Tuesday, May 24, 2016

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NRLB Rulings Highlight Catholic Identity Concerns at Two More Colleges
NRLB Rulings Highlight Catholic Identity Concerns at Two More Colleges
5/24/2016 || Earlier this month, Marywood University in Scranton, Pa., became the second Catholic college to win a favorable ruling against the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) since its new standard of evaluating the religious function of faculty was implemented. But both Marywood and Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, Wash., in a separate NLRB decision, ultimately saw their religious freedom arguments rejected due to the colleges’ own lack of emphasis on the role of faculty in their religious missions.

While the Catholic Church supports the concept of unions, The Cardinal Newman Society has consistently argued that the greater issue at stake in the ongoing labor disputes is the NLRB’s unconstitutional oversight in deciding the Catholicity of colleges. In December 2014, religious colleges won a significant concession from the NLRB when it abandoned its previous assessment test, evaluating whether a college has a “substantial religious character” by prying into matters of worship, curriculum, teaching, hiring policies and student recruitment.

The NLRB’s new approach seeks to determine whether specific faculty members serve a religious function. In many of these cases, the NLRB has actually exposed Catholic identity concerns at colleges in attempts to justify its jurisdiction. The cases highlight the need for Catholic colleges to strengthen their policies, handbooks and hiring documents by clearly defining the specific role of faculty in furthering their religious mission.

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Catholic Education Daily is an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society to inform Catholics about the latest developments from the world of Catholic education. Catholic Education Daily contributes to the Society's mission to promote and defend faithful Catholic education. Please direct your questions and comments about our news to Editor [at] CardinalNewmanSociety [dot] org.

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