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Child Care Workers Still Not Earning What They're Worth

Posted by Karen Schulman, Senior Policy Analyst | Posted on: November 18, 2014 at 11:51 am

Child care workers’ wages have barely grown over the past 25 years, and are among the lowest of all occupations, according to a report released today by the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment. The report, Worthy Work, STILL Unlivable Wages: The Early Childhood Workforce 25 Years after the National Child Care Staffing Study, found that the average hourly wage for child care workers in 2013 was $10.33, which was just 1 percent higher than in 1997 after adjusting for inflation.

According to the report, preschool teachers earn slightly higher wages than child care workers—$15.11 an hour on average—and these wages have grown by 15 percent since 2013 after adjusting for inflation. Yet preschool teachers still earn less than kindergarten teachers (who earn an average hourly wage of $25.40) as well as about 80 percent of other occupations. This difference in salaries is not completely explained by a difference in education levels. While preschool teachers with a bachelor’s degree earn more than preschool teachers with only an associate’s or high school degree, they still earn less than kindergarten teachers with a bachelor’s degree.

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We All Need Schedules That Work

Posted by Elizabeth Johnston, Fellow | Posted on: November 18, 2014 at 10:45 am

Today is my little brother’s birthday. It’s a big birthday, but not for good reasons. Today, TJ turns 26, which means that he can no longer be on my parents’ health insurance. He works as a bartender at a few different places and does not have health insurance through his employer. Last week, he and I sat down to figure out what plan he should sign up for on the healthcare exchange. And things got complicated.

Because TJ’s shifts and hours change with such frequency, he has a really hard time budgeting. He could not tell me for sure how much he could afford to pay for health insurance in any given month. He couldn’t tell me which subsidies he might qualify for. This type of instability is a common problem for workers in low-wage hourly jobs. In one study [PDF], between 20 and 30 percent of low-wage workers reported a reduction in hours or a layoff when work was slow. And another found [PDF] that for 59 percent of retail employees employed by one major retailer, either the shifts or the days they worked changed each week.

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Good News From the D.C. Circuit

Posted by Rachel Easter, Fellow | Posted on: November 14, 2014 at 02:32 pm

For those of us in need of some good news for women's health, the D.C. Circuit Court just came through. In the first Circuit Court decision since Hobby Lobby, a unanimous panel of the D.C. Circuit said [PDF] that non-profit organizations that object to providing birth control don’t get out of complying with the birth control coverage requirement of the federal health care law.

Specifically, the non-profit organizations – including Catholic University – were challenging the "accommodation" provided to them. Non-profit organizations that qualify for the accommodation do not have to provide employees with birth control coverage. Instead, they simply have to send a form to HHS or their insurance company saying they object to covering birth control. The insurance company then provides the birth control coverage without cost-sharing directly to the employees and students.   In other words, as the court said, the non-profits need only "complete the written equivalent of raising a hand in response to the government's query as to which religious organizations want to opt out…. Other entities step in and fill the gap" to ensure women get the benefit.

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White House Report and Event on Girls and Women of Color

Yesterday, the White House released a report [PDF] called Women and Girls of Color: Addressing Challenges and Expanding Opportunity and announced that the White House Council on Women and Girls will now have a working group to focus on the particular barriers that women and g

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Putting a Value on Caregiving

Posted by Katherine Gallagher Robbins, Senior Policy Analyst | Posted on: November 13, 2014 at 01:24 pm

Everyone knows that raising children is pricey—the USDA estimates it costs nearly $250,000 to raise one child to adulthood (not even counting college!).  But what you might not know is how much all the time and effort parents put in to childrearing is worth to our economy. This is because the value of unpaid caregiving and childrearing—the lion’s share of which is done by women—is largely unrecognized and rarely quantified.

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Stand With Pregnant Workers Virtual Rally Instructions

Posted by Amanda Hooper, Outreach Manager | Posted on: November 13, 2014 at 10:19 am

On December 3, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Peggy Young v. UPS, a pregnancy discrimination case that will determine whether and when the Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires an employer to make accommodations for a worker who needs them because of pregnancy.

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The Budget Battles in Lame Duck: What’s at Stake for Women and Families

Posted by Julie Vogtman, Senior Counsel | Posted on: November 12, 2014 at 09:17 am

After a long election recess, Congress returns today—and Members have plenty of work to do in the lame duck session before the newly elected Congress takes over in January. The headline-making issues on the congressional agenda include Ebola and ISIS, but Congress’s response to these exceptional threats will likely be tied to its approach to a more basic task: keeping the federal government running.

Because Congress did not pass any FY 2015 appropriations bills before the recess, it approved a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government operating at FY 2014 funding levels when the new fiscal year began on October 1. But the CR expires on December 11, and Congress will have to enact a new funding measure before the deadline to avoid a government shutdown.

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Unexpected News from the Supreme Court Won’t Stop Health Care Enrollment

Posted by Judy Waxman, Vice President for Health and Reproductive Rights | Posted on: November 07, 2014 at 02:44 pm

With eight days to go before health plan enrollment begins for 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States announced today that it will hear King v. Burwell in the Court’s next term. This case challenges the availability of premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions for people who sign up for health insurance through the federal Marketplace. Thirty-four states rely on the federal government to manage the health insurance marketplaces for their residents. This means that if the Court were to overturn the King decision from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, millions of women and their families would lose premium subsidies, and therefore access to affordable health insurance.

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