The bill establishes a "Connecticut Retirement Security Board" that is charged with developing a proposal for a state retirement plan that, similar to an IRA, would allow private-sector employees who do not receive benefits from a public pension or private employer-sponsored 401(k) to open savings accounts.The plan, backed by the AARP, the Connecticut Working Families Party, and AFSCME, would call for small administrative fees, making it extremely unpopular with financial management companies that make their money off of administrative fees that are not so small. But financial industry sorrow and anger aside, there's a retirement crisis that needs to be addressed:
"Folks should not have to be Wall Street wizards to have a secure retirement,'' said Rep. Peter Tercyak, D-New Britain.
The average working household has almost no retirement savings, the National Institute on Retirement Security said in a June 2013 report. The median retirement account balance is $3,000 for all working-age households and $12,000 for near-retirement households.Something needs to be done unless we want what we now think of as the retirement age to become the "live in poverty or keep working until you die" age.
Two-thirds of working households ages 55 to 64 with at least one earner have retirement savings just slightly exceeding their annual income, which the National Institute on Retirement Security says is "far below" what's needed to maintain their standard of living in retirement.
Continue reading below the fold for more of the week's education and labor news.
A fair day's wage
Just-in-time scheduling hurts workers:
Many big retail stores use computer systems that use data from the weather outside, the flow of customers in the store, and the rate of sales to determine how many employees are needed for any given time.
This sort of automation is intended to boost the store’s bottom line. But for retail workers, who are often parents who need to hire babysitters, students who have tuition payments due, or people just trying to juggle shifts with two jobs, the “just-in-time” scheduling system wreaks havoc on their lives.
- This is special. The Ohio Contractors Association is suing the city of Akron for trying to institute local hiring requirements. Such requirements are fairly common, and it's obviously in a city's interest to have city money going to local contractors and workers, both to boost the local economy and for accountability purposes—a contractor with a reputation to protect in the immediate area is likely to be especially careful. But, yeah, the Ohio Contractors Association does not like that.
- Another NFL team is facing a wage theft lawsuit by a former cheerleader. This time, it's the Jets:
"When you look at the actual hours worked versus what Krystal was paid, she only made $3.77 per hour," her attorney Patricia Pierce said.
"The failure to pay the women who work as cheerleaders a legal wage for all of the hours that they work is clearly an NFL-wide problem that needs to change," Pierce said.
- If you're on Twitter and you care about labor, don't forget to follow @blogwood.
Via press release:
More than a dozen new carwashes in South LA are now unionized; making Los Angeles the first city with that many union washes in the nation. The small businesses have pledged to follow all labor and health and safety regulations as well as to give a 2% raise to the workers. The new union carwash workers are represented by the United Steel Workers Local 675 and make up 133 of their members as to date.
- UAW calls in the cavalry to combat "culture of fear" at Nissan plant:
Workers report that Nissan relentlessly promotes an anti-union message at the factory in Canton. From the day workers are hired, employees say, they are subjected to regular meetings with management and continuous operation of television monitors inside the factory, both of which deliver frequently repeated anti-union messages. Organizers say Nissan also uses the employment of hundreds of part-time workers, who work alongside full-time workers at roughly half the hourly pay, as an indirect anti-union tool to remind workers how the company could replace them at a far lower cost if they organized.
To work against such a reported culture of fear, the union groups initiated their pursuit of OECD fact-finding and mediation with Nissan this week to create a non-combative process for finally conducting a union representation election in Canton.
- Wage gap, lawyers edition. Maybe women should get a discount on law school?
- Oh, look. Emphasizing testing above all else isn't improving test scores.
- The Chicago Teachers Union is opposing Common Core.
- This is quite the list of problems with Pearson testing, yet the company keeps getting major contracts.
- Intense scumminess from Florida legislators as they pass a school voucher bill at the last minute.