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Catholic School Teachers Appeal To Burke for Union

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – On Friday, the Association of Catholic Elementary Educators delivered copies of more than 2,000 signed letters of support to Burke's office.

The original letters were sent to the Vatican on Monday.

The association says the church gives its employees the right to unionize...but says Burke is ignoring their complaints.

Organizer Stephanie Funaiole says for one thing, unionizing would give elementary teachers an avenue to file grievances:

There are only guidelines that the archdiocese has, but they're not followed through," Funaiole said. "You may have a great pastor and principal one year, and then someone else comes in and it's totally different you have no recourse to go with these. You can be fired at will...gone."

Funaiole says the archdiocese is using a double standard because it allowed high school teachers to unionize 30 years ago.

However, an archdiocesan spokeswoman says a church committee that oversees teacher issues is acting justly.

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