Burke teachers cross picket line in archdiocese fight

Posted: Updated:

Some Catholic high school teachers ignored a call to strike Tuesday, saying they just couldn't afford to take a stand against the New York Archdiocese.At times, less than a handful of educators walked with signs in hand outside John S. Burke Catholic High School in Goshen. Ten of the school's 33 unionized teachers chose to strike. One teacher with five children was among them, while others said they couldn't miss a paycheck.

Teachers at Maria Regina in Hartsdale, Archbishop Stepinac in White Plains, John F. Kennedy in Somers and six New York City schools also took to the picket lines Tuesday.

The Lay Faculty Association, which represents 450 educators, called the strike after failing to reach an agreement with the New York Archdiocese over salaries, pensions and health benefits.

"They want us to pay even more medical than before, so we're taking less money, but they want us to pay more medical," teacher Burt Rodriguez lamented about the archdiocese's refusal to budge Monday night on its final offer. Rodriguez said resolving the issue is vital to attracting and retaining younger teachers in the Catholic school system.

The union maintains that it will not picket Pope Benedict XVI's events during his New York visit this week. All Catholic school teachers were given Thursday and Friday off due to the visit.

Catholic teachers strike imminent as contract talks failTeachersstage sickout at 3 Catholic schoolsCatholicschool teachers threaten strike for pope's visit

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."