By: Ying Gee
Today, Asian Americans comprise one of the fastest growing populations in the United States. Many of today’s young APA professionals are forging careers that are quite different from their parent’s generation, especially in the new technology and entrepreneurial areas. Young APAs entering the workforce will experience greater job opportunities in the mainstream than for previous generations. Yet, APAs in this country continue to face three paradoxes: (1) society believes that Asian Americans have not experienced historic and ongoing discrimination, when the facts prove otherwise; (2) Americans perceive Asian Americans as the model minority, which is an overgeneralization; and (3) society assumes that Asian Americans are well-represented in all facets of all professionals, although they are not.
As a result, even when Asian Americans gain access to particular professional areas, invisible barriers creating “glass walls” continues to preclude APAs from gaining entrance to certain career paths within those professions. Discrimination hinders both upward and lateral mobility. Although in the aggregate, Asian Americans have higher educational levels, they do not receive the same income as those with comparable educational levels. Also, Asian Pacific Americans who are unemployed remain out of work for longer periods than other Americans, and face greater language barriers to employment.
Research shows that workers with college degrees make on average 5% more under collective bargaining agreements. Workers of color also disproportionally benefit from such agreements. The difference in wages between union workers and non-union workers, by race, are 22% more for Hispanics, 18% more for African Americans, 17% more for Asian Americans and 12% more for Caucasians. Collective bargaining contracts contain provisions that benefit communities and help to grow the middle class. Bargaining for provisions that speed response times for police and firefighters, result in more effective discipline and more enrichment classes in the schools, and include better staffing ratios for nurses help local communities.
That is why young APAs entering the workplace today need to take the lead to preserve their workplace freedoms and to retain the right to negotiate for their well-being. Supporting Proposal 2, Collective Bargaining in the upcoming election will help young APAs to achieve the American Dream by allowing them to have a voice in the workplace. The right to bargain collectively is fundamental human rights. Eliminating these rights would weaken workers’ ability to provide for their families, address issues of dangerous workplaces, discrimination, such as the glass ceiling, living wages, benefits, and dignity on the job. Collective bargaining helped created our middle class and they level the playing field for workers and employers. So exercise your rights by voting on November 6, 2012 and remember to vote YES on proposal 2.
By: Kathy Hayes, Executive Director, Michigan Association of School Boards
William Mayes, Executive Director, Michigan Association of School Administrators
Michigan voters face a big test this November 6th when we have our say on a half dozen different ballot proposals. While we tend to pay more attention to Presidential politics, these ballot proposals can be every bit as important in determining the direction of our state.
That’s why nearly 3,000 local Michigan school boards, principals and superintendents have come together with job providers of all sizes to stand up for our kids, stand up for our local schools, stand up for Michigan’s economic recovery and to urge parents and residents to vote NO on Proposal 2.
Let’s be clear—nowhere will Proposal 2’s negative impact be felt more severely than in our public schools.
According to the opinion of many legal experts and policy analysts, if Proposal 2 is approved, it will likely repeal laws that help your local public school keep good teachers in the classroom and overturn desperately needed and common sense health care reforms for public employees. According to the teachers union itself, Proposal 2 would also erase the law that fines teachers for striking illegally, the only law on the books deterring Michigan from sliding back into the days of teacher strikes.
Educators, just like parents and job providers, want our students to receive the best education from the best teachers, but Proposal 2 would eliminate teacher evaluation systems and force us back into a seniority system that makes time on the job more important than performance with our students. It would also negate the law that allows public schools to determine which teachers teach which subjects.
Proposal 2 would cost school districts $400 million in potential health care savings alone. Should it pass, districts will be forced to eliminate educational programs and cut staff just to balance the books. That is the last thing parents want and the last thing our children need.
So do your homework. Stand up for our Michigan schools and stand up for Michigan kids by voting NO on Proposal 2. If we don’t get this answer right we won’t simply be failing a test—we will be failing our children.