Open Letter Supporting a Just Employment Policy for Jesuit Institutions

Open Letter Supporting a Just Employment Policy for Jesuit Institutions

“Please, let us fight for this: the justice of work.” Pope Francis, March 23, 2015 Institutions of Jesuit higher education today are beginning to grapple with many of the same forces that are contributing to growing inequality in the United States and around much of the world. The contracting out of employment to private concerns that do not pay living wages and oppose workers’ basic right to organize, the increasing reliance on poorly compensated part-time or contingent employees who lack benefits, and the introduction of new technologies in ways that undermine the human dimension of work threaten the Jesuit character of our institutions and contradict their mission to “educate the whole person.” Our institutions must embrace their responsibilities as both sites of education and as anchor institutions in their communities. We must not operate institutions that provide opportunities for those whom they educate while overlooking the exploitation of those upon whose labor those very institutions depend. We must not operate institutions that set a poor example as employers in our communities. To ensure that our institutions remain faithful to their vision as they navigate the difficult economic terrain of they face, it is vitally important that our institutions commit themselves to a Just Employment Policy that recognizes and affirms these basic principles: The right of all workers to a living wage The right of all workers to a harassment-free and dignified workplace The right to organize and bargain collectively as outlined in the National Labor Relations Act and its jurisprudence The preference for full-time over part-time work Encouraged by the witness that Pope Francis has given against an economy in...
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...