Today's News & Commentary — October 12, 2016
Two major unions reached last minute deals yesterday, averting strikes by more than 30,000 workers. In Chicago, the teachers union and city school board reached a preliminary deal only moments before a deadline that would have resulted in educators walking out for the third time since 2012. Under the terms of the deal—which still must be approved by Chicago Teachers Union members—the city of Chicago agreed to transfer more than $80 million in surpluses from tax increment financing districts to public schools, and stepped back from proposed cuts in the city’s portion of pension contributions. In Canada, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Unifor, which represents more than 10,000 autoworkers, tentatively agreed on a deal that matched the key terms from an earlier agreement with General Motors. The contract emphasized reinvestment in several aging plants and a faster timeline for newly hired workers to reach full wages.
At POLITICO, Ted Hesson explores some of the leaked emails purportedly belonging to John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman. The emails describe internal deliberations on whether to publicly announce support for a $15 minimum wage, and the battles fought by the campaign during the second half of 2015 as it tussled with Bernie Sanders for union endorsements.
In the United Kingdom, a new study by the Resolution Foundation predicts that the lowest paid workers in Britain could see significant reductions in wage growth due to the effect of Brexit on the inputs used to calculate the minimum wage. Though a £9 per hour rate by 2020 had been touted by the government, current projections for the national living wage reach only £8.20 by the end of the decade.