Adapting and moving forward is what we have always done at the Labor Guild.  Over the years we have offered the courses we felt students needed to protect the rank and file workers.  However, we have never been presented with a situation where our ability to teach would itself be taken away from us.

We started our Spring semester much like any other, but after the first week it became obvious that to continue would jeopardize both students and faculty alike.  When we decided to shut down, we thought we would be conducting the same courses again this fall.  Now we are not so sure.  Though the faculty are willing to teach again, we do not know if the health conditions or the social distancing conditions will allow us to conduct our traditional school.

Conditions have forced us to look at alternative teaching methods.  Virtual meeting technology like Zoom and Teams give us the opportunity to do online teaching.  Beginning this summer, Patti Legault-Frank volunteered to teach an online workshop in Parliamentary Procedure and Bylaws.  We have also developed a three-workshop series around Covid coming in August.  1.  COVID-19 Worker Safety & Worker Rights Training. 2. Public Sector Organizing During Covid-19 and Beyond  3. Emotional Well-Being in Times of Uncertainty.  As for our Fall semester, we will be running the same courses we ran in the Spring, only this time they will be running through Zoom.  We had to restructure our classes to two sessions of four weeks with each class running two hours.  The first four weeks we will be running classes Monday through Thursday evenings and the second set of four-week classes will run Monday through Wednesday evenings. Most all our faculty has returned, and we are thankful to them, for without them we could not exist.  We are very excited about this new teaching method.  As most of you know I have been trying to expand our educational footprint into other areas for quite some time and this gives us an opportunity to truly market our educational product.

Where no one knows what our situation may be in November with our Cushing- Gavin Award Dinner, we should at least go forward as far as we can until circumstances forces us to change.  Staying optimistic, we are going to go ahead and plan on choosing our 2020 CGA candidates and to perform the best Cushing- Gavin Ceremony we can under the circumstances we are faced with.  The Board of Directors is determined not to break the traditional continuity of choosing candidates for these honorable awards. We are already looking at the possibilities of doing a virtual event.

I would be negligent in my duties if I did not convey to one and all our financial burden.  The Archdiocese has been very generous to the Labor Guild since the passing of Father Ed.  It seemed Father Ed had his friends in business and industry that he could call on that were ready and able to help the Guild.  After his passing it was the RCAB that stepped up to support us. However, we could not match the amounts that Fr. Ed produced and our debt to the RCAB became considerable.  We must be once again a standalone, self-sufficient organization.

In years past the CGA along with our annual appeal to our membership would carry us through the year, but today we cannot support our small staff with our current donations.  The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly hindered our fundraising.  We are grateful to all of you who have continued your support to “The Guild” throughout this unique time.

As always, we thank you and we ask for your help to continue The Labor Guild for the next generation of workers.

David Kowalski
Executive Director
The Labor Guild

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