Campuses

Find out what’s happening with the Just Employment Policy on campuses across the country. Visit your region to learn more about progress at your university or in your community.

East Coast

The Future of the Just Employment Policy

Last November, the Georgetown University community celebrated ten years of just employment on its campus. Since 2005, Georgetown has guaranteed all of its employees and subcontracted workers a living wage, the right to freely associate and organize, freedom from harassment or retaliation, and access to community resources such as bus shuttles and ESL courses as part of the university’s own version of the Just Employment Policy. Time after time, Georgetown has proven that just employment policies can provide a valuable framework to address circumstances that threaten the basic rights and inherent dignity of workers. While the celebration allowed attendees to reflect on the creation of the policy and its impact on the Georgetown community, a third panel pondered the future of the Just Employment Policy model and its applicability to other colleges and universities, particularly those that uphold Jesuit and Catholic values in their mission. Dr. Robert Stumberg is the director of Harrison Institute for Public Law, which played a vital role in drafting the policy model and helped address the legal questions that arise from it. Chris Kerr is the executive director of the Ignatian Solidarity Network, a national social justice education and advocacy network inspired by St. Ignatius of Loyola. He discussed how the principles of just employment are rooted in Catholic social teaching and the Ignatian tradition, emphasizing that the JEP is “grounded in the idea of relationship.” Hannah Cook is a first-year student at Loyola University of Chicago and a member of Students for Worker Justice, which seeks to build solidarity with campus workers and achieve just employment at Loyola. Recently, SWJ supported adjunct faculty in their successful bid to unionize and helped dining staff win a contract with fair wages and affordable health care....

Just Employment at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice

This past weekend, a record crowd of over 1,700 attended the Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice (IFTJ) in Washington, DC. The Teach-in is an annual gathering for the Ignatian family to come together in the context of social justice and solidarity. Although members from many Catholic institutions attend IFTJ, it is students from Jesuit high schools and universities who comprise the heart of the gathering. This year, the Just Employment team was proud to be part of the Teach-in and meet lots of the students whose commitment to justice breathes hope into the Church and our communities. As part of our contribution to the Teach-in, we made a short presentation on the Just Employment Policy that you can watch below. We also held a more in-depth breakout session where students from Jesuit colleges and universities learned more about the JJEP model, discussed labor practices on their own campuses, and strategized about how to best support the workers who keep our universities running smoothly. Thank you to all of the students, staff, and faculty who came out to the training. Stay in touch with us at justemploymentpolicy@gmail.com or by following us on Facebook and Twitter. “In the same way that our Jesuit high schools, colleges, and universities teach us to think critically about the world and dare us to be men and women for others, it is our duty to reflect on the structure of our own institutions and challenge them to fulfill their commitment to justice and the common good.   The Church has spoken with great clarity about the importance of a living wage, worker rights, and dignity in the workplace. Yet our Catholic universities...

Just Employment Policy Showcased at the White House

The Just Employment Policy was highlighted in the East Wing of the White House during the Summit on Worker Voice. The Summit brought together workers, labor leaders, advocates, forward-leaning employers, and the President to address the most important issues facing working-class people. One of its panel discussions focused on the way worker voices are amplified when labor and community come together. US Deputy Secretary of Labor Chris Lu moderated the panel, which featured the Director of Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor, Joseph McCartin. Prof. McCartin was invited in part due to his work promoting Just Employment practices in higher education. Alongside passionate labor and community organizers, Prof. McCartin explained how Georgetown’s Just Employment Policy ensures that all campus workers receive a living wage and are treated with dignity in accordance with Catholic Social Teaching. The Policy empowered campus dining service workers and adjunct faculty to improve their working conditions by organizing in a manner that served the University’s overall mission. “Georgetown’s Just Employment Policy upholds values of solidarity, community, and worker voice.” The discussion also touched on efforts to export the Just Employment model, which was developed based on Georgetown’s policy, to other colleges and universities. Over the past two years, students at John Carroll, Brandeis, and Loyola Chicago have led inspiring efforts to bring Just Employment principles to their own campuses. The broader theme of ‘good employers’ with high labor standards came up several times throughout the Summit. President Obama specifically emphasized the need for consumers to pressure businesses to pay fair wages and respect the rights of their workers. “Part of our goal has...

 

Midwest

 

Loyola Chicago President Announces Task Force on Just Employment

Loyola University Chicago has taken a major step towards implementing just employment on its campus. After years of tireless advocacy from many members of the campus community, Loyola’s President announced the formation of a Just Employment Task Force “to help identify opportunities for Loyola to demonstrate and deepen its commitment to a more fair, competitive, and socially just workplace.” The task force, which held its first meeting on February 7, will deliberate and produce a report with a set of recommendations by semester’s end. The launch of the Just Employment Task Force occurs under the leadership of President Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD, who assumed the role of president at the start of this academic year. President Rooney linked the work of the task force to the university’s mission and strategic plan, which compel it “to seek actionable ways to live out the call to build a more just, humane, and sustainable world.” The calls for Loyola to adopt a just employment model have been echoing on campus for years. Students for Worker Justice (SWJ) have been the most vocal advocates, dedicating countless hours to forming relationships with campus workers and holding rallies to advance their struggle for a living wage and union rights. The Student Government of Loyola Chicago has also backed these efforts, with the two groups cohosting a stirring panel discussion on just employment last November. Staff and faculty members at Loyola played an incredibly valuable role by emphasizing the need to align labor practices with Catholic social teaching and Jesuit values. Most importantly, campus workers courageously shared their stories and organized alongside each other....

Wooster College Students Turn Out for a Living Wage

Last Friday, a hundred and fifty students from the College of Wooster braved the early morning and silently gathered outside of a Board of Trustees meeting at 7:30am to demonstrate to the Board that the campus community overwhelmingly supports the adoption of a living wage. Students greeted the members of the Board of Trustees with signs arguing that providing a living wage to its staff is a moral imperative for the college. The Trustees were so impressed by the gathering that they invited all of the students into the meeting and gave the opportunity to the two co-Presidents of the Living Wage Campaign to speak about their cause. To their credit, the Trustees even read the packet of materials that students provided ahead of the meeting. Although their involvement was well-received, it’s clear that there is still work to be done before a living wage becomes a reality at Wooster. The students are determined to continue organizing and advocating until all campus workers at the College of Wooster earn enough to support themselves and their...

Protect the Student Witness to the Plight of Campus Workers at Loyola

It is important to start at the heart of the matter. Campus dining hall employees at Loyola University Chicago, who are employed by Aramark, are paid low wages and lack decent health care benefits. Although workers serve the student body with care and devotion, management forbids them from talking to students to prevent them from getting too close. Workers are also barred from speaking amongst themselves in their native languages, even if that means having to rely on others to communicate on their behalf. The lack of basic dignity and respect from Aramark is epitomized by the fact that pay raises for workers are capped at 25 cents per year. Despite Aramark’s best efforts, students and workers have succeeded in building relationships and sharing their respective concerns about the treatment of workers on Loyola’s campus. So when workers were due for a new contract, students were there to support them. They organized a peaceful demonstration where members of the student body, faculty, and other community allies gathered in solidarity with Aramark staff who work hard to take care of them every day. During the protest, a peaceful delegation entered the student union and presented a petition to Bill Langlois, the campus representative for Aramark. For all of five minutes students expressed their support for a fair contract in a clear yet respectful manner and then left to continue their protest outdoors. By addressing Aramark supervisors, the students were pursuing the sort of “encounter” and dialogue that Pope Francis has called for in addressing the problems of those who feel oppression. This innocuous delegation led Loyola administrators to target four...

Loyola Chicago President Announces Task Force on Just Employment

Loyola University Chicago has taken a major step towards implementing just employment on its campus. After years of tireless advocacy from many members of the campus community, Loyola’s President announced the formation of a Just Employment Task Force “to help identify opportunities for Loyola to demonstrate and deepen its commitment to a more fair, competitive, and socially just workplace.” The task force, which held its first meeting on February 7, will deliberate and produce a report with a set of recommendations by semester’s end. The launch of the Just Employment Task Force occurs under the leadership of President Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD, who assumed the role of president at the start of this academic year. President Rooney linked the work of the task force to the university’s mission and strategic plan, which compel it “to seek actionable ways to live out the call to build a more just, humane, and sustainable world.” The calls for Loyola to adopt a just employment model have been echoing on campus for years. Students for Worker Justice (SWJ) have been the most vocal advocates, dedicating countless hours to forming relationships with campus workers and holding rallies to advance their struggle for a living wage and union rights. The Student Government of Loyola Chicago has also backed these efforts, with the two groups cohosting a stirring panel discussion on just employment last November. Staff and faculty members at Loyola played an incredibly valuable role by emphasizing the need to align labor practices with Catholic social teaching and Jesuit values. Most importantly, campus workers courageously shared their stories and organized alongside each other....

The Future of the Just Employment Policy

Last November, the Georgetown University community celebrated ten years of just employment on its campus. Since 2005, Georgetown has guaranteed all of its employees and subcontracted workers a living wage, the right to freely associate and organize, freedom from harassment or retaliation, and access to community resources such as bus shuttles and ESL courses as part of the university’s own version of the Just Employment Policy. Time after time, Georgetown has proven that just employment policies can provide a valuable framework to address circumstances that threaten the basic rights and inherent dignity of workers. While the celebration allowed attendees to reflect on the creation of the policy and its impact on the Georgetown community, a third panel pondered the future of the Just Employment Policy model and its applicability to other colleges and universities, particularly those that uphold Jesuit and Catholic values in their mission. Dr. Robert Stumberg is the director of Harrison Institute for Public Law, which played a vital role in drafting the policy model and helped address the legal questions that arise from it. Chris Kerr is the executive director of the Ignatian Solidarity Network, a national social justice education and advocacy network inspired by St. Ignatius of Loyola. He discussed how the principles of just employment are rooted in Catholic social teaching and the Ignatian tradition, emphasizing that the JEP is “grounded in the idea of relationship.” Hannah Cook is a first-year student at Loyola University of Chicago and a member of Students for Worker Justice, which seeks to build solidarity with campus workers and achieve just employment at Loyola. Recently, SWJ supported adjunct faculty in their successful bid to unionize and helped dining staff win a contract with fair wages and affordable health care....

Just Employment at Loyola Marymount and Beyond

This past October at Loyola Marymount, the largest Jesuit and Catholic university on the West Coast, the Loyola community gathered for a profound dialogue on just employment practices in higher education. The event took place as part of the CSJ Center for Reconciliation and Justice and the Bellarmine Forum‘s “People, Planet, Profit – Business Today, Tomorrow – What Next?” conference and featured a panel of esteemed LMU faculty members and students, a Just Employment Project representative, and the anonymous testimony of two Loyola Marymount employees. You can view the event in its entirety here: Just Employment at LMU and Beyond from LMU CSJ Center on Vimeo. Dr. Matthew Petrusek, a professor in the LMU Department of Theological Studies, outlined the principles of Catholic social teaching that provide the universal ground for just compensation and the right to organize: association, participation, solidarity, subsidiarity, and the common good. He also spoke about the difficulty of applying these principles to concrete settings and encouraged everyone working to address the question of just employment to act in a “disposition of mutual charity, not mutual suspicion.” Dr. Cathleen McGrath, an associate professor of Management and chair of LMU’s faculty committee on mission and identity, challenged the misnomer that business orthodoxy prescribes the lowest wages possible. She highlighted companies that have succeeded by treating their employees justly, including a great example within Loyola Marymount: the Loyola Marymount University Children’s Center. Over the past decade, the Center has increased the lowest hourly wages paid to teachers from $12.95 to $17.50, well above a living wage in Los Angeles and the state average for child care teachers of $11.93 an hour. LMU’s children center has also invested in teacher training and development...

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