Beginning last year, Students for Social Justice created the Workers’ Rights Committee at John Carroll University. The original purpose of the committee was to educate others about the issue of a living wage, and to ensure a living wage for all University employees. Last spring, students presented the committee’s goals about implementing the “Jesuit Just Employment Policy.” Since then, the proposed policy has been discussed, but no further action has been taken.
Even though the Workers’ Right Committee brought the living wage proposal to the University Budget Committee last spring, progress has yet to be made. The University cannot afford to be indecisive regarding an issue impacting a large number of University workers. It’s commendable that students have taken the initiative to act, especially since this issue does not directly impact them in any way. Therefore, the Budget Committee needs to quickly follow suit and address the issue.
This shouldn’t be such a difficult issue for a Jesuit University because it ties directly to Jesuit values. The Jesuit mission stresses ‘cura personalis,’ or care for the whole person. Providing a living wage for University employees shouldn’t be an afterthought, but rather a priority.