don’t like what they are getting, then don’t try and work it out while still doing the job you were hired to do, just forget all your responsibility and walk off the job!

    • Willow

      Call Mary Rochford and Richard McCarrion: Office of Catholic Education, 222 North 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, 215-587-3700
      or use the form on

      • Christine

        Thanks, will do!

    • Willow

      They tried OCE wouldn’t allow it. If they worked there was immediate approval of the new contract with the teachers being notified.
      ACT has been asking for mediation since early August so this wouldn’t happen. The teachers want to be in the class they just want to know what is truly required of them and the contract the OCE offered them has way to much vague language in it.

      • Christine

        It seems then that both parties need to compromise on their own. Each side want what they want and nothing less. Maybe one side gets what they want for one thing and the other side gets what they want on another thing as a compromise if they can’t meet in the middle on everything.
        Anyone have contact information for OCE? I looked on their site but there is no email contact or anything. I surely would like to give them a piece of my mind too!

  • dmac

    Then teach at public/Charter school. Times are tough, i have no problem with 14.5% over three years,but don’t give me you want better Health care,your Health care is better than most people have! Non-union teachers are part time and don’t effect the full tiime teachers. not taki ng away teachers jobs.

  • TT

    These teachers are making Half of what the public/charter school teachers make.

    • Diana

      they make anywhere between $40,000.00 & 80,000.00 that is a salary anyone not working would love to grap.IF YOU WANT MORE YOUR JUST A PIG AND COULD CARE LESS ABOUT THOSE CHILDREN YOUR TEACHING!!!!!

  • DMAC


  • Diana

    when they went on strike i stated it was all about money! i was told i didn’t know what i was talking about. I stood by my statement then and i stand by it now. it was mostly about the money. well you need to get back to work in this weak economy because it’s people like you that has caused the proplems of today. stop being so greedy and get back to class and teach these kids!!! remember that modern technology is taking over and one day those nice big computers are going to take your are going to think back and say i should have took what they offered.

  • Chesco

    Don’t you think if they were paid accordingly they wouldn’t be asking for raises? Anyway it’s not all about the money, they want better healthcare and job security. The cost of education and everything else is going up and the Diocese wants to replace them with part time teachers. I’m sorry you have not gotten a raise in three years but maybe its because you spend your work hours posting non sense comments online.

    • Tzedekh

      You are clearly ignorant of the issues. It’s not primarily about cost-of-living adjustments or even health care benefits. It’s not even about improved working conditions, but about not worsening them. The major issues are the archdiocese’s desire to effectively gut tenure and seniority, gain the power to unilaterally make changes to working conditions that are currently governed by the contract, and lengthen the teachers’ workday without a prorated increase in salary. The archdiocese says that the union must face the realities of the current economy, but that’s unmitigated baloney. For the last 15 years or so, it has tried to do similar things every time the union contract has come up for renewal. It just wants to bust the union and dictate work conditions. The union is trying to do what unions should do: preserve the principles of collective bargaining. They care about the kids, but they also care about their jobs and careers. The archdiocese likewise may care about the kids, but they care equally about the bottom line and exerting control.

      • Willow

        thank you. I feel like the only one looking at the whole picture.

      • dmac

        increase the work day by 30 min., are kidding me! 2:15 to 2:45 wow. it was always 2:45 not to long ago.
        Look i’m for the pay increase, but i want a lesson plan, i want the teachers to use grade connett. I think i’m entitled!

  • Philly

    I haven’t gotten a raise in 3 years ! too bad get you azz back to work or replace these teachers !

    • johan

      But the CEO who runs your company doubled his salary.

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