WE - Women Employed

In This Issue
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Low Wages Cause Worry
She Says: Esther Cepeda
College Reinvention
Poll: Recovery Underway?
Just the Facts
Newsbyte
PolicyWatch
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Poll: Recovery Underway?
 
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Do you think the worst of the recession is over?
 
Just the Facts
 
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Families living below the poverty line are more than twice as likely to provide more than 30 hours of unpaid care a week to parents or parents-in-law.

Source: WorkLife Law
WE Newsbyte
 
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PolicyWatch
 
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Private-sector workers filed nearly 100,000 workplace discrimination claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2010 -- a record high. The rise in claims was accompanied by a record-high number of merit resolutions -- cases where the plaintiff prevailed.

High unemployment rates and a dismal job market likely contributed to the high number of claims, but a new law that makes it easier to file disability discrimination claims as well as new education and outreach efforts by the EEOC are also major factors. 
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From Anne's Desk:
 

Americans Worried About Wages

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Empty Piggy Bank
A growing number of Americans worry they won't be able to maintain their standard of living. According to a new Gallup poll, when asked to name their most important financial problem, people are most likely to say lack of money or low wages, followed closely by health care costs. Economic insecurity even outweighs unemployment as a concern. 

The results underscore the stark reality that middle class wages have been stagnant since the beginning of the last decade. Families are stretching fewer dollars to cover rising costs. Among the solutions: a higher minimum wage, expanded opportunities for education and training, and predictable work schedules. WE's agenda is a vigorous response to the growing insecurity facing American workers, including millions of women whose wages are essential to their families. Join us -- help build a new consensus to make the economic well-being of working women and families a national priority. Our future depends on it! 
  
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Anne Ladky, Executive Director

She Says...
 
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Esther CepedaEsther Cepeda, columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and the Washington Post Writers Group, has highlighted the struggles of low-income families and single moms in her recent columns. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Why is it important to keep these issues in the public eye?
Low-income families tend to be without voice. But it's important that people understand the challenges they face every day, because even if you're not low-income, even if you're not a single mom, these issues affect you too.

How can your readers make a difference?
Awareness hopefully leads to action. If I can inform someone of the impact of cutting a program -- what that will do to their community -- they may call a legislator, or volunteer, and that can make a difference.

What's the next issue on the horizon for you?
State revenue and the budget. Illinois just raised revenue by increasing taxes, but costs still need to be reduced. I fear that will be done on the backs of people that can least afford it. With safety nets pushed to their limits, I'm afraid of what will happen to people just barely hanging on.


 
Reinvention for City Colleges of Chicago
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City Colleges website
City Colleges of Chicago website
The City Colleges of Chicago have embarked on an unprecedented effort to "reinvent" this vital educational system. Under the leadership of new Chancellor Cheryl Hyman, City Colleges are working to increase the number of students who earn college credentials that have economic value, increase the transfer rate into Bachelor's programs, improve outcomes for students who need remediation, and increase college success for adult basic education, GED, and ESL students.

Women Employed is excited to partner with City Colleges to help them meet these goals and make the reinvention a success. We are providing our expertise on career development, student supports, and career pathways. We are optimistic that, through this collaboration, more low-income and adult students will complete their degrees and move into family-supporting careers.
 



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