Archdiocese to Cancel Classes Due to Strike

Classes for more than 16,000 high school students in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will be canceled starting tomorrow as the teacher strike continues, officials said today.

Classes will not resume until a deal is reached between the Archdiocese and the Association of Catholic Teachers, which represents approximately 730 lay high school teachers. Teachers went on strike on Sept. 6, marking the first work stoppage since a 9-day strike in 2003.

Despite negotiating over the weekend and Monday, the two sides remain far apart on several issues, including wages, hiring of part-time teachers, extension of the work day and use of technology in the classroom.

Officials for the Archdiocese made the decision to cancel classes five days into the school year with individual classes to begin in earnest this week. Notices will be sent home to parents today.

Any missed days will have to be made up either by canceling in-service or half-days or extending the calendar, officials said.

“We’re hoping that in the next day or two we’ll finish. We don’t even want to [thinking about it dragging on and on,” Secretary for Catholic Education Richard McCarron told reporters on a conference call.

Negotiations will continue today at 1 p.m.

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