Source: Asha DuMonthier, Chandra Childers, and Jessica Milli, Institute for Women’s Policy Research, July 2017
From the summary:
Black women are integral to the well-being of their families, their communities and the nation as a whole. Through their work, entrepreneurship, caregiving, political participation, and more, Black women are creating opportunities for themselves, their loved ones, and improving the our economy and society. They have all the makings of what should be success, yet their contributions are undervalued and under compensated. Black domestic workers are particularly vulnerable because of the ways in which racial disparities, gender discrimination, and immigration status serve to further marginalize and disempower the very people who power our economy and push our democracy to be the best that it can be. Whether one examines Black women’s access to healthcare, earnings, or access to much needed social supports like childcare and eldercare, Black women are getting the short end of the stick, despite having contributed so much to the building of this nation. …. The report analyzes data by gender, race and ethnicity for all 50 states and the District of Columbia across six topical areas: political participation, employment and earnings, work and family, poverty and opportunity, health and well-being, and violence and safety. In addition, the report includes basic demographic data for each state and a set of policy recommendations. ….
Source: Fred Schulte, Center for Public Integrity, July 28, 2017
A Wisconsin lawsuit alleges United Healthcare downplayed abusive sales tactics to avoid losing government bonuses.
Source: James Comtois, Pensions & Investments, July 24, 2017
After many fits and false starts to pension reform, Pennsylvania’s governor has a signed a measure that establishes a hybrid defined benefit/defined contribution plan for new state employees. Although some industry observers believe the new law is a step in the right direction, several others said the switch to a hybrid DB/DC plan does little — if anything — to solve the state’s core underfunding problem…..
…. Both Ms. Childers and Ms. Oakley cited West Virginia and Alaska as two states that decided to switch to a DC plan from a DB plan for state employees — and it didn’t go well for either. In 1991, West Virginia closed its teacher retirement system to new employees to address its underfunding issue, according to a 2016 NIRS survey shared by Ms. Oakley. After 10 years, the replacement DC plan was costing the state twice as much, so it went back to a pension. ….
Source: National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS), July 2017
From the press release:
State initiatives aimed at helping millions of Americans retire with improved financial security have the momentum to succeed and overcome setbacks, a white paper released today by the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS) has found.
The 36-page white paper, “Secure Choice 2.0: States Blazing a Path to Retirement Security for All,” marks two milestones in the growing movement among states to expand workplace retirement savings programs for private-sector employees:
– Six years ago, in September 2011, NCPERS laid out the rationale for state-facilitated retirement programs for private-sector workers in a white paper, “The Secure Choice Pension: A Way Forward for Retirement Security in the Private Sector.”
– Five years ago, in September 2012, California became the first state to formally act on the Secure Choice model by passing the Secure Choice Retirement Savings Trust Act, which established a board and authorized a comprehensive feasibility study. ….
…..The white paper covers three broad topics: A history of how the Secure Choice approach gained popularity, details on various initiatives underway in the states, and perspectives on what challenges and hurdles states face, especially following the withdrawal earlier this year of ERISA Safe Harbor rules that were designed to make it easier for states to develop their own so-called Auto-IRA programs. In addition, it includes appendixes on state and local developments, model legislation, helpful organizations and websites, and models projecting various savings scenarios….
Source: Brian Dolber, The Conversation, July 30, 2017
An investment group led by former Chicago alderman and businessman Edwin Eisendrath and the Chicago Federation of Labor recently pulled off an unusual feat when it acquired the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Department of Justice’s antitrust division oversaw the purchase, for a single and symbolic dollar, of one of the Windy City’s two remaining major daily newspapers and the weekly Chicago Reader – along with their debts and a pledge to invest millions. The transaction prevented Tronc, which publishes the Chicago Tribune, from absorbing its competition and creating a monopoly in the nation’s third-largest media market.
Given the newspaper industry’s declining ad sales and subscription base and unions’ dwindling membership, organized labor’s acquisition of a stake in the Sun-Times may look like two dying institutions trying to save each other.
But as an expert on the history of labor-supported media, I see the purchase as a return to labor’s long tradition in fostering a broader public sphere. ….
Source: Brandie Temple and Jasmine Tucker, National Women’s Law Center, Fact Sheet, July 2017
From the summary:
When comparing all men and women who work full time, year round in the United States, women are paid just 80 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts. But the wage gap is even larger when looking specifically at Black women who work full time, year round—they are paid only 63 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. This gap, which amounts to a loss of $21,001 a year, means that Black women have to work more than 19 months—until the very last day of July—to make as much as white, non-Hispanic men did in the previous 12-month calendar year.
Source: Moody’s, Data Report, July 27, 2017
This study is an update to our previous publication, “Infrastructure Default and Recovery Rates, 1983-2015,” published in July 2016, and focuses on the credit and ratings performance of Moody’s-rated infrastructure securities from 1983-2016. We first characterize the infrastructure universe on the basis of its regional and sectoral distributions, overall default and credit loss rates, ratings distribution, and ratings stability. We then compare the ratings performance of the infrastructure universe vis-à-vis non-financial corporate (NFC) issuers by examining migration rates, default and credit loss rates by rating as well as rating accuracy metrics. Appendix 4 examines the performance of the infrastructure universe over the past ten years, i.e., 2007-2016.
Source: Sean McElwee, Brian Schaffner and Jesse Rhodes, The Nation, July 27, 2017
New evidence shows how automatic voter registration increased not only voter participation but also voter diversity.
Source: Environmental Working Group, 2017
Since 2010, water utilities’ testing has found pollutants in Americans’ tap water, according to an EWG drinking water quality analysis of 30 million state water records.
Source: Myra Warne, Labor Notes, July 27, 2017
In 2014, members of the Maysville Education Association voted to accept a deal that would end our pay freeze, which dated back to 2011, in exchange for replacing our traditional pay scale with a new merit-pay system.
Local union leaders were warned by Ohio Education Association staff that a return to the step-and-ladder system of regular raises might be impossible—or require a strike. But this year, as the money for sweeteners and incentives dried up, a group of members committed to winning back our old pay scale…..