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Durham CAN wins big on Jobs & Living Wages


Over 600 Durham CAN leaders packed the sanctuary of Monument of Faith Church to declare Durham a living wage city. CAN leaders demanded and won impressive commitments on living wages, ban-the- box, local hiring, and job training. 
 
The Chair of the Durham Housing Authority committed to ensure all jobs required to renovate its properties, a $566 million project, will go up from $12.69 to $15/hour within the next two years. All contractors will also be required to pay at least $15 per hour.  The priority will be to hire its own residents. 
 
Mayor Steve Schewel promised to ensure all jobs generated under his $95 million bond referendum proposal and the Beltline Project will pay at least $15. The Mayor promised the city will work with Durham Technical Community College to ensure the training and hiring of local workers. 
 
Leaders from Go Triangle ratified their commitment to pay $15 for most of their jobs. 
 

Executives from Duke University announced they ban-the-box, boost wages to $15 per hour and will make workforce development a priority. Executives from Duke will soon travel to Baltimore to learn more about BUILD and its project Turn Around Tuesday, and the John’s Hopkins workforce development model.
 
The President of the Durham Technical Community College also pledged to train Durham workers to be connected into future living wage jobs.
 
The current campaign builds on a strong tradition of CAN victories on living wages. In previous years, CAN won living wage agreements from the City of Durham, the County of Durham, Durham Public Schools, Duke University and GoTriangle.

BUILD Celebrates Win at Port Covington Groundbreaking


On Monday, May 13th, 2019, nearly a dozen leaders and team members from BUILD and its jobs movement, Turnaround Tuesday, showed up at the groundbreaking ceremony for the official start of construction of Port Covington, a 235-acre, $5.5 billion redevelopment project in South Baltimore.
  
After long, hard-fought negotiations with city officials and Sagamore Development Company, BUILD leaders helped secure a $135 million community benefits agreement featuring a 30 percent local hiring mandate and a 10 percent on-site affordable housing requirement, as well as millions of dollars towards education, workforce development, youth jobs and empowerment, and environmental restoration (for the full 38-page agreement, click HERE).
 
 
Among the high-powered array of speakers (including Mayor Jack Young, City Council President Brandon Scott, Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford, Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, and Sagamore President Marc Weller) was our very own Terrell Williams, co-director of Turnaround Tuesday. Williams closed the ceremony with an inspiring speech, highlighting the importance of Sagamore’s community-mindedness: “Baltimore needed a grand vision,” he said, “and [Port Covington developers] had that vision and have set a precedent for how to use tax increment financing for the community.”
  
Williams then donned a hard hat, a shovel, and a gleaming smile and posed for the ensuing paparazzi alongside some of the most powerful people in the city. 
  
The event was rainy, but it was a shining moment for everyone involved. In the coming months and years, though, BUILD will have to work to maintain the pressure they have exerted on Sagamore and the city government. We are committed to holding them accountable to their agreement and ensuring that enough local workers are trained to fill the 30 percent mandate. 
  
Press Coverage

Durham CAN Demands Change in the Persistent Unemployment & Underemployment in Local Communities of Color

650 leaders connected with Durham CAN met with elected leaders form the Durham City Council, the President of Durham Technical Community College, the Chair of the Board of the Durham Housing Authority and Executives from Duke to start addressing the persistent unemployment and underemployment in local communities of color. 
 
During the public meeting, the Durham Housing Authority agreed that all jobs required for the redevelopment of 2,000+ properties downtown will go up from  $12.69 to $15 in the next two years. 
DHA promised to prioritize the recruitment, training, and hiring of its own residents by working in partnership with the Technical Community College. All contractors used for DHA re-development will be required to pay their workers $15 per hour.
 
Mayor Steve Schewel promised that all jobs generated by the proposed $95M bond referendum, and the $17.5M construction of the Durham Belt Line Project will pay wages of $15 per hour.  Furthermore, the Mayor promised to collaborate with Durham Technical Community College to identify, recruit and hire local returning citizens for those jobs.
 
During the meeting, the Mayor and his entire Council promised to double the size of the summer youth employment program. 
 
Duke University Executives announced that they will pay a living wage of $15. In addition to that, Duke has stopped asking job applicants to disclose their past criminal convictions and will make local workforce development a priority. 
 
Duke executives will travel to Baltimore to learn from Turn Around Tuesday about their public collaboration with Johns Hopkins University in hiring residents from distressed zip codes.

In Cleveland, GCC Wins Commitments to School Jobs Pipeline for Unemployed Public School Parents, Improved Learning Conditions for Students and Year-Round Education for Incarcerated Youth


GCC leaders in action, creating jobs for unemployed public school parents and winning commitments to improving learning conditions for all students.
 
On May 8th Greater Cleveland Congregations held an 185-person education action at New Tech Collinwood High School with Cleveland public schools CEO Eric Gordon.  The action was co-chaired by two 11th graders from Collinwood.  
 
At the action CEO Gordon committed to establish a jobs pipeline to connect unemployed Cleveland public school parents to entry-level jobs within the school system.  He also made school-specific commitments with four of the schools where GCC has been organizing: support for a new after-school initiative, help to upgrade classroom technology, improve access to healthy food options, upgrade an aging gym, and help to paint and beautify one of our schools.        
 
Mr. Gordon also provided an exciting update from our 2017 action about the Downtown Education Center (DEC), the CMSD school housed within the Juvenile Justice Center. During the summer months the youth who are incarcerated at the DEC have no access to learning opportunities.  They are essentially locked down on their units the whole summer.  Last year GCC fought to have summer school at the DEC.
 
Mr. Gordon managed to go farther, having just successfully gotten agreement to turn the DEC into a year-round school so that those young people will have access to education throughout the entire year.  This is a big victory, and GCC’s persistence played an important part.

In New Video, WIN Highlights Damages and Risk of Privatization in DC

WIN partnered with Center for Community Change to create a video that highlights the damages of privatization and what's at stake for DC Circulator workers. DDOT contracts out its hiring and management of the Circulator to the private multinational corporation, First Transit. Not only are circulator workers paid less for their hard work, but an audit revealed that First Transit had blatantly ignored the DC Paid Sick Leave Act, and even forced workers to violate District safety standards by taking out buses that did not pass pre-trip safety inspections. In fact, a 2015 safety audit of the DC Circulator found only 2, of the 42 buses inspected, fit to drive.
 
In 2016, ATU Local 1764 Circulator workers, Metro IAF, & WIN leaders organized for, fought, and won a new 3-year contract to increase maximum wages, triple First Transit’s contributions to employee 401(k) plans, and include language that will ensure drivers don’t have to operate buses that do not meet safety standards. Now the DC Government is putting the contract out to bid again, and more private companies whose interest is profit will compete to provide the DC Circulator service.
 

Watch the Video: WIN and ATU Leaders at the DC City Council talking to Councilmembers about Privatization of the Circulator

VOICE’s Fight for Dedicated Metro Funding in VA Leads to Approved $150+ Million Funding Bill that Protects Workers


Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bulova responds to VOICE's demand for dedicated funding at the VOICE Fairfax Action in May 2017
 
Throughout the past year, VOICE and its sister Metro IAF organizations in DC and Maryland have called for dedicated funding for Metro transit service that does not come at the expense of working people. At actions in Fairfax and Alexandria, and then again at the state-wide action in front of 1,500 people with the gubernatorial candidates, VOICE demanded that dedicated funding for Metro was a paramount issue in Northern Virginia. However, VOICE leaders were not willing to get "funding at all cost", particularly if it meant taking retirement and benefits away from frontline workers. 
 
On March 10th, Richmond legislators approved a $150+ million Metro funding bill that will not turn middle class jobs into working poor jobs. 
 
Without those VOICE actions, and the local VOICE actions at the Metro Board, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, and the half-dozen listening sessions with frontline workers, a funding bill that did not negatively impact working people would not have passed in the General Assembly.
 

Turnaround Tuesday Takes Action Against Unemployment in Baltimore


An early graduating Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) class in 2017
 
Turnaround Tuesday, a jobs movement, continues putting Baltimore back to work with its successful job readiness training, leadership development, and job placement. Turnaround Tuesday has collaborated with nine hospitals and a local Recovery Center as well as the Baltimore Alliance for Careers in Health, none of which would have been possible without building critical relationships with area hospitals and taking action to pressure the Health Services Cost Review Commission to increase hospital reimbursement rates to fund community health positions.
 
Turnaround Tuesday has placed 79 individuals in three new positions: Community Health Workers, Peer Recovery Specialists, and Certified Nurse Assistants/General Nursing Assistants. Over the past two years, none of the Turnaround Tuesday-trained individuals have lost their jobs. All positions pay between $15 and $17 per hour with full benefits and 129 positions remain to be filled.
 

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