Brothers commit to Catholic Principles in IR negotiations

The Christian Brothers in Queensland have stressed their commitment to observing the principles of Catholic social teaching when negotiations are conducted with employees in its schools.

The stand was taken in a letter sent last week by Br Paul Conn on behalf of the Holy Spirit Province Leadership Team, to all School Principals for inclusion in newsletters, and to all union representatives. The Holy Spirit Province also includes the Northern Territory.

Br Conn did not comment on the Federal Government's proposed industrial relations reforms, but instead emphasised the Province's commitment - in line with Catholic Social Teaching - to working conditions that promote "the dignity of the individual, the right to just compensation for work and the ability to organise associations (Unions) to negotiate with employers".

"In terms of the new federal industrial legislation, we are committed to put the above mentioned principles into practice when people representing the employers of Catholic Schools in the Edmund Rice Tradition meet with duly elected representatives of the employees."

Br Paul said that the Church has maintained for a long time that the conditions of working people should be reflected in its social teachings, specifically in the papal encyclical Rerum Novarum.

"We are also committed to the principles of social justice that empowers all members of the community to share in the just and equitable distribution of our country's resources. It is our hope that this will lead to the gap between rich and poor decreasing, not widening. We also support the rights of all individuals to be a part of negotiation processes that give a voice to everyone, especially the poor, oppressed, marginalised and those who are least capable of representing themselves."

Province commits to Catholic Principles in IR negotiations (Edmund Rice Online 19/7/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
"The Industrial Agenda": A Statement from the Province Leadership Team
Congregation of Christian Brothers, St Francis Xavier Province, Queensland & Northern Territory, Australia | Schools
Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations
Leo XIII: Rerum Novarum

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20 Jul 2005