hile the decline in real public-sector wages started later, it was steeper and ultimately more damaging. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Cost Index, public-sector wages have fallen by about 1.3 percent in inflation-adjusted terms since 2007, where private-sector wages have been essentially flat (an increase of 0.3 percent).But Republicans continue pushing for more layoffs and pay freezes and general vilification of public workers.
Unlike in previous recoveries, state and local government austerity has been a major drag on job growth and the broader economy. The number of public-sector jobs fell by almost 3 percent in the three years following the recession, while the number of private-sector jobs grew (albeit anemically). The fact that public-sector wages have lagged behind those in the private-sector exacerbates government’s drag on the economy.
Continue reading below the fold for more of the week's labor and education news.
A fair day's wage
- The right's bogus sex work stance: Taking power away from women.
- Dammit, Jay Leno, don't make me like you:
"I'm proud to say this is a union show," he said, adding how proud he was when one of his staff showed off a new car or told him about their new house.
- Union-made Valentine's Day gift ideas.
- Steven Greenhouse has background on the upcoming union vote at a Tennessee Volkswagen plant. Volkswagen is overwhelmingly unionized in its home country of Germany.
- Another airline is squeezing its flight attendants union. This time, United.
- West Virginia is considering a Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. Yes, West Virginia.
- New York City Domino's delivery workers are getting a $1.3 million wage theft settlement.
- Workers at Snarf's Sandwiches are getting their jobs back and a month of back pay after they were laid off before Christmas in what looked awfully much like retaliation for having gone on strike for higher wages.
- Newark teachers battle governor's school privatization agenda.
- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's schools chancellor, Carmen Farina, is already making significant changes:
The chancellor, Carmen Fariña, in describing the Education Department’s $12.8 billion capital plan, said she would seek to redirect $210 million that had been reserved for classroom space for charter schools and other nonprofit groups. The money, spread out over five years, would instead be used to create thousands of new prekindergarten seats, helping fulfill Mr. de Blasio’s signature campaign promise.Not just pre-K, either:
“We have a lot of priorities in education. One of the things I've talked about a lot over the last year is the over-crowded areas of the city. Central Queens, Lower Manhattan, obviously north shore of Staten Island,” [de Blasio] said. “We have a number of areas that are really problematic in terms of schools, overcrowded schools, we even have wait lists in some areas.”
- New York, by the way, isn't the only place pre-school is gaining momentum.