Posts tagged cost of living

    OPINION: The SEIU’s fake fast food union

    February 12, 2024 // Struggling at the national level, the union turned to its legislative allies in California. It worked for several years to enact the so-called “Fast Recovery Act,” a scheme to create a new council that would regulate wages and working conditions for fast-food workers. The idea: Save the union the unproductive hassle of signing up new workers, and instead make all of them subject to a union-controlled government board. Though it took the union two legislative sessions to pass it, over fierce resistance from restaurants, it eventually got to the Governor’s desk in 2022. He signed it on Labor Day that year.

    Workers at Alabama Hyundai plant announce union as UAW drives deeper into Southeast

    February 2, 2024 // Thirty percent of the workers at the sole Hyundai plant in the U.S., in Alabama, have joined the United Auto Workers (UAW). The announcement marks the third such public union drive at an automaker in the Southeast.

    Meet the new Kentucky AFL-CIO president focusing on the future of young workers

    January 31, 2024 // One area he hopes to focus on is the cost of living, which he sees becoming more oppressive to young workers. While 22 states will increase the minimum wage this year, Kentucky's minimum wage will remain at $7.25, the rate it has sat at for the past 14.5 years.

    Opinion: Senate minimum wage bills make bipartisan compromise possible

    January 7, 2024 // Setting a national minimum wage is difficult politically. State and local economies vary significantly . For example, both average salaries and cost of living in states with the highest, Massachusetts and Hawaii, respectively, are more than 70% greater than in Mississippi, one of the poorest, where the average salary is $45,000 and the cost of living is $32,000. As of Monday, 22 states increased their minimum wages, raising pay for an estimated 9.9 million workers and resulting in $6.95 billion in additional income, the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute estimates. Minimum wages in Maryland, New Jersey, and upstate New York reached or exceeded $15 an hour for the first time, joining California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Washington, and the rest of New York. Seven more states have passed legislation or ballot measures to reach or surpass $15 an hour in the coming years: Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Nebraska, Rhode Island, and Virginia. Washington has the highest state minimum wage, increased from $15.74 to $16.28 due to an inflation adjustment. Still, by increasing the federal minimum to $17 an hour over five years, the Democrats’ Raise the Wage Act of 2023 would affect 28 million workers,

    Amazon, Starbucks worker unions are in limbo, even as UAW and others triumph

    December 29, 2023 // More than two years have passed since the first Starbucks stores voted to unionize in Buffalo, N.Y. Close to 380 Starbucks stores have since followed. But not one has a contract. Starbucks and Workers United, the union representing the vast majority of unionized Starbucks stores, have each accused the other of not bargaining in good faith.

    Four Ann Arbor Sweetwaters’ locations unionize for better pay and clearer firing policies

    December 14, 2023 // Workers at four Ann Arbor Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea locations announced that they filed to unionize with the National Labor Relations Board in an Instagram post Thursday evening. The workers at the Michigan Union, West Washington Street, Westgate Library and Meijer Ann Arbor-Saline Road locations will be organizing together as a single bargaining unit, with the goals of increasing pay, improving benefits and creating a clearer process for firing employees. The locations will be represented by Teamsters Local 243, the local chapter of the international union International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

    Wisconsin’s Anti-Union Model Faces Reckoning as Top Court Shifts

    December 12, 2023 // “They’ve been trying to overturn it through the legislature and the ballot box and have been wholly unsuccessful,” said Brett Healy, president of the conservative John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy, which estimates Act 10 has saved taxpayers $16.8 billion as of this year. Act 10 also made it easier for school districts to fire low-performing teachers and retain good ones, said Walker, now president of the Young America’s Foundation, a conservative activist organization for youth. The former governor pointed to the state’s standardized test scores and graduation rates, which typically meet or exceed national averages. “We’ve seen tremendous success,” Walker added. “All the attacks they said at the time, how this would devastate schools, proved be just that—attacks. They don’t match reality.”

    California faculty at largest US university system launch strike for better pay

    December 4, 2023 // The California State University chancellor's office says the pay increase the union is seeking would cost the system $380 million in new recurring spending. That would be $150 million more than increased funding for the system by the state for the 2023-24 year, the office said. Leora Freedman, the vice chancellor for human resources, said in a statement that the university system aims to pay its workers fairly and provide competitive benefits. “We recognize the need to increase compensation and are committed to doing so, but our financial commitments must be fiscally sustainable,” Freedman said.

    OREGON: Portland teachers union reaches tentative deal

    December 3, 2023 // The tentative agreement includes a 13.8% cost-of-living increase over three years, creates new class-size thresholds, increases planning time, and provides additional support for mental and behavioral health. At the end of the three-year contract, more than 50% of district teachers will be making over $100,000. During the strike, union members rallied outside the homes and workplaces of school board members, as well as the Oregon Convention Center. A leader of another top union in Oregon who asked to remain anonymous said it isn’t surprising that PAT chose to act aggressively. They explained, “PAT is to the left of OEA [Oregon Education Association].”

    Schools in Portland, Oregon, reach tentative deal with teachers union after nearly month-long strike

    November 27, 2023 // Students last attended school on Halloween. The deal would provide educators with a 13.8% cumulative cost-of-living increase over the next three years and about half of all educators would earn an extra 10.6% from yearly step increases, PPS said. The agreement would also add classroom time for elementary and middle grades starting next year and increase teacher planning time by 90 minutes each week for elementary and middle-aged classrooms.