Unionized Clergy?!
November 5, 2004 2:07 PM   Subscribe

Unionized Clergy?! Some members of the clergy with the United Church of Canada are looking to unionize over four thousand pastors across the country. Their compliant, bad working conditions and sweatshop wages. Bad working conditions? Give me a break. via
posted by Coop (13 comments total)

 
Bad working conditions?

If you had to work, play, eat, and sleep with fundamentalists all day, every day, all your life - you'd be singing the same tune.

While I'd prefer they respond to the bad wages by just giving up, the truth is that few ministers earn even a half-decent wage.
posted by Ryvar at 2:13 PM on November 5, 2004


So if they go on strike, will the National Guard be called in to assume pastoral duties for the duration?
posted by Captain_Tenille at 2:33 PM on November 5, 2004


Just FYI, the United Church of Canada are pretty much the opposite of fundamentalists.

Hell, they support gay marriage.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:55 PM on November 5, 2004


Well, God always seems to need money. Makes sense to me that maybe his employees do too.
posted by Dark Messiah at 3:05 PM on November 5, 2004


I can believe that they do have poor working conditions and low wages -- that pretty well characterizes my church too, but substitute "no" for "low".

But the idea of pastors on strike for better pay is just weird :P
posted by Foosnark at 3:40 PM on November 5, 2004


The disappointing thing from that article is that "they are allowed to negotiate with their congregations for a better salary."

The upshot of that is pastors in comfortable neighbourhoods are more likely to earn more. Those in poorer areas suffering greater social exclusion are likely to earn less.

This hardly seems fair, and the only way to fix it is to organise (and that doesn't necessarily mean going on strike -- though refusing to give more than one sermon per week would be a potentially viable alternative).
posted by robcorr at 8:41 PM on November 5, 2004


This hardly seems fair, and the only way to fix it is to organise

I don't see how this would help if the local congregations can't afford to pay more to begin with. They can organize and declare that they'll strike unless they get $Y, but if a particular congregation can't pay their pastor $Y, it basically means that congregation isn't allowed to have a pastor anymore. Either that or they have to go begging to other, wealthier congregations to help them pay their pastor, which I'm sure would go over really well.
posted by kindall at 8:46 PM on November 5, 2004


Just FYI, the United Church of Canada are pretty much the opposite of fundamentalists.

i grew up in the united church of canada, it's an all inclusive church that doesn't discriminate against anyone. despite my total lack of belief in god, i have a tonne of respect for this church, and still work with them on various community projects.
posted by t r a c y at 9:00 PM on November 5, 2004


I'll second t r a c y - the United Church of Canada is a really open and inclusive church, which has been setting the pace for progressive religion in Canada. It was formed out of Methodist and Presbyterian churches, but in this case the sum really is more than the parts.

The problem of disparity is real - the only solution would be for churches to stop paying pastors individually, but to organise finances throughout the denomination. I don't know if the United Church is organise enough for this or not.
posted by jb at 11:28 PM on November 5, 2004


I don't see how this would help if the local congregations can't afford to pay more to begin with.

It helps because a national approach would allow the pastors to redistribute income from the wealthier congregations to the poorer ones.

You'd think the church would support that anyway, but JB suggests they might not be ready for it. I guess this is an attempt by the pastors to put some pressure on.


which I'm sure would go over really well.

Yeah, it would be a bit much to expect charity from a church congregation, wouldn't it.
posted by robcorr at 11:53 PM on November 5, 2004


Hello? Anyone twist these guys arms and force them into the clergy? Please. I thought they were answering a calling and that God would provide? Geez...
posted by LouReedsSon at 7:00 AM on November 6, 2004


I meant not ready for it, not ideologically, but organisationally. I don't know enough about the United Church, but I don't know if they have any national structure that could help redistribute money.

Pastors serve communities, do very important things - selflessness and dedication should be rewarded, especially that of the pastors of poorer communities. I would contribute money to help support poor pastors, and I'm not even a member of the Church.
posted by jb at 5:19 PM on November 6, 2004


Yeah, it would be a bit much to expect charity from a church congregation, wouldn't it.

I meant, of course, it would go over well (i.e., not) with the pastors who are supposed to do the begging. If someone told me "If you want a decent salary, go get one from a bunch of other churches" it wouldn't make me happy.
posted by kindall at 2:04 PM on November 12, 2004


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