All posts by Murphy Institute

Response to Nick Unger’s “Unions as Consciousness Builders – Part 2”

On July 3rd, we posted Part II of Nick Unger’s series on union structures, labor history and union member consciousness. As with the first installment, the responses have been rolling in. Here’s a sampling:

From Martin Morand, Professor Emeritus, Industrial and Labor Relations, Indiana University of Pennsylvania:

Nick is painfully correct — as far as he has gone. Since he promises, “Glimpses of new possibilities that might make one less forlorn,” my cavils may be premature. But, “fools rush in…”

As critique this is brilliant — painfully so. Until I see the “new possibilities,” I remain forlorn. As with Occupy, it exposes and labels the enemy without quite providing a solution. Continue reading Response to Nick Unger’s “Unions as Consciousness Builders – Part 2”

What does the Harris v. Quinn decision mean for home care workers?

Since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Harris v. Quinn last month, some have questioned the future of home care worker organizing. The ruling stated that unions cannot require home care workers who choose not to be represented by the union to pay fees. According to a recent article in Portside by Dave Jamieson, however, the SEIU is showing no signs of slowing down in its efforts to organize:

Jamieson writes:

After being dealt a major setback by the Supreme Court just two weeks ago, the Service Employees International Union is plowing ahead in its efforts to organize home care workers, filing a petition Tuesday for what could be one of the largest union elections in Minnesota history.

According to SEIU, the election would cover an estimated 26,000 Medicaid-funded home care workers in the state who assist the elderly and people with disabilities. Under a hotly debated law passed last year, unions in Minnesota are allowed to organize day care and home care workers who work in clients’ homes and are paid in part through the federal health care program.

For the full article, visit Portside.

Photo by Jeff Kubina via flickr (CC-BY-SA).

Summer Position with UFT in NYC

Position Description for PROSE Assistant


  • Create and maintain records and data related to PROSE, including but not limited to PROSE applications, budgets, and other relevant documents
  • Assist in preparing review reports of PROSE schools’ progress
  • Assist in research related to best practices in policies supported by PROSE, including but not limited to peer assessment and review, career ladders, class size, and other educational issues
  • Assist in maintaining internal and external communications with PROSE stakeholders, including current and prospective PROSE schools, UFT and DOE staff, and outside organizations
  • Assist in identifying, applying for, and disbursing additional public and private sources of funding to support the work of PROSE, including but not limited to state, federal, and local grants
  • Assist with analysis of PROSE outcomes, including tracking student outcome data and other relevant data on the PROSE’s impact and assisting in the selection of any outside evaluation selected for the project

Strongly Preferred Skills/Experience:

  • Excellent writing and document creation skills (including knowledge of Microsoft Word)
  • Experience working on K-12 educational issues
  • Excellent spreadsheet and budget skills (including knowledge of Excel)
  • Preferred Skills/Experience:
  • Experience working with labor organizations and/or directly with teachers and schools
  • Experience identifying, applying for, and disbursing grants
  • Experience in program evaluation for education or related fields
  • Knowledge of relevant software programs, including Access and Powerpoint

About 35 hours/week at up to $25/hour, can start immediately. Email a resume and cover letter to Christina Collins ASAP at CCollins<at>uft<dot>org.

Observations on Cuba

By Marisa Butler

In March, I traveled to Cuba with my family. We were able to go legally on a People to People license issued by the US government. Limited, legal travel is one of the ways the Obama administration has been easing restrictions between the two nations. As a requirement of our visa, we were mandated to adhere to a strict schedule of tours and programs that served as a cultural exchange, rather than a traditional vacation.

I want to give context to our trip and acknowledge my role as an outsider who was traveling within the bounds of a US-granted license and a tour run by the Cuban government. Despite these details, I learned an incredible amount that I feel has been mostly absent throughout my educational career in the United States. It was an incredible opportunity to view this experience through the lens of the Urban Studies program. Continue reading Observations on Cuba