Teachers Union Rally in Downtown LA Draws Thousands in Call for Contract Demands

The district and the teachers union announced this month that they had reached an impasse in contract negotiations. Each side argues that the other is being unreasonable. The union is seeking a pay raise of 8.5%; the district has offered 5%.

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West Coast Ports Could Shut Down in Next 5 Days

In the offer, longshore workers receive an annual income of $147,000 with the option of a 3-to-5 percent increase per year and a fully paid health care plan known as a “Cadillac plan.” The Affordable Care Act mandates that the PMA pay a premium on that plan: $35,000 per year, per worker.

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Laborers Have No Say in Their Contract

The state is arguing it has the right to impose a contract on a group of Fresno-area farm workers — but the workers have no right to even attend the hearings in which that contract is hammered out. This is one “Alice in Wonderland” scenario in a slow moving and bureaucratic labor battle that pits workers against a union.

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Engineer Salaries Grew Even More in 2014; Exodus to SF Continued

In 2014, the average software engineer at a Series B funded company made $142,000, up from $130,000 in 2013. Series C funded companies paid programmers $137,000 salaries on average, up from $128,000 the previous year.

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Local Cities Still Face Significant Pension Risks

Even after California’s most massive public pension system reported that it’s regaining ground lost in the recession, many Orange County cities continue to grapple with painful shortfalls, especially the older burgs sporting their own police and fire departments. The newer, contract-heavy cities look lean and mean by contrast.

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Los Angeles, Long Beach Port Congestion Worsens as Longshore Talks Remain Unresolved

Now, with congestion worsening at the nation’s busiest seaport complex and the Pacific Maritime Association’s suspending all ship-unloading on night shifts, all eyes turn to the warring longshore workers union and their employers, the PMA, to quickly resolve a contract through federal mediation.

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Higher Education, Wages, and Polarization

The earnings gap between people with a college degree and those with no education beyond high school has been growing since the late 1970s. Since 2000, however, the gap has grown more for those who have earned a post-graduate degree as well. The divergence between workers with college degrees and those with graduate degrees may be one manifestation of rising labor market polarization, which benefits those earning the highest and the lowest wages relatively more than those in the middle of the wage distribution.

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Teamsters Vote to Authorize Strike Over Commercials Contract

A contract dispute between commercial producers and Teamsters Local 399 has escalated, raising the prospect of the first Hollywood strike by the union in nearly two decades..

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California State Pay, Benefit Costs to Grow by $560 Million

About $467 million of the $560 million increase covers raises already scheduled for many union-covered employees, exempt state managers and supervisors, said Nick Schroeder, who tracks state employee costs for the Legislative Analyst’s Office. The balance would go to medical-benefit cost hikes and other anticipated employee-expense increases.

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The Economy’s Broken Record: Lots of Jobs, but No Raises

But unemployment hasn’t fallen just because some people are getting jobs, and other people are retiring. It’s also fallen because some other people who we’d expect to be working have given up trying to. So-called “prime-age workers” between 25 and 54 years old—too old to be in school, for the most part, and too young to be retired—aren’t working or even looking for work as much as they were before the Great Recession.

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Hiring Booms but Soft Wages Linger

The U.S. concluded its best year of job growth in 15 years as the unemployment rate fell to a postrecession low last month, signs of strength that mask continued challenges of stagnant wages and a stubbornly high number of Americans still on the sidelines.

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Why is Wage Growth So Slow?

Despite considerable improvement in the labor market, growth in wages continues to be disappointing. One reason is that many firms were unable to reduce wages during the recession, and they must now work off a stockpile of pent-up wage cuts. This pattern is evident nationwide and explains the variation in wage growth across industries. Industries that were least able to cut wages during the downturn and therefore accrued the most pent-up cuts have experienced relatively slower wage growth during the recovery.

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Statistician, Heal Thyself

Better data from actual payroll records that the government collects as part of the unemployment insurance program suggest the average hotel worker is making almost 20% more than they are self reporting in the ACS data. And of course this fails to include the healthy tip income that many workers in the hospitality space earn, including waiters, valets, bellhops, and bartenders. In other words, clearly there are some low-income workers in the hotel field, but not nearly as many as the initial estimates the researchers would have you believe.

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Los Angeles County Boasts Strong Tech Economy

Los Angeles County was home to 368,580 high-tech jobs in 2013, more than other regions that boast strong high-tech sectors, according to figures released Monday by Mayor Eric Garcetti and local economists.

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Opinion: “Living Wage” Laws are Union Lifesavers

Los Angeles became the latest to join the movement when the city council approved a law on Sept. 24 requiring large hotels to pay employees at least $15.37 per hour and provide generous paid sick-leave benefits. But the ordinance includes a provision, increasingly common in similar ordinances, that permits unions to waive the requirements in collective bargaining.

. . . In 2013 the Long Beach Business Journal cited the collective-bargaining waiver built into the city’s $13 minimum wage law as an important factor in the unionization of two large hotels, the Hyatt Regency Long Beach and the Hyatt Pike Long Beach.

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