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SDACT Union waiting to hear from Bishop Bambera

05.21.10

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

SDACT Union waiting to hear from Bishop Bambera

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, April 29th- According to Mike Milz, the President of the Scranton Diocese Association of Catholic Teachers (SDACT) Union, no meetings or discussions have been held between any union official and Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera about returning the union as the bargaining representative of the Diocesan teachers.

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 contracts 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. Martino stated the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) had no jurisdition and therefore the Diocese of Scranton could simply ignore labor law and not bargain with SDACT, despite Bishop Martino’s stance clearly violated Pennsylvania labor law.

Mr. Milz was laid-off by the Diocese of Scranton in 2008 and he believes the termination was because of his union activity and his attempt to keep SDACT the bargaining representative of the Diocesan teachers.

Mr. Milz, who currently works as a field representative for the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) in the Lehigh Valley, told the newspaper his union is “willing and able” to sit down with Bishop Bambera at any time to discuss the labor issue with him.

“The one thing that is obvious, the teachers would like to be unionized.” Hopefully, sometime soon we could sit down and work this thing out,” said Mr. Milz.

Monsignor Bambera became the 10th Bishop of Scranton on April 26th. The Diocese covers eleven Counties of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

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