Six hours of talks Sunday failed to achieve a deal on a new contract between Philadelphia-area Catholic high school teachers and the archdiocese. Negotiations are expected to resume 10 a.m. Monday and continue, if necessary, to 8 p.m.
Needed is a pact to replace the one that expired at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.
"We are still very far apart with a number of crucial issues on the table. These include money, medical, and teacher working conditions," Rita Schwartz, president of the Association of Catholic Teachers, wrote in a text Sunday evening. "While I am trying to remain hopeful, there is a lot of ground to cover in a short space of time."
The 11,600 students at the 17 area high schools the union represents are scheduled to start classes on Wednesday.
Teachers are scheduled to meet 10 a.m. Tuesday at Penns Landing Caterers for a general membership meeting. Schwartz has hopes that members would have a new contract agreement to consider then.
Jason Budd, chief negotiator for the archdiocese, issued a statement of optimism Sunday night:
"Steady progress has been made by the teams today in reducing the number of proposals under discussion. There are still key issues to be resolved, such as salary, benefits, term of agreement, and professional responsibilities, but the archdiocesan team is committed to working toward a resolution that our teachers would accept, thus ensuring an on time start to the school year."