Today’s News & Commentary — December 16, 2015

Published December 16th, 2015 -  - 12.16.15


The Chicago Teachers’ Union has voted to authorize a strike, the New York Times reports.  If the teachers do go on strike, it will be the union’s second walkout in four years.  Current disagreements center on teacher evaluations, salaries, pension contributions, and standardized testing.  Administrators have also threatened widespread layoffs in response to a half-billion-dollar budget deficit.

At the Washington Post, Lydia DePillis discusses how the rise of e-commerce has led delivery services to hire tens of thousands of temporary employees and rely on rental car companies for help.  FedEx, for example, has a system of contracting with “independent service providers.”  UPS and even the U.S. Postal Service are also relying on rental vehicles, such as U-Haul and even Enterprise car rental, which has led some people to panic and call the police.

According to the Boston Globe, millenials in Massachusetts make more than their counterparts in other states, “but that still isn’t great.”  A recent U.S. Census Bureau report found that the median wage for young workers across the country ranges from $18,000/year in Montana to $43,000/year in D.C., with the majority of median annual salaries hovering in the $20,000-$25,000 range. In Massachusetts, the median stands at $25,000/year, the highest in New England.  The median annual income for all employees in the state is $44,000.

Bernie Sanders has urged New York Governor Cuomo to raise the salaries of professors at the City University of New York.  Approximately 25,000 CUNY faculty and professional staff members have been without a contract since 2010, and their salaries have remained stagnant.  One reason for that is declining per-pupil funding from the state.  As the New York Times notes, “[w]hile it might seem strange for a presidential candidate to weigh in on a local university’s contract dispute,” Sanders is from Brooklyn and has focused his campaign on income inequality.  The majority of students at CUNY are minorities and come from low-income backgrounds. In his letter to the governor, Sanders urged Cuomo to “[s]how New Yorkers that your concern for working people and people of color includes a commitment to their ability to achieve a college education.”

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