Health, Labor Leaders Address Unions

After more than two years of consultations, leaders from Catholic health care, the labor movement and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have agreed on a set of principles designed to ensure a fair process when health care workers decide whether to join a union. A 12-page document laying out the principles, titled Respecting the Just Rights of Workers: Guidance and Options for Catholic Health Care and Unions, was released on June 22. “The heart of this unusual consensus is that it’s up to workers—not bishops, hospital managers or union leaders—to decide...whether or not to be represented by a union and if so, which union, in the workplace,” said Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington and a participant in the consultations. “Because Catholic health care is a ministry, not an industry, how it treats its workers and how organized labor treats Catholic health care are not simply internal matters,” the cardinal added. The document calls on unions and employers to respect “each other’s mission and legitimacy” and to pledge not to “demean or undermine each other’s institutions, leaders, representatives, effectiveness or motives.”

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Death-row inmate Ledell Lee. A ruling from the state Supreme Court allowing officials to use a lethal injection drug that a supplier says was misleadingly obtained cleared the way for Arkansas to execute Ledell Lee on Thursday, April 20, 2017, although he still had pending requests for reprieve. (Arkansas Department of Correction via AP)
To take Holy Communion in the face of death is to say that it is fellowship, and not food, that matters most.
Terrance KleinApril 26, 2017
A man rides a bicycle past a billboard with an image of Pope Francis April 26 ahead of the pontiff's April 28-29 visit to Cairo. (CNS photo/Amr Abdallah Dalsh, Reuters)
“Peace be with you” was the message of the Risen Jesus to his disciples on the first Easter, and it is the message Francis will bring to the Muslim and Christian communities in this land.
Gerard O'ConnellApril 26, 2017
Pope Francis is presented with a football helmet by Michigan football team coach Jim Harbaugh during the weekly general audience at the Vatican, Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)
Coach Jim Harbaugh presented a custom Wolverines helmet and a pair of Nike Air Jordan sneakers to Pope Francis.
Michael J. O'LoughlinApril 26, 2017
The 'Hamlet'-inspired play made the playwright Tom Stoppard an overnight sensation.
David StewartApril 26, 2017