News

Center for Social Concerns to host series on wage questions in light of Catholic social tradition

By: JP Shortall

February 12, 2021

The Just Wage Forum begins on Friday, February 12 at 1:00 p.m. with a panel discussion on “Promoting a Just Wage Economy.” It will be the first in a series of nine virtual sessions in which scholars and practitioners explore the following questions: What makes any given wage just or unjust? What are the rights and responsibilities of employers, workers, government, unions, and community groups in securing safe, decent-paying jobs? And what can be done to address structural discrimination and increasing economic inequality?

The Forum is a series of the Just Wage Initiative, which was created in the fall of 2016 by faculty members Dan Graff, director of the Higgins Labor Program at the Center for Social Concerns and professor of the practice in the department of history, where he specializes in U.S. labor, and Clemens Sedmak, interim director of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, professor of social ethics in the Keough School of Global Affairs, and advisor in Catholic social tradition at the Center for Social Concerns. The Initiative also includes faculty from multiple departments across the University, including law, sociology, and management.

The opening session of the Forum will introduce a framework and online tool designed to help users think through whether a wage is just according to seven criteria grounded in Catholic social tradition. Sedmak and Graff are panelists for the first session and will be joined by Charlice Hurst, assistant professor of Management, Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame, and Donald Stabile, professor of economics, St. Mary's College of Maryland. 

The remaining eight sessions in the series will take place between February and July and will cover one just wage criterion each. The final session will offer conclusions and look forward to next steps on the question of a just wage. The second session covers the first criterion--that a just wage promotes a decent life—and will take place Friday, February 26 at 1:00 p.m.; the third session will focus on criterion two—a just wage promotes asset building—and will take place Friday, March 19 at 1:00 p.m.; the fourth session addresses criterion three—a just wage provides social security—and will take place Friday, April 9 at 3:00 p.m. 

Visit the Just Wage Forum site for more information on remaining events in the series.

The Higgins Labor Program is an interdisciplinary unit of the Center for Social Concerns sponsoring research, education, and community engagement on issues involving work, labor organization, and social justice.

Contact: Dan Graff, Higgins Labor Program Director, (574) 631-5845, dgraff@nd.edu

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