Over 100 Catholic teachers, students, and labor activists rallied outside the San Francisco Archdiocese Chancery this afternoon, in protest of what teachers at Bay Area Catholic schools are calling attacks on their rights as workers.
The San Francisco Catholic community has been in turmoil since February, when Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone proposed changes to the employee handbook
for faculty and staff at four area Catholic high schools, including Archbishop Riordan High School and Sacred Heart Catholic Preparatory in San Francisco. The language condemns homosexuality, same-sex marriage, contraception, and assisted reproductive technology, and calls on staff to affirm that homosexuality, masturbation, and pornography are "gravely evil
Students and teachers at the schools have protested the new morality clause, and in April, more than 100 prominent Bay Area Catholics signed a full-page advertisement
in the San Francisco Chronicle
calling on Pope Francis to replace Cordileone. The ad cited the "atmosphere of division and intolerance" created by the Archbishop's conservative social views, especially in regard to the proposed language for the school employee handbook, which it criticized for "absolute mean-spiritedness."
Now organized labor is throwing its support behind the Catholic school teachers, who are represented by AFT Local 2240. Members and leaders of many San Francisco unions, including the public school teachers (UESF), nurses, janitors, Walmart workers, fast food workers, and others rallied to support the Catholic school teachers, who are also embroiled in a contract dispute.