Report: More than 600 Catholic Institutions with Labor Unions

New this year: Non-Tenure Track Faculty at Santa Clara University

Happy Labor Day! Readers of this newsletter know well that for more than 130 years the Catholic Church has taught that workers have the right to organize in unions. This is no less true of workers at Catholic institutions than those at secular and for-profit corporations. Indeed it is MORE true, as the US Bishops reminded us in their 1986 pastoral letter on the economy, Economic Justice for All. There the bishops affirmed that workers at Catholic institutions have the right to organize in unions and that “All the moral principles that govern the just operation of any economic endeavor apply to the Church and its agencies and institutions; indeed the Church should be exemplary.” [347]

While not every Catholic institution practices “exemplary” labor relations, workers at more than 600 Catholic schools, colleges, hospitals, nursing homes and other venues are currently represented by labor unions. We at the Catholic Labor Network look at these examples as signs of Joy and Hope in this world. Consequently, every Labor Day we release our Gaudium et Spes Labor Report listing these institutions by state and Diocese.

This year we are pleased to welcome a new institution to the GES list: Santa Clara University. In June 2022 adjunct and other non-tenure track faculty at this Jesuit university in California voted by more than 2-1 for union representation by the SEIU.

There is also some sad news to report, as one Catholic institution with union representation is closing. This year the USCCB announced that Catholic News Service, the wire service of the Church in America, was to be closed. The journalists employed at CNS are represented by The Newspaper Guild, CWA.

We invite you to review the report and see which Catholic institutions in your Diocese bargain with unions representing some or all of their employees. And if there’s an institution missing, let us know!

CLICK HERE to read the Gaudium et Spes Labor Report, 2022.