Category Archives: Media

Profs. Steve Brier and Michael Fabricant Talk Austerity Blues on WNYC

If you missed our forum last Friday on the history and impact of austerity and neoliberal policies on public higher education, you can still listen to an interview on WNYC with two of our panelists: Murphy Institute consortial faculty member Prof. Steve Brier and co-author Prof. Michael Fabricant of the CUNY Graduate Center and Vice President of CUNY’s Professional Staff Congress. They speak about their recently published work, Austerity Blues: Fighting for the Soul of Public Higher Education.

Listen here.

Photo by chadinbr via flickr (CC-BY)

Al Jazeera on Unionization, Pay Discrimination

The latest report from Murphy Professors Ruth Milkman and Stephanie Luce, The State of the Unions: A Profile of Organized Labor in New York City, New York State, and the United States, continues to gain coverage, this time over at Al Jazeera. In an article by Murphy alum Ned Resnikoff (Unionization found to reduce pay discrimination, Al Jazeera, 9/7/15), the writer outlines some findings from the report:

The earnings gap between black and nonblack workers is smaller among union members than among members of the labor force as a whole, according to a report issued Friday from the City University of New York’s Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies.

The report found that unionized black workers make a median $21.62 per hour, roughly 10 percent less than unionized nonblack workers’ $24.04 hourly wage. Nonunion black workers earned a median $13.65 per hour, compared with nonunion nonblack workers’ $17.00 — a nearly 20 percent pay disadvantage. Continue reading Al Jazeera on Unionization, Pay Discrimination

New Yorker Coverage of Book by Prof. Michael Fortner

Murphy Institute Professor Michael Fortner’s hotly anticipated new book Black Silent Majority: the Rockefeller Drug Laws and the Politics of Punishment gains yet more coverage with the latest edition of the New Yorker. In Kelefa Sanneh’s review, Body Count, the writer places Fortner’s book in conversation with the latest from Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me) as well as Michelle Alexander’s 2010 book, The New Jim Crow:

This summer, the Black Lives Matter movement got a literary manifesto, in the form of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “Between the World and Me” (Spiegel & Grau), a slender but deeply resonant book that made its début atop the Times best-seller list[…]

Four decades ago, a number of black leaders were talking in similarly urgent terms about the threats to the black body. The threats were, in the words of one activist, “cruel, inhuman, and ungodly”: black people faced the prospect not just of physical assault and murder but of “genocide”—the horror of slavery, reborn in a new guise. The activist who said this was Oberia D. Dempsey, a Baptist pastor in Harlem, who carried a loaded revolver, the better to defend himself and his community. Dempsey’s main foe was not the police and the prisons; it was drugs, and the criminal havoc wreaked by dealers and addicts. Continue reading New Yorker Coverage of Book by Prof. Michael Fortner

Praise for Murphy Institute via DC37

The latest issue of the DC 37 newsletter features a column by Murphy Institute alum Moira Dolan singing high praise for Murphy programs, faculty and students. Dolan is senior assistant director at the DC 37 Research and Negotiations Department and recently graduated from the Murphy Institute, in part thanks to assistance from the DC 37 Education Fund. She writes:

Because of my work in the DC 37 Research and Negotiations Dept. the Labor Studies Program at CUNY was a perfect fit[…]

Some of my favorite teachers included Ed Ott, who taught public sector and public policy, and who told many fascinating anecdotes from the past; Ruth Milkman, who taught labor and immigration; Steve Jenkins from SEIU 32 B-J, who instructed us on corporate research methods; and Josh Freeman, who taught labor history.

As compelling as these educators were, my fellow students were even more interesting. Through them, I got to know what it’s like to work at other unions — or be represented by other unions.

To read the full article, click here.

Report: State of the Unions 2015

What’s the relationship between unionization and the racial pay gap?

According to a new report by Murphy Institute Professors Ruth Milkman and Stephanie Luce, The State of the Unions: A Profile of Organized Labor in New York City, New York State, and the United States, unions narrow the racial divide in wage levels. The report states:

Blacks have higher unionization rates than any other racial/ethnic group. Those who are union members reap substantial economic advantages, such as improved earnings, more job security, and greater access to employer-provided health insurance and pensions. 

An annual publication from the Murphy Institute, the report provides a wealth of information about unions in New York City, New York State and beyond, providing union density levels by geography, industry, race, gender, earnings, education, and other variables, and showing modest growth of unions at both the City and State level.

On Friday, the report was covered in a NY Times article called Unionization Important to Closing Racial Wage Gap, Study Says.

See the full report here.

Making History: Banning the Box & Labor in Queer America

 

We’re living in historic times. Over the past few months, we’ve seen marriage equality become the law across the United States. More locally, we’ve seen the NYC Fair Chance Act fundamentally alter the economic opportunity landscape for those with criminal records, requiring public and private sector employers to wait until after a conditional job offer to make any inquiries about criminal history.

Just how did we get here? On this week’s edition of Building Bridges Radio with Mimi Rosenberg and Ken Nash, the hosts talk with Miriam Frank, author of Out in the Union: A Labor History Of Queer America, along with Brandon Holmes, Community Civil Rights Organizer with VOCAL-NY, which has been instrumental in NYC’s Ban the Box efforts.

Check it out.