Catholic school teachers 'sick' of contracts

More than 100 Bronx Catholic school teachers called in sick Thursday morning to protest what they say is an unfair contract offer from the archdiocese.

The teachers have been working without a contract since September and are seeking a raise of at least 12 percent. They also don?t want to pay more for health care benefits.

The archdiocese?s most recent offer, made back in October, would raise salaries 11 percent, without retro-pay to September, and also increase health care costs.

The Lay Faculty Association, which represents about 375 teachers, hopes the sickout will bring the archdiocese back to the negotiating table. Calls from News 12 The Bronx to the archdiocese have not been returned, but according to published reports, the archdiocese said the sickout serves no purpose other than to disrupt students and cost teachers a day?s pay.

AP wire reports contributed to this story.

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