No safety net for Catholic school teachers

From a paper I used to work at:

New London Day

Norwich – The 20 staff members at St. Joseph School will not receive unemployment compensation if they are laid off and not hired for other positions within the Diocese of Norwich, state and diocesan officials confirmed Thursday.

State statutes say any school or church “operated primarily for religious purposes” is exempt from paying unemployment insurance under the Unemployment Compensation Act. While the school or religious organization can voluntarily opt to pay the insurance and thus make its employees eligible for unemployment compensation, the Diocese of Norwich does not pay the insurance.

Maybe it’s me. As someone who was brought up in the Catholic Church, I would expect better. Sure, they don’t *have* to pay unemployment insurance, but why not do it? Anyone who has taught Catholic (or other private) school knows that many of the folks are getting paid a lot less than their public-school colleagues. People do it for love and for faith and because it’s the right thing to do. Then, they get let go with no unemployment.

This does not seem right to me.


One Response to No safety net for Catholic school teachers

  1. No, it isn’t right. The decision might have been framed in an earlier time when a greater proportion of the teachers were religious; under current conditions, the decision to opt out should be revisited. It would be the Christian thing to do.

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