November 08, 2004

United Church ministers consider unionization

Just when you thought the United Church of Canada couldn't get any weirder:

Claiming poor working conditions and wages, United Church Ministers in Ontario and British Columbia are taking steps to ensure their contract with God has union protection.

Eternal Spring United Church Rev. David Galston is part of the group of ministers that has approached the Canadian Auto Workers union for help organizing."

[Full Story]

Unionizing the pastors (not to mention yoking themselves to a secular labour union such as CAW) is just the logical outcome of the United Church's leftist politics, so it doesn't come as much of a surprise in its own absurdist kind of way. However, it does raise some interesting questions.

  • For the purpose of collective bargaining, who is the employer? The congregation, the local presbytery, the national denomination, or someone else?
  • If clergy are entitled to better wages, what happens when the parishioners' giving isn't up to scratch? Will United Church members start getting pastor's bills in the mail?
  • If United Church pastors all went on strike and quit preaching, who would that inconvenience, anyway?