May/June 2011 (No. 50)

Editor: Terence K. Huwe
Contributors: Marcy Whitebook, Stefanie Kalmin, Janice Kimball, Jenifer MacGillvary, Netsy Firestein, Dick Walker


The Year in Review

IRLE News and 2010-2011 Highlights
Letter from Acting Director Karen Chapple
IRLE Faculty Grant Recipients, 2010-2011
Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society: Vol. 50, No.4
2010-2011 Working Papers: Titles and Download Traffic
Sylvia Allegretto Wins "Best Article by Non-BLS Staff for Monthly Labor Review, Vol. 133
Roster of Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 Colloquia

IRLE Program News: The Year in Review
The Labor Center
California Public Employee Relations
Center for the Study of Child Care Employment
Center for Wage and Employment Dynamics
Institute for Research on Labor and Employment Library
The Labor Project for Working Families
The Donald Vial Center on Jobs in the Green Economy


The Year in Review: IRLE News and 2010-2011 Highlights

Letter from Acting Director Karen Chapple

Dear IRLE Friends and Colleagues:

This issue of eNews marks the end of my term as Acting Director of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment. It has been a very productive and exciting year, with both the faculty and all program units making important strides forward. Indeed, even as California struggles to come to terms with its fiscal challenges, the demand for quality research on workforce issues has been driving IRLE’s growth at a fast pace.

The Labor Center has accelerated its publication of hard-hitting policy briefs that address the most important issues of our time: living wages, the "big box" economy, and health care policy. It has also spearheaded, under the leadership of Steven Pitts, a unique program that studies the issues facing black workers, among many other projects. Labor Center Chair Ken Jacobs and other academic staff have made presentations to elected officials in Sacramento, which confirms the Center’s commitment to producing practical research that can be transformed into policy actions.

The Donald Vial Center for Employment in the Green Economy, working in conjunction with the Labor Center, conducted groundbreaking research that determined not just the jobs created by energy efficiency and related investment, but also the resulting educational needs of the workforce. This research was supported by the California Public Utilities Commission. In late fall 2010, The Vial Center co-hosted a "summit" meeting to discuss the research-in-progress, and this event attracted a wide array of leading experts and policymakers. The report on the research findings is available on the IRLE Web.

The California Public Employee Relations (CPER) program and the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) have continued to advance their innovative research agendas. CPER is studying new, online modes of journal publication and said farewell to long-term director Carol Vendrillo as she retires. CSCCE has partnered with several funding agencies to provide definitive research and advice on how to manage the growth of employment in the child care industry.
The IRLE Colloquium Series included an innovative series of presentation on job creation. These events were "standing room only" and brought a stimulating mix of leading practitioners and academics to share ideas on how to generate new jobs. The series will culminate with a national conference on June 16, "Big Ideas for Job Creation in a Jobless Recovery."
IRLE hosted visiting scholars from more than 20 nations, continuing its popularity as a place for multi-disciplinary and collaborative research.

The IRLE Library has provided crucial services to the community, including the full range of Web administration and digital content creation, along with reference and research support. The Library Commons has gained popularity as a study site as well as a venue for invitation-only conferences.

The affiliated faculty received substantial support from IRLE for their doctoral students as well as for their own research goals.

These are just a few of the Institute’s achievements over the past academic year. As I end my own term as Acting Director, I would like to thank the entire community for its energy and creativity. As IRLE Director Michael Reich returns from sabbatical, I know that he will find that IRLE has enjoyed an exciting–and productive year.

Karen Chapple
Acting Director, IRLE

Associate Professor, City & Regional Planning
Faculty Director, Center for Community Innovation
Associate Director, Institute for Urban & Regional Development


IRLE Faculty Grant Recipients, 2010-2011

Irene Blormraad, and Cybelle Fox (Sociology)
Interdisciplinary Immigration Workshop

Joan Bloom (Public Health)
Exploring Professional Barriers to At-Home versus In-Clinic Dialysis for Patients in End-Stage Renal Failure

Clair Brown (Economics)
Developing Effective-Efficient Assessment for Small social Enterprises

Ruth Collier (Political Science)
Early Democratization and the Working Class

Waverly Ding (Haas School of Business)
A New Arena for Gender Differences in Scientific Careers?

William Dow (Health Economics)
Employer Responses to San Francisco's Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

Fligstein, Neil (Sociology)
The Rise and Fall of the Mortgage Securitization

Heather Haveman (Sociology)
Women in Management

Rucker Johnson (Public Policy)
School Quality & the Long-run Effects of Head Start

Jerome Karabel (Sociology)
American Exceptionalism, Social Well-Being and the Quality of Life in the United States

Laura Kray (Haas School of Business)
Gender Discrimination in Negotiators' Ethical Decision Making

David Levine (Haas School of Business)
Experimental Evidence on the Effect of Cal-OSHA Inspections on Employees and Employers

James Lincoln (Haas School of Business)
Structural Effects on Commitment, Satisfaction and Quit Rates in Japanese and U.S. Organizations

Nemeth, Charlan (Psychology)
Entrepreneurs, Hot Groups and Safe Environment Voice

Petersen, Trond (Sociology)
Family and Careers

Kim Voss (Sociology)
1) Democratic Dilemmas: Union Demcracy, Union Revitalization, and Political Institutions

2) An Exploration of Latino Workers' Understanding of U.S. Social Hierarchy and their place in it. 3) Workshop on Work and Labor Transformation

Richard Walker (Geography)
California Studies Lectures & Dinners


Industrial Relations: A Journal in Economy and Society

Volume 50, No. 4
The following articles appear in 50.4, and may be accessed online from Wiley-Blackwell.

Why Are Quit Rates Lower Among Defense Contractors?
Todd A. Watkins, Thomas Hyclak

This paper presents empirical evidence of lower quit rates at small manufacturers with defense contracts and examines whether this is associated with differences in their human resource policies and organizational practices and strategies. We take advantage of an original data set to compare labor quits, workforce skills and occupational structure between defense contracting and non-contracting small manufacturers in eastern PA. We find that the remarkably large defense contractor advantage in quit rates–7 percentage points–is almost totally explained by differences in skills, operational strategies, and workforce management and training practices, suggesting a mediation effect through these HR practices. Defense contracting status emerges as an important overlooked variable in HRM studies.

Gender Sorting at the Application Interface
Roberto M. Fernandez, Colette Friedrich

We document gender sorting of candidates into gender-typed jobs at the point of initial application to a company. At this step of the hiring process, the firm has implemented a policy whereby organizational screeners’ discretion has been eliminated such that there is no opportunity for contact between hiring agents and applicants. Thus, the job choices studied here offer unique insight as they are uncontaminated by screeners’ steering of candidates toward gender-typed jobs. Even in the absence of steering, we find clear patterns of gendered job choices that line up with gender stereotypes of job roles. Moreover, these gendered patterns recur both within individuals and within race groups. Comparing our findings to the pattern of job sorting in the external local labor market, we find that supply-side factors do not fully account for the levels job sex segregation observed in the open labor market. Although probably not the entire story, we show clear evidence that supply-side sorting processes are important factors contributing to job sex segregation.

The Employment Effects of Lower Minimum Wage Rates for Young Workers: Canadian Evidence
Michael Shannon

Between 1986 and 1998 six of the ten Canadian provinces abolished their lower minimum wage rates for younger teenage workers. Using data from the Canadian Labour Force Survey this paper evaluates the effects of abolition on the employment and weekly hours worked of 15-16 year-olds using teenagers in provinces where there is no legislative change and young people above the age to which youth rates applied as control groups. The results provide some evidence that abolishing these youth rates significantly lowered employment and work hours of 15-16 year-olds but the lack of evidence for some jurisdictions and patterns of effects using age controls do raise some questions regarding the interpretation of the results.
JEL Classification: J38, J80. Keywords: minimum wage, youth employment, subminimum.

What Would They Do? Childcare under Parental Leave and Reduced Hours Options
Robert Drago

Time diary data are used to simulate the effects of parental leave and reduced hours arrangements on childcare time among parents of infants. Estimates suggest that coupled fathers would apply approximately around 70 percent of working time reductions under leave or reduced hours to childcare. Both coupled and single mothers translate working time reductions into childcare at higher rates. The analysis highlights inequalities across lines of gender, marital status and socio-economic status associated with existing policies, and suggests policy innovations to both raise parental investments in childcare time and reduce levels of inequality.

What Types of Diversity Benefit Workers? Empirical Evidence on the Effects of Co-Worker Dissimilarity on the Performance of Employees
Fidan Ana Kurtulus

This paper explores the consequences of grouping workers into diverse divisions on the performance of employees using a dataset containing the detailed personnel records of a large U.S. firm from 1989-1994. In particular, I examine the effects of demographic dissimilarity among co-workers, namely differences in age, gender and race among employees who work together within divisions, and non-demographic dissimilarity, namely differences in education, work function, firm tenure, division tenure, performance and wages among employees within divisions. I find evidence that age dissimilarity, dissimilarity in firm tenure, and performance dissimilarity are associated with lower worker performance, while wage differences are associated with higher worker performance. My analysis also reveals that the effects of certain types of dissimilarities get smaller in magnitude the longer a worker is a part of a division. Finally, the paper provides evidence that the relationships between performance and the various measures of dissimilarity vary by occupational area and division size.

Pay structures and quit rates: A multi-level approach using benchmarking data
Chris Riddell

Using unique linked employee-employer benchmarking data, the paper estimates the impact of pay structures on quit rates using multi-level models. The analysis examines several aspects of an organization’s compensation structure with a focus on the effect of pay dispersion between employees at the same level in the firm hierarchy, as well as pay dispersion throughout the hierarchy. Overall, the results indicate that firms with egalitarian pay structures have lower quit rates, a finding that is robust to a large set of empirical specifications.

Matching Matters in 401(k) Plan Participation
Keenan Dworak-Fisher

This study offers new evidence on the effects of the matching contributions made by employers to 401(k) plan accounts on plan participation rates, exploiting microdata from the National Compensation Survey, a large, nationally representative, establishment dataset. It addresses the potential endogeneity of the matching contributions by employing coworker and labor market characteristics as instruments. The results indicate that employer matches have substantial effects. They also indicate that higher match rates tend to be correlated with workers having lower propensities to save; correcting for this endogeneity produces estimates that are bigger than those seen through direct cross-sectional comparisons.


IRLE Working Paper Series, 2010-2011

The series continues to experience heavy download traffic, with an annual total for full downloads holding at 22,000. As we go to print, many faculty members are still working on their 2011 papers; they will be added as they are received and reviewed.

Series URLs:


Bloemraad, Irene, de Graauw, Els: Immigrant Integration and Policy in the United States: A Loosely Stitched Patchwork, 2011

Collier, Ruth Berins, Palmer-Rubin, Brian: Latin America’s New World of Work: Changing Traits of Work and Problem Solving, 2011

Cui, Victor, Ding, Waverly W., Yanadori, Yoshio: Compensation Structure and the Creation of Exploratory Knowledge in Technology Firms, 2011

Cui, Victor, Ding, Waverly W., Yanadori, Yoshio: Compensation Structure and the Creation of Exploratory Knowledge in Technology Firms, 2011

Haveman, Heather A., Habinek, Jacob, Goodman, Leo A.: Who Are the Entrepreneurs: The Elite or Everyman?, 2011

Kennedy, Jessica A., Anderson, Cameron, More, Don A.: Social Reactions to Overconfidence: Do the Costs of Overconfidence Outweigh the Benefits?, 2011

Kray, Laura: Gender Bias in Negotiators’ Ethical Decision Making, 2011

Kray, Laura J., Haselhuhn, Michael P.: Male Pragmatism in Ethical Decision Making, 2011

Lincoln, James R., Guillot, Didier: Business Groups, Networks, And Embeddedness: Innovation And Implementation Alliances In Japanese Electronics, 1985-1998, 2011

Rothstein, Jesse, Wozny, Nathan: Permanent Income and the Black-White Test Score Gap, 2011

Wilensky, Harold L.: U.S. Health Care and Real Health in Comparative Perspective: Lessons from Abroad, 2011



Allegretto, Sylvia A., Lynch, Devon: The Changing Face of the U.S. Labor Force: The Composition of the Unemployed and Long-term Unemployed in Tough Labor Markets, 2010

Allegretto, Sylvia, Dube, Arindrajit, Reich, Michael: Do Minimum Wages Really Reduce Teen Employment? Accounting for Heterogeneity and Selectivity in State Panel Data, 2010

Anderson, Cameron, Brion, Sebastien: Overconfidence and the Attainment of Status in Groups, 2010

Bardhan, Ashok, Walker, Richard A.: California, Pivot of the Great Recession, 2010

Brown, Clair, Linden, Greg: Managing Knowledge Workers in Global Value Chains, 2010

Card, David, Mas, Alexandre, Moretti, Enrico, Saez, Emmanuel: Inequality at Work: The Effect of Peer Salaries on Job Satisfaction, 2010

Colla, Carrie Hoverman, Dow, William H., Dube, Arindrajit: How Do Employers React to a Pay-or-Play Mandate? Early Evidence from San Francisco, 2010

Ding, Waverly W., Murray, Fiona, Stuart, Toby E.: From Bench to Board: Gender Differences in University Scientists' Participation in Commercial Science, 2010

Ding, Waverly: The Impact of Founder Professional Education Background on the Adoption of Open Science by For-Profit Biotechnology Firms, 2010

Dube, Arindrajit, Lester, T. William, Reich, Michael: Do Frictions Matter in the Labor Market? Accessions, Separations, and Minimum Wage Effects, 2010

Dube, Arindrajit, Freeman, Eric, Reich, Michael: Employee Replacement Costs, 2010

Dube, Andrajit, Lester, T. William, Reich, Michael: Minimum Wage Effects Across State Borders: Estimates Using Contiguous Counties, 2010

Elfenbein, Hillary Anger, Eisenkraft, Noah, Ding, Waverly: Do We Know Who Values Us? Dyadic Meta-Accuracy in the Perception of Professional Relationships, 2010

Evans, Peter: Is it Labor’s Turn to Globalize? Twenty-first Century Opportunities and Strategic Responses, 2010

Fligstein, Neil, Goldstein, Adam: The Anatomy of the Mortgage Securitization Crisis, 2010

Fligstein, Neil, McAdam, Doug: Toward a General Theory of Strategic Action Fields, 2010

Gleeson, Shannon, Bloemraad, Irene: Where Are all the Immigrant Organizations? Reassessing the Scope of Civil Society for Immigrant Communities, 2010

Golan, Amos, Greene, William, Perloff, Jeffrey M.: U.S. Navy Promotion and Retention by Race and Sex, 2010

Golan, Amos, Greene, William, Perloff, Jeffrey M.: U.S. Navy Promotion and Retention by Race and Sex, 2010

Goldstein, Adam, Haveman, Heather A.: Press and Pulpit: Competition, Co-operation and the Growth of Religious Magazines in Antebellum America, 2010

Goldstein, Adam, Fligstein, Neil: The Rise and Fall of the Nonconventional Mortgage Industry, 2010

Haveman, Heather A., Habinek, Jacob, Goodman, Leo A.: The Press and the Public Sphere: Magazine Entrepreneurs in Antebellum America, 2010

Karabel, Jerome: American Exceptionalism and the Quality of Life in the United States: Some Preliminary Statistical Observations, 2010

Lee, David, Saez, Emannuel: Optimal Minimum Wage Policy in Competitive Labor Markets, 2010

Lester, Gillian: Can Joe the Plumber Support Redistribution? Law, Social Preferences, and Sustainable Policy Design, 2010

Moore, Celia, Stuart, H. Colleen, Pozner, Jo-Ellen: Avoiding the Consequences of Repeated Misconduct: Stigma’s Licence and Stigma’s Transferability, 2010

Nemeth, Charlan Jeanne: Minority Influence Theory, 2010

Petersen, Trond, Penner, Andrew M., Høgnsnes, Geir: The Within-Job Motherhood Wage Penalty in Norway, 1979–1996, 2010

Saez, Emmanuel, Matsaganis, Manos, Tsakloglou, Panos: Earnings Determination and Taxes: Evidence from a Cohort-Based Payroll Tax Reform in Greece, 2010

Shaiken, Harley: Commitment is a Two-Way Street: Toyota, California and NUMMI, 2010


CWED’s Sylvia Allegretto Wins Best Article in 2010 in the Monthly Labor Review, Vol.133

Sylvia Allegretto and Devon Lynch have been selected as the winners of the "Best Article in 2010 authored by non-BLS staff," in the Monthly Labor Review. The title of their paper is:

The composition of the unemployed and long-term unemployed in tough labor markets. Monthly Labor Review, Vol. 133, No. 10, October 2010

The share of unemployment accounted for by long-term unemployment has risen higher following the 2007–09 recession than following any other recent recession, and the makeup of the labor force, the unemployed, and the long-term unemployed has changed substantially since 1983.

Online Access:


IRLE Colloquium Series: Roster of Events

Fall 2010 Colloquia

Monday, September 27, 2010 - 12-1pm
Job Losses and Economic Consequences of the Great Recession
Sylvia Allegretto, Research Economist, IRLE

Monday, OCTOBER 11, 2010 - 12-1pm
The Labor Market in the Great Recession: The View from Washington
Jesse Rothstein, Professor of Public Policy and Economics

Monday, OCTOBER 18, 2010 - 12-1pm
Determinants of Lifetime Unemployment
Achim Schmillen, Visiting Scholar, Institute for Employment Research, Germany

Monday, OCTOBER 25, 2010 - 12-1pm
Managing Knowledge Workers in Global Value Chains
Clair Brown, Professor, Economics, Center for Work, Technology, and Society (with Greg Linden)

Monday, NOVEMBER 8, 2010 - 12-1PM
Changes in Job-based Coverage under the New Federal Health Law: A Preliminary Look Using a Micro-simulation Model of California Employers
Ken Jacobs, Chair, Center for Labor, Research and Education

Monday, NOVEMBER 15, 2010 - 12-1pm
Mobilizing Against Water Privatization: Labor-Environmental Coalitions in the United States and Canada
Joanna Robinson, Visiting Scholar, Sociology, University British Columbia, Canada

Monday, NOVEMBER 29, 2010 - 12-1pm
Stock Options and Incentives
Nicole Johnson, Professor, Haas School of Business


Spring 2011 Colloquia

Job Creation and Local Communities Series
During spring 2011, IRLE organizes a special seminar series focused on job creation and the local community. The series brings together both UC faculty and affiliates and well-known experts in the field. In addition to this topical series, there were are also three other colloquia, which are listed below in chronological order.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011 –12:30-2pm
Job Creation: An Informal Conversation with Bob Giloth
Bob Giloth, Annie E. Casey Foundation

Monday, February 14, 2011 –12:30-2pm
The Role of State Fiscal Policy in Job Creation
Ken Jacobs, Center for Labor, Research and Education

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 –12:30-2pM
Jobs Tax Credits and Job Creation
Jesse Rothstein, Goldman School of Public Policy
Discussant: Carrie Portis, San Francisco Works

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 –5-6:30PM SPECIAL TIME
Economic Development in Hard Times: How to Spend Less and Get More
Greg LeRoy, Good Jobs First

Monday, February 28, 2011 –12:30-2pm
The Cleveland Model: From Green Jobs to Green Ownership
Ted Howard, Evergreen Cooperatives and The Democracy Collaborative

Monday, March 7, 2011 –12:30-2pm
Job Creation in the Green Economy
Carol Zabin and Karen Chapple, Vial Center

Monday, March 14 –12:30-1:30pm SPECIAL TIME
Union Democracy: Why have it? What is it? Plus a little bit of empirical data
George Strauss, Professor Emeritus, Haas School of Business

Monday, March 28, 2011 –12:30-2pm
Immigration: Economics, Attitudes and Policies
David Card, Deptment of Economics

Monday, March 28 2011 –4pm-5pm SPECIAL TIME
Product Architecture, Organizational Design, and HRM Practices: Comparing Japanese, Korean, and Chinese Firms
Tsuyoshi Tsuru, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University

Friday, April 1, 2011 –12:00-1pm SPECIAL TIME
How Can California Spur Job Creation?
David Neumark, Public Policy Institute of California, UC Irvine

Monday, April 4, 2011 –12:30-2pm
Spatial Dynamics of Job Creation
Ted Egan, Chief Economist, City of San Francisco

Monday, April 11, 2011 –12:30-2pm
Infrastructure, Job Creation, and Local Hire
Bernida Reagan, Director of Community and Client Relations at Merriwether Williams Insurance Services (formerly Director of Social Responsibility at the Port of Oakland)
Andreas Cluver, Secretary-Treasurer for the Alameda County Building Trades Council

Monday, April 18, 2011 –12:30-2pm
Community Benefits, Accountable Development, and Job Creation
Cecilia Estolano, Green For All

Monday, April 25, 2011 –12:30-2pm
The Union Vision for Job Creation
Cesar Diaz, State Building and Construction Trades Council
Bernie Kotlier, IBEW
Tim Rainey, California Labor Federation

Thursday, April 28, 2011 –4-5:30pm SPECIAL TIME
Outlier Nation? American Exceptionalism and Quality of Life in the United States?
Jerome Karabel, UCB Department of Sociology



The Labor Center

New Centers Established

International Center for Joint Labor Research
In 2010, Katie Quan established an International Center for Joint Labor Research, a project of the Institute of Political Science at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, and the UC Berkeley Labor Center. The mission of this joint center is to share best practices about industrial relations worldwide and to generate innovative models that can strengthen labor relations in China.  Special emphasis will be placed on exchange of information by scholars and practitioners. In 2010-2011 the program focus will be on collective bargaining.

Black Worker Centers in the U.S.
Steven Pitts assisted with the establishment of the Los Angeles Black Worker Center (BWC), which serves as a model as more centers are seeded across the United States in Baltimore, Chicago, Jackson, Milwaukee, New Orleans, and Philadelphia. As a first step toward developing relationships in those cities, Dr. Pitts met with more than 45 union members, community leaders, and activists. He is also gathering data on the state of black workers in the target cities.


Workforce Strategies, Energy Efficiency, and Green Jobs: A summit to discuss needs, challenges, and opportunities in California

On December 8th, the Donald Vial Center on Employment in the Green Economy hosted the summit "Workforce Strategies, Energy Efficiency, and Green Jobs: A summit to discuss needs, challenges, and opportunities in California". It was a great success and more than 250 people attended the event at the Clark Kerr Center at UC Berkeley. Results were presented from the first comprehensive assessment of labor demand and education and training infrastructure in energy efficiency, distributed generation, and demand response. The summit offered stakeholders from the workforce and energy communities a forum for discussion of the key findings and recommendations and possible next steps.


California Workers' Rights: A Manual of Job Rights, Protections and Remedies,Fourth Edition
by David A. Rosenfeld, Miles E. Locker, and Nina G. Fendel
A basic overview of the legal protections for workers under California and federal law, written in understandable language, designed for use by workers and those who represent them. This book has been purchased by unions, community and university libraries, and used as a text in labor law courses.


Winter- Spring 2011
April 28-30 – California Lead Organizers Institute for Labor and Community Organizers
Feb. 25 – City and County Revenues Workshop

Fall 2010
Sept. 14 & 19 – What EVERY Union Needs to Know About the New Federal Health Law, Los Angeles (9/14), Oakland (9/19 & 11/10), & Fresno (11/18)
Oct. 21-22 – Online Media Training
Nov. 15-19 – Strategic Campaigns Workshop
Dec. 9 - 11 – Organizing to Scale: Asilomar Forum for Senior-Level Organizing Directors

Summer 2010
June-July – Labor Summer Internship Program
July 8-9 – Strategic Research Training
Aug. 11-12 – Media Skills Workshop


May 4 – Panel discussion, Lockout: Dynamics of Collective Bargaining in Professional Sports with William B. Gould IV and Scott Fujita, moderated by Peter Olney
April 5 – Nationwide Labor Teach-In with Prof. Harley Shaiken and AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Liz Shuler
March 23 – A discussion with Tunisian labor leaders about the role of labor unions in the efforts to bring democratic reform to Tunisia
March 15 – Lunchtime panel discussion: What’s up with Wisconsin? Sponsored by the Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law (BJELL), National Lawyers Guild (NLG) UC Berkeley Chapter, Campus Rights Project (CRP), Students for Economic and Environmental Justice (SEEJ), American Constitution Society (ACS)
Jan. 4 – A discussion among activists with Working America Executive Director Karen Nussbaum
Sept. 24-25 – Black and Latino Dialogues, part of a Ford Foundation grant for reducing tensions concerning immigration and employment
Sept. 21 – A discussion with Lisa Dodson, author of The Moral Underground: How Ordinary Americans Subvert and Unfair Economy


Topic: Health Care
Maximizing Health Care Enrollment through Seamless Coverage for Families in Transition: Current Trends and Policy Implications PDF
March 2011, By Ken Jacobs, Laurel Lucia, Ann O’Leary and Ann Marie Marciarille

This policy brief reviews the literature on the prevalence of uninsurance caused by work or life transitions, including loss of or change in a job, a reduction in work hours, divorce or legal separation, loss of dependent status, a disability or the death of a family member.  The brief also provides initial recommendations for state and federal policymakers on how best to ensure seamless health coverage under the Affordable Care Act for individuals and families who lose health insurance because of a work or life transition.

Eligibility for Medi-Cal and the Health Insurance Exchange in California under the Affordable Care Act PDF
August 2010, By Ken Jacobs, Laurel Lucia and Dave Graham-Squire

This issue brief analyzes the impact that the federal health reform law will have on California. More than 4 million Californians who are without health insurance, covered in the individual market or enrolled in unaffordable job-based coverage will be eligible for Medicaid or subsidized coverage under the law. A significant segment of the private insurance market, between 3 and 8 million Californians, will be eligible to purchase subsidized or unsubsidized coverage in the exchange.

Federal Health Reform: Impact on California Small Businesses, Their Employees and the Self-Employed PDF
June 2010, By Laurel Lucia, Ken Jacobs and Dave Graham-Squire

This issue brief examines the impact that the health reform law will have on California small businesses, their employees and the self-employed. The law will make it more affordable for California small businesses to offer coverage by reducing administrative costs for small group health plans and offering $4.4 billion in health insurance tax credits over ten years. More than 1.6 million small business employees and self-employed Californians who lack affordable employer-based coverage will be eligible to enroll in Medicaid or purchase subsidized insurance in the non-group market. Small businesses with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees will be exempt from the proposed employer responsibilities and most California small businesses offering coverage will be minimally affected by the proposed health plan standards as they already offer qualifying health plans.

Topic: Living Wage

Living Wage Policies and Big-Box Retail: How a Higher Wage Standard Would Impact Walmart Workers and Shoppers PDF
April 2011, by Ken Jacobs, Dave Graham-Squire and Stephanie Luce

This study uses the most recent data available to update the 2007 report on the impact to workers and shoppers if Walmart increased its minimum wage. It finds that a $12 per hour minimum wage would provide substantial benefits to Walmart workers in low-income families, while the costs would be dispersed in small amounts among many consumers across the income spectrum.

Creating Good Jobs in Our Communities: How Higher Wage Standards Affect Economic Development and Employment PDF
December 2010, by T. William Lester and Ken Jacobs

The most common and comprehensive policies used in creating jobs and raising the quality of jobs are business assistance living wage laws, which require businesses receiving public subsidies to pay workers wages above the poverty level. This report assesses the question of whether or not business assistance living wage laws reduce jobs and economic development activity in the cities that choose to pass them.

Topic: Economy

Unemployment Benefits Critical to Jobless Workers and Economic Recovery in California PDF
April 2011, by Sylvia A. Allegretto and Laurel Lucia

This policy brief explains why unemployment insurance (UI) benefits provide one of the most effective and efficient means to address economic woes imposed by joblessness. In California, UI helped approximately 1.5 million workers and their families afford basic necessities in 2009, kept nearly 500,000 Californians out of poverty, and resulted in spending that supported 161,000 jobs. Without this vital safety net, the severity of the economic crisis would have been deeper, unemployment would have been nearly one percentage point greater, state and local tax revenue would have been $1.8 billion lower, and the economic hardship faced by families would have been more severe.

Regional Economic Impacts of Proposed Health and Human Services Cuts PDF
July 2010, by Ken Jacobs, Laurel Lucia and T. William Lester

An update to "The Economic Consequences of Proposed California Budget Cuts," where we estimated the statewide economic impact of Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposed fiscal year (FY) 2010–2011 budget using IMPLAN 3.0, an industry-standard input-output modeling software package. We found that the proposed cuts to major health and human services programs would have the greatest impact on job loss and state and local tax revenue reduction, compared to other budget solutions. In this brief, we report the economic impact by region using a similar methodology.

Topic: Black Workers

Monthly Black Worker Report
1st Friday of every month, by Sylvia Allegretto, Ary Amerikaner, and Steven Pitts

A series of monthly reports that highlight the employment outlook in the Black community as national jobless numbers hover around 10 percent and African Americans fare far worse.

Black Workers and the Public Sector: Racial Effects of Government Layoffs PDF
April 2011, by Steven Pitts

The standoff in Wisconsin highlights the fiscal crisis facing state and local governments across the country. Required by law to balance their budgets, politicians in state legislatures, school boards, and city councils are faced with the choices of cutting public services and laying off workers, raising revenue, or some combination of the two. They are deciding these choices in an economic context where the Great Recession caused the deficits and any deficit-reduction option exerts a drag on the recovery. Since January 2009, state and local governments have laid off 429,000 workers. As governments contemplate additional layoffs, it is important to note that few commentators have examined the racial implications of this reduction in government employment.

The End of the Recession? How Blacks Might Fare in the Jobless Recovery PDF
October 2010, by Sylvia Allegretto and Steven Pitts

Recently, there have been seemingly contradictory announcements concerning the economy. In September another 95,000 jobs were shed as the unemployment rate remained at 9.6%. Unemployment has been at least 9.5% for well over a year now. About the same time it was announced that the recession, which began in December 2007, had actually ended in June of last year–thus we are several months into the second year of recovery. This brief provides some explanation and context in light of economy recovery amidst continued job losses and stubbornly high unemployment.

The State of Black Workers before the Great Recession PDF
July 2010, by Sylvia Allegretto and Steven Pitts

Congress has debated various policy measures aimed to restore the economy to its pre-recession track. However, simply ending the recession will not solve the job crisis within the Black community. Many analysts have noted that labor market distress–when properly calculated–among Black workers has been at catastrophic levels for decades. In the tough labor market of today, about one out of every four Black workers is underemployed, but even in good times the ratio was one in seven. Labor markets prior to December 2007 did not serve the Black community well; to the contrary, racial inequality in labor market outcomes was a central feature. This research brief documents aspects of racial inequality before the Great Recession.

Topic: Green Jobs

California Workforce, Education, and Training Needs Assessment for Energy Efficiency, Distributed Generation and Demand Response PDF
March 2011, Donald Vial Center on Employment in the Green Economy

The report was endorsed by California Public Utility Commission president Mike Peevey, Labor and Workforce Development Agency Secretary Martin Morgenstern, and Senator Loni Hancock (D-Oakland) in a press conference at the State Capitol.  The study was mandated in the California Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic plan to provide recommendations to the CPUC and other agencies on the workforce strategies needed to achieve the state’s ambitious energy efficiency goals.

Topic: Young Workers

New Approaches to Organizing Women and Young Workers PDF
July 2010, by Netsy Firestein, Deborah King, and Katie Quan

This report includes highlights of interviews with 23 organizers about how they use new social media tools and work and family issues in organizing campaigns. It also includes recommendations that may help unions strengthen their relationships with women and young workers, especially with regard to the use of work and family issues and social media that might ultimately help unions be more successful in organizing.


For each grant, the funding entity, principal investigator, and project title are shown.

The California Endowment (Ken Jacobs)
California Health Policy Research Program

The California Wellness Foundation (Katie Quan)
Building the 21st Century Workforce for Long-Term Care

Energy Foundation (Lisa Hoyos)
Educating the California Labor Movement on AB 32 Implementation: A Proposal to The Energy Foundation

Ford Foundation (Steven Pitts)
Reducing Tensions Concerning Immigration and Employment

General Service Foundation (John Logan)
Policy Research to Inform Proposed Labor Law Reform and Strengthened Enforcement of Existing Labor Laws

Mitchell Kapor Foundation (Lisa Hoyos and Carol Zabin)
Pathways to Quality Green Jobs for Local Communities

Open Society Institute (Steven Pitts)
Project on Improving the Quality of Jobs Held by Black Males

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Ken Jacobs)
Maximizing Health Care Enrollment through Seamless Coverage for Families in Transition

Rosenberg Foundation (Katie Quan)
Labor Summer Internship Program

Southern California Edison (Carol Zabin)

CLRE staff additions

Maria Abadesco, Labor Specialist
Rebecca Graham, Communications Specialist
Alexa Hall, Program Coordinator
Nari Rhee returns as Associate Academic Specialist


California Public Employee Relations

CPER Journal
Since last June, CPER Journal main articles have covered the Garcetti decision and the difficulty of protecting whistleblowers; the risks to California public sector collective bargaining; the mediator’s role as gatekeeper to fact finding; the role of the negotiator at public school bargaining tables; implementing a non-negotiable decision before completing bargaining on negotiable effects; anti-retaliation law; and the common traits and "truths" regarding negotiations and labor relations.

In addition, in the journal’s Recent Developments section, the CPER staff has kept public sector labor relations professionals updated on the state budget, layoffs, mediation and fact finding, the definition of "highly qualified" teachers, UC retirement benefits, the Public Employment Relations Board, Hudson notice, arbitration, disability and age discrimination, the governor’s agenda, and more.

CPER has made progress in our move to "go green," with an online-only edition of the journal. The new format, slated for June 2011, will allow faster news updates and links that provide in-depth information.

Pocket Guides
CPER is about to release a new Pocket Guide title, the seventeenth in the series. Pocket Guide to Workers’ Compensationwas writtenby Juliann Sum, an attorney with the Work and Health Initiative at IRLE. The guide gives a general overview of the California Workers’ Compensation system. It is meant to help workers, employers, unions, insurers, and non-workers’ compensation attorneys understand basic right and obligations, take steps to initiate a worker’s compensation claim for an injured worker, and to know where to seek further information and help if necessary.

We also published the third title in our special series on layoffs: Pocket Guide to Layoff Rules Affecting Community College Faculty, written by attorneys Carmen Plaza de Jennings and Jayne Benz Chipman of Curiale Hirschfeld Kraemer. This guide provides a straightforward, concise, and practical review of the complex statutory requirements that govern faculty layoffs.

CPER also has updated several popular titles, all of which are sold through our website,

We published the second edition of Pocket Guide to Due Process in Public Employment. The right to procedural due process is one of the most significant constitutional guarantees provided to citizens in general and to public employees in particular. Its entitlement has been created by statute, charter, ordinance, and other local laws or enactments. This guide provides an overview of due process in public sector employment to assist employees and their employers in understanding their respective rights and obligations.

CPER published the eighth edition of Pocket Guide to the Educational Employment Relations Act. This guideprovides all the major decisions of the Public Employment Relations Board and the courts that interpret and apply the law, and includes the history and complete text of the act, and a summary of PERB regulations.

Training and Education
CPER has held three seminars in its training and continuing education series.

  • In September, in Berkeley, Due Process Rules: Before, During, and After Termination, which covered pre-termination rights and responsibilities of public employees and employers; disciplinary hearing procedures; and strategies for obtaining and defending against post-termination remedies.
  • In December, in Oakland, Your Local Rules –Is It Time for a Makeover?, which covered the state of local government employer-employee relations rules. It explained what works and what’s missing from local rules; what the courts and PERB have decided; and negotiating changes in local rules, or making the current ones work better.
  • In May, in Los Angeles, Practicing Before PERB, which covers the specifics of when a charge is filed, what happens when a charge goes to hearing, and how to appeal a dismissal or proposed decision.

CPER held a very successful dinner honoring CPER Director Carol Vendrillo and supporting the CPER Program. The dinner, held in Berkeley in March, offered toasts and thanks to Carol as she retired, and celebrated her lengthy career serving the public sector.

Attendees included family, friends, and members of the public sector labor relations community, including master of ceremonies Marty Morgenstern, Governor Brown’s secretary of the labor and workforce development agency.

Here is a partial list of conferences where CPER either cosponsored, participated on a panel, and/or exhibited.

California Public Employers Labor Relations Association Annual Conference
November 2010

Center for Collaborative Solutions: 20th Annual Labor-Management Conference
March 2011, Anaheim

Industrial Relations Association of Northern California Annual Conference
March 2011, Sacramento

Bar Association of San Francisco, Labor and Employment Law Section Conference
January 2011, Yosemite

State Bar of California 16th Annual Public Sector Conference
May 2011, Sacramento

National Association of Arbitrators
May 2011, San Diego


Center for the Study of Child Care Employment

Year in Review Report
2010/2011 Academic Year

The Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE, has always played a prominent national role in research and policy forums. Recently, we have built upon the Obama Administration’s commitment to early learning as key to educational and economic reform and its focus on the importance of better preparation and work environments for the early care and education workforce.

Our work focuses in four main areas related to preparing, supporting, and rewarding the early care and education workforce:

  • Access to Education –To encourage continuous growth and learning among the early care and education workforce.
  • Rewarding Environments –To attract and retain competent and able employees through better compensation, improve adult work environments, and support on-going learning.
  • Workforce Data Systems –To help identify challenges, track progress and guide sound policies and investments that lead to a skilled and stable workforce.
  • Leadership Development –To develop and support diverse leaders who work within and beyond the classroom to transform and improve early learning environments.


CSCCE policy briefs for the 2010/2011 academic year:

  • Workforce Information: A Critical Component of Coordinated State Early Care and Education Data Systems –A policy brief describing the early care and education workforce data landscape and detailing the challenges to aligning these data systems as well as current efforts to address these challenges. 
  • Degrees in Context: Asking the Right Questions about Preparing Skilled and Effective Teachers of Young Children –Written in collaboration with the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), this policy brief argues that too much attention has been given to debating the baseline qualifications required of preschool teachers –A.A. vs. B.A. –and contends that it is just as necessary to take into account the nature of the education teachers receive en route to a degree, supports for ongoing learning, and the effects of the workplace environment on teaching practice.


CSCCE research activity for the 2010/2011 academic year:

  • Learning Together: A Study of Six B.A. Completion Cohort Programs in Early Care and Education. Now in its fourth year, this study documents higher than average graduation rates from four-year colleges/universities among non-traditional college students who received a menu of financial, academic, and social supports. Most of the students are women of color who work full-time, and many speak English as a second language. This study has been critically important for informing early childhood higher education policy, as higher education institutions are being asked to respond to the increased qualifications for Head Start and publicly-funded preschool teachers.

    2010/2011 related reports:
    • Learning Together: A Study of Six B.A. Completion Cohort Programs in Early Care and Education: Year 2 –Our second year of research into four counties' efforts to expand bachelor's degree opportunities in early care and education for working adults.
    • Learning Together: A Study of Six B.A. Completion Cohort Programs in Early Care and Education: Year 3 –Our third year of this study focused on students’ perspective about two issues of concern regarding higher education programs; the accessibility of practicum experiences, and the adequacy of attention in the curriculum to working with children from linguistically diverse backgrounds.
  • Beyond Homes and Centers: The Workforce in Three California Early Childhood Infrastructure Organizations. This was the first study conducted in the nation that examines the demographic characteristics, educational backgrounds and career pathways of those who provide services to parents and practitioners in early care and education settings. It documents that more than half the staff of these organizations are former early childhood teachers who left direct work with children in search of better salaries. This finding has important implications for improving low-paid early childhood jobs in order to build a skilled and stable teacher workforce to educate young children prior to Kindergarten and for developing relevant professional development opportunities for this sector of the workforce.

    2010/2011 related report:
    • Beyond Homes and Centers: The Workforce in Three California Early Childhood Infrastructure Organizations –A groundbreaking study of the career backgrounds and professional development needs of those working in child care resource and referral programs, local First 5 commissions, and as child care coordinators across the state.
  • No Single Ingredient. This multi-year study investigates the best way to prepare skilled and effective teachers of young children and to support teachers’ continual growth as professionals on the job. It examines the complex interaction among early childhood teacher preparation programs, early care and education workplace environments, and assistance for ongoing teacher learning. The focus of this work is to develop new methodologies for assessing the content and quality of higher education teacher preparation programs and for measuring the adult learning environment in early care and education settings.
  • The Workforce (WFI) Initiative. This study is an evaluation of a multi-year project supported by Los Angeles Universal Preschool to promote access and success in higher education for current and prospective early childhood practitioners through peer supports, financial assistance, and dedicated counseling.


CSCCE selected presentations for the 2010/2011 academic year:

  • Senior Specialist, Fran Kipnis, presented at the National Governors Association's Policy Academy, regarding workforce data systems.
  • Executive Director, Marcy Whitebook, gave keynote address to the Buehl Early Childhood Leadership Program.
  • Executive Director, Marcy Whitebook, and Senior Specialist, Fran Kipnis, presented at Early Childhood 2010, a conference convened by the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services.
  • Executive Director, Marcy Whitebook, was the featured speaker for the national Listening and Learning Tour on Early Education sponsored by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Education.
  • Specialist, Lea Austin, presented Policy, Politics, and Power: Why they matter for Early Childhood Leaders.


CSCCE work related to local, state, and national policy for 2010/2011 academic year:

  • California professional development system building, focusing on piloting a workforce registry, higher education reform, updating the career ladder/certification system, and implementing Transitional Kindergarten.
  • National workforce policy development, focusing on early childhood workforce data systems and federal workforce policy. CSCCE is a member of the Early Childhood Data Collaborative, alongside the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Data Quality Campaign, the National Center for Children in Poverty, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, and PreK Now.
  • CSCCE has also been asked to provide expert opinion on early childhood workforce policy to the Obama Administration.


CSCCE Special honors and rewards for 2010/2011 academic year:

  • Executive director, Marcy Whitebook, Ph.D., was appointed by the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences as an advisor for the Committee on Early Childhood Care and Education Workforce: A workshop of the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine.


Center for Wage and Employment Dynamics

CWED extended its policy voice in many directions during the academic year, and also published several important briefings. Highlights of 2010-2011 follow below

2010-2011 Publications

Waiting for Change: The $2.13 Federal Subminimum Wage PDF
By Sylvia A. Allegretto and Kai Fillion

The Severe Crisis of Jobs in the United States and California PDF
By Sylvia A. Allegretto

The Truth about Public Employees in California: They are Neither Overpaid nor Overcompensated PDF
By Sylvia A. Allegretto and Jeffrey Keefe

2010-2011 Sponsored Research

Grant Title: Tipped Workers, Sub-minimum Wages and the Tip Credit Allowance
Funding Agency: Ford Foundation
Principal Investigator: Sylvia Allegretto

This research will study the effects of the sub-minimum wage received by tipped workers. The federal tipped wage is $2.13 per hour and has been so for 20 years. The rational for the federal sub-minimum wage is based on the concept of a ‘tip credit’ afforded to employers. At the federal level, the ‘tip credit’ allows an employer to pay workers an hourly wage of $2.13 as long as this base wage combined with additional tipped income equates to the actual minimum wage. Thus, the maximum federal tip credit is $5.12 which is the difference between the $2.13 tip wage and the federal minimum wage of $7.25. California is one of just seven states that do not allow for a sub-minimum wage; thus tipped workers are paid at least the regular state minimum wage of $8.00. Allegretto's will analyze tipped wages and the tip credit in terms of worker outcomes such as wages and poverty and firm outcomes such as whether negative employment effects are associated with higher tipped wages.

2010-2011 Presentations

"The 4th Generation of Minimum Wage Research"
Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN) conference in Atlanta, Georgia on December 7, 2010.

"The Great Recession: Job Losses and Consequences." Presented to The Teamsters Fall Divisional Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada October 4, 2010

"Job Losses and Economic Consequences of the Great Recession"
IRLE Colloquium Series, September 27, 2010


Associate Chair Sylvia Allegretto participated in the California State Senate Caucus Conference, which was held at the UC Davis MIND Institute in Sacramento on Tuesday, January 18, 2011. She presented information on California’s labor market situation (unemployment and underemployment along with an analysis of job growth by industrial sectors) and engaged in a two hour discussion with the senators regarding economic policy and prospects for recovery.

Other presenters included Jerry Nickelsburg, Senior Economist, UCLA Anderson Forecast; Stephen Levy, Director and Senior Economist, Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy; and Christopher Thornberg, Founding Principal, Beacon Economics.

Institute for Research on Labor and Employment Library

Library Commons Comes of Age
The 2010-2011 academic year saw a number of significant developments in how the Library Commons is being used. During the finals study period, students from the Southside community (as well as return patrons) made use of every single seat throughout the Commons for several days running. Of equal interest, the Library’s collection became a lender of "last resort" for more than 30 instructors who were organizing their reserve reading. In response, Library staff developed a strategy of holding books for two hour reserve, and created PDF files that classes could share collaboratively. The Commons also was the site of special invitation-only conferences, board and committee meetings, and frequent faculty-student consultations.

Library Catalogs and Online Resources Grow
The main campus catalog, OskiCat, now includes enhanced hyperlinks to digital files as well as to books. Also, HathiTrust the ambitious multi-university digital library, extended valuable enhanced services to the Berkeley campus community. HathiTrust has implemented the Shibboleth protocol for downloads, which allows researchers to obtain full-length PDF files of books and other digital media.

HathiTrust encompasses the holdings of more than 50 universities, and was originally intended as a preservation initiative. However, it has grown to include several high-value services such as the Shibboleth download service. For further information:

Oakland Museum of California Exhibit Goes Digital
The Oakland Museum of California’s exhibit, "We Called It A Work Holiday: The 1946 Oakland General Strike,"is a popular special collection under Library oversight. In 2008, it was protected by archival-quality containers since 2009. Now the Library is ready to begin the digitization process of the exhibit.

Digitizing this exhibit will create three new and useful functions for this resource. First, it will establish a permanent digital copy that will be persistently available online, hosted by The University Library and the Online Archive of California. Second, users will be able to create copies that can be easily downloaded and printed–with permission, and not for profit–for use at receptions and conferences, and also for use as frame-worthy artwork for office decoration. This work is currently anticipated to be completed in fall 2011.

California Labor Federation Repository: Recent Advances
The publications and proceedings of the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, now include proceedings through 2006. The newest files are being tested for compatibility and will appear later in summer 2011. From fall 2011 forward, the Federation will contribute a digital copy of its proceedings as they are created, and this copy will go into the repository. This enormously popular and heavily used resource will enable researchers to study California labor history both in its contemporary and its historical contexts.

Professional Presentations and Publications of IRLE Librarian

Book Chapter:
Convergence and divergence among digital libraries and the publishing industry. IN Digital Libraries: Methods and Applications. Vienna, Austria: InTech, 2011. 978-953-307-203-6
Open Source Access:

"Building Digital Libraries" Column:
Focusing the library web. Computers in Libraries 31, No. 2, March 2011
Hearts, minds, and the library’s physical space. Computers in Libraries 30, No, 8, October 2010
Involving the community in digitization. Computers in Libraries 31, No 1, January/February 2011
Learning by watching library 2.0 community builders. Computers in Libraries 30, No. 7 September 2010
Library 2.0, meet the "web-squared" world. Computers in Libraries 31, No. 3, April 2011
Living and thriving in the long tail. Computers in Libraries 30, No 10, December 2010
The new ascendancy of metadata and taxonomy skills. Computers in Libraries 30, No. 9, November 2010
New metrics for academic social media users. Computers in Libraries 31,No. 4, May 2011

"Connecting Scholars with Information: Three Strategies." Presented at Internet Librarian International, London, October, 2010.

"Faculty Information Using Behavior: An Analysis of Ithaka S + R’s 2009 Faculty Survey. Presented at Computers in Libraries Annual Conference, Washington, DC, March 2011


Labor Project for Working Families

Resources & Publications

New Web –to promote and support the California Work & Family Coalition’s policy agenda.

Two New Publications:

Guide to Implementing Paid Family Leave: Lessons from California with Berkeley Center for Health, Economic & Family Security.

New Approaches to Organizing Women and Young Workers: Social Media & Work Family Issues with the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education and Cornell ILR.

Featured in two new books highlighting the role of unions in creating family friendly workplace programs: Workplace Solutions for Childcare, by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and The Custom-Fit Workplace, by Joan Blades and Nanette Fondas.


2010 Labor Media awards for General Excellence and Best Content from the International Labor Communications Association (ILCA) for LEARN WorkFamily ( –an online resource on bargaining for work family issues.

Presentations, Testimonies, Trainings & Events

May 2011:We co-sponsored two events in Los Angeles (with the UCLA Labor Center) and Berkeley (with Berkeley Center for Health, Economic & Family Security) to discuss employer and worker experiences with Paid Family Leave (PFL) in California. The events featured Ruth Milkman (CUNY) and Eileen Appelbaum (CEPR) discussing key findings of their landmark study Leaves that Pay.

April 2011:We were honored by the AFL-CIO Executive Council at a reception hosted in Washington D.C. Speakers at the event included AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten, and Labor Project Executive Director Netsy Firestein.

March 2011: The Labor Project and the California Work & Family Coalition testified for and rallied behind two bills being considered in legislative committees.  AB 400, which would guarantee paid sick days for all California workers, was heard and passed Assembly Labor and Judiciary committees.  SB 299, which would guarantee the continuation of health insurance coverage during a pregnancy disability leave, was heard and passed Senate Judiciary and Appropriations committees.

February 2011:We participated in the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2nd National Women's Bureau conference on workplace flexibility, focusing in particular on dilemmas facing hourly workers. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis delivered the keynote address at the event that also featured First Lady Michelle Obama, who spoke to the attendees via video.

In partnership with Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor, we brought together the top leaders from international unions to discuss labor’s new ideas and proven strategies for building an economy that works for working families. The event featured a group of dynamic new labor leaders including the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) International President Larry Hanley, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) President Mary Kay Henry, Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA) International President Veda Shook, and AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler.

January 2011:Jenya Cassidy,Education & Training Coordinator, led an all day training The Family Friendly Workplace:   How Unions Win It for UFCW Region 1 staff in Secaucus, NJ.  The training brought together union representatives and organizers from New York and New Jersey to focus on ways to organize and bargain for workers with family responsibilities.

Netsy Firestein, Executive Director, joined national experts and Mary Beth Maxwell from the Department of Labor on a panel to discuss new research on Paid Family Leave in California and opportunities for similar policies at the national level. Netsy shared her experiences on organizing for Paid Family Leave in California and underscored the do’s and don’ts for other states looking at paid leave programs. » View event video

Brandy Davis, Policy Coordinator, presented policy recommendations on paid sick days and family leave on behalf of the California Work & Family Coalition at the 2011 Working Families Policy Summit in Sacramento. The event was hosted by the California Center for Research on Women and Families.

October 2010: Netsy Firestein, Executive Director, spoke at the California Labor Federation Women’s Conference entitled Breaking New Ground. She spoke about unions building the family friendly workplace through bargaining, organizing and public policy, with a focus on the California legislative agenda.

New Staff

Mischa Hedges, Online Engagement Coordinator, will help build and engage an online community to support our efforts to win work family rights in California.

Ferheen Abbasi, Administrative Assistant, provides program and administrative support for Labor Project staff.

Carol Joyner, National Policy Director, is based in Washington D.C. and engages labor unions in efforts to win and advance federal and state work family rights.

In The News

April 2011

Home run call? Local major leaguer chooses family over game
The Bakersfield Californian, April 21, 2011

March 2011

Standing up for a Family Friendly Economy
Huffington Post, March 8, 2011

February 2011

Union Leaders Discuss Workplace Flexibility, Family-Friendly Policies in Bargaining Context
Daily Labor Report, February 28, 2011

U.S. Department of Labor Addresses Workplace Flexibility at Pasadena Conference
Labor’s Edge, February 18, 2011

January 2011

Despite Economic Woes, Sun Shines on California’s Paid Family Leave Program
Sloan Work and Family Research Network, January 26, 2011

Viewpoints: Family Leave Program has Proved its Value, but it Could do More
The Sacramento Bee, January 25, 2011

Study: California Working Families Benefit from Landmark Paid Family Leave Law
Labor’s Edge, January 20, 2011

Guide Offers Lessons from Nation’s First Paid Family Leave Program
AFL-CIO Now Blog, January 16, 2011

December 2010

Reinvigorating the Middle Class from the Ground Up
The Nation, December 7, 2010

November 2010

Domestic Workers Seek Support from Unions
Labor’s Edge, November 10, 2010

October 2010

Leading the Way: Unions as Family-Friendly Employers, October 15, 2010

Domestic Workers Seeking Rights Need Unions
AFL-CIO NOW Blog, October 13, 2010

August 2010

Enabling Working Parents to Attend to Sick Children and School Activities
New America Foundation Podcast, August 20, 2010
New America's director David Gray talks with Netsy Firestein, executive director of the Labor Project for Working Families, about California’s work family policies.

Social Media: Tool for Balancing Work and Family?
AFL-CIO NOW Blog, August 12, 2010

On Deck For Unions: Reaching The Next Generation Of Workers
American Rights at Work, Blog at Work, August 9, 2010

New Approaches to Organizing Women and Young Workers
Labor’s Edge, August 5, 2010

Sorry I Missed Your Anniversary! Thanks for Keeping Families Afloat
Huffington Post, August 4, 2010

Screw Work Life Balance: We Need Work Life Policy! Here's All You Need to Know to Join the Movement
BlogHer, August 2, 2010

July 2010

A Collective Solution to a ‘Personal Problem’ –Unions Fight for Paid Sick Days
MomsRising Blog, July 28, 2010


Donald Vial Center for Jobs in the Green Economy

During the 2010-2011 academic year, the Vial Center devoted its energy to the research, analysis, and eventual publication of the publication California Workforce, Education, and Training Needs Assessment for Energy Efficiency, Distributed Generation and Demand Response.

The report was widely endorsed at a press conference that was held in Sacramento on March 17, 2011. Participants included California Public Utility Commission president Mike Peevey, Labor and Workforce Development Agency Secretary Martin Morgenstern, and Senator Loni Hancock (D-Oakland). The study was mandated in the California Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic plan to provide recommendations to the CPUC and other agencies on the workforce strategies needed to achieve the state's ambitious energy efficiency goals.

The report continues to attract attention and provides a strong basis for further study of the interplay between policy, workforce development and green technology breakthroughs.

Report Overview:

  • By 2020, energy efficiency policies will result in about $11.2 billion of public and private investment, resulting in 211,000 jobs.
  • Two-thirds of the jobs that are directly related to energy efficiency work are in the traditional construction trades, and one-sixth are in professional jobs such as architects and engineers; only a tiny number of the jobs are in new specialized "green jobs."
  • Poor quality installation of energy efficient equipment some sectors is undermining the achievement of energy efficiency goals and is directly linked to low-wage labor markets which do not reward workers or businesses for investments in training.
  • California has over 1,000 training and education programs training in the key forecasted occupations, but the lack of widespread industry-recognized certifications lead to confusion and lack of coordination in the workforce development system.

Report recommendations:

  • Continue and expand the state's energy efficiency policies in order to meet the state's ambitious energy efficiency goals and create good jobs.
  • "Green" existing training programs for traditional occupations by incorporating energy efficiency skills and knowledge into curricula, rather than promoting stand-alone, narrowly focused green training programs.
  • Use our public and ratepayer investment to promote high quality work and good careers for Californians by:
    • Setting high quality skills certification standards for workers; and
    • Enforcing building codes and requiring other strong quality standards for contractors.

»Read the Full Report

»Read the UC Berkeley News Center Press Release

»Green Jobs Summit Site