This should not be what retirement looks like.
This is just horrible
Analysts from Moody's Investor Services, a bond rating firm, said that Wednesday's ruling by a federal judge considering Stockton's bankruptcy case could open the door for cities to cut retirement obligations — once considered sacrosanct.
In that ruling, Judge Christopher Klein said cities could walk away from their pension obligations — just as they can from other debts. [...]
The judge agreed with Franklin that the federal bankruptcy code — which treats creditors equally —superseded California laws that say cities cannot reduce amounts that CalPERS collects for pensions promised to workers in labor agreements.
We are talking here about pensions that are instead of, not in addition to, Social Security
“If they are allowed to take up to 60 percent of our retirement, I don’t know how I’ll make it,” says Charlotte Martin. “I think I clear $2200 a month. If they take 60 percent of that, that's a lot.” [...]
“All I know is if I had been under Social Security, they couldn’t have touched that money, no way,” she said. “But because the city made a decision prior to my coming to work, I had no choice in it.”
After the bankruptcy judge who said Detroit water shutoffs
could continue, it's fair to say that bankruptcy judges are getting on my last nerve. It's probably more accurate, though, to say that federal bankruptcy laws that put corporate debt at the same level as basic human needs are evil.
Continue reading below the fold for more of the week's labor and education news.
A fair day's wage
- Check out the Belabored podcast. This week: The unfinished history of labor feminism.
- New York City is phasing out workfare. May this become a trend that sweeps the nation.
- Check this out: bosses who face possible jail time for cheating their workers—and the state.
- This should apply to everyone, but it's progress: Washington, DC, city workers will now get paid family leave.
- An Olive Garden waiter weighs in on why thousands have signed his petition and the changes that have hit workers there:
Getting rid of auto-gratuity [for large parties], and forcing servers to tip out the bussers and bar staff based on their total sales, which isn’t an accurate representation of their tips. That way they could drop the way the management had to pay servers, bussers, and bartenders. It turned out that everyone was making less after that move except for Darden.
- $8.50 is not enough.
- FIFA is the worst, gender discrimination edition.
- Good news for some workers:
Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to sign an executive order on Tuesday significantly expanding New York City’s living wage law, covering thousands of previously exempt workers and raising the hourly wage itself, to $13.13 from $11.90, for workers who do not receive benefits. [...]
Let's be clear, though, that none of the numbers being mentioned constitute an actual living wage in New York City.
The executive order will immediately cover employees of commercial tenants on projects that receive more than $1 million in city subsidies going forward. Workers who receive benefits such as health insurance will earn $11.50 an hour, compared with $10.30 before.
- And more qualified good news, this time for a group of workers treated scandalously:
Hyatt Hotels Corp. has agreed to pay $1 million to 98 Boston-area housekeepers who were fired five years ago and replaced by lower-paid, outsourced workers, at the time triggering a backlash that drew national attention — and a stern scolding from Governor Deval Patrick.
The official boycott of these hotels is ending with the deal, but individuals should of course consider their consciences before staying there.
The settlement, to be announced Friday, could give some workers as much as $40,000, depending on their years of service.
- I had not heard of WinCo, which sounds worth hearing about.
- Lena Dunham will be paying her book tour opening acts after all.