Bishop Noa Home workers


I am a Catholic, was raised Catholic, and am a proud union member. I hold strong in my Catholic values and believe we have a strong Pope who is making a positive difference. Unfortunately, there are leaders within the Catholic Church who are not holding to similar values. An example being The Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres who began and still operate the Bishop Noa Home for Senior Citizens here in Escanaba. They, along with the facility’s administration, have decided to punish workers for trying to have an organized voice in their workplace.

More than a year has gone by since many of the employees at Bishop Noa approached the United Steel Workers to organize. They wanted a voice in the workplace and to make it a facility that does not put undo stress on anyone that enters its doors. They sought a benefit package to keep good employees who could provide experienced care. In 2017, the administrator of the home made over $100,000 while a full-time housekeeper starting today makes less than $22,000; a full-time certified nursing aide (CNA) starting today barely clears $25,000. Under the Sisters of St. Paul/Administration’s latest contract proposal, they would expect an average housekeeper to accept a $4,000 per year cut along with CNA’s losing more than $3,000 per year. Many of these employees cannot even pay for their own health insurance. At Bishop Noa Home, a single person pays less than 20 percent of the premium while an employee with a family pays over 80 percent of the premium. The Catholic Church promotes family. How does this promote family when you refuse to provide reasonable health care?

I am immensely disappointed in these Catholic leaders that are not moving the lives of these families in a positive direction. The Sisters of St. Paul have an opportunity to move the standard for nursing home employees, helping to secure a successful future for all that enter the Bishop Noa Home for the Elderly. This is what a true Catholic leader would do.

In Europe first and now in America, elected men have taken it upon themselves to indebt their people to create an atmosphere of dependency. And why? For their own selfish need to increase their own personal power.

– Pope Francis

Stephen J Benoit