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July 5

ISSUES
2012

THURSDAY JULY 5

The Editors apologize for not including the Episcopal Appalachian Ministries among our member organizations. Frequently someone gets forgotten on our changing list, and unfortunately it was them this time.

Ron Miller, ISSUES Staff

For your assistance in elections if you don't know who all those nominated people we try to recommend a few in each election.

General Board of Examining Chaplains we suggest

Bishop – William O. Gregg
Laity – Sandra D. Michael
Parish clergy – J. Barrington Bates and Raewynne J Whitley
Academic clergy – Frank G Kirkpatrick and Patrick Malloy
We will follow with other suggestions when the elections approach.

The Episcopal Peace Fellowship's Speaker's Corner

Thursday, July 5 at 1 pmTim YeagerAn Episcopal priest at St. Andrews Church on Chicagos West Side. Tim formerly was Financial Secretary/Treasurer of United Auto Workers Local 2320, and Secretary of the National Executive Board of EPF. Tim is also an attorney and a lifelong activist in the labor movement, organizing workers, bargaining their contracts and representing them in arbitration and court proceedings.

Thursday, July 5 at 2 pmMark Braverman - Psychologist and author, Marks grandfather, a fifth generation Palestinian Jew, was born in Jerusalem, emigrating the U.S. as a young man. Growing up in the United States, Braverman was reared in the Jewish tradition, studying Bible, Hebrew literature, and Jewish history. Returning to the Holy Land in 2006, he was transformed by witnessing the occupation of Palestine and by encounters with peace activists and civil society leaders from the Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities.

Friday, July 6 at 1 pm - Gene Robinson - Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire.

Friday, July 6 at 2 pm - Jay Koyle - President of The Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission.

Claiming the promise: Making all mean all"

is the theme Integrity brings to its presence at the 77th General Convention. Inclusion of all the baptized in all the sacraments is the goal of the resolutions being supported by Integrity. These resolutions touch worship, pastoral care, governance, and governmental relations. It is difficult to overstate the importance this true inclusion will have in reaching out to those of no faith, those who have lost their faith and those who have been rejected by the faith communities of their youth.

As inclusive parishes make their presence known in LGBT communities around the country, they attract new people who are amazed to find that there are followers of Jesus Christ who welcome them as they are. Allies come too--those who have refused to reject their loved ones for the perceived safety of an exclusive faith community.

What happens in these halls does indeed affect our ability to bring the Gospel to those who have been told it is not for them. If we choose to affirm the God-given calls of clergy, lay leaders, and married couples who are LGBT, we present Jesus Christ in a marvelously accessible way to seekers.

Please visit our General Convention portal at http://gc12.integrityusa.org.

Mary O'Shaunghnessy. Intregrity


The Episcopal Peace Fellowship

is sponsoring Resolution D003, calling for parishes and diocesan work places to declare and to clearly post their establishments as Gun Free Zones. Thanks to the gun lobby, guns are welcome, either concealed or open carry, in more and more venues, including national parks, Amtrak trains, Starbucks coffee shops and, yes, churches.

In state legislatures, gun activists are pressuring for concealed carry permits for houses of worship. Louisiana, Georgia and Utah have passed variations of this proposal. Posting Gun Free Zone decals is one way for parishes and dioceses to exercise private property rights on behalf of community safety, as well as raising consciousness on the political challenges that face us regarding guns and public safety in the United States.


For baptized believers, this is not just a political question, however, but a spiritual question. We, the baptized, follow the One in whose baptism we share, a baptism of the Spirit. Spirit-bearers are called and empowered to love and care for our neighbors, working together to heal the wounds in individuals, society and the creation, relying on God to transform all hearts. Spirit-bearers nonviolently resist the forces of darkness, with courage, compassion and forgiveness.

Will a semi-automatic gun in the hand of every U.S. citizen promote the work of the Spirit?

What would Jesus do? The Gospels provide the answer. In Gethsemane, according to St. Luke, swords were drawn and the ear of the High Priest's slave was cut off. Jesus said, "No more of this!" He touched the ear of his enemy and it was healed. Matthew's version is even more dramatic: "Put your [gun] back into its place; for all who take up [guns] will perish by [guns]."

May the Spirit working in our hearts inspire us to choose this day the path of nonviolence and healing for our faith community and for the common life of our nation.

Bill Exner,EPF


Hyatt Indianapolis Organizing

The hotel and convention industry is booming in Indianapolis; however its workers are being left behind. Indianapolis is the largest city in the U.S. without a unionized hotel. Over the years, the City of Indianapolis has invested over $1 billion into the development of the local hospitality industry. In 2008, the Indianapolis hospitality industry saw a $3.5 billion increase in profits. In 2009, taxpayers bailed out the Capital Improvement Board to protect the hospitality industry and the “good” jobs that it created. The average salary in Indianapolis is $46,000 annually, while the average hotel worker’s salary is approximately $19,600.

Indianapolis hotel workers are among the most overworked and undervalued in the nation. Hyatt Regency Indianapolis housekeepers, for instance, clean up to 30 rooms per 8 hour shift while the standard in unionized hotels is 14-16 rooms per shift. Hyatt Regency Indianapolis housekeepers start close to $7.25 an hour while their union counterparts in Chicago make $14, $11 in Minneapolis, and $10 in St. Louis.

In November 2008, the Organizing Committee at the Hyatt Regency presented to their gen­eral manager a petition signed by a majority of workers calling for a fair process to decide whether or not to have a union free from harassment and intimidation. Thus far, the hotel has is­sued no formal response to their request and since continues to intimidate workers as well as subcontract more and more hotel positions. After two years of struggling for a fair process to win a voice in the workplace, the Organizing Committee took the difficult yet necessary step of authorizing a boycott of their hotel in September 2010.

The biggest hurdle to making Indianapolis hotel jobs more sustainable is the rampant use of subcontracted workers. The Hyatt Regency, along with many other hotels in Indianapolis, heavily utilizes temporary agencies, where workers are paid less than workers who work for the Hyatt directly, receive no sick or vacation days, and lack adequate access to health care. Currently in the Hyatt, agency workers are in housekeeping, stewarding, room service, banquets, culinary, as well as One South and the Eagle’s Nest restaurants.

Dianne Aid, ENEJ

Issues availability There are fairly strict limits for where staff can distribute ISSUES. In the main corridor of the convention center inside the western end there are two stations designated for flyer distribution where we may stand and give you copies. There is also a table for literature in the corridor outside the House of Deputies where copies will be available. They can be found at the Consultation booth in the Exhibit Hall. We would be pleased to give multiple copies for deputies to share with their deputations. Also see the blog where our content is published early in the day.

Matt and Ron


FREEDOM TO WORK

In recent decades, businesses such as hotel and restaurants, have chosen to subcontract or employ so-called temporary workers instead of hiring employees directly. While we acknowledge the right of businesses to subcontract and use temporary workers, we believe that workers should also have the freedom to work directly for a business if they so choose. Working as a temporary or subcontracted worker often means working without access to health benefits, vacation days, or sick days and making minimum wage. The termtemporaryimplies that workers are employed for a short period of time. In practice, however, particularly in the hotel industry, workers end up working years, even decades astemporaryworkers. This occurs because of agreements made between a business and a temporary or contracting agency that prohibits the business from hiring the workers of the temporary or contracting agency directly, thus blacklisting these workers.

Episcopalians are concerned about blacklisting for several reasons. Firstly, given the widespread nature of the use of temporary and subcontracted workers who often make poverty wages with no access to benefits, Episcopalians recognize that stopping blacklisting will help alleviate poverty, a major concern for The Episcopal Church. Secondly, The Episcopal Church cares about the economic health of the nation. By helping to ensure that workers are not trapped in minimum wagetemporaryjobs and have the opportunity to pursue better employment, we stimulate the economy.

We are introducing a resolution at this year's General Convention, calling for Episcopal congregations to learn more about the practice of blacklisting in their own communities. Congregations can advocate strong policies for ending the practice of blacklisting and ensuring workers have the opportunity for direct employment by working with the appropriate local, state or national leaders.

Our Convention has significant purchasing power. Thus it is important that the Convention make sure that hotels and catering firms with which it contracts not engage in blacklisting.

Dianne Aid, ENEJ


Episcopal Womens Caucus Breakfast

Sunday, July 8, 7:30 am in Wabash Room, Convention Hall 1st Floor

Tickets still being sold at EWC Booth, #1025

$25 pre-sale, $30 at the door

SPEAKER: Bonnie Anderson

 

Collective Action Lawsuit Filed against 9 Indy Hotels and Subcontractor for Wage and Hour Violations

In Indianapolis, home to the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, city government has invested over one billion dollars of taxpayer money in the downtown hospitality industry.  While this city has rebuilt its economy with service industry jobs, hotel workers in Indianapolis are some of the lowest paid in the nation. Hotel workers here start at $7.25 per hour and are offered few or no benefits. Now, some of the hotels that the city has chosen to subsidize are being accused of illegal activity, of not even paying their employees the minimum wage.

On January 9, 2012, hotel workers in Indianapolis filed a lawsuit in federal court against Hospitality Staffing Solutions (HSS) and ten major hotels for wage and hour violations. This landmark lawsuit is the broadest wage and hour case in the history of the Indianapolis hotel industry. If the lawsuit is certified as a collective action, eligible employees as a group could be entitled to as much as ten million dollars in back pay. An action was held in front of HSS offices with hotel workers and community supporters in conjunction with the filing of the lawsuit. The action occurred about a month before the Super Bowl, which resulted in Indianapolis hotels making $27 million in one week alone. Room rates during the Super Bowl in downtown hotels cost more than $1000 per night.1

Workers in the lawsuit allege that HSS and area hotels regularly fail to pay them for all the hours they work and force them to work off the clock and without breaks. In addition to wage and hour violations, the lawsuit also alleges that current contracts between hotel employers and HSS create an unfair monopoly power of HSS over hotel labor in Indianapolis. The federal Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor is currently investigating HSS practices in Indianapolis hotels.

Every day I was told by my Hyatt manager to come in to work early and work before clocking in, and forced to work through my breaks without being paid," says Martha Gonzalez, a plaintiff in the lawsuit who used to work as a housekeeper at a Hyatt hotel through the HSS agency. "I am supporting my three children and often there was not enough money in my paycheck to pay for food."

Dianne Aid,ENEJ


The Water's Fine

I am delighted that The Consultation Platform continues to advocate for the robust baptismal ecclesiology expressed by the Book of Common Prayer, this year supporting Resolutions A041-044. These resolutions arise out of a national consultation on baptismal theology that was mandated by the 2009 General Convention. This consultation, under the leadership of The Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission, brought together liturgical scholars and practitioners, bishops, parish clergy, canon lawyers, justice advocates, and Christian educators representing the diversity of the Church.

The adoption of these resolutions would result in three very important outcomes:

  1. They would help to ensure the canons of the Church align with the BCPs (and, thus, the Constitutions) understanding of baptism as the foundational sacrament of Christian ministry.

  2. Their adoption would respond directly to the widespread concern that those who accept office in The Episcopal Church are not only committed Christians who carry out their lives in faithful response to their baptismal vows, but that that they also possess sufficient knowledge and appreciation of Episcopal polity. Specifically, A041 would amend Canon I.17 to require such persons to complete instruction in TECs history, structure and governance.

  3. They would strengthen the place of confirmation, reception, and reaffirmation in the life of the church, allowing these rites to serve primarily as lively pastoral celebrations of renewed or deepened faith in Christian life, rather than as ineffective legal requirements to be fulfilled in order to exercise ministries of leadership.

As a Canadian Anglican, let me assure you, too, that adoption of these resolutions would sound an important and much-appreciated note to many of us in the wider Anglican Communion as we work with you to foster a baptismal and missional vitality that is slowly but surely being realized in many places throughout the churchs life and witness.

Jay Koyle,APLM


See you tomorrow!! ;-{)> Matt and Ron