Entries by Clayton Sinyai

500 Catholic Institutions That Live Catholic Social Teaching on Labor and Work

Catholic institutions, ranging from vast hospital chains to small parochial schools, employ approximately one million workers in the United States. When such institutions recognize and bargain with unions representing their employees, they model the principles of Catholic Social Teaching for lay business leaders and workers and  alike. These institutions are a true source of Joy […]

“A solemn prayer for safety in construction”

Construction is a dangerous industry. Nearly one thousand construction workers lose their lives each year in workplace injuries. That’s why for ten years Father Patrick Jordan (chaplain to the New York building trades, and a Catholic Labor Network member) has celebrated an annual Memorial Mass for a congregation of construction workers in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. […]

Georgetown, Grad Student Union Set Aside Legal Fight, Opt for New Labor Relations Model

Also: Loyola University Chicago, Adjuncts Settle First Contract For some time, it has looked like the Georgetown University administration and its graduate student teaching and research assistants were headed for a legal showdown at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The students said they were university employees and wanted to vote on union representation in […]

Dignity, SEIU Settle Contract for 15,000 Catholic Healthcare Workers

Dignity Health – the hospital group formerly known as Catholic Healthcare West – has been preparing for a merger with another major Catholic healthcare system, Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI). Dignity is largely union; CHI isn’t. SEIU-UHW, representing about 15,000 health techs and support personnel at Dignity, has been pressing Dignity for a contract in order […]

Spring 1968: Cesar Chavez and the United Farmworkers

If there is a signal collaboration between Church and labor in the past half-century it is their shared advocacy for America’s migrant farmworkers. And if there is a single figure who symbolized the collaboration between Church and labor, it is Cesar Chavez, leader of the United Farmworkers. Chavez combined his Catholic faith with his union […]

Is Sisterhood Powerful? Vatican newspaper questions church treatment of women religious

In an interesting March story, the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano published a thoughtful article on the work of women religious in the church. “The (almost) free work of sisters” posed difficult questions about the wages, working conditions and respect given those who perform so much of the church’s labor. Reporter Marie-Lucile Kubacki interviewed some of […]

Catholic leaders call on Supreme Court to preserve union rights for public employees

On February 26 oral arguments began in Janus v AFSCME, the most important Supreme Court case in decades for American labor unions. A majority of employees in the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services have voted for union representation by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), and the AFSCME contract […]

Georgetown, Grad Student Employees Take Step Toward Compromise

Last month we reported in this space how Georgetown’s response to research and teaching assistants seeking union representative had generated a crisis in campus labor relations. Georgetown’s much-admired Just Employment Policy provides for living wages for campus employees and defends all workers’ right to organize, as established in Catholic Social Teaching. But when the graduate […]

Catholic Labor Network: No to Janus, No to Right-to-Work

OK, so the bishops stole our thunder a bit. But the Catholic Labor Network joined with other faith leaders and faith groups to submit an amicus brief to the Court opposing Janus and defending the right to organize. Other Catholic organizations signing the brief included Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice, the Conference of Major Superiors […]