Skyline of Richmond, Virginia

Union sends letter to incoming Scranton Diocese Bishop

03.15.10

MARCH 2010 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

Union sends letter to incoming Scranton Diocese Bishop

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, March 5th- Mike Milz, the President of the Scranton Diocese Association of Catholic Teachers (SDACT) Union, which once represented teachers of the Scranton Diocese, is anxious to met and discuss labor matters with Scranton’s next Bishop Joseph Bambera. Monsignor Bambera will assume the leadership of the 11 county Diocese.

The SDACT represented the teachers until August 2007 when the previous contracts expired and then Scranton Diocese Bishop Joseph Martino refused to negotiate for a successor agreement.

The union represented the teachers of 17 of the 42 grade schools and 9 of 10 high schools of the Scranton Diocese.

Mr. Martino implemented a new system that eliminated the small school boards and created 4 regional boards. SDACT previously had contract with each Board of Pastors that represented each school. Bishop Martino implemented a “Employee Relations Program” after he told the union they no longer represented the teachers.

Mr. Milz told the newspaper he has sent a letter to Monsignor Bambera requesting the two sides sit down and discuss the returning of the union. The union president was a 33 year employee of the Scranton Diocese working as a science teacher and later a social studies teacher at Bishop Hoban in Wilkes-Barre. The school remained open after many were closed throughout the Diocese and is now called Holy Redemmer.

Mr. Milz was laid-off by the Diocese of Scranton in 2008 and is now employed by the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) Union in the Lehigh Valley.

He has critized the Employee Relations Program claiming it is nothing but a “company union” similar to what the coal barons did in the early 1900’s in a attempt to stop the United Mine Workers Union (UMWU) from organizing their miners.

Mr. Milz told the newspaper the union has authorization cards signed by the teachers indicating they would like to be represented by the SDACT.

“We stand willing and able to sit down and discuss the return of the union. The teachers want us back and the labor community throughout the region has shown they disapprove of the way we were treated,” said Mr. Milz.

The cards were signed after Bishop Martino agreed to allow the union to represent the workers providing SDACT got a clear majority of the teachers to sign authorization cards. “Martino went back on his word and even later refused to discuss the union issue with us,” added Mr. Milz.

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