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Labor Report

Union Now for PSD Educators

The Head of School at the 195-year-old Pennsylvania School for the Deaf announced this week that its teachers voted to unionize.

The American Federation of Teachers will represent the Germantown school’s 175 teachers, aides, secretaries and support staff, the AFT announced.

“Today’s vote to unionize by teachers and staff can be a victory for all of us as we work together to make the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf the best school possible for students and a positive environment where all employees can excel,” PSD Head of School Marja Brandon said in an email. “In a school that it is approaching its 200th birthday, staff is and will always continue to be the most important asset.”

“We are proud to have the School for the Deaf faculty and staff as our members,” said AFT Pennsylvania President Ted Kirsch in an online statement. “We firmly believe that schools and students thrive where the voices of the professional educators and support staff are heard.”

PA Workforce Development Study

Job TrainingThe Department of Labor & Industry shared this week that it is moving into the final phase of its two-year, $1 million study with the departments of Education and Human Services that will determine how education and training programs are working in Pennsylvania.

Part of the study has included a search to answer “high priority policy questions” like:

  • What is the average sustained employment of individuals that have participated in a workforce, welfare, or education program, by program?
  • What percent of postsecondary graduates require public assistance after graduation? And,
  • For individuals that participate in an Adult Literacy Program, what are average wages before and after participation in the program?

Once completed, the data collected during the study is expected to be made public.

How Whole Foods & Dollar General Are Alike

computerThe federal Fair Credit Reporting Act serves consumers and bites back at companies that are choosing to ignore its requirements.

According to, national chains, like Whole Foods, Dollar General, Michael’s and Panera are being hit by lawsuits from employees and prospective employees for violating FCRA’s provisions against performing personal credit checks.

Reporter Claire Zillman wrote in her Jan. 16 story:

“Before running a background check on an applicant, according to the FCRA, an employer has to give notice and ask for authorization in a way that’s ‘clean and conspicuous’ so it stands out from the rest of a job application, says Denise Trani-Morris, an employment lawyer at the Sedgwick firm in San Francisco. Employers keep fumbling over that step. ‘They think, ‘Oh by the way, we’re an at-will employer, so we’ll just include that alongside the consent form. Aren’t we being good?’ No, actually, you just violated the law,’ she says. ‘Or their application is online and it’s one big steady stream of information.’ That too, she says, is illegal.”

Like minimum wage laws, there are reasons why certain laws exist. Applause all around for the Fair Credit Reporting Act in the way it protects job applicants.

Fair Wage Business of the Week

The concept of “going green” is no longer reserved for nature lovers and hippies.  In today’s world, green is the new black.  From recycling to driving hybrid vehicles to conserving our natural resources, individuals of all ages are learning to live smarter and more responsibly.

In fact, with help from companies like Resource Dynamics/Green Building Education in Yardley, ecologically conscious practices now extend to the construction of businesses and homes, as well.  Not only is Resource Dynamics helping to save the earth, but also, it is helping to support our lowest paid workers by signing up as a business in favor of raising the minimum wage.

Resource DynamicsAt Resource Dynamics, individuals may choose from consulting services or educational and training courses that will enable them to understand, use and apply green concepts and strategies, including energy standards and management techniques, in the design and construction process.  Through these opportunities, individuals discover the environmental, economical and health and community benefits of green building.

From the workplace to the home, Resource Dynamics offers a full-array of information and products, so that the green movement will continue to grow and thrive. 

This environmentally aware company is making strides in advocating for a better, greener future for everyone and is making sure that future includes happier, more productive and better paid workers.  From code officials to municipal zone planners, building managers, home owners and low-wage employees everywhere, Resource Dynamics/Green Building Education is a stand-out company that is working to provide reasonable, commonsense solutions to make the world a greener, worker-friendly place.

I applaud this company’s efforts and hope it is able to continue changing minds and attitudes one building at a time.





Sterlingwear Resource Dynamics, Inc.