In This Issue:
- New! Professionals in the Contingent Workforce
- Reaching Out to Professional Associations: American Library Association Midwinter Meeting
- DPE Latest: Professional Women, Safe Staffing by Nurses, and Intellectual Property
- Shanker Institute Highlights Hot Topic: Early Childhood Education
- Trumka Draws Line in the Sand on Immigration Reform
The fact sheet examines the segment of the professional workforce engaged in contingent or alternative work arrangements, referred to collectively as contingent work. In 2013, there were over 7.7 million self-employed and temporary workers employed in management, professional, and related occupations. Special attention is paid to arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations where 30 percent of the workforce is self-employed. The fact sheet examines issues facing adjunct professors as well as challenges facing the contingent workforce as a whole.
To read the new fact sheet, click here. For more information, contact DPE Researcher and Representative Jennifer Dorning, (202) 638-0320 extension 114, firstname.lastname@example.org.
REACHING OUT TO PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS: AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION MIDWINTER MEETING – The American Library Association (ALA) held its Midwinter Meeting on January 24 – 28, 2014, in Philadelphia, PA. DPE Researcher and Representative Jennifer Dorning participated in the 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 (Joint Committee).
The Joint Committee discussed the upcoming 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, June 26 – July 1, and began brainstorming ideas for its program at the 2015 Annual Conference in San Francisco.
The 2014 Joint Committee program, “Labor Solidarity in a ‘Right-to-Work’ State,” will feature James P. Kraft, author of Vegas at Odds: Labor Conflict in a Leisure Economy, 1960-1985. James is an associate professor of history at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a long-time member of the American Federation of Musicians. He will discuss his book, the divisions in the workforce and between unions, and the clever ways that resort managers find of dividing workers into camps.
The Joint Committee is comprised of six labor-side appointees and five ALA appointees who have an interest in labor. The Joint Committee is co-chaired by Jennifer Dorning and Caroline Fuchs, Associate Professor and Outreach Librarian at St. John’s University.
In addition to her work with the Joint Committee, Jennifer Dorning is a member of the ALA-APA Salaries and Status of Library Workers Committee (SSLW). Of prime importance to the SSLW committee at the 2014 Midwinter meeting was completing the update of the “Advocating for Better Salaries Toolkit.” The toolkit is nearly completed and is designed to provide library workers with the resources and strategies they need to improve their salaries.
Librarians and library workers are represented by several DPE affiliates, including AFGE, AFT, IFPTE, OPEIU, RWDSU, and USW. For questions about the ALA Annual Conference or Midwinter Meeting, please contact Jennifer Dorning, 202-638-0320 extension 114, email@example.com.
• Professional Women: A Gendered Look at Occupational Obstacles and Opportunities;
• Safe-Staffing Ratios: Benefiting Nurses and Patients; and
• Intellectual Property Theft: A Threat to U.S. Workers, Industries, and Our Economy.
The updates reflect new data and research. For a full list of DPE fact sheets, click here. For more information, contact DPE Researcher and Representative Jennifer Dorning, (202) 638-0320 extension 114, firstname.lastname@example.org.
SHANKER INSTITUTE HIGHLIGHTS HOT TOPIC: EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION – From the President of the United States to a Nobel Prize economist, early childhood education – and the lifelong returns it brings – have become a hot topic. On December 11, 2013, a panel convened by the Albert Shanker Institute highlighted its promise and challenges.
Moderated by Helen Blank, director of childcare and early learning at the National Women’s Law Center, the panel focused on “Early Childhood Education: The Word Gap & The Common Core.” The panelists were Susan Neuman, professor of early childhood and literacy education at New York University and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education; Joan Almon, founding director of the U.S. Alliance for Childhood, New York, NY; and Barbara T. Bowman, co-founder, former president, and professor of child development at the Erikson Institute, Chicago, IL.
Neuman stressed that young children’s vocabulary strongly predicts their academic success. It is, however, “the tip of the iceberg” because it depends on a sense of the content that each word represents. Many high school students, she said, have vocabularies of only 5,000 words. One estimate is that to achieve college and career success, a high school student needs a vocabulary of 80,000 words. The good news is that oral language is “highly amenable” to high-quality instruction. The challenge is that the instruction must begin before pre-kindergarten.
Almon took up a different facet of early childhood education: a need for play. For very young children, she said, a day that includes play lessens the rate of expulsions and dire later consequences and increases the likelihood of perseverance and focused work. She urged that program developers and policy makers foster play-based experiential learning that is developmentally appropriate.
Bowman cited continuing failures of early childhood education, especially for poor families, as showing a need to experiment. Among other poverty problems, lower income can bring more maternal depression, which means less attentiveness to children, diminished expectations, and anger. She distinguished between school language and home language. Children, Bowman said, must master both if they are to succeed. To help children succeed, she said, requires not just telling families to change, but creating a community of change.
The State of the Union address on January 28, 2014 by President Obama underscored how timely the panel was. He referred to research showing that “one of the best investments we can make in a child’s life is high-quality early education.” He announced that he was going “to pull together a coalition of elected officials, business leaders, and philanthropists willing to help more kids access the high-quality pre-K they need.”
One highly visible source of the research to which President Obama referred is James Heckman, who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2000. To read about Heckman and his research, click here. For the text of the State of the Union address, go here.
TRUMKA DRAWS LINE IN THE SAND ON IMMIGRATION REFORM – On January 29, 2014, AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka told The Washington Post that immigration reform must provide a path to citizenship. Without a way to citizenship, the AFL-CIO will oppose immigration legislation.
“Our price of admission is citizenship,” Trumka told The Post. “Republicans aren’t talking seriously until they start talking about citizenship, and that means a direct route to green cards and a real path to citizenship.” To read the article, go here.
DPE has worked tirelessly over the years to raise concerns over high-tech immigration through H-1B and L-1 visas, which employers abuse to drive down wages. On January 14, a federal court of appeals cleared the way for a class action suit against the “Who’s Who” of Silicon Valley for conspiring to drive down pay by agreeing not to hire each other’s employees. So the tech giants not only flood their ranks with low-wage guest workers, but collude to drive down the wages of U.S. professionals directly. To read the article, go here.