PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Negotiations between striking Catholic high school teachers and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia were set to resume this afternoon.

The issue for teachers is job security.   The archdiocese wants to hire part-time teachers to teach additional courses.

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But union president Rita Schwartz says her members are concerned that part-timers will be used to replace full-timers.

“Our teachers told us loud and clear with the size of that vote on Tuesday [see related story] that they will not have their jobs taken away from them,” she said.

Schwartz says the union will repeat its request for mediation, but Archdiocese schools superintendent Mary Rochford says no.

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“We have talked about it, but we were asked that before and we are not open to that.  Because there is not a mediator who really understands Catholic education,” Rochford tells KYW Newsradio.

Schools have been open for orientation this week.  Rochford says if the strike moves into next week, the Archdiocese may have to reconsider whether to keep the schools open.

Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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