Posts Tagged ‘public sector workers’

Full Circle: Union members were first responders on 9/11, now at heart of World Trade Center rebuilding

Whether we’re facing hurricanes, recessions, or terrorist attacks, we have faith that the workers of America will be there, ready to rebuild our communities. They are ready to serve and ready to work, in any circumstance. We were reminded of that strength while viewing and reading the moving slideshow in today’s New York Times on the over 3,200 construction workers rebuilding the World Trade Center site. It’s fitting: union members were among the first responders; union members served in the immediate cleanup; and now union members are part of the rebuilding. Read more »

 

Public employees help us weather the storm

Hurricane Irene battered the Atlantic coast this weekend, travelling slowly from North Carolina to New England. In her wake over 3 million lost power, flooding and high winds caused billions of dollars in damage, and at least 28 people lost their lives. But without the tireless efforts of public workers from across the country, Irene’s impact could have been much greater. Read more »

 

Jobs Bill Passes, Keeps Recovery on Track

Cash-strapped states can finally breathe a sigh of relief—help is on the way.

Last week, after months of stalling by Senate Republicans, the Senate was finally able to pass a $26 billion jobs bill that will save more than 900,000 jobs of state and local teachers, nurses, firefighters and other workers facing layoffs. And yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brought back the House of Representatives for an emergency session, where it passed by a vote of 247 to 161, and was quickly signed into law by President Obama.

The victory is especially important for the nation’s schools, which have seen class sizes swell while thousands of teachers have confronted the threat of layoffs. Read more »

 

Taking on the assault on public employees

Anti-worker pundits and politicos have been attacking public sector workers, but anyone with a lick of sense knows it wasn’t workers who created the economic crisis.  AFSCME President Gerald W. McEntee has a nice rebuttal to attacks on public sector workers.

McEntee points out that public sector workers like librarians, corrections officers, cops and firemen are hardly rolling in money:

AFSCME’s non-teaching public employee members earn, on average, $45,000 a year to protect the public and the most vulnerable members of our society. After a career of service, our members retire with modest pensions of about $19,000 per year. And, unlike most private sector workers, our members typically contribute towards this pension benefit.

And while anti-worker voices say it’s unfair for public sector workers to have better benefits than private sector, they’re right.  They just have their solution backwards:

What is truly galling for private sector employees is the outright refusal of our political and economic elites to recognize and deal with stagnant wages and eroding retirement and health security. Our nation’s problem is not that public service workers have decent pensions, it is that so many other employees don’t.

It’s not a coincidence that a higher percentage of public sector workers belong to unions and they have fair wages and benefits.  Unions exist to give workers the power to making a decent living and have respect on the job.  When our labor laws catch up to our values, the American Dream will be back in reach for millions of workers—in all sectors of the economy.

 

Pink hearts and Megan Fox

pink heartThousands of teachers and other education professionals are wearing pink hearts to school today.  Why?  Because with schools across the country facing budget cuts, an estimated 300,000 educators may receive a pink slip by the end of this school year.  The American Federation of Teachers’ “Pink Hearts, Not Pink Slips” campaign is drawing attention to the impact on students, schools and communities when drastic budget cuts result in layoffs.

One PTA in Los Angeles enlisted actress Megan Fox to create a funny—and pointed—video dramatizing the effects of budget cuts on California schools. Check it out:

Read more »