In This Issue:
- BLS: Employment For Professionals Will Increase
- AFT President Weingarten Unveils Major Proposal For Education Reform
- DPE Weighs In On High Skilled Immigration
- April 15: RNs, Social Workers & Patient Care
- May 11: Whistleblowers & OSHA
- Defending Professional Integrity Against External Pressures
- Reaching Out To Professional Associations: American Library Association Midwinter Meeting
- DPE In Oregon: Why Professionals Belong In Unions
- Americans For The Arts Announces Arts Index
- DPE In The News
BLS: EMPLOYMENT FOR PROFESSIONALS WILL INCREASE
– A new U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report projects the continued growth of professional occupations over the next 10 years.
More than half of all new jobs from 2008 to 2018, BLS says, will be in professional and related occupations and service occupations. Registered nurses, home health aides and customer service representatives are the three detailed occupation classifications that BLS projects will add the most jobs.
The BLS Employment Projections for 2008–2018, released in December 2009, projects that total employment will increase by 15.3 million or 10.1% between 2008 and 2018.
BLS notes that workers will need higher levels of education to compete in the economy. Between 2008 and 2018, occupations that usually require a post-secondary degree or award are expected to account for nearly half of all new jobs and one-third of total job openings. Fourteen of the thirty fastest growing detailed occupations will require a bachelor’s degree or higher as the most significant source of post-secondary education or training.
The changing face of the workforce means the face of organized labor will change, as Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) economist John Schmitt and BLS economist Jim Walker discussed at a CEPR Brown Bag Lunch on January 29. DPE Researcher and Representative Alexis Spencer Notabartolo attended the event, which focused on a CEPR November 2009 report “The Changing Face of Labor, 1983–2008,” a publication that examines the dramatic changes to the organized workforce over the past 25 years.
For more information on the most recent BLS data, click here.
AFT PRESIDENT WEINGARTEN UNVEILS MAJOR PROPOSAL FOR EDUCATION REFORM
– In a speech at the National Press Club on January 12, 2010, AFT President Randi Weingarten drew national media attention with a comprehensive proposal for education reform. Among other things, she proposed logical approaches for teacher development and evaluation that target great teaching.
To read about the speech, watch a video of it, or link to press accounts, click here.
DPE WEIGHS IN ON HIGH SKILLED IMMIGRATION
– DPE President Paul E. Almeida and Researcher and Representative Alexis Spencer Notabartolo took part in the Center for American Progress (CAP) High Skilled Immigration Roundtable on December 8, 2009. The event highlighted a new CAP report, “Prosperous Immigrants, Prosperous Americans: How to Welcome the World’s Best Educated, Boost Economic Growth, and Create Jobs.” It included participants from the business community, trade groups, advocacy organizations, and the AFL-CIO. While DPE was pleased to attend the event, DPE found the CAP report seriously flawed and unresponsive to many of the points in the recent DPE publication, “Gaming the System: Guest Worker Visa Programs and Professional and Technical Workers in the U.S.”
APRIL 15: RNs, SOCIAL WORKERS & PATIENT CARE
– Hold April 15, 2010 for a first.
From 2 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 15, 2010 at the Washington Court Hotel, 525 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC, Professionals for the Public Interest: Associations and Unions Defending Professional Integrity (PftPI) will sponsor the first PftPI Forum, “Defending Patient Care Against External Pressures: Dilemmas and Possibilities for RNs and Social Workers in Hospitals.”
Hospitals employ registered nurses and social workers. Both groups strive to offer professional care to their patients and clients. Both groups define professional integrity through multiple means: codes of professional ethics and standards, licensure, and law.
When a hospital responds to financial or political pressures in ways that adversely affect professional care and integrity, how should the professionals respond? What measures might policymakers, administrators, professionals, associations and unions take to protect professional integrity against external pressures?
Putting together the panel of nationally known experts to respond to these questions are representatives from AFT, the American Public Health Association, the National Association of Social Workers, and DPE. The PftPI Forum will precede the opening later that day of the AFT Healthcare Professional Issues Conference, also at the Washington Court Hotel.
PftPI brings together 19 national and global organizations around a common focus: defending professional integrity against external pressures in the interests of the public. PftPI addresses that focus with the members of these organizations, policymakers, and the public. The organizations include eight professional associations; 10 national unions; and DPE, which collectively represent more than four million professionals in disciplines from the sciences and engineering to human services.
For more information about the April 15 Forum, please contact DPE Executive Director David Cohen, email@example.com, 202-638-0320, extension 113, or Researcher and Representative Alexis Spencer Notabartolo, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-638-0320, extension 119. For information about the second PftPI Forum on May 11, see “May 11: OSHA & Whistleblowers” below.
MAY 11: WHISTLEBLOWERS & OSHA
– Hold May 11 for a second PftPI Forum. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels will address and discuss “Whistleblowers and OSHA: Strengthening Professional Integrity Against External Pressures.” (For information about the first PftPI Forum, see “April 15: RNs, Social Workers & Patient Care” above.)
The Whistleblower Protection Program in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces whistleblower provisions in 17 federal statutes. The provisions aim to protect workers outside the federal government who disclose illegal practices in industries from nuclear power to securities to consumer products and others. Agencies other than the Department of Labor enforce the basic provisions of 16 of those 17 statutes.
A January 2009 Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report noted the “increasing caseloads” and “case complexity” confronting the whistleblower program at every level. It cited “two key challenges” for OSHA: maintaining the quality of investigations and providing adequate resources for investigators. It did not directly question, however, whether the statutory structure makes sense.
How is the Whistleblower Protection Program working now? How do its challenges relate to its responsibilities across so many complex and specialized statutes and industries? How could other approaches strengthen the protections for whistleblowers in the interests of the public?
IEEE-USA and DPE will host and moderate the program at the American Association for the.Advancement of Science (AAAS), 1200 New York Avenue, N.W. Light refreshments from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. will precede the speech and discussion from 12:30 to 2 p.m.
For a biography of David Michaels, click here. For the GAO report, go here. For more information about this Forum, contact DPE Executive Director David Cohen, email@example.com, 202-638-0320 extension 113.
DEFENDING PROFESSIONAL INTEGRITY AGAINST EXTERNAL PRESSURES
– At its January 21, 2010 meeting, the Joint Working Group (JWG) of Professionals for the Public Interest: Associations and Unions Defending Professional Integrity (PftPI) continued developing a common infrastructure and program to defend professional integrity against external pressures.
Vin O’Neill, IEEE-USA Senior Legislative Representative and chair of the PftPI Activities Subgroup, reported about planning for the 2010 PftPI Forums. (See “April 15: RNs, Social Workers & Patient Care” and “May 11: Whistleblowers & OSHA” above.) The JWG authorized DPE to investigate setting up a 501(c)(3) nonprofit to seek grant funding for the PftPI Forums and perhaps the PftPI website.
An update about the Policy Subgroup, chaired by Raymond J. Garant of the American Chemical Society, noted a proposed letter to U.S. Representative Wm. Lacy Clay of Missouri about legislation he introduced in 2009 affecting federal advisory committees. Mel Wilson of the National Association of Social Workers reminded the JWG about the Bill Tracker on the PftPI website, and DPE Researcher and Representative Alexis Spencer Notabartolo demonstrated possible models for grassroots legislative activity through the website.
With increasing activity through the subgroups, the JWG agreed to ask each participating organization for representation at the subgroup level and to meet as the JWG every other month. Its next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 25.
For more information about Professionals for the Public Interest, please contact DPE President Paul E. Almeida, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-638-0320, extension 112, or Executive Director David Cohen, email@example.com, 202-638-0320, extension 113.
REACHING OUT TO PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS: AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION MIDWINTER MEETING
– The American Library Association (ALA) held its Midwinter Meeting on January 15–19, 2010, in Boston, MA. Researcher and Representative Alexis Spencer Notabartolo participated in the Midwinter meeting as both a member of the ALA-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) Salaries and Status of Library Workers committee and as Co-chair of the AFL-CIO-ALA Joint Committee on Library Service to Labor Groups.
The AFL-CIO-ALA Joint Committee discussed not only the upcoming 2010 ALA Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, June 24–30, but also began brainstorming for themes for the 2011 Annual Meeting program. The 2010 Joint Committee program, “Labor Rights are Human Rights”, will feature Dr. Bama Athreya from the International Labor Rights Forum and Carol Rosenblatt of the Coalition of Labor Union Women discussing labor rights, the role of unions in promoting democracy and economic prosperity, and the attack on workers rights as part of an international phenomenon. A special focus will be the importance of unions to the salary and status of women. Discussion of 2011 program themes centered on the idea of “Libraries Fight Back”, for which more extensive planning will take place between the Midwinter and Annual ALA Meetings.
The Joint Committee also saw the return of AFL-CIO appointed committee members as well as new faces. Returning to the Joint Committee as AFL-CIO appointees were Jessica Storrs of AFSCME and Janie Cobb of the National Labor College. New to the committee as AFL-CIO appointees were Steven Roy of AFGE, Nick Yovnello of AFT, and Julius Jefferson, Jr. of IFPTE, the first time IFPTE has had a representative on the Joint Committee.
Comprised of six AFL-CIO appointees and six ALA appointees, committee members are drawn from ALA members with a clear interest in labor, including labor archivists. The most recent meeting was also attended by student ALA members, illustrating the growing interest of library students in ALA and library labor issues. The Joint Committee is co-chaired by Alexis Spencer Notabartolo and Mary Parker, Associate Director, MINITEX Library Information Network at the University of Minnesota’s Andersen Library.
In addition to its work with the Joint Committee, DPE works closely with the ALA-APA Committee on the Salaries and Status of Library Workers (SSLW) and the SSLW working group subcommittees. Both the full committee and working groups meet during ALA Annual and Midwinter gatherings. Of prime importance to the SSLW committee at the 2010 Midwinter meeting was finalizing plans for their slate of sessions at the ALA Annual Meeting in June.
ALA-APA programs scheduled for the 2010 Annual Meeting include:
- “Professional Integrity and Library Workers: What’s the Connection?”This program will examine the importance of professional integrity to the professional library worker and its direct impact on the public and communities she or he serves. Speakers will include Congressional Research Service Librarian and IFPTE member Julius Jefferson, Jr. and Jim Kuhn with the Merritt Fund, and will be moderated by Jenifer Grady of ALA-APA, an endorsing organization in Professionals for the Public Interest (PftPI).
- “Unions 101”This session will provide an opportunity for library workers to hear about the modern labor movement and its successes on behalf of library workers. It will also offer a forum for those questions library workers always had about organized labor but didn’t know where to ask. Susan Velfort, President of Local 1857, AFSCME and Nick Yovnello of AFT will take part.
- “Not So Extreme Makeovers”Taking a positive spin on the oft-depicted items in the librarian closet, this program will focus on enhancement of the librarian image rather than change.
- “Effective Ways to Promote Mental Health in the Workplace”Given high stress from the economic downturn in many libraries, this program will address the signs, symptoms, causes, and effects of depression, as well as treatment options, holistic approaches to achieving and maintaining mental and physical health.
- “Getting Back Into the Game: Advice for the Laid Off, Insecurely Employed, and Mid-career Slump”This discussion session will allow attendees to work in small groups with library leaders to brainstorm best practices for dealing with the current employment situation.
- “Negotiation – What Else is On the Table?”While salaries are the number one issue for many library workers, there are other elements of compensation that may not initially come to mind in negotiating a position or promotion. This session will examine what else is on the table and teach the basics of negotiation for all aspects of the compensation package.
- “Sirsi-Dynix – ALA-APA Award Networking Breakfast”The program includes speakers from both the union and library communities. The ALA-APA SSLW committee also continued its work on a policy resolution on Outsourcing Library Work that it hopes to present for adoption at the Annual Meeting in June. DPE continues to work with ALA-APA Director Jenifer Grady and William Paullin, Director of the Atlantic County Library System (NJ), to complete a statement on the resolution and background materials.
Library workers are represented by DPE affiliates including AFGE, AFSCME, AFT, IFPTE, OPEIU, and USW. For further information about ALA-APA and the Committee on the Salaries and Status of Library Workers, contact Jenifer Grady, Director, ALA-APA, by phone, 312-280-2424 or email, firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about the ALA Annual or Midwinter Meetings or ALA-APA Programs at the 2010 ALA Annual Meeting, please contact Alexis Spencer Notabartolo at email@example.com.
DPE IN OREGON: WHY PROFESSIONALS BELONG IN UNIONS
– On January 29, 2010, DPE Executive Director David Cohen led two classes on “Why Professionals Belong in Unions” at the Fourteenth Annual Oregon Labor Law Conference in Portland, Oregon. Hosted by IBEW Local 48, the conference sponsors also included the Oregon AFL-CIO. The classes drew participants from units affiliated with among others the AAUP, the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers Union/UBC, AFSCME, AFT, the Elevator Constructors, IATSE, IBEW, LIUNA, OPEIU, the Oregon Nurses Association, and SEIU.
AMERICANS FOR THE ARTS ANNOUNCES ARTS INDEX
– DPE President Paul E. Almeida and Researcher and Representative Alexis Spencer Notabartolo joined elected leaders and arts advocates on January 20, 2010 at the National Press Club for the release by Americans for the Arts of its National Arts Index. The National Arts Index, an annual measure of the health and vitality of arts in the United States, utilizes 76 equal weighted, national-level indicators of arts activity, including membership in arts unions and artists in the workforce.
For more information about the National Arts Index, contact Randy Cohen, Vice President of Local Arts Advancement at Americans for the Arts, at 202-371-2830 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DPE IN THE NEWS
– Since the release of the DPE report “Gaming the System: Guest Worker Visa Programs and Professional and Technical Workers in the U.S.” and the posting by DPE of previously unavailable United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reports, several news outlets and blogs have cited or referenced the publications. Among them:
Fastest out of the box was Techgoss.com, “The Tech Grapevine” of India, which posted its first article on December 14, 2009, and its second on December 19; to read both, click here.
On December 18, 2009, James Parks of the AFL-CIO Now Blog highlighted DPE’s release of the USCIS reports in his post “New materials tell story of H-1B program.”
DPE Researcher and Representative Alexis Spencer Notabartolo wrote a piece for the AFL-CIO Now Blog on December 16, 2009, discussing the major themes of “Gaming the System.” The post can be read here.
ComputerWorld featured “Gaming the System” in its January 4, 2010 article, “U.S. figures show most H-1B visa holders are under 35.”
On January 5, the American Visa Bureau, an independent immigration advisory service, featured “Gaming the System” and the USCIS reports in the article, “New figures show most H-1B American Visa holders are under 35.”
Also on January 5, a former Accenture partner, Brian Sommer, weighed in on ZDNet with “H-1B Visas, the AFL-CIO and the Need for Change.”
“Gaming the System” was mentioned in eWeek.com’s January 7 article, “Tech Worker Shortage, H-1B System Challenged.”
On January 8, Ann All blogged about the “Gaming the System” report for ITBusinessEdge. The post can be read here.
Another blog, Dice: The Career Hub for Tech Insiders, began an extensive discussion with a posting also on January 8.