Breaking Faith: An Appeal for Justice


As community leaders in the Greater Buffalo area served by Catholic Health, we wish to bring to your attention the recent report by the Workers’ Rights Board of Buffalo’s Coalition for Economic Justice. The report highlights multiple areas where Catholic Health has strayed from its mission and stated values with serious impact on our community and our neighbors who work for Catholic Health.

In particular we hope that you will look carefully at the report

Breaking Faith: How Catholic Health Executives Abandon Catholic Social Teachings.

Catholic Health stands out for having an executive compensation bonus plan that rewards its Human Resources Vice President for extracting financial concessions from employees.

Catholic Health’s own IRS filings indicate that it offers uncom- pensated charity health care at a rate of only half the national av- erage and half what the other large hospital system here provides.

Catholic Health has embraced outsourcing jobs to for-profit companies outside of our area and beyond our national borders.

Catholic Health favors non-union contractors without a com- mitment to local workers, apprenticeship programs, diversity, and sustainable prevailing wage and benefits packages. In doing

so, it violates its own “Memorandum of Understanding,” adopted in the mid-1990’s that constitutes the working arrange- ment to which both the Diocese and Construction Trades had agreed.

Catholic Health has repeatedly flaunted both the spirit of its own grievance procedures and the National Labor Relations Act.

Catholic Health has penalized numerous non-union employees who have special medical or other needs.

Fortunately, the report lists numerous recommendations that would begin to restore Catholic Health’s place among health providers that truly serve their communities with Reverence, Compassion, Justice and Excellence. It should be noted that many of the recommenda- tions cost little or nothing to implement but rather invite a spirit of collaboration and mutual respect, benefitting hospital management, patients and staff alike.

We recognize the critically important role Catholic Health continues to play in our Western New York community. For this reason, we offer the Report with our hope that you will insure that Catholic Health returns to the values expressed clearly and persuasively in your own Mission Statement.

Robert Adler

Commodore (Ret.), The Buffalo Harbor Sailing Club

Julie Algubani

Executive Director, Western New York Muslims

Karima Amin

Founder, Black Story Tellers of Western New York

Thomas Barrett

President, Buffalo Professional Firefighters Association

Aaron Bartley

Executive Director, People United for Fair Housing

Michael Blake

Founder, South Buffalo Soccer Club

Daryl T. Bodewes

Financial Secretary, North East Regional Council of Carpenters

Carlene Boisaubin

Member, Contemporary Music Ensemble, St. Joseph University Parish

Justin Booth

Executive Director, Go Bike Buffalo

Kathy Boyd

President, Willowgrove Community Association

James Briggs

President Niagara-Orleans County CLC

Paul Brown

President, Buffalo Building and Construction Trades Council

Rev. Anthony Brown

Program Manager, Buffalo SNUG

Marty Burchalewski

Business Representative, IUOE

Walter Burgett

Board of Education, Cheektowaga Central Schools

Larry Cannan

Grand Knight, Knights of Columbus Council #3875

Roger Cook

Board Co-Chair, Riverside-Salem United Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ

Andrea Dacey

Board of Directors, South Buffalo Chamber of Commerce

Michael Deely

Regional Director, New York State United Teachers

Jax Deluca

Executive Director, Squeaky Wheel Film and Media Arts Center

William DeMonte

Assistant Director, North Tonawanda Emergency Management Operations

Julia Drinnon-Doran

Ladies of Charity, St. Pius Church

Anna Falicov

General Counsel, New York Foundation for Fair Contracting

Joel Feroletto

Buffalo City Councilman, Delaware District

Michael Fisher

President, Buffalo Citizens on Patrol Neighborhood Watch

Duane T. Flemming

Liaison, Sick and Shut in Ministry

Lou Jean Fleron

Co-Director, Partnership for the Public Good

Dr. Fred Floss

Professor, Department of Economics and Finance, Buf- falo State College

David Franczyk

Buffalo City Councilman, Fillmore District

Ulanda Frank

President, University District Block Club of Buffalo

Andy Garcia

Director, Western New York Hispanics and Friends

Germaine Harnden

Executive Director, Western New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health

Josephine Harris

Den Leader, Cub Scout Pack 816

Mary Heneghan

President, Gaelic American Athletic Association

Ronald Hosinski

President (Ret.), Corpus Christi Church Social Athletic Club

Karen Howard

President, Nurses’ Guild, Mt. Erie Baptist Church

Yuri Hreschychin

Board of Directors, Dnipro Ukrainian Association

Rev. Jerry Hunter

Mount Erie Batptist Church

Sister Judith Justinger, SSJ

Leadership Team, Sisters of St. Joseph

Patricia Kaiser

Associate Professor, Vice-President, Faculty Federation of Erie Community College

Joseph Keleman

Executive Director, WNY Law Center

Laura Kelly

Executive Director, Old First Ward Community Center

George Kennedy

Executive Vice-President, 1199 SEIU Healthcare Workers East

Kevin M. Kennedy

President, Buffalo Police Benevolent Association

Tod Kniazuk

Executive Director, Arts Services Initiative of Western New York

Jason Kulaszewski

Co-Chair, Young Citizens for ECC

Rev. Kirk Laubenstein

Executive Director, Coalition for Economic Justice

Rich Lee

President, Buffalo Board of Block Clubs

James Lint

President, North Collins Veteran’s Tribute

Richard Lipsitz

President, Western New York Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO

Rev. John R. Long

Pastoral Associate, First Presbyterian Church of Buffalo

Sam Magavern

Co-Director, Partnership for the Public Good

Joan Malone

Secretary, Living Wage Commission of Buffalo

Pat Mang

Mayor, Village of Kenmore

Mark Manna

Council Member, Town of Amherst

Martha McCluskey

Professor, University at Buffalo School of Law

Katie McDade-Burd

Trustee, Village of Kenmore

Roger McGill

Fire Chief, Bellevue Volunteer Fire Company

Francis McLaughlin

Director, Erie Country Veterans Services

Sheila Meegan

Town Supervisor, Town of West Seneca

Tara J. Melish

Director, Buffalo Human Rights Center, SUNY Buffalo School of Law

Darlene Mercado

President, Hispanic Women’s League, Inc.

Frank Messiah

President, NAACP Buffalo

Barbara Miller-Williams

Erie County Legislator, First District

Robert Mootry, Jr.

President, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists

John Mudie

President, Western New York CLC

Louis Mustillo

Actor, Mike and Molly

Lazara Nelson

Curator, Pausa Art House

Jon Nelson

Director, Genkin Philharmonic Orchestra

George Nicholas

Pastor, Lincoln Memorial Methodist Church

Carl Nightingale

Professor, Department of Transnational Studies, State University of Buffalo

Jeff Nixon

Former Defensive Back, Buffalo Bills

Greg Olma

Board of Directors, Mickiewicz Polish Library

Peg Overdorf

Executive Director, Valley Community Center

Marc Panepinto

Senator, New York State

Matthew Pope

Grand Knight (Ret.), Knight of Columbus—Father Baker Council

Bernice Radle

Chairperson, Buffalo Young Preservationists

David Rivera

Buffalo City Councilman, Niagara District

Casimiro Rodriguez

President, Hispanic Heritage Council of Western New York

Christopher Scanlon

Buffalo City Councilman, South District

Marc Schroeder

Comptroller, City of Buffalo

John Shinn

Director, USW District 4

Rev. Merle Showers

Chair, City of Buffalo Living Wage Commission, United Methodist Church

Casey Smiegelski

President, South Buffalo Crew

Liz Smith-Rossiter, MPA

Project Director, Western New York Worker’s Center

Gary Snyder

Captain (Ret.), Main-Transit Fire Company

Howard Stanger, Ph.D.

Professor of Management, Canisius College, Wehle School of Management

Doug Stock

President, Dunkirk Area Labor Council

Bill Strugeon, Jr.

Director, Oakfield Fire Department

Dr. Henry Louis Taylor, Jr.

Director, UB Center for Urban Studies and Urban Regional Planning

Minh Xuan Tran

Recipient, Bishop’s Alter Service Award of 2015, Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Flo Tripi

Western Region President, CSEA

Brian Trzeciak

Western New York Citizen Action

George Tutuska

Former Drummer, The Goo Goo Dolls

Christine Vogel

Vice President, Western New York Women Lawyers Association

Pierre Wallinder

Executive Director, Sail Buffalo

Padraic Walsh

Chairman, Irish Network Buffalo

Anthony Woods

Deacon Chairman, Mount Erie Batptist Church

Ken Young

President, Town Park Tax Payers Association

Jason Zona

Niagara County Legislature, 5th District

The report can be found at:

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