labor

Inequality
8:40 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Malloy Wants Higher Minimum Wage

Governor Dannel Malloy has proposed raising Connecticut's minimum wage to above $10.00 an hour.

The minimum wage in the Nutmeg State just went up last month to $8.70 an hour. Under legislation passed last year, it will rise again to $9.00 an hour next January, but according to the governor, that's not enough. 

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Labor Relations
10:24 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Nurses, Technicians at Lawrence and Memorial Ratify New Contract

Hospital CEO Bruce Cummings addresses a joint press conference with union leaders Monday evening.
Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

Nurses and technicians at New London's Lawrence and Memorial Hospital voted Monday to ratify a contract deal struck late last week between unions and management.

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Economic Fairness
3:27 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Report Makes the Case for Federal Minimum Wage Hike

Murphy's report makes the point that productivity has risen far faster than wages.

Senator Chris Murphy is adding his voice to the call for a hike in the federal minimum wage.

Connecticut's minimum wage just went up, but there's increasing pressure from President Obama and the Senate Democrats for the federal minimum to follow suit. 

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11:49 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Supreme Court Rejects Former Governor's Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided against review a lower court decision that involves former Governor John Rowland and state unions. "In a statement, Rowland and his former budget director Marc Ryan said this: It is unfortunate that the Supreme Court is not taking this case. It will have a profound impact on Governors, Mayors, Boards of Education and taxpayers all across America." The Connecticut Mirror has more.
The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear former Gov. John G. Rowland's appeal regarding a ruling that his administration used layoffs to punish state employee unions in 2003. The case now heads back to U.S. District Court in Hartford, where Rowland will file a motion to dismiss the case, according to a written statement released Monday through his attorney.
Supreme Court
3:18 am
Tue January 21, 2014

A Union For Home Health Aides Brings New Questions To Supreme Court

One of the questions before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday is whether non-union members must pay for negotiating a contract they benefit from.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 12:40 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in an Illinois case that could drive a stake through the heart of public employee unions.

At issue are two questions: whether states may recognize a union to represent health care workers who care for disabled adults in their homes instead of in state institutions; and whether non-union members must pay for negotiating a contract they benefit from.

To understand why a growing number of states actually want to recognize unions to represent home health care workers, listen to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan:

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Governing
1:51 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

In 2013, Federal Workers Found New Reason To Be Unhappy

Cindy VanDerwerker, a maintenance worker at Saratoga National Historical Park, clears leaves from a walkway on Oct. 17 in Stillwater, N.Y.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 3:08 pm

Elizabeth Lytle is an administrative program assistant with the Environmental Protection Agency in Chicago — "a glorified name for a secretary," she says.

If Lytle isn't thrilled with her title, she's even less enamored of her job.

"The morale is just unbelievably low because we're never recognized," Lytle says. "Management doesn't seem to go to bat for us."

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Hospital Labor Dispute
5:24 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Lockout Ends at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital

There's been a continuous picket outside the hospital's New London campus during the strike and the subsequent lockout.
Credit Harriet Jones

Nurses and technicians go back to work Thursday at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London, after the hospital lifted its lockout order.

The move comes after a stand off of more than two weeks. Staff were locked out over the Thanksgiving weekend following a four-day strike.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Corruption, Concessions, and Campaign Contributions

Mark Pazniokas, The Connecticut Mirror
Chion Wolf WNPR

A state court threw out the convictions on corruption charges that would have sent former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez to prison; Connecticut withdrew its appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in a case involving state unions and former Governor John Rowland; state Democrats are raking in campaign contributions from Northeast Utility executives; and former state officials reflect on meeting Nelson Mandela.

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Labor
4:51 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Talks Canceled in Lawrence and Memorial Hospital Dispute

Union negotiators wait at the Olympic Best Western Hotel in Groton.
Credit Harriet Jones

There's been no progress yet towards ending the labor dispute at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London. Talks between unions and management scheduled for today were canceled.

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SEBAC Dispute
10:35 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Jepsen Withdraws Supreme Court Petition in Rowland Layoff Case

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut's Attorney General says he will sit down with union leaders to talk about a settlement in a damages case that dates back to the Rowland administration. To clear the way for talks, George Jepsen has withdrawn his appeal of the U.S. Supreme Court in the case.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Connecticut at Work

Dan Haar and Congressman Joe Courtney
Catie Talarski

We're broadcasting live from Wesleyan University, where the Connecticut Humanities Council is kicking off a day-long look at the past, present, and future of work life in Connecticut.

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Day of Action
8:56 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Local Fast Food Workers Campaign for Higher Wages

Fast food workers picketed while on strike last summer at State House Square in Hartford.
Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

Workers in the fast food industry in Hartford and New Haven are taking part in a nationwide day of action today, campaigning for higher wages.

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Hospital Strike
8:37 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Lawrence and Memorial Hospital Makes "Final Offer" to Striking Workers

State Senate President Donald Williams joined striking workers at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital last week.
Credit Senate Democrats

Lawrence and Memorial Hospital has written to its workers detailing what it's called its last, best and final offer.

It's the latest move in a labor dispute that has seen a four-day strike by about 800 nurses and technicians, followed by a still-ongoing lockout.

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Hospital Strike
7:19 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Lawrence and Memorial Workers Locked Out; More Talks Due This Week

Picketing workers outside Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London.
Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

Unions and management at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital are scheduled to meet at the negotiating table again this week, as nurses and technicians remain locked out of their jobs at the New London facility.

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Labor
8:26 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Nurses and Technicians Strike at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London

State Senate President Donald E. Williams, Jr. (D-Brooklyn) joined striking workers from the hospital at the picket line on Wednesday.
Credit Sen. Donald E. Williams, Jr.

Nurses and technicians at New London's Lawrence and Memorial Hospital were on strike Wednesday morning, after contract talks broke down Tuesday.

The unions, representing some 800 workers, called the walk-out after five hours of talks ended in a stalemate. It's the first major strike at a hospital in the state in almost 30 years. The unions said the biggest issues are job security and patient care.

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China
8:29 am
Fri November 15, 2013

China Eases One-Child Policy, Ends Labor Camp System

Children participate in a drawing contest on May 13 celebrating international children's day in Qingdao, China.
Wu Hong EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 11:47 am

China announced Friday that it is loosening its decades-old one-child policy, and abolishing its system of "re-education through labor" camps.

In order to have a second child, one parent would have to be an only child under the new rules. Previously, both parents had to be only children in order to have a second child.

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A Real Living Wage
8:52 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Episode 487: The Trouble With The Poverty Line

Marion Matthew supports herself and her son in New York City on $23,000 a year. According to the government, she does not live in poverty.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 8:48 pm

According to the government, there are 46.5 million Americans who live below the poverty line. In other words, that's how many people are officially poor. But pretty much everyone who studies poverty agrees: The way we arrive at this figure is completely wrong.

On today's show, we figure out how we got here, why still measure poverty in a way that so many people agree is wrong, and how could we do it better.

For more, see our stories:

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:46 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Tipping the Scales Away From Tipping

Billy Grant, chef-owner of Grant's Restaurant and Restaurant in West Hartford, and Bricco Trattoria in Glastonbury
Chion Wolf

You may eat out a lot, but do you really have tipping figured out?

Or do you stress about whether you left the right amount?

Would you be happier with an 18 percent service charge added on and no obligation to tip?

These are the shifting restaurant rules we'll talk about today.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:50 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

The Nose: Rodeo Clowns, Why Americans Want to Drive Less and Abolish Tipping

Chion Wolf

This week a rodeo clown made news when he wore an Obama mask for a routine that straddled the line between permissible lampooning of a president and unsettling evocations of a lone black man being chased and menaced while a white crowd cheered and jeered. How do we resolve those two strains at the moment? There's our belief in loud, lusty rebuke to people in power and our sense that some depictions of black and white kick historical tripwires and throw us back to 1861.

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Where We Live
12:03 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

What's Work Worth?

Cool Insights on Flickr Creative Commons

It’s the set-up for countless plots in tv and the cinema: The low-wage worker accidentally gets his hands on the big boss’ paycheck and is flabbergasted by the numbers he sees.

Outside of Hollywood, here’s the reality: Workers on Wall Street earned an average bonus of $121,900 last year while the per capita average income was $42,693.

But we knew that, right, that people who work in the financial industry in the “money-making” part of our economy are going to make more than, say, schoolteachers.

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Paid Sick Leave
10:00 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Employers Miss Out On Sick Leave Reforms

Harriet Jones

When Connecticut passed a law two years ago that required employers to provide paid sick leave it was the first state in the nation to do so. And so putting that law into practice has been something of an experiment. This year, businesses asked for some changes to make the law easier to comply with. But as WNPR's Harriet Jones reports, they didn't get them.

 

 

When you hear the sound of sirens in one of Eastern Connecticut's towns, it's a fair bet that the vehicle involved belongs to American Ambulance Service, based in Norwich.

 

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News
4:47 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

School Governance Councils Say They're Shut Out

Connecticut’s largest teachers’ union filed a complaint Tuesday against Bridgeport School Superintendent Paul Vallas.  The dispute centers on the city’s school governance councils,  whose members say they’re being shut out.

School governance councils were established by law in Connecticut in 2010.  Parents, teachers and community members have a chance to serve as advisors, and collaborate with school administrators to improve student achievement.  

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Food Regulation
10:57 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Subway, Labor Officials Collaborate to Tackle Violations

Connecticut based fast food giant Subway is cooperating with regulators in an effort to end labor law violations among its thousands of franchise outlets. 

 

Milford-based sandwich chain Subway has the highest number of restaurants in the world, surpassing even McDonalds. But in an organization that big, controlling what happens in each independent business can be difficult.

 

"We noticed a pattern of violations among Subway franchises."

 

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Forming a Union
10:19 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Mystic Seaport Workers Ready For Union Vote

Harriet Jones

Workers at Mystic Seaport take to polls Friday to vote on whether to form a union. As WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, it’s the latest stage in what has become a contentious labor relations saga for the famous museum.

Working at Mystic Seaport is about as far as you can get from the traditional 9 to 5.

“I do blacksmithing, sailmaking, coopering, sail handling, and then talk about the historical relevance of all the artifacts and exhibits around the Seaport.”

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Proposed Bills
9:25 am
Mon February 27, 2012

Minimum Wage Proposal Provokes Controversy

The legislature’s labor committee will hear testimony this week on a bill to raise the state’s minimum wage. After last year’s successful passage of paid sick leave there are indications it may be a tough political battle. Many businesses also say it’s too soon in a weak economic recovery to further raise their costs. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

House Speaker Chris Donovan, introducing his legislation to raise the minimum wage, invoked some high profile bi-partisan support.

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Where We Live
10:46 am
Tue December 20, 2011

The Connecticut Economy

The Connecticut Economy is a quarterly review put out by the University of Connecticut that analyzes - well - the state’s economy. The latest edition was recently released and includes an analysis of Connecticut’s quality of life.

One major factor in any economic study is the unemployment rate and yesterday, the Connecticut Department of Labor released new statistics showing a slight drop to 8.4% in what the department calls a plateauing of the unemployment rate.

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Hartford's Market
3:59 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

The Market At Hartford 21? Still Closed.

Public Defenders
12:37 pm
Thu July 21, 2011

Budget Cuts Threaten Public Defenders

WNPR

In the wake of the failed labor concessions agreement between Governor Dannel Malloy and state labor unions, state agencies are feeling the crunch. The Office of the Chief public defender has to cut about 7.5 percent of their overall budget, which some believe will hinder the states poorest from getting proper legal counsel, and will make it difficult for public defenders to honor their constitutional obligations.

We are joined by Mike Lawlor, undersecretary for criminal justice planning.

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Deconstruction
9:13 am
Fri July 8, 2011

Preservation Through Deconstruction

Harriet Jones

Green construction is a pretty familiar concept these days. But did you also know there’s a green way to remove a building? Instead of demolition, it’s called deconstruction, and one small Connecticut business hopes to grow it into an industry. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Back in the 1930s, the town of Hamden built itself a brand-new firehouse… some seven decades later, it’s no longer a firehouse, but it’s still here on Putnam Avenue, and I’m visiting its present owner, Frank Poole.

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Labor
2:48 pm
Wed July 6, 2011

As the Clock Ticks, Malloy, Unions Inch Closer Together

via WikiMedia Commons

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy took a small step Wednesday toward renewed talks about concessions with unionized state employees when he said he likely would send an aide to inquire how labor leaders hope to revise their contract amendment ratification rules.

But the governor also warned that without clear direction first from labor about how a difficult ratification process might be reformed, there is little for the two sides to talk about. Nearly 60 percent of participating union members voted in favor of concessions last month, but ratification still failed.

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