The Chief-Leader is a New York City-based weekly newspaper focused on municipal government and civil servants, as well as issues affecting New York State and Federal employees. The most recent issue of the newspaper features an article about the Murphy Institute: “As Jobs’ Complexity Grows, Murphy Institute Helps Bridge Knowledge Gap: Union-Backed Center Polishes Skills, Broadens Education.” The article includes quotes from Henry Garrido (Executive Director of DC 37 and Murphy Advisory Board member), Ed Ott (Murphy Distinguished Lecturer) and several JSMI students.
From Henry Garrido:
“Over the next five years, 120,000 city workers will retire, and we really need the professional public employees that remain to be up to the challenges ahead.”
The article continues:
“To help weather the turbulence ahead, DC 37 is building on its long relationship with the City University of New York’s Murphy Institute. The institute was established in collaboration with city labor unions in 1984 at Queens College to serve the higher-education needs of working adults. It started with just 52 students, and today serves more than 1,500 who are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs. CUNY plans on elevating it to being one of the university’s schools by next fall.”
Check it out here.
Last week, Murphy Professor Sean Sweeney appeared on City Watch to talk with Mark Dunlea about the upcoming climate summit in Paris, and the fight against “not letting science get in the way of business as usual.” The two discuss the climate justice movement, mobilizations and global emissions.
Photo by John Duffy via flickr.
For more on this topic, join us at the Murphy Institute on October 19th for this month’s Labor Forum: Black Lives Matter & the Fight for Fifteen: A New Social Movement?
When looking to reform our obviously broken criminal justice and carceral system, at what point must we examine the structural causes of urban crime? Can we address some of the damning injustices of our criminal justice system without first addressing urban poverty and the conditions that produce and uphold it?
The latest issue of Dissent Magazine features a debate from two corners of the Murphy Institute. Murphy Prof. Michael Javen Fortner, whose new book Black Silent Majority: The Rockefeller Drug Laws and the Politics of Punishment came out to wide coverage and acclaim this fall, argues that we need to begin by taking an honest look at the roots and effects of urban crime if we want to achieve meaningful and enduring criminal justice reform.
Meanwhile, Marie Gottschalk, professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, member of the New Labor Forum editorial board, and writer of Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics, argues, “Alleviating the poverty and income inequality that are at the root of extraordinarily high levels of violent crime in certain communities will take some time. In the meantime, no compelling public safety concern justifies keeping so many people from these communities locked up or otherwise ensnared in the carceral state.” Continue reading Debating Criminal Justice Reform
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
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.
The Murphy Institute has had a long and storied past, from its roots in 1984 as a collaboration between CUNY and NYC municipal unions to where it stands today: en route to becoming its own freestanding school within CUNY.
In an article by Marc Bussinch in Labor Press last week entitled The Murphy Institute Survives Bloomberg Era; Pursuing Autonomy within CUNY , Murphy Director Greg Mantsios describes existing Murphy programs and where things might be headed:
A resolution passed at the New York State AFL-CIO convention calls on the university and public officials to reconstitute the Murphy into its own school and there’s been a major push to do that. Close to two dozen labor leaders have written letters to public officials and the CUNY Chancellor urging them to do this. The Assembly Speaker, Carl Heastie, has been pushing hard, as has been Senator Dianne Savino. The legislature allocated $1.5 M in this year’s budget to establish a new school for labor. Hopefully, two or three years from now we’ll be our own school with our own degree programs and hiring our own faculty and controlling our own budget, policy and procedures.
[O]ur faculty is engaged in research. We want to start a research rewards program that extends beyond our faculty and offers financial awards to scholars and practitioners outside of our own orbit who are engaged in strategic thinking about the future of the labor movement. In addition, we issue an annual report on union density that looks at national, state and New York City figures and breaks down union density by geography, occupation, race, gender, profession, which unions find very useful for organizing drives. And I think we can play an important role in attracting social justice activists to the labor movement. There are some things we can’t control—like Supreme Court decisions or the economy—but we can control how well we organize ourselves. So we’re trying to provide activists with the skills they need to better fight the good fight whether at the workplace or in the public policy arena.
Read the full article at Labor Press.