Catholic Groups file Amicus Brief to Prevent Adjunct Organising at St Xavier University

Various Catholic organisations, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, The Conference for Mercy Higher Education, and The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities have filed briefs in support of St Xavier’s repeated efforts to stymie the National Labor Relations Board certification of the adjuncts’ right to organise under the Illinois Education Association banner. One of these, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities’ recent past president, Richard Yanikoski, served for nearly a decade as president of St Xavier. During his tenure there were negotiated several collective bargaining agreements with the full-time and portion-of-full-time union. It is independent and called the Faculty Affairs Committee. I emphasise he is past president of the ACCU and not the current president but there is a certain irony to the ACCU opposition to adjunct-union activities. The faculty union at St Xavier is thirty-two years old but does not include the majority of faculty members who are adjuncts.

If you wish to read their brief go to http://www.nlrb.gov/case/13-RC-022025#documents and scroll up to August 29, 2011 amicus brief and click on View.

There is a more recent amicus brief filed by the IEA attorney but that can await another blog post. This post is supposed to demonstrate what has been my policy since this blog was established some six years ago that while I disagree strongly in this instance with the administration’s approach to this issue, I am not averse to providing information on positions and policies that I do not endorse. I do not claim ideological objectivity. I do claim fairness of presentation of disparate views. Were I to receive a statement from any legitimate party concerning this matter, it would go on my blog in short order. If I were to receive a comment from the Cardinal Newman Society, with its white-only images, I would not publish any statement that was discriminatory in nature. This blog will not serve as a platform for hate.

The IHS letters are from the Greek as I recall. The cross is above the H and three nails at the bottom are surrounded by the sun. (Jesuit logo)

I reproduce below an excerpt from the AJCU {Jesuit education} mission statement. It begs the question whether their amicus brief, that opposes the right of the most impoverished and vulnerable faculty to organise a union, is consistent with their advocacy of ethics and social justice. I aver it is not and should be reexamined in that light. I was educated by the Jesuits for six years, earned two advanced degrees and taught at a Jesuit university in an Honours Programme, liberal arts and adult college. It was my most pleasurable academic experience from primary school on. I know something about Jesuit higher-ed and would urge them to reexamine their actions in light of this statement:

Ethical Concern and Commitment to Justice

Jesuit education seeks to integrate academic excellence with social responsibility.  Fundamental to that responsibility is a consistent  concern for the ethical implications of every field of endeavor, so that contemporary issues of social ethics, business ethics, and bioethics  become increasingly important in the curriculum. Graduates of Jesuit
schools are expected to integrate critical intelligence with an ethical  perspective that today leads to generous service of others and a commitment to help build a more just and humane world.

Jesuit education has consistently sought to educate “the whole  person” intellectually and professionally, psychologically, morally and spiritually. Living in a “global village” of great possibilities and  deep contradictions, today’s whole person must be in solidarity with  women and men around the world, with their needs, concerns and  potential.

The idea of “helping others” was the original goal of Ignatius and  the early Jesuits and was soon built into the Jesuit philosophy of  education.  The early Jesuits experienced how profound a conversion occurred when one personally encounters pain and suffering, and economic and social marginalization. Serving those on the edges of society was an early Jesuit priority, and today it takes the form of a commitment to educate for justice.

A commitment to justice moves beyond service based on charity to a concern for changing the structures that lead to injustice. In addition  to offering courses in various disciplines that explore the causes of  injustice and possible strategies for restoring justice, Jesuit colleges and universities provide opportunities for students and faculty to spend time with and learn from individuals from different cultures and economic and social strata.  By addressing the issue of poverty both in themselves and in others, students and faculty better understand and work for genuine human dignity.

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