All Articles Tagged "salaries"
As we move into the fifth day of the strike involving Chicago’s public school teachers, an end may be in sight. Chicago Public Schools and the city’s teachers union say they have some “number crunching” to do, but so much progress has been made that teachers and students could be back in classrooms on Monday. The Chicago Tribune reports that the union has asked supporters to come out for a final protest tomorrow at noon.
There is a proposal for resolving the big issue — how teachers will be evaluated — that will put a tiered system in place, in addition to weighing student test scores. Those exam results will count for 30 to 35 percent of the evaluation process with student surveys and principal observations also put into consideration. Tenured teachers won’t be fired during the first year as the new system works itself out. All teachers will be given a chance to improve if they receive an unsatisfactory evaluation.
As we reported the other day, the strike has wide-reaching implications for the black community. The number of minority teachers in Chicago has dropped. Parents and students have been inconvenienced by the strike, with some parents having to change their work schedules or pay for other child care arrangements. There was concern that the relationship between President Obama and unions could be negatively impacted if the strike dragged on. And the questions of education reform came to the forefront.
This resolution will by no means resolve the public education issues that the country faces. But trying a new system could put us one step closer to improving a system that’s responsible for educating millions of kids, our next generation of leaders and thinkers.
*Update: A tentative deal has been reached.
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For a second day, class is not in session at public schools across Chicago as a result of a teacher’s strike that’s having far-reaching implications. The work stoppage — the first in 25 years — is affecting about 350,000 students in that city. According to Washington Post editorial writer Charles Lane (who rails against the striking teachers), 85 percent of these students are African American or Latino (about 42 percent are black, according to Reuters). And just about the same percentage receive reduced-price or free meals, meaning they live at or near the poverty line.
The average public school teacher earns $76,000 per year according to the school board and the school system is currently running at a $700 million deficit. The union had asked for a 29 percent pay raise over the next four years. The district, after negotiating, offered 16 percent over that same period of time.
But it’s not just a case of the big, bad, self-serving unions making obscene demands. While politicians are talking up the benefits of a shift to charter schools away from “dismal urban schools,” reports Reuters,” teachers see themselves fighting for their livelihoods now and into the future.
“Many teachers… see the new policies as a brazen attempt to shift public resources into private hands, to break the power of teachers unions, and to reduce the teaching profession to test preparation,” Reuters reports.
While the unions have been willing to bend on pay, they have been rigid about certain provisions that speak to a level of job protection, such as giving principals more authority over hiring and firing and the “last in, first out” policies. (Lengthening the school day was among some of the other changes on the table.) The Reuters story goes on to say that teacher demographics in that city have already changed with the rise of charter schools, decreasing the number of minority teachers.
“Today, just 19 percent of the teaching force in Chicago is African American, down from 45 percent in 1995, the union says; organizers fear that shift means fewer teachers have deep roots in and passion for the communities where they work,” the story says.
Moreover, they argue that tying a teacher’s job to student performance is unfair, as many students have socioeconomic issues outside of the school system’s control that impact their education. The discussion about school reform is one that many school districts across the country are having.
The situation also raises political questions for Chicago’s Mayor (and former chief of staff to President Obama) Rahm Emanuel, as well as the President himself. Mayor Emanuel and the teacher’s union have had a tense relationship over the past few months. A separate Washington Post article calls the strike ”the boldest confrontation yet involving one of a growing number of Democratic mayors who have been pressuring unions to accept policy changes.” And in an election year, when the President needs the support of unions, this could create a chasm between the two. A number of major union organizations, including the SEIU, have donated millions to Priorities USA Action, a super PAC that supports the President’s re-election effort.
It’s important to note the benefits to the black community that unions have afforded. The “union premium,” which ThinkProgress defines as “an increase in wages for workers who belong to a labor union compared to workers who are not organized,” has bumped up the pay of black unionized workers by a significant percentage – $2.60 per hour. That increases their pay by 17.3 percent over black non-union workers.
“Black men who belong to a union see a 20 percent increase over the normal wage; for black women, the increase is 14.8 percent,” the article says. The gains are even more significant for Latino workers.
Moreover, the site (which, it should be said, is a liberal blog) credits unions with aiding the black community through already tough economic times in which it has experienced higher-than-average unemployment rates.
Seeing an opportunity, Mitt Romney has released a statement against the unions, a stance which has proven successful for other Republican politicians, like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. “Teachers unions have too often made plain that their interests conflict with those of our children, and today we are seeing one of the clearest examples yet,” the statement says. “President Obama has chosen his side in this fight.” The President hasn’t made a statement.
Finally, of course, there are the parents and students, who find themselves struggling to make do with alternative arrangements. Some parents have taken their kids to schools offering activities in lieu of classwork, but other parents don’t want to cross the picket line. Some parents have had to take the day off to look after their kids. Others take their kids to work with them. Talks continue, but there’s no word of a resolution.
-Research from the National Retail Federation shows that those who do their back-to-school shopping online spend 27 percent more than the average shopper. Online shopping can total as much as $874 versus the average of $688. Other figures: one-fourth of shoppers begin their shopping two months in advance; half start three weeks in advance; more parents are sending college students pre-paid gift cards (with an average of $71 available); and 30 percent of Americans say they have a child between the ages of three and 17, which is likely contributing to high enrollment numbers.
-About 1.7 million undocumented young immigrants can begin applying for temporary status here in the U.S. The move will affect people who were brought here as children. Eligible applicants are between the ages of 15 and 31; came here before the age of 16 and have lived here for five years (providing proof of residency); have finished high school, are in the process of doing so, or have served in the military; and have records that are free of serious crime. Legal status must be renewed every two years.
-If you get a raise in Atlanta or Boston, chances are you’re still broke. According to an Aon Hewitt survey, the average salaried worker got a 2.8 percent raise this year, which is barely above the inflation rate. Atlanta and Boston tied for the lowest projected raise for 2013: three percent. The best is Denver, which is projected to give 3.6 percent raises next year.
-Factory owners have been losing business to a company called Unicor, aka Federal Prison Industries, a part of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons that has been working with inmates since 1934 to prepare them for life on the outside. Unicor pays its employees between 23 cents and $1.15 an hour, doesn’t have to pay taxes and doesn’t have to provide healthcare. As a result, they win business, factories lose, and they end up having to make cuts. The government is stepping in to curtail Unicor’s ability to bid for business, but the company argues that they are doing a service to their inmate workers, who they claim are less likely to re-offend.
-This is going to be the most expensive year for gas in history. National averages are now $3.90 per gallon.
When the story broke yesterday that Sheree’s salary demands might have caused her to get cut from the “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” we didn’t know what her pay actually was, we just knew she wanted more money. Well Hello Beautiful got to the bottom of things and found out what all the ladies of the show are making, and as far as I’m concerned, Sheree should have been very happy considering what she was taking home for about 13 weeks of “work.” Here’s what every member of the “Housewives” cast gets paid:
NeNe: $750K per season, plus a $250K bonus for the reunion show
Kim: $600K per season plus a $150K bonus for the reunion
Sheree: $550K per season plus a $150K bonus for the reunion
Kandi: $450K per season plus a $100K bonus for the reunion
Phaedra and Cynthia: $300K per season plus a $75K bonus for the reunion
Marlo and Peter: $75K, must be available for filming on request
Kroy and Apollo: $50K, must be available for filming on request
No wonder these ladies keep coming back every season, they’re making serious money—and for half of them this is just a side hustle. Must be nice.
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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Although the National Association of Colleges and Employers reported that college grads were receiving higher starting salaries for the first time since 2008, a Forbes report finds these numbers may not be true. The average of $50,034 a year that NACE finds is slowly slipping away and each month, the millennial generation of college graduates is seeing smaller and smaller pay checks.
Forbes reports that researchers with the Economic Policy Institute discovered the average hourly wage for male college grads from 23-29 is down more than 11 percent from 10 years ago to $21.68 in 2011. Although female college grads are seeing a lower drop, with gender wage differences, they’re still losing out big time. Young women are seeing a 7.6 percent decrease from 10 years ago to $18.80.
The report noted the situation of one 28-year-old advertising assistant who still lived with his parents due to his stalled salary. He had starting working in 2007 at $35 and his pay raise only recently jumped past $40,000. A Wall Street Journal report noted that one 2010 college graduate was obligated to take a position for less than $30,000.
It paints a difficult reality for many young workers struggling to work and pay back student loans. Lower salaries leave them with less income to pay down their debts and actively participate in consumer spending.
Despite the lower salaries, many of these millennials are simply relieved to have found work. Pew research observes that 37 percent of 18-29 year olds are still out of work.
There is some good news to the numbers, the report states that the average age-adjusted hourly wage for production and non supervisor positions has risen 3 percent across age and education levels.
While it’s still true that women earn less than men, currently between 70 and 80 cents for every dollar earned by men, there are places where the disparity is much more narrow. A report conducted by ForbesWoman shows which cities are the best paying cities for women.
San Jose, California makes it to the top of the list. Women here earn an average of $67,052 a year for full-time employment. The top jobs are in manufacturing, scientific and management services, education and healthcare.
California seems to do well in terms of compensating women; the number two city is San Francisco where women stand to make an average of $65,526.
“Metro areas like San Jose and San Francisco require highly skilled and trained labor, and recruit people with backgrounds in engineering and computer science, which are higher paying and have less discriminatory effect,” Susan McTiernan, a management professor at Quinnipiac University told Forbes.
According to McTiernan, the high cost of living in these two areas also helps raise the average professional salary. Number three on the list is Washington DC. While most women in San Jose and San Francisco find jobs in the private sector, 25 percent of the workers here find employment with the government and therefore, high-paying jobs with small gender wage gaps. Almost have of the women in this city have a bachelor’s degree or higher and the average salary for women is $64,779.
“Jobs here require the highest level of education, and many more women today are pursuing professional positions in law, medicine and academia,” McTiernan said.
Further down the list is number 10, Seattle, Washington, where large corporations such as Microsoft and Starbucks offer an average annual salary of $53,039. At number 12, Denver, Colorado’s growing financial services industry is helping women earn an average of $51,433 a year.
At the bottom of the list is McAllen, Texas, where women earn less than half of what women in San Jose make— $31,287 a year. Also lower on the list are cities where skilled labor is desired over a professional skillset such as El Paso, Texas, Youngstown, Ohio and Jackson, Mississippi.
(Daily Finance) — These days, 20-somethings aren’t just the young and the restless — they’re the young and the anxious. According to The PNC Financial Services Group’sFinancial Independence Survey, that demographic is full of financial fears. The numbers are none too optimistic — less youthful swagger and more stagger. Only 23% of those in their 20s consider themselves financially independent, just 30% have gotten a job in their chosen field, according to the survey, and 40% rely on two or more sources of income, whether that means multiple jobs or withdrawals from the Bank of Mom and Dad. Though 26% overall said they feel they are right on target financially, and another 25% felt they are ahead of where they expected to be, nearly half said they aren’t where they want to be or where they thought they would be.
(Inc.) — How much are Americans being paid in 2011? What effect has the recession had? Here’s a look at executive pay nationally, by city, and by industry.
(Christian Science Monitor) — Several years ago, Lisa Hammond quit her job as an assistant manager at the Wal-Mart inWichita, Kan., took a 60 percent pay cut to work for a call center, and came out ahead. How? She worked from home. This way, she saved on commuting and day-care costs, which had swallowed about half of her approximately $2,000-a-month take-home pay from Wal-Mart. Today, and two work-at-home jobs later, she earns more as a work-at-home field representative for the United States Census Bureau than she did at Wal-Mart – while still avoiding commuting and day-care costs. ”I’m spoiled now. I wouldn’t want to go back to working in an office,” says Ms. Hammond, a married mother of three. Amid traffic jams, high gas prices, family needs, and a yen for more flexibility, what 21st-century worker hasn’t thought about skipping the office scene and telecommuting instead? But taking a pay cut to do it? To some, the benefits outweigh the lost income. A survey by New York-based Dice Holdings released earlier this year found that 35 percent of technology professionals would take up to 10 percent less pay to telecommute full time.
(New York Times) — There is perhaps no more fitting finale to a long legal career than a judgeship. Ascending the bench after years appearing before it can bring power, respect, personal satisfaction, reasonable hours and, often, free parking. There have traditionally been few steps beyond: Retirement. Or death. But across the country — and in New York, more than most places — being a judge has in recent years come with one big negative: the salary. New York judges have not had a raise in 12 years, making the state one of the more extreme examples of a growing pay gap nationally between judges and other professionals, including partners at top law firms, who can earn 10 times the salary of the judge before whom they are arguing a case. Now, for the first time in memory, judges are leaving the bench in relatively large numbers — not to retire, but to return to being practicing lawyers. Turnover in New York has increased rapidly in the last few years: nearly 1 in 10 judges are now leaving annually, a new study shows.