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....
Just Employment at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice

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...