Why adjuncts are the new working poor | How being a veteran helped Herb Chambers | Affleck film lights up Lawrence


Today: Honoring veterans

Gov. Baker delivers remarks at the State House Veterans Day Ceremony, State House Rotunda, 10 am.

Mayor Marty Walsh attends several Veterans Day ceremonies and events, he unveiling ceremony of the Wall of Honor at the Deutsches Altenheim, 9:45 am.

Attorney General Maura Healey serves lunch to homeless veterans at the New England Center for Homeless Veterans, 70 Court St., Boston, 11:30 am.

Congressman Seth Moulton, a veteran, will be on WBUR radio at 3:06 pm, and appear later on WGBH’s Greater Boston program, which airs at 7 pm.


Herb Chambers on the value of being a veteran

Massachusetts car magnate Herb Chambers tells his story about joining the Navy as a 17-year-old Dorchester kid in this week’s Boston Business Journal. Joining the Navy “taught me a trade, an important skill. It gave me the skills I needed to later run my own business. Being in the Navy taught me discipline, about having to be on time and being organized and how to dress properly.” This week’s edition also features profiles of veterans who are CEOs and explores why veterans often make great employees. The package was put together by the BBJ’s Joe Halpern. http://bit.ly/1HxXBFK (paywall)


Massachusetts veterans fact: About 7.5 percent of Massachusetts’ adult population are veterans, according to the US Census Bureau, compared to a 9 percent US average. Alaska leads the nation with the percentage of veterans in the state: over 13 percent.


Adjuncts sue BU while NU students block the E Line for their underpaid profs

Last February some 750 Boston University adjuncts voted to unionize through SEIU. But the union now says BU has dragged its feet in providing “necessary bargaining information,” and announced yesterday it filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board. In an email to BU adjuncts, the union writes: “We requested the necessary bargaining information. We waited. They promised to deliver by the end of June, then by September 10, and then by the October 22 bargaining meeting. We are still waiting.”

Meanwhile, students at Northeastern stopped trolley traffic in protest of adjunct treatment, frustrated by the pace of negotiations with the administration. One NU student, Alissa Zimmer, told the Globe: “We are constantly aware of what they’re going through, what their struggles are. Their working conditions are our learning conditions.” I say give that student an A.

The grotesque exploitation of adjuncts is a time-honored practice across American academia. Most adjuncts have other jobs, but some squeak by on the $5,000 or so they make per class. The legion of Boston area adjuncts were ripe for unionizing, and SEIU Local 509 also has won union votes at Tufts, Northeastern, and Lesley.

Unionization isn’t a cure-all, although at Tufts adjuncts will make at least $7,600 per course starting in the fall of 2016. If the BU adjuncts do as well, they’ll still be poster children for the wage gap. Putting aside that BU President made over $1.4 million in 2013, a look at BU’s most recent tax filing reveals that several top administrators there made over $500,000 the same year. Assistant professors at BU averaged $92,000 in 2013, more than double what adjuncts would make if they taught their brains out.


Fast food workers march, committee doles out raise vote

More union activity: As fast food and other workers rallied and then marched to the State House yesterday, the Labor and Workforce Development Committee approved a bill to increase fast food and big box retail workers pay to $15 per hour over a three-year period. About 205,000 workers are employed at the large retail and fast food chains that would be subject to the $15-per-hour-minimum wage, according to a report by the State House News Service’s Michael Norton. http://bit.ly/1MV4gMC (paywall)


NY Attorney General: DraftKings, FanDuel are illegal gambling operations

A new sheriff has just arrived to the Wild West of online fantasy sports: New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who yesterday ordered DraftKings and rival fantasy sports company FanDuel – based in New York – to stop taking action in the state. “Our investigation has found that, unlike traditional fantasy sports, daily fantasy sports companies are engaged in illegal gambling under New York law, causing the same kinds of social and economic harms as other forms of illegal gambling, and misleading New York consumers,” Schneiderman stated. Regulators are indeed zeroing in on the daily fantasy sports element, an evolution from the season-long fantasy sports model. As this Boston Globe story points out, the NY AG’s ruling puts fantasy sports operators at greater risk for criminal prosecution. http://bit.ly/1NJQefF


Debate winners last night: the moderators

Although there were no clear winners among the candidates, the moderators of Fox Business News’ debate succeeded in making sure they were not the story. Although the candidates were at times whining and bumptious about receiving speaking time, Maria Bartiromo, Neil Cavuto, and the Wall Street Journal’s Gerard Baker kept the debate substantive. In case you missed it, here’s a good overview of the major themes from Shannon Young of the Springfield Republican. http://bit.ly/1lk18h3


It also was a good night for Marco Rubio, according to analysis of social media activity by public affairs firm O’Neill and Associates. “Rubio dominated the conversation regarding jobs, taxes and the economy – leading all four candidates in social media mentions on those topics, which were billed as the key issues of last night’s debate. Among the four candidates measured – Rubio mentions represented 30 percent of the conversation on jobs, taxes and the economy, while Trump grabbed 25 percent, Bush 23 percent and Carson 22 percent,” reports O’Neill and Associates senior VP Cosmo Macero. More debate social media metrics here: http://bit.ly/1koQfKG

Tiverton casino will target Mass. gamblers 

Residents in Tiverton, R.I. will vote next week on a proposed casino that would be located within 500 feet of the Massachusetts border and is expected to draw a significant number of gamblers from the Bay State, the Globe reports. http://bit.ly/1PC2WwJ

Theater subsidies step into spotlight 

Amid debate about the state of live theater and culture in the Hub, Boston Magazine takes a look at proposed legislation that would provide tax credits of up to $3 million for large-scale live theater productions. A similar proposal was vetoed by Gov. Deval Patrick in 2014 and given Gov. Baker’s position on film tax credits, the current legislation could face a similar fate.  http://bit.ly/1SidtfN

T design survey may have been hacked 

On Tuesday, the MBTA unveiled new designs for its subway cars, but then quickly put the results on hold, saying it was looking into evidence the results of the online poll were manipulated, the Herald reports. Thousands of votes for the new Green and Red line cars were recorded in a matter of seconds from the same IP address, the Herald says, suggesting the Survey Monkey poll may have been hacked.  http://bit.ly/1SIeVsI

Affleck film means cash for Lawrence 

Public works crews have been busy removing street signs and other modern amenities from the streets of downtown Lawrence as the city plays host to film crews shooting a Ben Affleck movie set in the Prohibition Era, the Eagle-Tribune reports. That work is being funded by the movie production, which is also donating $100,000 to the city’s coffers. http://bit.ly/1MnxdLB

Parks chief is first Baker resignation 

Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Carol I. Sanchez has resigned, becoming one of the first departures form the Baker administration, the Globe reports. Sanchez, who was appointed in April, said she was leaving to pursue other opportunities. http://bit.ly/1SibI2b

Rural pipeline greeted with strong opposition at hearing

Residents from western Massachusetts came to the State House yesterday to oppose a bill that would allow a Kinder Morgan subsidiary to extend a pipeline into conservation land in Sandisfield. Although the matter involves rural town on the other side of the state, the bill was filed by Hingham Rep. Garrett Bradley. Why he filed it and the objections to the measure are in Colin Young’s State House News Service coverage here (paywall): http://bit.ly/1RO1sPi