FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 5, 2011
Archdiocese Announces Transition Package For Teachers
March 30, 2011 – The Archdiocese of New York today announced it has offered to provide a transition package to those teachers at 28 schools scheduled to close at the conclusion of this academic year. The total cost of the transition package, which includes unemployment, supplemental payments, tuition assistance for the children of affected teachers, and career planning counseling is valued at up to $7.4 million.
Just as public and private school systems across the country have been working to address budget and enrollment difficulties, the Archdiocese of New York has been engaged in strategic planning designed to ensure the long term success of Catholic education. As the first phase of this strategic planning, the archdiocese announced in January that, after a 12 month process of study, consultation, and review, 26 parish-based elementary schools and two parish-based high schools would close in June, affecting more than 280 full-time lay teachers. The transition package offered is in addition to what the schools are obligated to do under the current collective bargaining agreement.
Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, expressing his thanks to those teachers who have worked at schools that are closing, said, “Part of the genius of Catholic schools is the shared commitment of the entire school community – the parish, the teachers, and the parents – to the intellectual, moral, and spiritual growth of the students. The teachers who work in our schools have my immense gratitude, particularly those teachers whose schools are closing this June. These have been difficult decisions to make, and I am painfully aware of the impact that these decisions will have on our teachers. I hope that this transition package will indicate our appreciation and respect for all that they have done for our schools and our children.”
“Our teachers are the hearts and souls of our Catholic schools,” said Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Timothy McNiff. “We want to demonstrate our appreciation for the teachers’ dedicated service to the children in our classrooms. This transition package is given to honor their commitment, and is in addition to the $219 million already invested in Catholic education by the archdiocese, parishes, and benefactors over the duration of the current contract, which began in 2007. As a result of these school closings, there will be a reduction in the total deficit spending that the archdiocese provides to the schools, but with closing and transition costs, the schools will continue to operate at a deficit. ”
The transition package provides full-time tenured teachers with the option of additional cash payments to supplement unemployment benefits, or an extension of health insurance coverage based on their current archdiocesan health plan, as well as continuation of tuition assistance for their children, and career planning sessions for teachers whose schools will close. Non-tenured teachers are being given additional cash payments to supplement their unemployment benefits, in addition to a continuation of tuition assistance and career planning sessions. It is estimated that tenured teachers electing to receive cash payments will replace 70\% of their regular salaries (assuming an average annual salary of $45,000); while non-tenured teachers receiving cash payments will replace nearly 60\% of their regular salaries (assuming an average annual salary of $45,000).
Click here to read the press release in Spanish.