In February, Agustin Morales spoke out against "data walls" on which students' test scores were publicly displayed at a school committee meeting in Holyoke, Massachusetts, where Morales is a teacher:
In May, he was elected president of his union local. In June, his contract was not renewed. Fellow teachers and parents of his students have spoken out in support of Morales, and close to 2,000 people have signed a petition urging the school committee to investigate what looks a lot like the retaliatory firing of an activist—an activist who happens to be one of the few Puerto Rican teachers in an overwhelmingly Puerto Rican school district.
In New Jersey, another local union president is threatened with firing after he protested against a surveillance system his school district had installed to monitor teachers and students. That teacher, Mike Mignone, is suspended pending a hearing; if he didn't have tenure, he might have just been let go as abruptly as Agustin Morales. Mignone, too, has significant community support.
- When it comes to temps, who's the boss?
Call it the “Who’s the Boss” phenomenon: The business models of many major U.S. companies depend on workers who are legally employed by someone else. Labor groups argue that such sprawling supply chains make it harder to hold companies accountable for abuse, let alone organize the workers involved. Now they’re pushing back: A California bill would put companies on the hook when employees get cheated by their contractors.
- Women spend nearly an hour per day more on chores than men.
- A domestic workers bill of rights in Massachusetts:
The legislation, which passed the House overwhelmingly last week and awaits the governor’s signature, establishes basic rules on working hours, rest breaks and dealing with work-related complaints. Similar to and building upon comparable laws in New York, California and Hawaii, the bill grants domestic workers 24 hours of consecutive rest weekly for 40 hours of work per week, plus overtime for each excess hour worked. Bosses who employ a worker for more than sixteen hours per week must provide the terms of employment, including wages and working conditions, in writing up-front. Workers have formal civil rights protections through the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, giving them recourse against common problems in this sector like sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination. Workers are also protected from retaliation for complaining about wage violations.