The purpose of this newsletter is to inform you of recent activities by the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO as well as emerging issues affecting the professional and technical workforce. NewsLine will be published on the first of every month. Issues of NewsLine are accessible on the DPE web page www.dpeaflcio.org. Feedback welcomed; send to email@example.com.
In This Issue:
- Unconference Networking Online
- Focusing on Nurses
- Health Care Lunch and Learn’s Continue
- Social Service Workers – A Portrait
- Media Reform
- Media Unions Meet
- Internet Taxes
- Class Act for the Classrooms
- Outreach to Future Professionals
- Outsourcing America
UNCONFERENCE NETWORKING ONLINE – Want a glimpse of the new economy? Work trends for professional and technical workers? How unions and professional associations are adapting to new needs? Ways to enable professionals to organize? Click on http://www.dpeaflcio.org/conference_2005_materials/default.htm. The link will bring you original research, novel approaches, brief bios of 55 speakers and panelists, links to organizations, and photos from the March 2005 DPE conference, “Organizing Professionals in the 21st Century.” If your union hasn’t linked to the DPE website www.dpeaflcio.org already, here’s one more reason to do so.
The conference is still yielding important benefits. One allied organization is planning attitudinal research building in part on the polling DPE commissioned. Cornell is researching a topic participants identified as a priority: the dynamics and impact of union mergers. A third organization is discussing with DPE a partnership to research other priorities. We’ll keep you posted as these efforts develop – and if you’d like to join the discussions, please contact DPE President Paul E. Almeida, firstname.lastname@example.org, or David Cohen, Assistant to the President for Education and Organizational Development, email@example.com.
FOCUSING ON NURSES – On May 12, 2005, DPE hosted a special briefing for its affiliates representing nurses. Guy Molyneux, Senior Vice President, Peter D. Hart Research, provided a careful look at the national poll of unorganized Registered Nurses that DPE commissioned for its March conference, “Organizing Professionals in the 21st Century.” The small setting allowed for a candid and productive give-and-take – one more positive yield from the conference (see “Unconference Networking Online” above).
HEALTH CARE LUNCH AND LEARN’S CONTINUE – DPE has been sponsoring a series of Lunch and Learn programs to discuss problems in the health care system and proposals for change. These programs have covered: international comparisons in health care; ethnic and racial disparities; the power of the health insurance industry, and the physicians’ proposal for national health insurance. Participants have included representatives from labor, public health, public interest, academia, government, community organizations, and foreign embassies.
Coming in June: DPE will be posting summaries of the programs along with the materials or a source related to the topic.
May Lunch and Learn:
GETTING AND KEEPING HEALTH INSURANCE (OR FINDING AFFORDABLE CARE IF YOU’RE UNINSURED) – A program and discussion led by Jim Brown, Director, Health Insurance Resource Center, Actors’ Fund of America who runs the Access to Health Insurance/Resources for Health Care website: www.ahirc.org was held on May 12. A virtual tour of the Website pointed to resources and information regarding: rights and protections; purchasing private health insurance; group insurance through associations; government-subsidized plans; care through community clinics and hospitals; negotiating hospital bills; medical discount and pharmacy cards; and advocating for change.
The extensive AHIRC database was created by the Actors’ Fund in 1998 as a health insurance resource for artists and people in the entertainment industry. Since then, it has expanded to include resources for the self-employed, low-income workers, the under-insured, the uninsured who require medical care, and many other groups, including union members.
More than 50 people attended this program, including representatives/members of Actors’ Equity, AFM, SAG/AFTRA, TNG-CWA, AFL-CIO, CLUW, NWU, APWU, Americans for Democratic Action, Center on Disability and Health, U.S. Department of Labor, Future of Music Coalition, Urban Institute, Metropolitan Washington Public Health Association, National Association of Community Health Centers, National Public Radio, Fieldworks, Creative Benefits Solutions, Washington Improv Theatre, Footlights, DLB Management Services, as well as self-employed designers, financial consultants, and public health advocates, among others.
June Lunch and Learn:
UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE IN AMERICA – For Universal Health Care in America, Look beyond the Beltway: States Are Leading the Way, Noon – 2:00 p.m., June 7. Few people seriously expect this Congress to enact the far-reaching reforms that are needed. In response, local movements have emerged in a number of states with the common goal of winning universal coverage. Join DPE for this valuable program. It will feature staff from America’s Agenda: Health Care for All,launched last fall for the specific purpose of leveling the playing field for statewide universal health care campaigns and leaders of highly promising statewide campaigns in Illinois and Massachusetts.
August 18 Lunch and Learn
Focus on Women: Proactive Strategies to Lead Longer and Healthier Lives
September 15 Lunch and Learn
What’s Wrong with the Pharmaceutical Industry
For information about the series, contact Pamela Wilson, by phone: 202/638-6684 or email, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOCIAL SERVICE WORKERS: A PORTRAIT – A new DPE fact sheet, Social Service Workers: The Facts, paints a statistical portrait of social service workers, including their current and projected employment; gender, racial and ethnic composition; age; pay, including median wages, and comparison with other occupations with similar qualifications, experience and responsibility; the wage gap; workplace violence and necessary safety precautions; benefits, and unionization.
In 2004, social workers represented by unions earned 25% more than their non union counterparts; for counselors, this differential was as high as 49%. The 2004 earnings of all other community and social service workers were 17.5% higher for those represented by a union than for those who were not. The fact sheet is posted to the website, www.dpeaflcio.org/policy/factsheets. For further information, contact Pamela Wilson, email@example.com
MEDIA REFORM – Paul Almeida and Mike Gildea joined with 2500 activists from around the country at the second conference on media reform in St. Louis MO. An out-growth of labor, public interest and citizen opposition against corporate media, FCC deregulation and merger mania, the conference featured dozens of workshops on media policy issues, citizen advocacy, local media and many other topics. While there DPE leadership met with FCC commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein as well as former Commissioners Gloria Tristani and Nick Johnson. Several affiliates including the Newspaper Guild, NABET, AFTRA, WGAeast and SAG also sent representatives.
MEDIA UNIONS MEET – DPE’s Arts, Entertainment and Media Industry (AEMI) committee met in late May. Twenty representatives from 10 national unions discussed pending public policy matters including telecom overhaul, the House-passed indecency measure, multi-employer pension plan legislation, piracy and intellectual property protections as well as the AFL-CIO-endorsed Bill of Media Rights statement of principles and current AFTRA/SAG bargaining with the video games industry.
INTERNET TAXATION – DPE and representatives from AFT, AFSCME, SEIU and RWDSU met with staffers from the offices of Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) to discuss plans to reintroduce legislation to allow states to implement regimens to collect state sales taxes on internet commodity sales transactions. The legislation, which would allow state and local governments to access billions in lost revenues for vital public services, depends upon a minimum number of states agreeing to simplify their sale tax methodologies. The requisite number of states have already agreed to do so. The bi-partisan Senate legislation is expected to be introduced in the near future.
CLASS ACT FOR CLASSROOMS – DPE and AFT are among the labor sponsors for a joint labor-management project funded by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, “Workplace Issues and Collective Bargaining in the Classroom,” administered by the Community Services Agency of the Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO. On May 19, 2005, DPE Assistant to the President David Cohen chaired the meeting of the joint-labor management committee. Its next steps include developing an advisory committee of educators beyond the joint committee and seeking funding to continue and expand the program after the FMCS grant ends this fall.
For information about the project or the training until June 30, contact Jim Auerbach at the Community Services Agency, Jauerbac@dclabor.org; after June 30, contact Kathleen McKirchy, firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about DPE’s participation, contact David Cohen, email@example.com.
OUTREACH TO FUTURE PROFESSIONALS –While people 18 years of age and younger make up 25% of our population, they constitute our entire future. This summer, DPE will host four summer meetings of outstanding high school students visiting Washington for 11-day National Young Leaders Conference programs. For information about NYLC and its programs, see www.cylc.org/nylc; for information about DPE’s involvement contact Pamela, firstname.lastname@example.org.
OUTSOURCING AMERICA – What’s Behind our national Crisis and How We Can Reclaim American Jobs. A new book just released written by Ron and Anil Hira both well studied on the subject paint a clear and uncomplicated picture of the problem. Not a sky is falling book, but rather an intellectual thought provoking assessment of where we are and how we can begin to fix the problem. Having testified before Congress with Ron Hira on the subject of outsourcing it is easy to see why Congressman Donald Manzullo (Chair of the U.S. House Committee on Small Business) joined many others adding his support for this book. Manzullo said it is a must read for every corporate manager and political leader in America. If you read only one book on outsourcing it should be this one. You can find out more about the book at: http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=S3yrj1WqE34C&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq=outsourcing+america+hira&ots=U_f6d_plkt&sig=BgmGQYZGpE7jX4CxY9vOPttlRmo. “Outsourcing America,” is currently available on Google.com, Barnes & Noble (on-line and in stores).