Saint Louis University, adjuncts reach first contract; St. Martin’s refuses to bargain

Congratulations to Saint Louis University and its adjuncts! A little more than a year after adjunct instructors voted for union representation by SEIU Local 1, the two sides negotiated a tentative contract in late April. Saint Louis University has joined Georgetown, Trinity Washington and other Catholic colleges and universities that demonstrate their commitment to Catholic Social Teaching by bargaining with unions their employees have chosen. Some other schools, however, seem to look for ways to avoid compliance with Catholic teaching on the rights of workers.

SLU, Georgetown and Trinity have found no contradiction between exercising their faith and bargaining with unions under the National Labor Relations Act, but St. Martin’s has expressed concerns that doing so would endanger their religious liberty. The adjuncts, so as not to place a stumbling block in the administrators’ path (1 Cor 8:9), offered to bargain outside the framework of the Act as many Catholic K-12 schools do. The university has steadfastly refused.

The Catholic Labor Network recently addressed a letter to President of St. Martin’s, urging him to reconsider. You can find the letter posted HERE.