Today’s News & Commentary — November 3
The New York Times profiles initiatives to raise the minimum wage via referendum in Republican-controlled states where legislatures have otherwise refused to support an increase. Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota’s ballots will all feature binding referendums to raise the minimum wage above the current federal minimum of $7.25 an hour. The measures in each of these states would set the minimum wage lower than the $10.10 an hour that President Obama has proposed for the federal increase. Measures are up for a vote in both San Francisco and Oakland.
The Atlantic features a piece on the National Nurses United union. Despite national trends of flagging union membership, Nurses United has organized 20,000 new nurses across 50 hospitals in the last five years. The Nurses plan to strike on Nov. 12, 2014 in response to insufficient Ebola protections in hospitals. Nurses United has thrived using rhetoric inclusive of the needs and safety of their patients in addition to their own working conditions.
Haaretz reports on the decrease in teachers unions in U.S. Jewish day schools. In August, the Philadelphia NLRB dismissed a complaint filed by teachers at the Perelman Jewish Day School after the administration refused to negotiate with them. In a decision that could have far reaching implications for parochial schools of all forms, the NLRB stated that it lacked jurisdiction because Perelman is a religious institution. The teachers have appealed the decision.
In immigration news, President Obama was heckled by immigration advocates in Connecticut yesterday as he stumped for Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy. According to Fox News Latino, the protestors were organized by United We Dream, a pro-immigration reform group demanding expansion of executive action to halt the deportation of undocumented immigrants.