The plaintiffs — represented by the the Center for Individual Rights (CIR), a conservative public interest law firm — argue that the mandatory fees, which support costs associated with collective bargaining, violate their First Amendment rights.
“Requiring teachers to pay these ‘agency fees’ assumes that collective bargaining is non-political,” reads a posting on CIR’s website. “But bargaining with local governments is inherently political. Whether the union is negotiating for specific class sizes or pressing a local government to spend tax dollars on teacher pensions rather than on building parks, the union’s negotiating positions embody political choices that are often controversial.”
The number of U.S. renters burdened by housing costs hit another high last year as rents increased while earnings stayed flat, a new report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University shows.
There were 21.3 million cost-burdened renters in 2014, meaning they paid more than 30 percent of their income on housing. That’s up from the previous high of 20.8 million cost-burdened renters in 2013.
What’s worse, there were 11.4 million severely cost-burdened renters last year who paid more than 50 percent of their income on housing.
In all, 46 percent of U.S. renters were cost-burdened last year, while 26 percent had severe burdens.
“More families are renting and too many of them are struggling as supply fails to meet demand and stagnant incomes fail to keep up with rising rents,” said Julia Stasch, president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which provided funding for the report. “The affordability of rental housing is a critical national issue that deserves more attention and more action from policymakers.”
Congress soon will break for the holidays, but there’s still a big issue on the table whether or not to make permanent or even just extend parts of the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit.
The following was written by Chicago journalist Curtis Black.
Pastors invoked the Battle of Jericho -with the Chicago Housing Authority as the wall keeping people out of their promised land – at an Interfaith Call to Action rally demanding preservation of public housing at Lathrop Homes last week.
“There’s a barrier standing in the way of thousands of people who need a home,” said Rev. Bruce Ray of Kimball Avenue Church. “There’s a barrier standing in the way of new homes in a land of promise…It’s the Chicago Housing Authority.”
As fellow pastors held up a wall with the letters “CHA” on it, Ray added, “CHA might as well stand for ‘Can’t House Anyone.'”
Hundreds of low-wage Chicago workers and their allies hit the city’s downtown streets Tuesday evening to call for a $15 an hour minimum wage, union recognition and other items on their new “voter agenda.”
The protest, which started at the Thompson Center and ended with a march to a nearby McDonald’s at Clark and Lake streets, was one among many Fight for $15 actions happening Tuesday in 500 U.S. cities.
Fast food and other low-wage workers chanted, “What do we want? $15! When do we want it? Now!”