Friday, April 11, 2008

NY Catholic Teachers Union: Strike may happen during Papal Visit

Associated Press reports on the possibility of a strike by the New York Catholic Teachers Union during the papal visit:

NEW YORK (AP) — Lay teachers at 10 Roman Catholic high schools are poised to strike during Pope Benedict XVI's upcoming visit to the city after their latest round of contract negotiations stalled, a union official said.

"We didn't want this to happen, but it looks like this is going to happen," Lay Faculty Association spokesman Henry Kielkucki said after union and Archdiocese of New York representatives met Thursday. Kielkucki said the two sides remained at odds over health care and other issues, and no further meetings were scheduled.

A spokesman for the archdiocese did not immediately return telephone calls to his office and home Thursday night.

I'm not denying that they have legitimate grievances (according to the article, "Catholic school teachers earn an average of $45,000 a year, about 30 percent less than their public-school colleagues") or that the New York Archdiocese is facing something of an educational crisis ("Facing budget constraints, the archdiocese has shuttered more than a dozen schools over the last four years. It plans to close six more this year") -- but if the specific intent is to draw public attention to yourself, you might do better than striking during a time when the eyes of the nation and the world will be on the Pope.