Friday, April 11, 2008

"No" means "No".

The Diocese has said the decision concerning SDACT was final. They reiterated it in a statement issued yesterday. But the union officials, like impetuous children stomping their feet in the corner, continue to move their campaign forward to force their will on the Diocese .

Daily protests and a trip to New York City to demonstrate during the visit of Pope Benedict XVI are in the near future for Diocese of Scranton teachers.

After two weeks of planning and re-energizing, teachers are now pushing the campaign forward once again.

“This is not going away until there’s some kind of resolution,” union President Michael Milz said Thursday.

In January, the diocese announced it would not recognize the Scranton Diocese Association of Catholic Teachers as a collective bargaining unit, and instead it has implemented an employee relations program. Since then, teachers have campaigned against the decision.

On Monday, supporters will hold a picket outside the chancery on Wyoming Avenue, Scranton. The rally, which will be from 3 to 5 p.m., is expected to draw a couple hundred people, Milz said.

The rally will be the start of daily picketing in front of the chancery, in which groups of people will demonstrate outside the building every day for an hour or so, Milz said.

During the pope’s visit to New York City on April 19, the union will have an “informational demonstration” outside St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers where he is scheduled to speak.

“We hope to at least wave to the pope and have him read our banner,” Milz said, adding that he hopes to fill 50 seats in a bus that a parent has donated for use on the trip.

The union’s campaign has already gotten the attention of the Vatican, as the Congregation for Catholic Education will soon review the case and issue a decision that could uphold or overrule Bishop Joseph F. Martino’s decision. Milz said he expects a preliminary decision within a month.

In addition, several labor unions are planning a “sizeable labor rally,” which may be held at a local stadium or arena, Milz said.

“We’re looking at this to be thousands of people coming to the area to march or campaign on our behalf,” Milz said, adding he would know more details later this month.

That rally could include the display of a giant inflatable rat, which labor unions have used in various demonstrations across the country.

Despite the demonstrations and events planned, the decision to not recognize the union will not change, the diocese said in a statement Thursday.

“The decision regarding recognition of SDACT is final and will not be revoked … SDACT’s continued opposition to the program is pointless and will not change the decision,” the statement read.

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