The Episcopal Church has clear principles supporting workers’ rights to organize and engage in collective bargaining. As custodians of the Church’s oldest institution of learning, the Board of Trustees of General Theological Seminary (GTS) is expected to honor and uphold those very principles. Instead, the Board recently fired eight faculty members (the GTS8) for exercising their basic—and legal— right to form a union, go on strike and demand a healthier work environment.
Following weeks of negotiations, and despite growing support from faith and labor communities, the Board of Trustees denied the GTS8 full reinstatement and refused to grant their request for a neutral and independent person to hear complaints of harassment, abuse, intimidation and retaliation. Instead, the faculty have been "provisionally reinstated" their tenure and status have been compromised.
The situation at GTS is a clear dismissal of the Church’s stand on worker justice and outright denial of workers’ rights to organize and engage in collective bargaining. Because the board refuses to address the hostile work environment, a growing number of worker rights advocates and people of faith both on and off campus are standing with the GTS8, calling for action.
“If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”
The courage and hope of the GTS8 throughout the ordeal, has inspired thousands to stand alongside them. Many in the Episcopal Church, including a number of Bishops, have called on the Board of Trustees to faithfully reinstate the faculty, and meet with them in good faith to address their concerns. You too can stand with the GTS8 and call for full, unconditional reinstatement and that their concerns about their hostile workplace be addressed fairly.
- Episcopalians: Take the #MyBishop Pledge -> Urge your local bishop to make a public statement
- Hold church leadership accountable -> Tell Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori: Push for full reinstatement of the GTS8!
- Pray for the GTS8 -> Download a bulletin insert to use in your congregation THIS WEEKEND
- Pass a Resolution against the oppression of workers’ rights at General Theological Seminary -> Bring forward this sample resolution
- Statement from Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania Bishop Clifton Daniel
- Statement from Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey Bishop William Stokes
- Statement from Episcopal Diocese of New York Bishop Andrew Dietsche
- Statement from Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio Bishop Tom Breidenthal
- The Diocese of California's 165th annual convention resolution