- Celebrate Unions for Labor Day: Tweet!
- DPE Treasurer Antonia Cortese Retires
- National Labor College Honors Entertainment Union Leaders, Building Trades
- At Georgetown University, Almeida Calls For Immigration Reform
- DPE Commends Agreements to Curb Digital Theft, Notes Government Leadership
- Endowment for the Arts Showcases Perspective of DPE Unions
- Professionals In The Workplace Updated
- Pursuing RESPECT Again?
- DPE Signs On
CELEBRATE UNIONS FOR LABOR DAY: TWEET! – Show your union pride on Twitter!
Well-known celebrities and fellow union members across the country are tweeting about all the great things unions do for them – and for workers everywhere.
In 2010, people using the #unionmember hashtag ranged from rank and file union members to celebrities. Actors like CSI: New York’s Hill Harper, Candace Cameron of Full House and Make it or Break It, and Yvette Nicole Brown of NBC’s Community chimed in. So did musicians, from Nancy Sinatra to Chris Shiflett of The Foo Fighters.
Among the notable 2010 tweets: “Becoming a union member is like hitting a homerun” from Minnesota centerfielder Denard Span; and “If I wasn’t a #unionmember, I wouldn’t have health insurance, so I couldn’t afford to visit my hot dentist” from actor, singer, and dancer Emily Bergl (for a review of her latest show, click here).
Entertainment and sports unions affiliated with DPE – Actors’ Equity, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Screen Actors Guild, Writers Guild of America East, and the National Football League Players Association – have joined workers’ rights group American Rights at Work and the Major League Baseball Players Association to encourage their members, actors, recording artists, broadcasters and more, to spread the word in 140 characters or less.
You can join the conversation too. Tell us why you’re proud to be a #unionmember (or why you support a #unionmember) by clicking here.
DPE TREASURER ANTONIA CORTESE RETIRES– Antonia Cortese will retire as Secretary-Treasurer of AFT and Treasurer of DPE on September 8, 2011.
Both AFT and DPE lamented her departure. “Toni’s fierce dedication on behalf of our members, her expertise on education issues, and her commitment to advancing children’s issues both in the United States and abroad, have laid a strong foundation for our union,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “Her invaluable contributions will be greatly missed, but we wish her and her family the best in her well-earned retirement.”
DPE President Paul E. Almeida commented, “Despite her many responsibilities, Toni gave generously of herself and her time to the labor movement, DPE, and the people we represent. For myself and many others, I thank her. We join in wishing her a long and happy retirement.” Left: Antonia Cortese spoke in favor of a DPE resolution at the 2009 AFL-CIO Convention (photo: Bill Burke/Page One).
Cortese spent more than four decades as a leader in the labor movement and in education, and as a courageous champion of children’s issues. She became involved in the union shortly after starting her career in Rome, NY, as a fourth-grade teacher and school social worker. Her strong leadership pushed her to rise quickly in the union ranks, from building representative to a leader in her local and state union affiliates. DPE elected her its Treasurer in June 2008. Cortese contributed her expertise to many other professional and nonprofit groups, including Special Olympics, the Learning First Alliance, the Child Labor Coalition, Freedom House, and United Way of America.
NATIONAL LABOR COLLEGE HONORS ENTERTAINMENT UNION LEADERS, BUILDING TRADES – On August 2, 2011, the National Labor College (NLC) hosted a gala fundraiser that honored union leaders in the entertainment industry, including Ray Hair (AFM), Ken Howard (SAG), Matt Loeb (IATSE), Roberta Reardon (AFTRA), and Nick Wyman (AEA), and Building and Construction Trades Department president Mark Ayres.
“A Time to Build” drew more than 300 labor supporters for a reception, dinner, and the honors, and raised $400,000 for the NLC. The event culminated with a talk show-themed award ceremony, complete with a band. Jack Speer, award-winning NPR radio host and AFTRA member, served as M.C. for the “talk show” and interviewed the four honorees who attended the event (Ayers, Howard, Loeb, and Reardon).
DPE President Paul E. Almeida represented AFM President Ray Hair, while AEA 3rd Vice President Ira Mont stood in for AEA President Wyman. From left: Mont, Almeida, Reardon, Loeb, Howard, and AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka (photo: http://www.facebook.com/NationalLaborCollege).
AT GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY, ALMEIDA CALLS FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM– At a Georgetown University workshop on July 11, 2011, “Dynamics of the Science and Engineering Labor Market: Projections, Regulations, and Employment Patterns,” DPE President Paul E. Almeida called for comprehensive immigration reform that would address problems with our guest worker programs.
Participants in the workshop came from government, academia, private industry, and labor. Almeida’s presentation focused on the impact of guest workers on the science and engineering workforce.
Almeida noted the numerous problems that justify comprehensive reform of our skilled immigration system. First, the skilled immigration system does not require that there be a shortage of U.S. workers before guest workers can be hired. Second, employers are using guest workers to reduce labor costs. Finally, the system makes guest workers susceptible to abuse by making it difficult for them to change jobs.
Almeida proposed reforms in the best interest of U.S. workers and guest workers: the creation of an independent commission to assess and manage future labor needs, a market wage set at the 75 percentile for the occupation and area, and greater flexibility for guest workers to change jobs.
To read Almeida’s remarks and research paper, click here and scroll down to July 14. For more information, contact DPE President Paul E. Almeida, (202) 638-0320, firstname.lastname@example.org.
DPE COMMENDS AGREEMENTS TO CURB DIGITAL THEFT, NOTES GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP – Digital theft and counterfeit goods hurt U.S. workers, jobs, incomes, and benefits. DPE and its affiliated unions continue to press to protect U.S. intellectual property (IP). On July 12, 2011, DPE released a statement commending private agreements of July 5 and 7 that should help. Government leadership was a key to achieving the agreements.
DPE President Paul E. Almeida commented, “By joining these voluntary agreements, the payment system operators and Internet system providers demonstrate responsible corporate citizenship. Their leadership honors the spirit as well as the letter of the law and will benefit the U.S. economy.”
Almeida added, “As commendable as these voluntary agreements are, they represent the fruit of committed federal and state government leadership. This demonstration of responsible corporate citizenship contrasts dramatically with the bad behavior of rogue website operators, many outside the United States, who profit from the illegal distribution of stolen IP and counterfeit goods at the expense of the U.S. economy, U.S. companies, and U.S. workers. To fight the plague of rogue websites in these tough economic times, I call on Congress to pass the PROTECT IP Act as rapidly as possible.”
For the DPE statement, which includes more information about the voluntary agreements, click here and go to the July 12 link. For an AFL-CIO NOW blog piece about the agreements, check here. For the July 22 report of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Protect IP bill (the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act), S. 968, go here.
For more information, please contact DPE President Paul E. Almeida, email@example.com, 202-638-0320, or DPE Executive Director David Cohen, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-638-0320 extension 113.
ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS SHOWCASES PERSPECTIVE OF DPE UNIONS – A newly posted conference summary from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) includes a document – “Research about Artists in the Workforce: A Labor Perspective” – that the nine unions of the Arts, Entertainment, and Media Industries, Industry Coordinating Committee (AEMI ICC) shaped through DPE.
The unions in the AEMI ICC are Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA), the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts (IATSE), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and the Writers Guild of America East (WGAE).
NEA posted the summary of its November 20, 2009 Cultural Workforce Forum this summer. The summary reflects questions and concerns that the nine unions raised in AEMI ICC meetings before the Forum, including the inadequacies of government data about performing artists.
A synopsis of the presentation by DPE Executive Director David Cohen based on the AEMI ICC input appears on page 6 under the heading “Artist Research—Union Perspectives.” Appendix Five on pages 36 through 44 includes in its entirety – with the permission of DPE – the document that DPE developed with the AEMI ICC, “Research about Artists in the Workforce: A Labor Perspective.” The “Summary and Recommendations for Future Research” on pages 16 through 22 reflects the outsized impact of the AEMI ICC input.
For more information, please contact DPE Executive Director David Cohen, email@example.com, 202-638-0320 extension 113.
PROFESSIONALS IN THE WORKPLACE UPDATED – The “Professionals in the Workplace” section of the DPE website has been updated. You can now find up to date information about various professionals and employment sectors, including:
Professional and Technical Employees
Women in the Professional Workforce
Social Service Professionals
Teachers and College Professors
Librarians and Library Paraprofessionals
Healthcare Professionals and Technicians
Scientists and Engineers
Science and Engineering Technicians
The Professional Computer Workforce
Television and Radio Broadcasting Professionals and Technicians
To view Professionals in the Workplace, click here. For more information, contact DPE Researcher and Representative Jennifer Dorning, (202) 638-0320 extension 114, firstname.lastname@example.org.
PURSUING RESPECT AGAIN? – On August 25, 2011, DPE Executive Director David Cohen joined a meeting of union legislative representatives convened by staff members for Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). The topic: a possibility that Blumenthal will reintroduce the Re-Empowerment of Skilled and Professional Employees and Construction Tradeworkers Act (RESPECT Act) this fall.
Originally introduced in March 2007, the RESPECT Act responded to three National Labor Relations Board decisions – Oakwood Healthcare, Golden Crest Healthcare, and Croft Metals – that radically expanded the definition of who is a supervisor. In every occupation, industry, and sector, the Oakwood cases raised a devastating possibility: that any employee who guides another’s work could become a supervisor and lose union protections.
Unions affiliated with DPE made responding to the Oakwood cases and passing the RESPECT Act a priority. DPE hosted a February 2007 conference, “Crossing Kentucky River: Next Steps for Professional and Technical Employees,” that drew participants from 19 unions, two other trade departments, five union law firms, and the AFL-CIO. (For the DPE NewsLine account of the conference, click here.) DPE also tracked legal and legislative developments, including the drive for Congressional co-sponsors, which peaked at more than 150 in the House of Representatives. For the July 13, 2007 letter from DPE President Paul E. Almeida to members of the House, click here and scroll down to the link for July 13, 2007.
DPE SIGNS ON – On July 6, 2011, DPE joined a letter to Congress opposing the Business Activity Tax Simplification Act of 2011; other signers affiliated with DPE included AFT, IAFF, and IFPTE as well as the AFL-CIO. To see the letter, go here and scroll down.
On July 13, DPE joined a long list of other national organizations, including many unions affiliated with DPE, in a letter to Congress opposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. To read the letter, go here and scroll down.