Catholic high school teachers vote to authorize strike

Catholic high school teachers voted Tuesday to authorize a strike within 10 days if the New York Archdiocese doesn?t offer what they feel is a fair contract.

The teachers in the archdiocese have been working without a contract since August. The Lay Faculty Association, which represents approximately 400 teachers from 10 schools in the area, and the archdiocese have been in contract talks for that time. The union is calling for salary increases and better health care costs and pension contributions for the teachers.

In response to the strike authorization, archdiocese spokesman Joe Zwiling said, ?I am very disappointed? the offer we presented was fair and generous. All a strike will do is disrupt education for students and disrupt the lives of their parents.?

The teachers have manned the picket lines before, most recently in 2001. They say they are prepared to do it again to ensure they are fairly compensated for their work.

The strike authorization has to be reviewed by the executive council of the union.

The schools that would be affected by a strike are John S. Burke Catholic High School in Goshen, Maria Regina High School in Hartsdale, Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains and John F. Kennedy Catholic High School in Somers.

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