Just Employment Policy Showcased at the White House

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...
Brandeis Labor Coalition Proposes Just Employment Policy

Brandeis Labor Coalition Proposes Just Employment Policy

Students from the Brandeis Labor Coalition are leading the way to implement the Just Employment Policy at their university. Brandeis students and BLC members Julia Dougherty, Tamar Lyssy, and Andrew Nguyen wrote in the Brandeis Justice: Brandeis University is not immune to labor concerns. During the past few years, unjust labor conditions and practices have led us astray from our roots in cultivating social justice in our own community. … Workers employed directly by Brandeis receive a living wage, calculated as being $15.05 for a single adult in Waltham by the Crittenton Women’s Union. This does not extend, however, to workers employed by outside contractors. They continued: Brandeis Labor Coalition therefore is pushing for the implementation of a Brandeis Just Employment Policy for all workers, including those employed by outside contractors. This Just Employment Policy will provide an indexed living wage standard, ensure all workers have harassment-free work environments and ensure there exists effective, safe grievance procedures. The University will respect the right of workers to vote in union elections and uphold union agreements. Secure, full-time employment will be prioritized over temporary jobs. Lastly, oversight infrastructure will be created to enforce the Just Employment Policy and publish an annual report on labor conditions at Brandeis. Georgetown University’s Just Employment Policy, which has served as a model for our policy, guarantees a living wage, annually indexed to keep up with the costs of good and services in the area, to both University employees and full-time contract workers on-campus. Implemented in 2005, the policy also includes measures that ensure all workers have secure and just employment. Administration at Georgetown, at first hostile to the policy, now frequently...