Hey, I'm in a video! More importantly, the words of some low-wage fast food and retail workers are in a video, with people at Netroots Nation reading letters from those workers.
- It seems Dallas is having trouble finding enough teachers to teach summer school. Why would they be reluctant this year, all of a sudden? Their superintendent fired hundreds of teachers at the end of the school year, and:
Teachers attempt to do their best in summer school with struggling students, but it’s tough. In addition, this year there is additional stress for educators which has contributed to the teacher shortage. The staff that shows up for school will be closely monitored with “more spot observations.” She adds, “In short, teachers were promised more opportunities to get fired.”
- Teaching college as an adjunct is a tough, low-paying job. Unless you're as famous as David Petraeus:
In April, CUNY announced that Petraeus would do a stint as a visiting professor of public policy at the school's Macaulay Honors College, leading a seminar on "developments that could position the United States...to lead the world out of the current global economic slowdown." According to documents Gawker obtained from CUNY via a Freedom of Information Law request, the fallen war architect will net a whopping $200,000 a year for the course, which will total about three hours of work, aided by a group of graduate students to take care of "course research, administration, and grading." (He will also throw in two lectures.)
[That salary has now been reduced to $150,000; see update below.]
That works out to approximately $2,250 per hour. CUNY adjuncts usually earn less than $3,000 per course.
- The New York Times follows up on the trend of businesses paying workers with fee-loaded debit cards that can, in some cases, bring their pay below minimum wage:
Taco Bell, Walgreen and Wal-Mart are among the dozens of well-known companies that offer prepaid cards to their workers; the cards are particularly popular with retailers and restaurants. And they are quickly gaining momentum. In 2012, $34 billion was loaded onto 4.6 million active payroll cards, according to the research firm Aite Group. Aite said it expected that to reach $68.9 billion and 10.8 million cards by 2017.Appalling.
Companies and card issuers, which include Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup, say the cards are cheaper and more efficient than checks — a calculator on Visa’s Web site estimates that a company with 500 workers could save $21,000 a year by switching from checks to payroll cards.
- For all anti-teacher politicians try to convince people that efforts by union leaders to push back against testing-based education and pay and benefits cuts are out of step with rank-and-file teachers, in fact, some teachers union leaders have faced significant challenges for being too conciliatory. Now the president of the Washington Teachers Union has lost his reelection bid to a teacher activist who promises to be more assertive against school system administrators.