- Average weekly wages (inflation adjusted) of public-sector teachersÂ decreasedÂ $30 per week from 1996 to 2015, from $1,122 to $1,092 (in 2015 dollars). In contrast, weekly wages of all college graduates rose from $1,292 to $1,416 over this period.
- For all public-sector teachers, the relative wage gap (regression adjusted for education, experience, and other factors) has grown substantially since the mid-1990s: It was ?1.8 percent in 1994 and grew to a record ?17.0 percent in 2015.
Pay is just one symptom of a broader problem in how teachers are valued, though. Increasinglyâ€”promoted by standardized testing-driven education and the corporate education policy movementâ€”teachers arenâ€™t respected as professionals, as experts on what goes on in their classrooms. That shows up in pay levels but it also shows up in anti-teacher rhetoric and in curricula that force them to paint by numbers rather than exercising independent judgment.
- Richard Trumka has done a wide-ranging interview with Bloombergâ€™s Josh Eidelson. Thereâ€™s lots there, including this on how to see union densityÂ rise again:
We went from being totally embedded in the community to being isolated and hunkering down and trying to hold on to what we had. Now weâ€™re back, embedded in the community. And when weâ€™re embedded in the community, unionism starts to flourish and grow, and you canâ€™t be assailed, because you canâ€™t assail the entire community and still survive. Scott Walker, who gives Wisconsinâ€™s surplus away to corporations, now has a deficit and says, â€śSee these workers? Itâ€™s their fault.â€ť He wonâ€™t be able to get away with that, because weâ€™re so ingrained in the community.
Pablo worked in the fields of Virginia for 18 years. Then in 2009, he was sent to work in North Carolina, an experience he will never forget. â€śThe grower was violent,â€ť he recalls, â€śhe screamed at us, and everyone was afraid of him.â€ť It was common knowledge that the grower kept a gun in his truck, and while he never openly threatened anyone with it, the message was clear: do your work and donâ€™t complain.
- Why are some Baltimore Democrats turning againstÂ a $15 minimum wage law?
- For unions, sometimes a lockout is better than a strike.
- A West Virginia judge issued a preliminary injunction against an anti-union law.
- “We triggered something epic”: An interview with Naquasia LeGrand of the Fight for $15.
- The deceptive big-money effort to expand charter schools in Massachusetts is driven by people who â€śknow how to make something look like a grassroots campaign that really isnâ€™t.â€ť
This article originally appeared at DailyKOS.com on August 13, 2016. Reprinted with permission.
Laura Clawson is aÂ Daily Kos contributing editor since December 2006. Labor editor since 2011. Laura at Daily Kos