Marta Wilson-Barthes: Author Archive

On National Teacher Day, give teachers the credit they deserve

Today we are honoring the people who have inspired us, given us the building blocks of a fulfilling life, and taught us to love learning. No, we aren’t talking about parents this time. It’s National Teacher Day, a time to reflect on everything teachers do for America’s students, schools, and communities.

From the first day of school to the last ring of the bell, teachers shape our experiences both inside and outside the classroom. Read more »

 

Workers Memorial Day is a call for better workplace safety

Hard Hats at MemorialToday workers and their families gather across the country to remember and honor colleagues who were injured or killed on the job site last year. While we have made many improvements since workplace tragedies like the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, research tells us more still needs to be done in order to protect the health and safety of America’s workers.

In 2009 alone, 4,340 workers were killed on the job – an average of 12 workers every day– and an estimated 50,000 died from occupational diseases. Read more »

 

Numbers show the sacrifice isn’t shared

Income Growth Pie ChartAs the economy struggles to rebound and local, state, and federal legislators seek to address cash-strapped budgets, the buzzword has been “shared sacrifice.” But the AFL-CIO’s annual Executive Pay Watch report shows that CEOs of major companies, unlike their employees, haven’t made too many sacrifices. In fact, CEOs from S&P 500 companies received, on average, $11.4 million in total compensation in 2010— a 23 percent increase from the previous year!

Shared sacrifice? Not so much. We sure don’t know any workers who got 23 percent raises last year. Read more »

 

For many Wisconsin teachers, school’s out all too early

Students celebrate the last day of school as the end of homework and the start of summer. But for many teachers across Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker’s attacks on public employees are still in full swing, the end of this school year may also be the beginning of an early retirement.

More than 130 teachers in Madison and its surrounding counties will be retiring this June-a retirement rate that’s 62 percent higher than the average from the past five years. Of course, it’s not just teachers who find their retirement on the line. The number of Wisconsin public employees that have filed for retirement in 2011 is up nearly 80 percent over the same period last year. Read more »

 

Tax Day: Corporate cuts taxing for workers

While no one likes paying taxes, most of us know it’s our tax dollars that support the schools, roads, and services we all use and depend on. But looking at a few statistics this tax day reveals the responsibility for keeping our public programs and economy on track isn’t shared equally — and the burden has fallen on those who can least afford it.

Middle-income families are taxed at 25 percent of their overall paycheck, compared to the average capital gains tax for the wealthiest, which are taxed at a minimum of 15 percent. Read more »

 

Equal Pay Day: Walmart didn’t get the memo

Tuesday was Equal Pay Day, and if the ongoing Supreme Court case is any indication, Walmart still has a long way to go on this issue.

Late last month, over one million female employees from more than 3,000 Walmart branches  presented their class-action lawsuit against  America’s largest private employer to the nation’s highest court. The women allege rampant and widespread sex discrimination by the retail giant, including unequal pay. Read more »

 

Equal Pay Day- women working hard(er) for the money

Today, April 12 , is Equal Pay Day in the United States. Strategically chosen, the date marks how long it takes women to make up for the disparity in pay between genders. Just think, 102 days passed this year before women finally earned the same salary as men in comparable jobs during the past year.
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19 Wisconsin counties flip on Gov. Walker—but outcome of Supreme Court race still unclear

Weeks of protests across Wisconsin let unionbusting legislators know that workers won’t stand for ideologically motivated attacks on their rights. And this week’s Supreme Court race took that message from Madison to the polls. Read more »

 

Gov. Rick Scott is striking out

It’s opening day at Florida’s Tropicana Field – meaning ice cold beer, fly balls, and family fun are just around the corner for baseball lovers across the state. But with the surge of attacks on public employees fresh in the air, today’s season opener is turning out to be a lot more than just another day in the park for Florida fans. Read more »

 

Wisconsin’s only one piece of the puzzle

The recent string of attacks on middle class workers has made it easier than ever to point the finger at the politicians spearheading anti-worker legislation across the country— legislators like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
But the fights currently playing out in these states may only represent the tip of the iceberg in a long-standing national movement that, until now, has gone largely unnoticed.
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