AFL-CIO: American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Orgranization 

ARRA: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

agency shop: A union security clause whereby all members of a bargaining unit must pay a service fee, the equivalent of dues, whether or not they are union members. 

aggregate: a group of idea formed by combing different elements

apprentice: An individual in training for a skilled trade.

arbitration: The referral of collective bargaining or grievance disputes to an impartial third party. Usually the arbitrator's decision is final and binding, although there is "advisory arbitration" in which the decision of the arbitrator is taken under advisement by the parties.


bargaining unit: A specified group of employees empowered to bargain collectively with their employer.

BCTC: Building Construction Trades Council

BCTD: Building Construction Trades Department

blue-collar workers: Those in private and public employment who engage in manual labor or the skilled trades.

boycott: The term originated in 1880 when an Irish landowner, Captain Charles Boycott, was denied all services. Today the expression means collective pressure on employers by refusal to buy their goods or services.

BOBS: "Band of Brothers & A Sister" - nickname for the four founders of Emerald Cities, Joel Rogers, Gerry Hudson, Phil Thompson, & Denise Fairchild

BREAD‑AND‑BUTTER UNIONISM: Also called "business unionism" or "pure‑and‑simple unionism." Adolph Strasser, president of the Cigar‑Makers Union and one of the founders of the AFL, once told a Congressional Committee: "We have no ultimate ends. We are going from day to day. We fight only for immediate objectives‑‑objectives that will be realized in a few years‑-we are all practical men."



COWS: Center on Wisconsin Strategy 

central labor council: A city or county federation of local unions which are affiliated with different national or inter­national unions.

checkoff: A clause in union contract authorizing the employer to deduct dues or service fees from employees' paychecks and remit them to the union.

collective bargaining: The determination of wages and other conditions of employment by direct negotiations between the union and employer.CDFI: Community Development Financial Institutions

CWA: Community Workforce Agreement. Used to enforce local source hiring, specify required skills, set apprenticeship utilization rates for contractors, make explicit the assumption that union-employer partnerships provide vocational training, and specifically increase the number of and access to union jobs for low-income residents, people of color, and women. See the Partnership For Working Families' description for more information.

company store: A store operated by a company for its em­ployees. Often prices were higher here than elsewhere. Oc­casionally, workers were paid in script redeemable only at the company store.

company union: An employee association organized, con­trolled, and financed by the employer. Outlawed by the Na­tional Labor Relations Act.

 conciliation: An attempt by an impartial third party to reconcile differences between labor and management.

conspiracy cases: The Philadelphia cordwainers' case in 1806 and subsequent decisions involving labor disputes declared unions to be unlawful conspiracies. In 1842 the court decision in Commonwealth v. Hunt said that under certain circum­stances unions were lawful.

consultation: Clauses in union contracts or in some state laws applicable to public employees stating that management must consult the union before making any major personnel changes.

contract labor: Workers signed a contract in Colonial times making them indentured servants for the life of the agree­ment. The system was later used to import Orientals into California and Hawaii and Italians and Greeks for work on the East Coast. It was bitterly fought by organized labor for the contract worker meant low wage competition.

cooperative store: A nonprofit store that is collectively owned and operated for the benefit of both the seller and the shopper.

cost-of-living index: The Consumer Price Index prepared by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Index measures changes in the cost of living month by month, year by year.

 CLPHA (claa-fuh): The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities 

craft unions: Trade unions organized along lines of their skilled crafts. They formed the base of the American Federa­tion of Labor.


daywork: The worker is paid a fixed amount for the day rather than being paid a salary or being paid for the individual piece produced.

discrimination: Unequal treatment of workers because of race, sex, religion, nationality, or union membership.

DOE (d.o.e.): U.S. Department of Energy 

DOL (d.o.l.): U.S. Department of Labor 

dual-unionism: The AFL expelled most CIO unions in 1937 for dual unionism because industrial unions were encroaching on the jurisdiction of craft unions within factories.



ECC: Emerald Cities Collaborative

employment Act: Passed in 1946 by a Congress which intended to establish machinery to maintain full employment. A Council of Economic Advisers was created to survey the status of the American economy and to advise the President. The Act, however, failed to solve the unemployment problem.

escalator clause: A clause in the union contract which provides for a cost‑of‑living increase in wages by relating wages to changes in consumer prices. Usually the Consumer Price Index is used as the measure of price changes.

equity: fairness and inclusion

ESCo: energy service company 


FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT: Passed in 1938, this law set minimum wages and overtime rates and prohibited child labor for industry connected with interstate commerce.

fall river system: The factory system which employed men, women, and children and made no special provisions for their housing.

featherbedding:  Employing more workers than are actually necessary to complete a task.

free rider: A worker in the bargaining unit who refuses to join the union but accepts all the benefits negotiated by the union. Also called a "freeloader."

friendly societies: Early labor groups formed by workers for social and philanthropic purposes.

fringe benefits: Negotiated gains other than wages such as vacations, holidays, pensions, insurance and supplemental unemployment benefits.



goon: A person brought in from the outside to break strikes and union‑organizing attempts.

government by injunction: The use of the injunction by government to break strikes. 

green: in support of the social and political movement that encompasses global environmental protection.

grievance committee: A committee within the local union which processes grievances arising from the violation of the contract, state or federal law, or an abuse of a shop's past practice.


handicraft system: A pre‑industrial system where the skilled artisan found identity, pride, and self‑worth in his work.

high road: sustainable, high wage, and inclusive.

hot cargo: A clause in a union contract which says that workers cannot be compelled to handle goods from an employer involved in a strike.

HUD (huhd): U.S. Housing and Urban Development 



impressment: The act of forcing American seamen into the service of the British Navy.

improvement factor: An annual wage increase negotiated by the union and management which recognizes that the rising productivity of workers contributes to the company's profit­ability.

incentive pay: A system based on the amount of production turned out by workers.

industrial union: A union which includes all the workers in an industry regardless of their craft. Industrial unions formed the base of the CIO.

injunction: A court order which prohibits a party from taking a particular course of action, such as picketing in the case of a union on strike.

IBEW (i.b.e.w.): International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

international union: A union with members in both the United States and Canada.

IUPAT (i.u. pat): The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades


journeyman: A worker who has completed his apprenticeship in a trade or craft and is therefore considered a qualified skilled worker.

jurisdictional disputes: Arguments among unions over which union represents workers at a job site.


Kinetic energy:  Energy available as a result of motion that varies directly in proportion to an object's mass and the square of its velocity.


LEED: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - provides building owners and operators with a framework for practical and measurable green building and construction

LISC (lis-c): Local Initiatives Support Corporation - helps residents transform distressed neighborhoods into healthy and sustainable communities 

LIUNA (lee-oo-nuh or lahy-oo-nuh): Laborer’s International Union of North America - fights for wages and benefits, safer jobs, and better opportunities 

local council: Any of the Emerald Cities operating committees, made up of representatives from community, labor, business, and government. 

local director: Any director of an Emerald Cities local council



moonlighting: Working more than one job

MUSH+: Municipal, university, school, and housing building markets, plus multifamily buildings.



National priorities list:  The Environmental Protection Agency's list of the most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites identified for possible long-term remedial action under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The list is based primarily on the score a site receives from the Environmental Protection Agency Hazard Ranking System. The Environmental Protection Agency is required to update the National Priorities List at least once a year. 


Off-hours equipment reduction:  A conservation feature where there is a change in the temperature setting or reduction in the use of heating, cooling, domestic hot water heating, lighting or any other equipment either manually or automatically.


partner: an organization or representative that has agreed to work with Emerald Cities under the ECC brand, locally or nationally

productivity: The measure of efficiency in production. The comparison of resources used in creating goods and services. If the same resources that were used in the past produce more goods and services, productivity has increased.

PHA: Public Housing Authority



QEBC: Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds - intended to create jobs and finance clean energy products that save energy and put Americans back to work 



renewable: efficiently using a resource so that it is not depleted or permanently damaged, or, so it is replenished and extended.

retrofit: adjustment for a new purpose or need 



SEIU: Service Employees International Union - labor union representing about 1.8 million workers in over 100 occupations in the United States

sustainable: efficiently using a resource so that it is not depleted or permanently damaged, or, so it is replenished and extended.



TA: technical assistance



USGBC: U.S. Green Building Council - dedicated to sustainable building design and construction

utilities (or public utilities): the set of services provided by public organizations and consumed by the public, such as electricity, natural gas, water, and sewage.



Zoning: local laws established to control the uses of land within a particular area. Zoning laws are used to separate residential land from areas of non-residential use, such as industry or businesses. Zoning ordinances include many provisions governing such things as type of structure, setbacks, lot size, and uses of a building.

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