Burke teachers cross picket line in archdiocese fightPosted: 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.
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