Bridging the Gaps: A Picture of How Work Supports Work in Ten States

Source: Center for Economic and Policy Research

From press release:
Low wages, inadequate benefits, and limited work supports leave one-in-five people (nearly 41 million) in working families struggling to make ends meet. According to a study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC, and the Center for Social Policy at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. According to the report, many workers are in jobs that do not provide health insurance or enough earnings to cover basic expenditures but earn too much to qualify for work supports such as Medicaid and Food Stamps. While common to higher-wage workers, employment-based benefits, like health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off, are not available to most low- and many moderate-wage workers. Public work supports, however, can help fill in these gaps.

+ National Report (PDF; 1.3 MB)
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From: Docuticker

Mexican Government Cites US over Public Sector Bargaining in North Carolina State

Source: International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers’ Unions, In Brief, November 5, 2007

The National Administrative Office (NAO) of Mexico’s trade pact enforcement agency in the Labour Ministry has issued an immediate call for answers to questions on the progress in gaining collective bargaining rights for public sector workers in the US state of North Carolina.
Related articles:
Unions Charge North Carolina Violating NAFTA Labor Rules
Source: United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, October 26, 2006

More Money–Less Money: Factors Associated with the Highest and Lowest Social Work Salaries

Source: National Association of Social Workers, 2007

As with any profession, there are a number of factors that are commonly associated with higher earnings. The study found that social work salaries were highly variable.

This report highlights the role of salary in retaining professional workers, particularly newer workers. Of particular concern is the relationship between low salaries and agencies that are likely to provide services to the most vulnerable clients– underscoring a long-held belief that social workers’ salaries are closely linked to the societal value placed on their clients. Competitive and fair salaries are the first step to assuring that a competent social work workforce is going to be available to meet the needs of agencies and their clients in the coming decades.

Social Workers and Safety

Source: National Association of Social Workers, WKF-MISC-1308, 2007

In 2004, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) partnered with the Center for Health Workforce Studies, University at Albany, to conduct a benchmark national study of 10,000 licensed social workers. The study achieved a response rate of nearly 50 percent. The information presented in this fact sheet is based on that study and its findings.

The study examined a number of variables related to licensed social workers and their practices, including demographic information, practice issues, services to clients, and workplace issues. In response to the question, “Are you faced with personal safety issues in your primary employment practice?” a surprising 44 percent of the respondents answered affirmatively. Thirty percent of these social workers did not think that their employers adequately addressed the safety issues.

This fact sheet explores some of the factors associated with social workers who face personal safety issues in their employment.

Findings from a Survey of Parish Nurses/Faith Community Nurses in the United States

Source: S. McGinnis, Center for Health Workforce Studies, School of Public Health, SUNY Albany, January 2007
(download)

The services provided by parish nurse/faith community nurses (FCNs) include health education, personal health counseling, referrals and advocacy – services that are increasingly important because of their limited availability in the commercial health care system.

The current study represents a pilot effort at nationwide systematic data collection on parish nurse/FCNs. Data collected included information on background characteristics of parish nurse/FCNs (e.g., demographics and education), parish nursing/FCN practice (e.g., congregation characteristics), services provided to congregations, and workplace issues (e.g., satisfaction and future plans).

Enumeration of the Public Health Workforce in New York: Findings from the Pilot Study

Source: D. Robertson, S. McGinnis, and J. Moore, Center for Health Workforce Studies, School of Public Health, SUNY Albany, January 2007
(download)

The goal of the pilot study was to test the effectiveness if the survey instrument in producing a detailed description of local public health workers and understand how health workers’ composition, roles, educational backgrounds, and training needs affect the organizational capacity of local health departments in New York to perform essential public health services.

The functional enumeration is still underway, but a sufficient number of online and scannable surveys were returned and processed under the pilot study to serve as a basis for this analysis. This report presents findings and recommendations of the pilot study based on survey responses from 1,480 public health workers at 26 local health departments across the state that were received by July 15, 2006.

President’s Budget to Cut Education Spending: New Interactive Map Shows How Much Each State Stands to Lose

Source: Center for American Progress, Press Release, October 15, 2007

The Senate continues the budget battle this week with the consideration of the Labor, Health, and Human Services Appropriations bill, which sets levels for education spending, as well as other key domestic programs. President Bush has already stated he plans to veto the bill because it provides $64.9 billion for the Education Department. Bush’s proposed budget appropriates only $61 billion–$3.9 billion less than Congress’ budget and $1.3 billion less than the Education Department received last year. The Bush administration, in the same year that it is spending $50 billion each month on operations in Iraq, plans on vetoing a bill because it increases funding for American schools by $2.6 billion, among other domestic budget increases. What’s even more surprising is that Education Secretary Margaret Spellings actually announced back in February that Bush’s newly proposed budget would increase education funding by 41 percent relative to 2001. A look at the president’s budget tells a different story. As this new interactive map shows, 44 out of 50 states would see reductions in federal funding for elementary and secondary education for fiscal year 2008 if the Bush administration got its way. Rather than bold increases, states on average will see a -1.4 percent decrease in elementary and secondary school funding.

Issue Brief No. 2: Social Security Reform: A Framework for Analysis

Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury, Issue Brief no. 2, 2007

Treasury today released the second in a series of papers on Social Security. Issue brief No. 2 entitled “Social Security Reform: A Framework for Analysis” discusses a top-down framework for designing and evaluating Social Security reform plans.
See also:
Issue Brief No. 1 Social Security Reform: The Nature of the Problem

Highlights of Women’s Earnings in 2006

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Report 1000, September 2007

In 2006, women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median weekly earnings of $600, or about 81 percent of the $743 median for their male counterparts. This ratio has grown since 1979 (the first year comparable earnings data were available), when women earned about 63 percent as much as men.