Training Health Care Workers: The Clinical Bottleneck

Training the next generation of care providers becomes increasingly important as the population ages. Photo by Kate Davidson.

ANN ARBOR — Nursing is a hot career. The federal government says the field will create more new jobs than any other profession this decade — almost 600,000 jobs by 2018. But there’s a bottleneck. Schools in our region can’t keep up with all the people who want to become nurses or other health care workers. In the first of two stories, Changing Gears is examining some of the high tech tools schools are using to help ease the training crunch. [display_podcast] Continue reading “Training Health Care Workers: The Clinical Bottleneck”

Public Versus Private Sector Workers: Who Gets More?

Associated Press photo
A big question has come up in the debate over Wisconsin’s public sector employees. Do they — and other government employees — get a better deal than private sector workers?

Dan Bobkoff of Changing Gears took a look at the subject this week for NPR’s All Things Considered. There are rallies planned this weekend are planned in all 50 state capitals in support of Wisconsin’s employees, even as the state legislature gets closer to a vote that would strip them of collective bargaining rights.

Here’s what Dan reported. Continue reading “Public Versus Private Sector Workers: Who Gets More?”

WI Public Employee Issue Expands Nationwide

Updated Wednesday afternoon

Spurred by Wisconsin, protests for — and against — public employee unions are expanding nationwide, and are even having an international impact.

On Saturday, the activist group MoveOn.Org is pushing to hold rallies in every state capital. The group, which says it has 5 million supporters, announced the plan in an email to its members Tuesday. Continue reading “WI Public Employee Issue Expands Nationwide”

Sympathy Protests reach Michigan

Public sector union discontent with Republican plans to balance state budgets reached the Michigan Capitol in Lansing on Tuesday, according to Rick Pluta of the Michigan Public Radio Network. Hundreds of protesters showed up to support demonstrators in Madison, WI, Columbus, OH, and Indianapolis.

“Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Union busting has got to go!” That was one of the chants from the protesters who showed up, despite freezing temperatures. They were joined by teachers, who took advantage of a snow day to join the Lansing rally, which was echoed by demonstrations in other Midwestern capitals. Continue reading “Sympathy Protests reach Michigan”

Q&A on Public vs Private Sector Unions

The battle in Wisconsin over collective bargaining rights for public employees points up the key differences between public and private sector unions.

Anyone who’s familiar with unions like the United Auto Workers, the Teamsters and the Steelworkers might be surprised to hear that public employee unions don’t have the same rights. That’s because public employee unions in individual states are not covered by the National Labor Relations Act. Public employee unions’ rights depend on the state where they are located.

Associated Press photo

Continue reading “Q&A on Public vs Private Sector Unions”

Region is Epicenter for Fight Over Union Power

The Midwest is the birthplace of the modern industrial union. The United Auto Workers formed in Detroit. AFSCME, the union representing many government workers, got its start in Madison, Wisconsin. Now, Madison and other Midwest cities have become the center of the fight over public employee unions. Big protests are planned Tuesday in state capitals.

Lisa Schmelz, teacher (Photo: Chip Mitchell)

Continue reading “Region is Epicenter for Fight Over Union Power”