Continue reading below the fold for more of the week's labor and education news.
A fair day's wage
- How your pizza delivery guy is getting stiffed this Super Bowl. Don't be part of the problem, please.
- Is trouble coming to the Magic Kingdom? Union officials are predicting conflict over upcoming contract negotiations at Disney.
- AP writers are on a byline strike as part of a fight for affordable health benefits.
- Check out this recording of a telephone town hall on women's economic equality featuring Cynthia Nixon, Nancy Pelosi, and Rosa DeLauro.
- Thursday was pregnant workers fairness day in New York City.
- Paid sick leave is gaining ground quickly in the tri-state region of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Connecticut is, of course, the only state in the nation to have a sick leave law. New York City passed a sick leave bill after a protracted fight that hurt then-council Speaker Christine Quinn's chances of becoming mayor. Jersey City recently passed a sick leave law. And now, Newark:
The law would ensure that workers in businesses with 10 or more employees, including food service, child care, and direct care workers, can earn an hour of paid sick leave for every 30 that they work, requiring employers to provide up to five paid days off a year. Those who work in smaller businesses could earn up to three days a year. The time off can be used to recover from a worker’s own illness, as well as to care for a sick family member. Proponents say that 38,000 workers currently don’t have access to paid sick leave in the city.As one city or state after another passes paid sick leave without being struck by the economic disaster that lobbyists for low-wage industries predict, it becomes easier for the next one to follow suit, especially when the examples are local and immediate. Organizing groups in the region, like the Working Families Party in New York and Connecticut and the New Jersey Working Families Alliance in that state, are also gaining strength and experience that may make each successive campaign more effective.
- A historic first:
Ramogi Huma, president of the National College Players Association, filed a petition in Chicago on behalf of football players at Northwestern University, submitting the form at the regional office of the National Labor Relations Board.The Steelworkers were ahead of the curve pushing for college athletes to be recognized as exploited workers, an idea that's gained currency over the past couple years. Quarterback Kain Colter emphasized that they don't feel particularly mistreated by Northwestern, but want to change the broader NCAA system. More background and context here.
Backed by the United Steelworkers union, Huma also filed union cards signed by an undisclosed number of Northwestern players with the NLRB -- the federal statutory body that recognizes groups that seek collective bargaining rights.
- Clearly the Minnesota Orchestra musicians were not locked out because they weren't good enough:
The Minnesota Orchestra, which just ended a bitter 16-month lockout and plans to get back to business next month, won the Grammy Award for “best orchestral performance” on Sunday for a recording of Sibelius symphonies with its former music director, Osmo Vanska.
- Being broke is not being poor. Important distinction.
- Does tenure violate the civil rights of students?
- The tiers of inequality at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst don't end with the difference between tenure-track and adjunct faculty. Some adjuncts are excluded from the faculty union and paid less than others:
Instructors with the university’s Continuing and Professional Education (CPE) unit—a parallel campus unit offering both online and in-person courses to traditional and nontraditional students—are aiming for “accretion,” a legal maneuver that would allow them to join the faculty union on campus and be covered under the same contract.
The effort is being spearheaded by the Massachusetts Society of Professors (MSP), a Massachusetts Teachers Association-affiliated union that represents about 1,400 faculty members and librarians at UMass Amherst, including the majority of the university’s nearly 500 adjunct (non-tenure-track) professors. But many CPE instructors are currently excluded, with tangible effects: While the unionized adjunct instructors make a minimum of $6,400 per course and receive health benefits, non-union instructors at CPE make a minimum of only $3,200 per course and get no benefits.