Sorry, Mayor Nutter. Joining Gov. Corbett in demonizing teachers isn't working out for you so well.
The situation in the Philadelphia schools is a matter for tears, but here's something to laugh at
The press release came out this morning from the Commonwealth Foundation, with the headline: "Union Abuses Force Philadelphia Teachers to Speak Out." Then, the correction: "Union Abuses Force Philadelphia Area Teachers to Speak Out."
Turns out, the organization couldn't actually get any Philly teachers to gripe publicly about union practices.
Philadelphia teachers are now working with an expired contract while both Republican Gov. Tom Corbett and Democratic Mayor Michael Nutter pressure them to take more than $100 million in concessions, even though they're paid substantially less than teachers in surrounding suburbs. But while the big political names may be trying to blame teachers for the horrific state of the city's schools, the public isn't with them, and teachers aren't the only ones
who don't blame the union:
[A poll by the Pew Charitable Trusts] found that thirty-one percent of residents blame Corbett and the Republican-controlled state legislature, thirty-one percent blame Nutter and City Council, and twenty-one percent blamed school administrators and the state-controlled SRC.
Continue reading below the fold for more of the week's news in labor and education.
Just 11-percent blame unions representing teachers and other workers.
A fair day's wage
- GIFtroit. Yes, that's the story of the Detroit bankruptcy in GIFs.
- With the House food stamp vote coming up, celebrity chef Tom Colicchio and Food Policy Action announced plans for a PAC on food issues like hunger and food safety. (Which, okay, will not be called ColicchioPAC.) It's not uncommon for people to say they care about hunger and poverty while paying their own workers poverty wages, but Colicchio gets top marks from the Restaurant Opportunities Center as a high-road employer.
- More Amazon workers sue over wage theft:
In recent weeks, current and former workers at distribution centers in Kentucky, Tennessee and Washington state have filed four lawsuits claiming Amazon effectively shorted them on pay through warehouse security policies. In their proposed class-action suits, workers say they spent at least 40 minutes a week and often more being screened for stolen goods or contraband -- time for which they were not compensated. The most recent complaint was filed Tuesday in Kentucky.
- Workers at University of California hospitals are still fighting for a fair contract.
- David Moberg takes a deeper look at the Obamacare issue that has some unions upset.
- Another Wisconsin Republican who thinks she's above the law: this one wants to change state law to hide her ALEC ties.
- The Minnesota legislature looks likely to raise the state's minimum wage but will it be by enough?
The state House this year passed a measure to raise the minimum wage to $9.50 by 2015, which would make Minnesota’s one of the highest minimum wages in the nation. But the state Senate passed its own version of the bill increasing the wage to $7.75 an hour, meaning negotiators from the two chambers will need to iron out their differences before a wage hike can go into effect.
$7.75 is really not going to cut it, guys. And do not try to trot out the old "but a living wage is bad for business" line. It is not, as has been proven time and time again.
- Steve Early writes of the AFL-CIO convention that the House of Labor needs repairs, not just new roommates.
- Bruce Vail checks in on the status of the UNITE HERE-Hyatt peace process.
- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is trying to make the most of what time he has left:
Time is running out on the Bloomberg administration, so his compliant board will vote at its next meeting in October on a record giveaway of public school space to privately managed charters.
- Education Secretary Arne Duncan sure does love him some testing:
California and Texas are the Red Sox and Yankees of interstate rivalries. The biggest blue state and the big, bad red state love to hate each other, but they are fighting on the same side against the expensive and useless burden of over-testing. Unfortunately, the Obama administration has made it clear that the testing will continue until the scores improve, even when they have already improved or they tell us nothing.