The Fight for 15 isn't just about fast food.
The Fight for 15 has another win. Home healthcare workers, who are represented by SEIU, will get a raise to $15
by July 2018, up from a current pay rate of $13.38, with a raise of 30 cents an hour effective next week. The more than 35,000 workers care for elderly and disabled people on Medicaid, helping them bathe, running errands for them, and other tasks that help people live in their homes.
Personal care attendant Rosario Cabrera, 31, of New Bedford, said the raise means she will be able to pay her bills on time, provide for her two children, and maybe even take a vacation. Cabrera works seven days a week caring for two elderly women in their homes, and even with the money her husband makes as a machine operator, her family struggles to get by.
“I’m proud of what I do because I’m helping another human being life their life,” she said. “But it’s not fair if I can’t live my life.”
Home care work is one of the fastest-growing and lowest-paid
industries in the country. But Massachusetts shows that doesn't have to be the way it is.
The minimum wage in Massachusetts is on its way to $11 in 2017 (it is now $9 an hour) and a paid sick leave law kicks in next week. Obviously that hasn't blunted the momentum in the state to do even better for workers in low-wage industries. And note that the governor with whose administration the home care workers deal was negotiated is a Republican.
Continue reading below the fold for more of the week's labor and education news.
A fair day's wage
- Class struggle? There's an app for that.
- Connecticut just passed a law that might make employers think twice about wage theft.
- Zookeepers love their jobs—which might make it easier to exploit them.
- A black man walks into Silicon Valley and tries to get a job ...
- Pro-union tattoo solidarity with workers on the show Ink Master. Workers unionized, but management is refusing to negotiate with them.
- How unions are preparing for yet another scary court case that might be headed to the Supreme Court.
- According to a survey of workers at the clothing chain Zara, discrimination against black customers and discrimination against black workers go hand in hand there:
A survey of 251 employees and a round of focus groups conducted by the union-allied workers’ rights campaign group claims there is a practice within Zara to label suspicious customers or potential thieves with the code words “special orders”. Once a “special order” was identified and his or her location radioed to employees’ headsets, an employee would follow that customer around, the report claims. [...]
Lighter-skinned employees of color and white employees experienced better treatment within the company, with higher-status assignments, more work hours and a stronger likelihood of being promoted.
- Boeing faces a lawsuit from flight attendants:
The flight attendants, who worked for Alaska Airlines, are alleging that Boeing knowingly exposed passengers and flight crews to toxic air that was sucked into its planes through the engine by the system that is used to maintain cabin pressure during flights, according to the report.
- For some reason, Rhode Island keeps raising its minimum wage a little bit year after year rather than just enacting a big raise to go into effect in steps over a few years or indexing it to inflation. It's rarely bad to hear about a minimum wage increase, but this just seems odd.
- Who's next: Making space for young workers in the union
- Thanks, Republicans! Public spending on infrastructure construction sinking to great recession levels.
- Workers Independent News week in review:
- Who's grading Common Core tests?
There was a onetime wedding planner, a retired medical technologist and a former Pearson saleswoman with a master’s degree in marital counseling. To get the job, like other scorers nationwide, they needed a four-year college degree with relevant coursework, but no teaching experience. They earned $12 to $14 an hour, with the possibility of small bonuses if they hit daily quality and volume targets.
- Teachers confront a union-busting CEO at a national charter school conference.
- Good news! Department of Education threats notwithstanding, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed a standardized testing opt-out bill into law.