A recent incident on a Pioneer Valley Transit Authority bus has set off a surge of advocacy efforts in support of the right of mothers to breastfeed in public places. On June 16, a PVTA driver asked a woman to stop nursing her baby daughter. When she refused, he insisted that she, the baby, and her 7-year-old son get off the bus.
Jon Weissman was a mailman in Springfield, Mass. for 25 years before he was elected president of that city’s Letter Carriers’ union. He now runs the western Mass. chapter of a national group, Jobs With Justice www.jwj.org
We need a system that guarantees quality, affordable health care for everyone in America, and that:
-has the clout to force insurance companies to improve the coverage they offer and contain health care costs;
-guarantees standard, comprehensive benefits at an affordable price;
Misty Bassi, 33, was killed while riding her bicycle in Amherst around 10:30 a.m. on May 25. The motorist fled the scene, but police caught them. The punishment for someone who kills a person with their car is usually much weaker than when a gun is used. Bassi was a janitor at UMass. The driver of the vehicle that killed Bassi was Parvin Niroomand.
The 2,500 or so grad student employees at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst do more teaching and research than the 1,000 or so professors there. The grad students are paid about $12,000 per year for 20 hours a week of work. The professors make around $100,000 per year for 40 hours of work per week.
UMass Amherst is one of the biggest employers in the Valley. The wages it pays its workers affect the region's economy, and influence wages other local employers pay, according to UMass Amherst economist and labor studies professor Stephanie Luce.
The proposal to establish an Amherst Affordable Housing Trust Fund, known as Article Six, was defeated in the Nov. 10 special town meeting, but town officials are hopeful it will pass in the spring.
Town officials said the article was defeated primarily due to fear of the town being liable for debt incurred by the Trust.
According to the Amherst town Web site, the Trust's "purpose shall be to provide for the creation and preservation of affordable housing for the benefit of low and moderate income households."