Loyola Chicago President Announces Task Force on Just Employment

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

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....