Labor News Briefs

Mississippi House Votes to Quadruple Raise for Teachers
Education, Features, Finance, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

Mississippi House Votes to Quadruple Raise for Teachers

JACKSON, Miss.—The Mississippi House voted March 11 to increase teachers’ pay by $4,000 over the next two years, four times the $500-a-year raises previously approved by the state Senate. Rep. Steve Holland, an independent from the Tupelo area, said he proposed the amendment to the teacher-pay bill after he visited a grandchild’s elementary school and…

SEIU Staff Authorize Strike
Features, Finance, Health and Safety, Labor News Briefs, Municipal Government, National

SEIU Staff Authorize Strike

WASHINGTON—Staff at the Service Employees International Union’s national headquarters here have voted to authorize a strike, Office of Professional Employees International Union Local 2 announced March 12.  The OPEIU said the size of its bargaining unit has fallen by half since 2005, and it blames that on SEIU outsourcing work out to non-union contractors, such…

Chicago Symphony Musicians Strike to Save Pensions
Entertainment, Features, Finance, Labor News Briefs, Municipal Government, National

Chicago Symphony Musicians Strike to Save Pensions

CHICAGO, Ill.—Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians went on strike March 10, resisting management’s demand to change their retirement plan from a defined-benefit pension to a 401(k)-style defined-contribution plan. “Individuals would have a retirement account which the association would fund. But the value of that account would not be defined. It would not be guaranteed,” bassist Stephen…

Florida College Suggests Adjuncts Should Apply for Medicaid
Features, Health and Safety, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

Florida College Suggests Adjuncts Should Apply for Medicaid

MIAMI, Fla.—Administrators at Florida’s Miami Dade community college have advice for adjunct professors seeking higher pay: If you can’t afford health insurance for your kids, you should apply for public assistance instead of joining a union. In January, a vice provost at Miami Dade, which with more than 100,000 students is the nation’s largest local…

AFL-CIO Won’t Urge Labor Secretary to Quit Over Teen-Pimping Case
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AFL-CIO Won’t Urge Labor Secretary to Quit Over Teen-Pimping Case

WASHINGTON—The AFL-CIO will hold off on demanding that Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta resign for letting Miami hedge-fund magnate Jeffrey Epstein get a light sentence for trafficking dozens of teenage girls for sex.  Bloomberg Law reported that at a meeting Feb. 26, federation officials decided to wait for the results of a lawsuit and Justice Department…

Allentown Newspaper Staff Join NewsGuild
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Allentown Newspaper Staff Join NewsGuild

ALLENTOWN, Pa.—Editorial staff at the Allentown Morning Call, the Lehigh Valley’s largest newspaper,have joined the NewsGuild-Communications Workers of America. The Morning Call Guild said staff were suffering from “stagnant pay, shrinking newsrooms and an ever-growing workload.” “We know unionizing doesn’t magically solve the problems with the news industry,” said reporter Michelle Merlin. “But it does…

Virginia Bus Drivers Begin Talks for First Contract
Features, Finance, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National, Transportation

Virginia Bus Drivers Begin Talks for First Contract

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—City bus drivers began talks Feb. 19 on their first union contract since they voted overwhelmingly to join Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 last November. The about 130 drivers work for DASH, a nonprofit corporation owned by the city that outsources operations to a local subsidiary of the First Transit bus company. They are…

Danish Company Agrees to Build Jersey Offshore Wind Farm Union
Building Trades, Features, Finance, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, National

Danish Company Agrees to Build Jersey Offshore Wind Farm Union

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.—The Danish renewable-energy company Orsted has signed an agreement to use union labor if it gets approval to build an offshore wind farm 15 miles off Atlantic City. Its U.S. subsidiary signed a memorandum of understanding with the South Jersey Building and Construction Trades Council covering the proposed 1,100-megawatt Ocean Wind project, the…

Connecticut Governor Seeks Pension Givebacks
Education, Features, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

Connecticut Governor Seeks Pension Givebacks

HARTFORD, Conn.—Gov. Ned Lamont announced Feb. 19 that his budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year will propose reducing pensions for future retired state employees—but state workers’ unions, whose approval would be needed, immediately objected. “While I love history and tradition, there is no reason to continue with bad or outdated policies that are no longer…

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