CEA Advisor: Special Edition - August 2018

4 CEA ADVISOR SPECIAL EDITION • AUGUST 2018 While being in a union boosts wages for all members, the biggest advantages of union membership go to those who make up the majority (77%) of our teaching workforce: women. The National Women’s Law Service (NWLS) reported in March 2018 that the gender wage gap among union members is about half of what it is among nonunion workers. And those who make up the single-largest group of unionized women in the U.S. happen to be public school teachers. Ahead of the pack “When it comes to gender equity and equal work for equal pay,” says CEA President Jeff Leake, “teachers unions are far ahead of the pack.” Indeed, a number of Connecticut’s female public school teachers who have worked in other fields have noted that entering the teaching profession, and having the backing of union representation, made it possible for the first time in their careers to earn a salary comparable to that of their male counterparts. NWLS also reports that Latina, Asian, and African American women who belong to unions experience smaller race and gender wage gaps. What is the wage gap? The gender wage gap is a measure of pay disparity between men and women, and the research on it is conclusive: gender wage gaps exist across the spectrum of salaries and education levels. The median wage for female workers is 83 cents for every dollar earned by a male worker. Among workers with Want Pay Equity? StickwithYour Union Make Your Vote Count This Fall The candidates you elect can determine your salary, working conditions, and student outcomes. Data from the Connecticut Secretary of the State’s office shows that Connecticut residents are registering to vote at an unprecedented rate in a midterm election cycle. From the 2016 election through June of this year, 81,908 new voters registered as Democrats, and 43,390 registered as Republicans. Analysts say the surge in voter registration in the state during a nonpresidential election cycle reflects an increased interest in politics and strong grassroots activism in the wake of the Parkland school shooting. Efforts by groups such as CEA—which launched a student voter registration drive together with Connecticut’s registrars of voters across the state this spring—are having a major impact. Among the 18-to-29-year-old demographic, Connecticut experienced a voter registration increase of 4.34 percentage points—twice the national average. “It is crucial for all of us to vote,” says CEA Executive Director Donald Williams. “With so many attacks on teachers’ pensions and working conditions and growing threats to our state’s public education system, we need to work hard to elect a pro-public education governor and legislators—not candidates who want to eliminate collective bargaining, slash school funding, cut teacher pensions, and certify unqualified workers to teach as a way of lowering teacher salaries.” If you have not registered to vote in the November 6 election, do so today. The deadline is October 30. Go to cea.org/vote to register. What does politics have to do with my classroom? Actually, everything. The people you elect to lead your town, state, and nation make decisions that impact how you teach, what you earn, whether you can retire comfortably, and so much more. CEA also has a powerful influence on all of these factors. Your vote matters. Your union membership matters. Your Salary .............................................................................. Board of Education Health Insurance .................................................................... Board of Education FMLA Leave .................................................Board of Education, State Legislature, Governor, Federal Government School Budget ....................................Board of Education, Municipal Government, State Legislature, Governor Length of School Day/Year .................................................... Board of Education, State Legislature, Governor Due Process for Termination . .................................... State Legislature, Governor Retirement Benefits ................................................... State Legislature, Governor Testing .........................................Board of Education, State Legislature, Governor, Federal Goverment Hiring Practices/Teaching Credentials ................................. Board of Education, State Legislature, Governor Common Core .............................Board of Education, State Legislature, Governor, Federal Government Unemployment and Workers’ Compensation ........................... State Legislature, Governor, Federal Government Working women in unions are paid 94 cents, on average, for every dollar paid to unionized workingmen, compared with 78 cents on the dollar for non-union women as a share of nonunionmen’s dollar. Hourly wages for women represented by unions are 23 percent higher than for nonunionized women. Nonunion Union 78% 94% Women’s hourly pay as a share of men’s hourly pay Economic Policy Institute (EPI) analysis of CPS ORG hourly wage data for workers age 18 to 64. The union coverage are workers covered by a collective bargaining agreement. Source: EPI analysis of Current Population Survey Outgoing Rotation Group data college degrees or advanced degrees, the gap is actually worse, with women being paid only 73 cents on the male dollar. Women of color face the double penalty of racial and gender-based pay gaps; black and Hispanic women are paid only 65 cents and 59 cents, respectively, on the white male dollar. As the graph to the right illustrates, union membership provides a significant economic advantage. Union strength—the great equalizer Closing the gender wage gap is critical if women are to achieve economic security, and unions are a key factor in the fight for competitive and comparable wages. Hourly wages for women represented by unions are 23 percent higher than for nonunionized women, and the gender wage gap is significantly smaller among both white and black unionized workers than their nonunion counterparts. Working women in unions are paid 94 cents, on average, for every dollar paid to unionized working men, compared with 78 cents on the dollar for nonunion women as a share of nonunion men’s dollar. How do unions narrow the wage gap for their members? Collective bargaining establishes policies crucial to combatting pay disparity. For example, collective bargaining agreements • Establish standardized rates of pay • Require transparency in compensation data— information about what similar workers are paid • Include grievance procedures for workers and enforce antidiscrimination laws • Ensure benefits such as paid sick and family leave, which help balance home and work obligations “In order to strengthen pay equity and other fundamental workers’ rights, teachers and other public service employees must defend their right to organize,” says Leake. “That’s what is under attack by corporate backers of Janus v. AFSCME .” How Janus threatens pay equity We need not look any further than the #red4ed movement to see what happens when a profession dominated by women—with weakened unions—is left vulnerable to politicians and their corporate backers. In state after state, unions have been under increasing attack, and these are the states where the grassroots #red4ed movement has taken hold. Since 2010, anti-union legislators in more than 20 states have introduced so-called “right-to-work” legislation designed to undermine collective bargaining. Janus v. AFSCME has done that on a national scale, attempting to weaken unions’ ability to advocate for pay transparency, fair scheduling, equal pay for equal work, paid parental leave, and anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ workers. Even though Janus tilts the playing field against teachers and others seeking to bargain collectively, our power does not have to be diminished. “The best way to fight back is to stick together,” says Leake. “Anti-union forces are trying everything they can to tear down unions, but in the end, it’s up to us to stand together. If we do that, we win.” Vote on November 6

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