In their 1986 pastoral letter Economic Justice for All, America’s Catholic Bishops reaffirmed the right of workers to organize – and noted that employees of Catholic institutions, like any other, enjoy this right. In recent reports, workers at two Catholic institutions are doing just that. Nurses at Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph Hospital in Kansas have filed with the National Labor Relations Board for a union election. If successful they would join their brothers and sisters at Ascension Via St. Francis who recently voted for representation by National Nurses United (NNU). Meanwhile, a majority of the Resident Assistants at Fordham University have signed cards seeking representation by the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 153, which already represents Fordham office employees.
Workers at more than 600 Catholic hospitals, colleges, schools and other institutions already enjoy union representation. Are any in your Diocese? Check out the Catholic Labor Network’s annual Gaudium et Spes Labor Report to find out!