The union representing most Catholic schools in New York reached a settlement with the diocese yesterday. The Federation of Catholic Teachers, who represent 3,200 teachers at 235 schools accepted a three year contract with an 11% raise. The Lay Faculty Association, which has 377 members in nine schools is still negotiating. The strike began on 29 November. The Federation was initially offered a six per cent rise and is said to be happy with the new deal although a spokesman said it compromised over demands for improved healthcare and pension plans. Cardinal Edward M. Egan is currently trying to close a $20 million budget gap in the schools system. Economy measures have included the closure of three schools and morale within the Catholic education system has been flagging. Catholic high school teachers in New York earn $29,893 to $41,745 per year By comparison, New York City public school teachers make $31,910 to $70,000. Elementary school teachers working for the archdiocese earn $26,712 to $37,010 a year. Catholic school pensions can be as little as $12,000 after 25 years of service.
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