Video: The Taylor Law in Perspective at 50

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Public Employees Fair Employment Act, commonly known as the Taylor Law. This New York law was one of the first state laws to grant public workers the right to unionize, to require public employers and unions to bargain in good faith over working conditions, and to mandate conciliation of bargaining impasses.

Yesterday, the Murphy Institute, in conjunction with Hunter’s National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Roosevelt House, sponsored a series of panels and conversations examining the Taylor Law in historical context, and exploring the future of public sector unionization and collective bargaining.

Missed the event or want to see it again? You can watch it here.

Announcing the 20th Anniversary Issue of New Labor Forum

The right-wing’s decades-long attack on public sector unionism is slated for a hearing before the Supreme Court later this fall in the Janus v. AFSCME case. The September 2017 issue of New Labor Forum contemplates the probable implications and strategic options facing public sector unions once the ruling is handed down.

Also under contemplation in the Fall 2017 issue is the historically troubled, but occasionally productive, relationship between organized labor and civil rights organizations. Strengthening that alliance in the years ahead will prove critical to the fate of labor and racial justice movements. The journal examines the historical obstacles to such alliances, and suggests new grounds on which to reinvigorate those efforts under current circumstances.

Subscribe to New Labor Forum and gain full access to in-depth analysis on issues like these.

Video: Divided Results: Voting and Partisan Gerrymandering

On Friday, September 15th, members of the Murphy Institute community gathered for a discussion about gerrymandering. In light of the Supreme Court’s decision to hear Gill v. Whitford, a case that deals with the legality of partisan gerrymandering, this panel explored the history of gerrymandering and the effects of recent changes in technology, data mining, and dark money.

Missed the event or want to see it again? You can watch it here:

Speakers

  • David Daley, author, Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy and former Editor in chief of Salon.com
  • Lauren Jones, National Civil Rights Counsel, Anti-Defamation League
  • Michael Li, Senior Counsel for the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program
  • Deuel Ross, Assistant Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
  • Jerry G. Vattamala, Director, Democracy Program,  Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
  • Moderator: John Mollenkopf, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, CUNY Graduate School and consortial faculty, Murphy Institute

New Labor Forum Highlights: Sept 18th, 2017

The New Labor Forum has launched a bi-weekly newsletter on current topics in labor, curated by the some of the most insightful scholars and activists in the labor world today. Check out some highlights from the latest edition below.

We are now eight months into the hand-wringing and head-scratching induced by Donald Trump’s Presidency. Given the weekly unfolding of chaos and peril, few on the left fail to mark the current dismal march of time. But you could be excused for having neglected to notice two notable anniversaries this year: the 500th of the Protestant Reformation and the 100th of the Russian Revolution. In The Priest, the Commissar, and the Donald (Salmagundi), Steve Fraser, historian and New Labor Forum Editor-at-Large, argues that these anniversaries – one paving the way for an inner, spiritual quest for freedom, and the other toward a collective emancipation – offer a useful lens for viewing the nihilism of the Trump moment. While Fraser notes the constriction of the spiritual revolution and the appalling failures of the social revolution in question, he suggests they highlight precisely how ominous The Donald’s political lurching is.

Perhaps the lack of serious contestation from the left and the enormous achievements of the right during the past few decades – an eviscerated labor movement, a new Gilded Age of economic inequality, deregulated industry, and racial re-segregation – partly explain the unmoored performance of Trump as candidate and President. Thus posits Corey Robin in his new article Triumph of the Shill: The political theory of Trumpism (N+1), which we also include here.

Another aspect of the Trumpian presidency is, of course, its legislative incompetence. In America the Decrepit:  The Trump Plan Won’t Fix the Infrastructure Deficit (New Labor Forum), John Miller details precisely why we should be so pleased that’s the case regarding Trump’s promise to pass an infrastructure bill. In addition to the get-rich-quick schemes that would be made possible by its privatized infrastructure projects, the plan also promises to exacerbate climate change, and worsen the risks posed by coastal storms and sea-level rise, according to our final piece here by Alissa Walker  from Curbed.

Table of Contents

  1. The Priest, The Commissar, and the Donald/ Steve Fraser, Salmagundi Magazine 
  2. Triumph of the Shill: The political theory of Trumpism/ Cory Robin, N+1
  3. America the Decrepit: The Trump Plan Won’t Fix the Infrastructure Deficit/ John Miller, NLF
  4. How Trump’s New Infrastructure Plan Will Hurt Local Climate Action/ Alissa Walker, Curbed 

Photo by thierry ehrmann via flickr (CC-BY)

Event: Divided Results: Voting and Partisan Gerrymandering (9/15)

Update: missed the event and want to watch it online? Catch the video here.

Friday, September 15

8:30am-10:30am

Murphy Institute, 18 Floor

RSVP: https://the-politics-of-voting.eventbrite.com

In light of the Supreme Court’s decision to hear Gill v. Whitford, this panel will explore the history of gerrymandering and the effects of recent changes in technology, data mining, and dark money, to understand the implications of potential Supreme Court decisions.  Before this case made it to the Supreme Court, what work had been taking place on the ground to address the effects of gerrymandering? How has the US Census influenced redistricting?  What can we expect from the Supreme Court and how will this impact the future of electoral politics?

Speakers

  • David Daley, author, Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy and former Editor in chief of Salon.com
  • Lauren Jones, National Civil Rights Counsel, Anti-Defamation League
  • Michael Li, Senior Counsel for the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program
  • Deuel Ross, Assistant Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
  • Jerry G. Vattamala, Director, Democracy Program,  Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
  • Moderator: John Mollenkopf, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, CUNY Graduate School and consortial faculty, Murphy Institute

A Message From Our Director

With Labor Day behind us and the 2017-18 academic year ahead, I want to take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to the entire Murphy Institute community and to share some of this past year’s achievements and some future prospects.

Our accomplishments this year have been notable. In June, the CUNY Board of Trustees approved a resolution that will elevate the Murphy Institute to a new CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies. The Board’s decision was a milestone not only for the Institute but for the labor movement and the broader community. The establishment of the new School will mean more resources; a wider array of programs; more academic support for our students; additions to our already distinguished faculty; and added luster to the undergraduate and graduate degrees we will award.

The effort to establish this School has been a four-year initiative, spearheaded by labor leaders on Murphy’s Advisory Board. These efforts gained wide support from the State Legislature (which, in April, re-allocated $1.5 million toward the School) and the City Council (which, in June, allocated nearly $1 million). Our student ambassadors, faculty, and staff also played key roles. A great deal of work lies ahead as we make the transition from Institute to School. We are deeply grateful to the CUNY Board of Trustees and the Chancellor for establishing the new School of Labor and Urban Studies. Continue reading A Message From Our Director

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