Monday, November 18, 2013

Look For the Union Label

As American manufacturing departs to lower cost foreign lands, as conservative government policies reduce the union membership in government, the labor movement in America is seeking a new membership: Not For Profits.

Two different labor management stories in two different parts of the U.S. illustrate the continuing common labor difficulties faced by America’s nonprofits.

In a city known more for its country music than the classics, musicians with the Nashville Symphony agreed to 15 percent pay cuts as part of a one-year deal with the Nashville Symphony Association. The Tennessean newspaper reported a deal that takes effect immediately, adding that the musicians’ pay cuts are in line with recent cuts taken by the orchestra’s top leadership, including its managing and music directors.

The salary concessions are part of a comprehensive financial restructuring that the Symphony has undertaken in response to difficult economic conditions, cutting nearly 30 percent of this year’s operating budget. In this labor management case unions were discouraged by the musicians to represent their interests.

Adjunct faculty members at Tufts University have voted to unionize with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), marking the national union's first victory in a campaign to organize adjuncts across the Boston area and push institutions to improve their working conditions.

The 128-to-57 vote at Tufts, announced after ballots were tallied precedes an October 4 ballot count for adjuncts at Bentley University, who are also voting on whether to unionize with the SEIU as part of the Adjunct Action campaign. The campaign's strategy is to organize adjuncts across a metropolitan area and put colleges in that region under competitive pressure to improve both pay and working conditions for their own adjuncts. About two-thirds of faculty employees in the Boston region are not on the tenure track, according to data released by the SEIU.

The union has pursued the same strategy in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region. After adjuncts at Georgetown University voted to unionize with the SEIU last May, the union now represents part-time professors at four institutions in that area: Georgetown, George Washington, and American Universities, and Montgomery College.

Other regional campaigns are under way in New Hampshire, Connecticut, and California, where the Adjunct Action project had previously announced a Los Angeles campaign.

These two Labor stories demonstrate that nonprofits are not immune from the same labor-management pressures facing for-profit companies in an economy emerging from a recession and a labor market confronting major structural changes. As in the for-profit sector, the majority of nonprofit employees are not unionized, and the dynamics of labor-management relations is as varied as the sector, often reflecting regional and industry-specific differences, as well as the personalities of the organizations’ leadership.

It’s a continuation of the long-standing debate over the true societal cost of achieving program efficiencies, and yet another example of how organizations pledged to improve the lives of people in our society often find themselves at odds over the means to that worthy end.

Where does this writer fit into this discussion? Stay tuned.


November 19, 1863: 150 years ago, President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address as he dedicated a national cemetery at the site of the Civil War battlefield in Pennsylvania.
November 22, 1963: 50 years ago,  President Kennedy was assassinated while riding in a motorcade in Dallas. Texas Gov. John B. Connally was seriously wounded. A suspect, Lee Harvey Oswald, was arrested. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson became the 36th president of the United States.
November 24, 1963: 50 years ago, Jack Ruby shot and mortally wounded Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kennedy.

HISTORY PART DEUX - Caroline Kennedy sworn in as ambassador to Japan. Caroline Kennedy, the new U.S. ambassador to Japan and daughter of slain President John F. Kennedy, leaves for Japan on last Thursday ... 'We just had a tea ceremony which was a wonderful introduction to the Japanese culture,' Kennedy said Tuesday night at a reception at the Japanese ambassador's residence. 'My husband and I and my children are so excited to be going to Japan ... We look forward to meeting as many people as we can, to making new friends, visiting and studying the history and culture of this beautiful country that is such a strong partner to the United States' ... Secretary of State John Kerry hosted a swearing-in ceremony for Kennedy on Tuesday afternoon at the State Department. At the reception later, Kerry noted that Kennedy's father battled Japanese forces as a Navy officer in World War II.

BIG NEWS FROM THE CAPE -- Boston Globe lead story, "Tribe says it will open small casino on Vineyard: Cites a federal opinion on legality; state insists Aquinnah gave up right," by Mark Arsenault: "The Wampanoag Tribe of Aquinnah announced Tuesday that it intends within months to open the state's first casino, on tribal land on Martha's Vineyard, delivering another shock to an emerging Massachusetts casino industry that has become wildly unpredictable of late. Governor Deval Patrick signaled ... he would try to block the tribe's gambling plans, holding to a longstanding position by state officials that the island tribe lacks the right to build a casino on the island ...

"But in a new legal analysis, ... federal officials said ... the tribe did not give up rights to develop a casino on its ... land, as the state has long contended. ... The tribe tried to dispel fears of Caesars Palace cropping up on Gay Head cliffs, promising a modest development off Black Brook Road, on the western end of an island known for nature, a relaxed summer vibe, and presidential vacations, most recently by the Clintons and the Obamas."

NEW YORK TIMES EXITS - The New York Times is suffering a brain drain. In the last nine months, at least a dozen top reporters and editors have made for the exits. Among them are ... Nate Silver, who sprinted to ESPN; David Pogue, who decamped to Yahoo News; Jeff Zeleny, who left for ABC News; and Rick Berke, who is en route to POLITICO. That's not counting the many editors and reporters who took buyouts ... The departures have brought the Times face-to-face with a harsh reality: In the new media landscape, some journalists have become their own brands with followings and reputations that are not dependent on the 'aura' of the paper of record. Some built their brands at the paper, but it does not necessarily have the resources or flexibility to keep them. Meanwhile, deep-pocketed competitors are willing to pay top dollar for top-flight talent."

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Jamie Lee Curtis (55), Billie Jean King (70), Larry King (80), Jack Meek …he knew Joe Paterno, Ted Turner (75).


phantasmagoric \fan-tax-muh-GAWR-ik, -GOR-\, adjective:
1. having a fantastic or deceptive appearance, as something in a dream or created by the imagination.
2. having the appearance of an optical illusion, especially one produced by a magic lantern.
3. changing or shifting, as a scene made up of many elements.
“The phantasmagoric effect was vastly heightened by the artificial introduction of a strong continual current of wind behind the draperies—giving a hideous and uneasy animation to the whole.”
-- Edgar Allan Poe, "Ligeia," 1838

celos, plural noun
Some words are singular in English and plural in Spanish, such as las noticias, the news, and los celos, jealousy.
“Coquetea con otros sólo para darle celos a su esposo.”
“She flirts with other men just to make her husband jealous.”

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 11/23, 8:00 PM ET, ABC: #4 Baylor Bears (9-0) visit #10 Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-1). The Big 12 game of the year to date, Baylor has too much offense for OSU, Baylor 45 The Cowboys 32 Season to date (8-4)

SMALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 11/23, 12:00 PM ET, BRAVO: The D-III Playoffs begin with a first round tilt - #22 Lebanon Valley (8-2) vs. #12 Wittenberg Tigers (9-1). The Springfield Ohio boys will be too much for the Dutchmen; Wittenberg 40 Lebanon Valley 20. Season to date (8-2)

NFL PICK OF THE WEEK – Sunday 11/24, 4:25 PM ET, Fox: Dallas Cowboys (5-5) at New York Football Giants (4-6). Giants have won four in a row, make that five – Giants 24 Cowboys 21.   Season to date (9-1)


(NCAA, Nov. 23)  #17 Arizona State Sun Devils (8-2) 30 at #14 UCLA Bruins (8-2) 40
(SCIAC Game of the Week, Nov. 23) Redlands Bulldogs (7-2) 24 at #3 Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders (10-0) 45
(NHL, Nov. 23) Colorado Avalanche (14-5-0) 3 at Los Angeles Kings (14-6-1) 4
(NFL Upset of the Week, Nov. 24) San Diego Chargers (4-6) 21 at Kansas City Chiefs (9-1) 17
Season to date (42-35)

NHL POWER RANKINGS – Through one quarter of the season, one thing to note the total lack of Eastern teams in our rankings:

1.      Chicago Black Hawks (14-3-4)
2.      San Jose Sharks (13-3-5)
3.      Anaheim Ducks (15-5-2)
4.      St. Louis Blues (13-3-3)
5.      Los Angeles Kings (14-6-1)

MARKET WEEK - With mostly modest daily gains, the major averages keep setting records, with both the Dow and the S&P 500 closing at all-time highs Friday and also eclipsing their intraday record highs as well. The Dow Transports also set an all-time closing high, and the Nasdaq finished at its best level since September 2000.

DRIVING THE WEEK - Fed Chair Ben Bernanke speaks Tuesday at the 7pm at the Nat'l Economics Club in Washington and the central bank on Wednesday releases minutes of last meeting as investors seek clues for when the crucially important taper will begin ... Retail sales at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday expected to rise 0.1% ... Consumer prices at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday expected to be flat with core up 0.1% ... Existing home sales at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday expected to drop to 5.2M from 5.28M ...

Philadelphia Fed at 10:00 a.m Thursday expected to dip to 15 from 19.8 ... Big week for retail earnings featuring Home Depot, Target Gap and J.C. Penney ... The Clearing House holds in annual conference in NYC Thursday and Friday. M.M. conducts a conversation Friday morning at 9:00 with former House Financial Services Chair Barney Frank.

Next week: Jack Ass of the Month and Captain Obvious.

Until Next Monday, “Adios.”

Claremont, CA
November 18, 2013

#IV-31, 188

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