In our regular weekly feature, we'll be taking a look at the winners and losers of the week in the struggle for the rights of working families. The winners will be the persons or organizations that go above and beyond to expand or protect the rights of working families, while the losers will be whoever went above and beyond to limit or deny those rights.
In the wake of federal and state inaction, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) recently proposed raising the minimum wage within the city limits to $13 per hour. A key City Council committee advanced the measure on a 16–3 vote Monday and the broader council passed it 44–5 Tuesday. The current wage of $8.25 will move to $10 early next year and will rise in increments until it reaches the full $13 in 2019.
You may have seen a video of him before, but if 11-year-old Asean Johnson can stand up to Rahm Emanuel and school "reformers" like he does in this video from the AFT convention, you can stand up and fight the important battles in your community.
Members of National Nurses United (NNU) have had a busy week fighting to improve patient safety both inside and outside hospitals. First up is a new campaign to call upon hospitals coast to coast to reject replacing registered nurses with technology that lowers the quality of patient care and oppose efforts to cut costs at the expense of patient care. Working on the theme “when it matters most, insist on a registered nurse,” the campaign includes radio ads, videos like the one above, social media, in-person rallies and a legislative push.
Privatization of services has long been a favorite "solution" of right-wing extremists looking to profit off of taxpayer funds. In attempts to sell the government service provision to private companies, many promises are made about the cost-effectiveness and superior quality product that can be offered by the private sector. But most of those promised benefits fail to materialize. Here are 10 lessons that government officials should learn before considering the privatization of services based on the experience of Chicago's privatized parking meters (and other examples), as outlined in a recent Atlantic article.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has targeted Chicago teachers again. This time with an announcement last week that Chicago Public Schools (CPS) will layoff more than 3,000 teachers and school staff. This comes on the heels of the city’s closing of nearly 50 schools and layoffs of some 850 educators. Along with the layoffs, steep budget cuts are in the works.
The teachers and staff in one of Chicago’s largest charter school networks overwhelmingly voted to join the Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff (Chicago ACTS), an AFT affiliate. The more than 400 educators work at the 13 schools, with about 6,500 students, that are operated by the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO).
In his latest piece at Salon, Josh Eidelson talks about a planned walkout by fast-food workers in Chicago.
The walkout began, the Chicago Tribune reports, at 5:30 a.m. local time with workers from some McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts stores walking off the job. The ultimate goal of the walkout is to support the Fight for $15 campaign, whose goal is to secure a wage of $15 per hour for workers. Also expected to join the walkout were workers from Subway, Macy's, Sears and Victoria's Secret.
Hundreds of activists representing working families rallied in Chicago on Thursday in support of commonsense immigration reform with a path to citizenship. The event was held by the Chicago Federation of Labor, Instituto del Progreso Latino and the AFL-CIO.