One thing that has been historically unique about this recovery is the unprecedented loss of public sector jobs. The private sector began adding jobs in the spring of 2010, but the public sector continued shedding jobs until last summer. [...] We are currently 716,000 public sector jobs below where we were when the recovery started, but to keep up with population growth since then, we should have added over 800,000 jobs, so we are around 1.5 million public sector jobs down. About a third of them are teachers and other employees in public K-12 education.Those are good jobs that supported middle-class families. They're also jobs that served the public. And their loss is part of a concerted Republican war on public workers, public services, and really, the idea of the public good.
Continue reading below the fold for more of the week's labor and education news.
A fair day's wage
- Oakland Raiders cheerleaders are going to be paid minimum wage after one filed a wage theft lawsuit:
Perhaps most interesting is that the cheerleaders will also be paid for work-related events such as practice, public appearances, and team photos; a wage and hour mandate that wasn’t previously imposed.
- Rhode Island Treasurer Gina Raimondo, an anti-worker Democrat currently running for governor, loves her some hedge funds.
- Another good move from the president:
Earlier this month, the White House announced that President Obama would sign an executive order protecting the employees of all federal contractors from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity. At the White House’s annual LGBT Pride Month reception Monday evening, Obama announced a separate executive order he’s planning to sign that will similarly protect all transgender employees of the federal government.
- Union-made-in-America wines.
- Media Matters goes union.
- Teachers and public schools have a shocking new enemy.
- AFT President Randi Weingarten explains why teachers deserve due process:
Due process gives teachers the latitude to use their professional judgment in their classrooms, to advocate for their students, and to not fear retribution for speaking the truth or teaching controversial subjects like evolution. As political winds shift in school districts, due process also wards off patronage or nepotism. For instance, a teacher in Indiana, where there isn't tenure, was laid off, allegedly due to budget cuts, but it was an open secret that her administrator wanted to free up the position to hire a friend. Due process would have kept her in the classroom.
- More on the firing of activist teacher Agustin Morales.
- Diane Ravitch asks do teachers unions have any friends in the Obama administration?