Monday, March 31, 2014

SEIU claims that unionism pays off for female workers

This Women's History Month is a perfect time to celebrate the capacity for upward mobility women have gained in the workforce—especially when it comes to labor unions.
Women have a great deal to gain from joining a union, with union victories working to pave the way for workers to bargain for affordable family healthcare, fair wages, improved working conditions, and a better life for their families.
There are so many reasons women benefit so much from the union advantage:
Being in a union is good for a woman's health.
When it comes to both fiscal and physical health, being in a union is the way to go. Unionization dramatically raises the probability of a woman having a pension (53.4 percent) and an employer-provided health insurance plan (36.8 percent).
Unions have been a powerful force for women's equality.
Collective bargaining cuts down on employer favoritism, which helps women--and importantly, women of color--get a fair chance at work. Unionized women of color, for example, earn almost 35 percent more than nonunion women of color.
Unionization results in significantly higher wages for women of all education levels.
Being a member of a union raises women's wages by 12.9 percent compared to their nonunion peers. That's a pay increase of $222 a week--which adds up to $11,544 a year.
Unions protect workers' rights regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender.
In a country where it's still legal for an employer to fire someone for being gay in 29 states, and for being transgender in 34, having a union can make all the difference.
Unions help close the wage gap.
Despite the fact the gender wage gap overall hasn't made any progress in the last five years, it's been shrinking among workers who belong to a union, declining 2.6 percent between 2013 and 2012. The gender gap between what unionized male workers make and what unionized female workers make is just 9.4 percent, compared to 18.7 percent among nonunion workers.
Considering the great boost to equality, pay and benefits that unions bring, it's important that anyone who cares about the well-being of women workers also care about unions.
So spread the word. While we can't change the world in a day, speaking out about this important issue is a good start.
And never forget why a woman's place is in her union.
In solidarity,
Mary Kay Henry
SEIU International President
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Where did all the real Republicans go?

English: General of the Army Eisenhower
English: General of the Army Eisenhower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Climate Change: SOme scientists predict the worst is yet to come

India Countries which have key military, strat...
India Countries which have key military, strategic and economic relations with India* Countries which have Key strategic and economic relations with India** Countries which have favorable relations with India*** Countries which have border/territorial disputes and/or have fought wars with India since it gained independence**** (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My questions are the following:

1.  With population still growing globally and with developing nations such as China and India deserting the same life styles we in the West have enjoyed, will anything we do make enough of a difference to justify the expense?

2.  With the potential for our energy independence in the US a very real prospect --- provided we exploit out God-given carbon resources --- don't we need to way the pros and cons of going green v. this significant geo-political opportunity?

3.  Is our money better spent enhancing our infrastructure to deal with the impact of climate change --- e.g., more and more severe storms --- than on a Quixotic crusade to try to reverse the climatic direction?

I don't know. But I'd like solid answers to these three questions.
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Sunday, March 30, 2014

News about SVA's "Million Records" Project for Vets

Injuries incurred by service members are cover...
Injuries incurred by service members are covered by the Veteran Administration. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Colleagues and Fellow Veterans,

Earlier this week, I spoke at an event where Student Veterans of America (SVA) announced their findings from their Million Records Project which analyzed Veteran completion rates among other demographic information. Through the project, SVA provided an important voice in the effort to track and report on the academic outcomes of Veteran students. VA and the National Student Clearinghouse partnered with SVA to provide the necessary data for this research project

For those of you using Facebook, the event was posted on the VBA site; (this site typically provides some very good topical and current information for Veterans, I encourage you to ‘like’ it to keep yourself posted and current.)  Additionally, the event was posted on VA’s blog which provides you a great overview of the report and the event.

Some of SVA’s initial findings showed that Veteran students:
  • Are nontraditional students whose academic paths are shaped by military service
  • Persist in their education despite numerous challenges, completing at levels comparable to the general population
  • Are largely enrolling in and graduating from public schools
  • Pursue high-growth, high-demand fields
  • Use benefits to achieve higher levels of education

These results and future research in this area will help inform best practices on campuses aimed at increasing success for Veterans.  SVA’s complete report can be found online at  I encourage you to take a look at it.

The findings validate what we already know about Veterans – they are motivated, focused, and regardless of the odds, continue to persist and achieve.   This report is another piece in the matrix of Veteran economic success. 

As well, this is a great example of a Public/Private partnership and provides a validation of an evidence based approach to this national conversation regarding Veterans.  It is also a reflection that neither VA nor any other single group is doing it alone.   Our partnerships in the past several years have been critical, and projects such as this demonstrate why we need to continue to grow and strengthen are partner relations.

Curtis L. Coy
Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity
Veterans Benefits Administration
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

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Cheney: No regrets on interrogation techniques

Water torture
Water torture (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"If I would have to do it all over again, I would."

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Who are AMerica's highest rated CEOs?

Here's one take on the question:,21.htm?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=CEO14&utm_content=CEO14
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