12 June 2016
Dear Parent / Guardian,
This letter is about the impact on parish programs of the recent change in the New York State minimum-wage law. Parish leadership is always trying to balance the right of our employees to a living wage (as Catholic teaching and simple justice require), with the real financial pressures on families that pay for our services. The new law impels us to revisit that balance so that the parish maintains a just wage structure for its employees while also helping families to budget and to plan.
The Parish Trustees, Finance Council, and I have agreed that, starting in September (the start of the parish fiscal year), lay employees will receive a $1 per hour raise. Parish programs will adjust their tuition and fees at some point over the next year in order to cover this cost.
Since the new law raises the minimum wage each year for the next five years, you should expect that to comply we will be raising lay employee compensation each year and that there will be tuition/fee increases each year to cover that cost.
Since some employees are supported out of general funds rather than through program revenue (for example, maintenance and parish office workers), the new law will also require increased generosity from all parishioners in the Sunday offering.
Parish leadership and I are very careful to use your payments and donations wisely; and no one who works for the parish makes anything more than a barely-adequate wage. I am writing this to help you to understand why it is necessary for us to raise tuitions and fees for the programs that your children participate in, and similarly to ask for generous giving in the Sunday offering.
I am convinced that the work of our parish, as a whole and in its programs, offers great value to the lives and souls of our young people. I hope you will join me in practicing good stewardship so that we can continue to change lives through the power of the Risen Christ.
Grace and peace,
(Rev. Msgr.) Vincent Rush,