Statement from the San Francisco Archdiocesan Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 2240

For immediate release: March 6, 2015
Contact: Lisa Dole, 415-299-2084 (cell), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Archbishop Cordileone's recommendations for changes to the faculty handbook and collective bargaining agreement have been the subject of great controversy over the past few weeks among faculty, students, parents and the broader community. On Monday, March 2, the Union Executive Board met with the Archbishop.

During that meeting the Archbishop stated his intention to no longer use the word "minister" or “ministry” in the faculty contract to refer to teachers. We were pleased that the Archbishop's proposed language reflects this change. At the same time, we were concerned and advised him that the language presented still raised many of the same problems.

After extensive consultation with our legal team, we stand by our initial position that the current language in our handbook and contract has served our schools and our community well for generations, providing guidance in line with institutional beliefs, and there is no need for change. This past week, we made a formal request to keep the current language in the collective bargaining agreement. We are disappointed that this request was rejected this morning.

He also proposed to form a committee of high school theology teachers that would study and recommend changes to the faculty handbook. We respect that the committee is solely under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop. However, our concern regarding this committee is that recent statements from the Archdiocese indicate that nothing will be removed from the proposed language.

While the Union Executive Board recognizes the effort involved in both of these areas, we do continue to be concerned about unnecessary conflict and division that the proposed changes have created in the faculty and community. Our sincere hope is that any changes to current documents can be embraced with pride in our Catholic identity. We are hopeful we can soon make a more definitive statement as to a resolution regarding the collective bargaining agreement language.

We continue as a union to be committed to the protection of our teachers' rights and providing a safe and nurturing environment for our students, administration, staff, faculty and families.

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AFT Local 2240 represents faculty in four high schools under San Francisco Archdiocesan jurisdiction, including Archbishop Riordan, Sacred Heart Preparatory, both in San Francisco; Marin Catholic in Kentfield; and Junipero Serra in San Mateo. CFT represents 120,000 educational employees at every level of the education system. More info: www.cft.org

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