Showing posts with label athens ga.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label athens ga.. Show all posts

Monday, January 22, 2018

United Campus Workers of Georgia @ University of Georgia affiliates with Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO

(Photo from The Red and Black)

The United Campus Workers of Georgia has been officially chartered by the Communications Workers of America (AFL-CIO) as UCW-GA / CWA Organizing Local 3265​.

According to its website:

“We at United Campus Workers of Georgia are striving to create a forum where all voices are heard and respected. We envision a broad alliance reaching every sector of the UGA workforce and call on all employees at UGA to band together to fight for the working conditions of all on campus.” 

On its website, UCW-GA has posted a Campus Workers Bill of Rights that includes:

1.       A living wage and just compensation: We have the right to a base salary high enough to provide for our families to live a decent life without reliance on governmental assistance or private charity, and to salaries that are equitable with wages paid at peer institutions and in private employment.
2.       Job protection: We have the right to jobs protected from the threat of privatization, outsourcing, and subcontracting. We have the right to employment that is not “at will,” and to not be terminated except for just cause.
3.       A Right to Organize: We have the right to organize labor unions; to official recognition of our union; and to the ability to “meet and confer” with officials at the departmental, institutional, and state levels on all issues of concern.  We have the right to freely conduct meetings on non-working hours; to petition for redress of grievances; to deduct dues from paychecks; and ultimately to bargain collectively in order to protect and advance our collective interests.
4.       Due Process: We have the right to a grievance procedure that includes the right to grieve all matters that can impact safety, evaluations, raises, transfers, layoffs, promotions, and disciplinary actions, and we have the right to representation of our choice at all levels.
5.       Non-discrimination: We have the right to a workplace free from harassment, exploitation, and discrimination. We have the right to receive fair and equal treatment, opportunities, pay, and benefits regardless of our religion, race, nationality, immigration history, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, disabilities, or political orientation. We have the right to equal pay for equal work.
6.       Adequate benefits: We have the right to guaranteed comprehensive health care; to an adequate retirement; to paid vacations and / or sabbaticals; to paid parental leave; and to tuition remission or adequate funding for educational opportunities for us and our families, including partner benefits.
7.       Safe Workplaces: We have the right to a safe and secure working environment with adequate training and the proper safety equipment necessary to perform our duties; to timely and effective corrective measures to our health and safety concerns; and to refuse dangerous work when proper safety precautions are not adequately met.
8.       Governance: We have the right to participate in determining the content and direction of the institution, including freely elected representation on governing bodies, and without fear of retaliation for expressing our views.
9.       Universal inclusion: All university employees, regardless of status or job classification, have the right to be treated equally with regard to all of these rights. Adjunct and contingent faculty especially have the right to work without exploitation and to be transitioned to real employment.

The creation of the UCW-GA follows the ongoing efforts to organize university workers in Tennessee, which has chapters on a number of campuses in Tennessee including UT-Knoxville.

In a news article published by The Red and Black, which claims to be the largest college newspaper in Georgia, the UCW-GA chapter reports that it has 70 members and “hopes to continue advocating for fair pay and benefits during this semester, starting with the State of the University address Wednesday, Jan. 24, where union members will be handing out postcards which state the organization’s platform.”


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Georgia’s job creation machine continues to slow due to job slowdown outside the Atlanta metro area

Georgia 12-month percentage change in nonfarm jobs. seasonally adjusted, 2014-2016

Despite upbeat messages from the Georgia Department of Labor, Georgia’s December 2016 nonfarm employment count only equaled its 2015 job growth and fell below the levels set in December 2013 and 2014, according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In December, Georgia added 5,900 jobs, seasonally adjusted, the same as in December 2015. Before seasonal adjustment, net jobs dropped by 9,700. In December 2015, the state lost only 2,100 jobs before seasonal adjustment.

As a result, Georgia’s 12-month net increase in seasonally adjusted 103,300 net new jobs with a job growth rate of 2.4 percent, still higher than the national average at 1.5 percent, but the slowest job increase recorded in the state since 2013.

Unemployment

As a result of the slowdown in new job creation, even as the state’s labor force grew, the state’s unemployment rate in December was virtually unchanged over the year.

In December 2016, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 5.4 percent compared to a 5.5 percent rate in December 2015, a statistically insignificant difference.

Over the past year, the state added 27,767 people to its labor force, and the number of unemployed grew by 10,648, not seasonally adjusted.

Atlanta Metro Area

The slowdown in job growth was concentrated outside the Atlanta metro area.

In December 2016, the Atlanta metro area added 4,500 jobs, seasonally adjusted and accounted for three-fourths of the state’s net job growth.

Over the year, the Atlanta’s area growth rate reached 2.7 percent, slightly below 2016’s rate of 2.8 percent. For the year, the Atlanta metro area added 70,500 jobs, about the same number of jobs as in 2015.

Other Metro Areas in Georgia

Unfortunately, the state continues to acknowledge the problem of slowing job growth outside the Atlanta metro area.

Three metro areas in Georgia added fewer than 300 net new jobs over the past 12 months. Dalton added 200 jobs over the year, Valdosta added 100, and Hinesville actually has lost 100 jobs since December 2015.

While BLS does not publish a number for nonmetro nonfarm jobs in the state, with the Atlanta and Savannah metro areas accounting for three-fourths of the state’s new jobs and the smaller metros suffering, it is fair to say that the rural parts of the state are suffering at least to the same degree as the small metro areas.

Unless conditions change by an influx of new jobs into the rural and small metro areas, the Atlanta area will continue to be a mecca for state residents looking to escape dead-end careers, and the state will be steadily transformed as economic power (leading to political power) continues to concentrate in the Atlanta area.

Nonfarm Employment December 2016  /  12-months ending in December 2016
(Seasonally Adjusted. Preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.)

Statewide Georgia   5,900      /   103,300
Albany                          -200  /    1,000
Athens                       -1,400  /    1,700
Atlanta                        4,500  /  70,500
Augusta                             0  /   4,800
Brunswick                     200  /      500
Columbus                      800  /    1,900
Dalton                             0    /      200
Gainesville                    600  /     2,100
Hinesville                     -100  /     -100
Macon                          -200  /      700
Rome                            -100  /      400
Savannah                    1,100  /    6,800
Valdosta                       -400  /       100


Monday, September 7, 2015

On Labor Day, Georgia Workers Should Demand a Better Life

The following opinion was originally published in the flagpole, a publication out of Athens, Ga.

By Steve Lomax

Labor Day was created to pay tribute to America’s hard-working men and women, but for many working and middle class families in Georgia, taking time off during the holiday is not an option. For too many Americans, Labor Day is just another working day when the realities and challenges they face only grow. 
Across our state, countless hard-working Georgians who help to feed, serve, clothe and build this country still struggle like never before in low-paying full- or part-time jobs. Nationally, wages have not kept up with inflation. In Georgia, wages have dropped by 12 percent between 2009–2014. Most Americans hope to improve their lives and their income annually, but in Georgia wages have dropped by 13 percent since the recession, a real figure of $7,374 lost, on average, to Georgia’s working families, from 2007–2013.
Erratic work schedules are becoming the norm, especially for workers in the service sector like those at Walmart and McDonald’s. This kind of scheduling makes it all but impossible for workers to control their lives, let alone go to school or take care of a child or a loved one. 
Even worse, as Bloomberg News just reported, irresponsible companies like Walmart promise to raise wages, and then turn around and cut hours—so workers actually earn less. And, to add insult to injury, trade deals supported by Democrats and Republicans offer false promises of better jobs, but we continue to ship good Georgia jobs overseas.
As a result, income inequality has risen to levels not seen since the “Roaring Twenties,” and the divide between the rich and poor continues to grow. According to the new book titled $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, the number of U.S. residents struggling in poverty and trying to get by on only $2 a day has more than doubled since 1996.  
This Labor Day, every Georgian must really ask themselves: How long can this nation endure when so few have so much, and so many have so little?  
For the sake of all of our families, this must change. And that change must begin now. 
Our 17,000 member strong union family is more determined than ever to fight for a better life for all hard-working Georgians. Our message to every worker is a simple one: You’ve earned a better life.
Every day, not just on Labor Day, unions work hard to provide the better wages, benefits and protections that working men and women truly need. The results and benefits of joining a union nationally are quite clear. On average, union workers earn 27 percent more than non-union workers, and are more likely to have paid sick leave and a pension plan. 
More importantly, it is clearer every day that our nation’s broken political system is unlikely to address income inequality, and poor wages and benefits will not be addressed by irresponsible companies more interested in PR stunts. 
Real change will come from hard-working people joining together to fight for it. That’s what Labor Day must be about.  
Labor Day should be a day where hard-working people join together to demand a better life. It must be a day where workers, no matter where they work, whether they work, say enough is enough and call for better wages, better benefits, and a better life they deserve. 
But above all, Labor Day must also be when Georgians realize that there is no corporate or political hero coming to the rescue. Instead, hard-working men and women must seize the opportunity to define their own destiny. 
Doing so begins with every worker knowing that they have power, with our help, to negotiate a better life for themselves and their family. Because when all is said and done, no one in Georgia should have to fight for a better life alone. 
Steve Lomax is the president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1996, which represents 17,000 members in the Southeast, and an International President of the UFCW. Local 1996 represents retail workers; poultry, packaging and manufacturing workers; and health care workers, providing excellent part-time and full-time benefits as well as dignified treatment and a voice at work.