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Pastoral Council discusses contract, elects executive committee

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arch-logo-COLOR--finalThe Archdiocesan Pastoral Council examined the 2015-2016  Teacher-Minister contract at its regular meeting Nov. 7 in Dayton at the University of Dayton River Campus. Archdiocesan HR Director Rob Reid requested the review.

The Council discussed the recurring debate over the delineation in the contract of specific activities that are contrary to church teaching.

Reid said while teacher-ministers could be disciplined for violating provisions of the contract, disciplinary decisions were based on several factors, including but not limited to the teacher-minister’s attitude toward the contract violation and his/her entire performance record. Reid stressed that termination is in no way an automatic response to a violation of the contract.

“The school officials would bring the matter to the education office which would then involve HR,” Reid said. “Each matter is investigated and decisions are made based on the particular circumstances involved.”

Reid said that, based on guidance provided to principals, each potential teacher-minister would be involved in an individual pre-hire “sit-down,” to ensure that the individual thoroughly understood the contract, church teachings, and the reason some church teachings were enumerated in the contract.

Sister Cheryl Erb said, “I like that the contract reinforces the nature of church doctrine and that each employment candidate would get an individual sit-down to ensure the language was understood.”

In other action at the meeting, Father Dohrman Byers discussed a project of the Peace and Justice Committee of the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council to review the archdiocesan policy on the use of union labor in major construction projects.

Father Byers said the review was not complete but he said a number of procedures and guidelines had emerged to guide the committee. He said the committee interviewed both union and non-union contractors and researched policies at eight other dioceses in preparing the template for the first draft.

The final policy will be designed to guarantee that workers are properly compensated and treated when working on projects in the archdiocese.  Contractors, for example, would be given catechetical materials and would be asked to sign an agreement that affirms that catechesis. Father Byers said there was also a plan to standardize bidding procedures and to define what constitutes a major or minor project.

In a housekeeping matter, Council members Ronald McDonald and Jenny Berg were elected chairperson and vice-chairperson respectively for the coming year. The council also elected the executive committee of Ann Keefe, Father Norm Langenbrunner, Sister Cheryl Erb and Michael Suffern.

The council briefly debated the proposal for becoming more consultative and advisory that was discussed at the council’s September meeting. The ad hoc committee that guided the discussion in September offered bylaw revisions and eleven propositions for the operation of the council.

The group voted on the propositions and the revisions and will further discuss the issue at its March 2016 meeting under the direction of the newly reconstituted executive committee.

This story first appeared in the December 2015 print edition of The Catholic Telegraph.

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