PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Contract talks continue between the Association of Catholic Teachers and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, as the two sides try to come together to avoid a strike at the city’s Catholic High Schools.

Classes begin Wednesday for 16,000 Catholic High School students.

“If there is a strike, our administrators and non union employees who are in each of the high schools will be able to maintain the opening day schedules.”

Mary Rochford is Superintendent of Schools. She says there are a number of unresolved key issues that revolve around education techniques.

“We’re hoping that the outcome is that we have a contract that is more flexible with the challenge of such an ever-changing world. That world causes education to change rapidly and we can not be locked into a contract that stymies that movement.”

But she’s hopeful they will reach an agreement in time for the first day for the 17 affected Catholic High Schools.

The Association for Catholic Teachers represents 700 teachers. President Rita Schwartz says she’s disappointed so far by the lack of effort by the Archdiocese and it’s negotiators to reach an agreement.

“We still have a large number of proposals that we have to deal with and either come to agreement or get off the table. We’re running out of time and I don’t if we’re going to be able to do it. I hope we are, but there’s still an awful lot to do.”

Reported by Suzanne Monaghan and Kim Glovas, KYW Newsradio 1060

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