Mississippi News

Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor visits Jackson

MAE President Erica Jones (left) welcomed Acting U. S. Labor Secretary Julie Su to a round table discussion about Mississippi workers’ rights and conditions. (Photo by Robin Martea Johnson, MAE)

The Mississippi Association of Educators, along with the Mississippi AFL-CIO and the Central Mississippi Central Labor Council hosted a round-table discussion with labor leaders, workers, and community supporters on Wednesday, Feb. 14, at the Smith Robertson Museum in Jackson. Organizers provided Acting U. S. Secretary Julie Su with an opportunity to hear directly from those who are impacted by working conditions in the state – from factory workers to teachers. 

“We were pleased to help provide working people the chance to speak frankly to the Acting Secretary,” said MAE  Erica Jones who was also a member of the panel. “I think everyone there, including the over 60 people who made up the audience, were impressed with Acting Secretary Su’s understanding of the issues facing working Mississippians. For teachers and our support staff, the needs are great. We are advocating for living wages and contracts for those upon whom our schools depend to keep the doors open. Bus drivers, cafeteria workers, janitors all deserve to be paid well because they are essential to any school’s success.”

Jones, a second-grade teacher, pointed out that although the state’s school funding formula has only been fully funded twice in its over two decades of existence, suddenly there is a push for vouchers and school choice which stands to further underfund public schools. “We are not in support of the proposed program where tax money turns into tuition for private schools,” she said.

Among those who were on the panel in addition to  Jones were LaKeisha Preston, CWA/ Call Center Workers; Johnny Byrd, MASE/CWA; Lorena Quiroz, Immigrant Alliance for Justice and Equity (IAJE); Ebony Rice, Jackson Federation of Teachers; Shambae Jones, Corporation Jackson; Frank Figgers, One Voice; Morris Mock, Nissan Worker; and Brian McMurray, IBEW.

Former State Representative Jim Evans was event facilitator.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *