The Stand

Bailout goes bust, public worker beatings, SPEEA…

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OCCUPY THE CAPITOL

 

► Today in The Stand — Faces of the 99% swarm Capitol, oppose cuts — Our roundup of Tuesday news coverage of the Occupy the Capitol protests.

(Click here for more information about continuing actions this week in Olympia.)

 


STATE GOVERNMENT

 

► In today’s Yakima H-R — Community Health Centers face hard hits from budget cuts — About 100 people symbolically crowded into local hospital emergency rooms Tuesday, hoping to point out that cuts to community health clinics would unfairly send more Yakima Valley residents to ERs where care is more expensive.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Some cuts at state prison to be felt at Coyote Ridge — The Coyote Ridge Corrections Center in Connell seemed like a safe haven to some state prison workers who were displaced with recent prison closures and budget cuts. But those same workers may be the ones to lose their jobs as the state Department of Corrections cuts staff at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.

► From AP — Chances look slim for Wenatchee arena bailout plan — Lawmakers on Tuesday struggled to corral enough support for a bailout plan that would make a key bond payment this week for a Wenatchee-area agency on the verge of default. Rep. Cary Condotta (R-East Wenatchee), a sponsor of the measure, said the package doesn’t have enough support in his Republican caucus.

► In today’s Wenatchee World — Local officials testify on arena rescue bill — Incoming Wenatchee Mayor Frank Kuntz apologized to state senators for their being asked to bail out the Town Toyota Center debt and pledged that the city will take necessary steps to pay back a proposed state loan to fix the problem.

 


TODAY’S MUST-READ

 

► At Washington Policy Watch — Must the public worker beatings continue until morale improves? (by Brendan Williams) — Even Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, despite a series of anti-union measures contributing toward a current recall effort directed against him, had not sought to increase health care premium costs for state workers to the level now required in Washington state. A Wisconsin state worker now pays $208 a month for family health care coverage.  In comparison, the choice between three substantive Washington benefits plans would cost a state worker’s family from $236-288 a month.

In Oregon, the state worker share of health care premium costs just went up to a historic high of 5% — just one-third of the burden in Washington. To help ease that burden Oregon state workers will receive a 1.5% cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) next month, coupled with a 1.45% COLA in January 2013.  A 2.95% COLA looks pretty good compared to the 3% pay cut state workers here were forced to take, along with their increased health care costs.

 


LOCAL

 

Meanwhile, in Clallam County, yet another story of sacrifices made by public employees to preserve jobs and critical local services…

► In today’s Peninsula Daily News — Union vote averts 16 Clallam County dismissals — Sixteen county workers who received layoff notices last week will keep their jobs after an emergency meeting of the Teamsters Local 589, where union members voted overwhelmingly to accept wage concessions to save the jobs. The concessions are the same as those approved by six AFSCME unions at the county: 16 unpaid furlough days and deferred cost-of-living pay raises.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Residents oppose closure of Pasco mail facility — Almost 100 people shot their hands into the air when asked if they opposed the closure of the USPS Pasco Processing & Distribution Center. Loss of local jobs, how delivery changes would affect local businesses and the relatively insignificant savings were the concerns raised.

ALSO SEE — Attend USPS public meetings on processing plant closures — Next up: WENATCHEE this Thursday, Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. at the Red Lion Hotel, 1225 N. Wenatchee Ave.

► At IAM 751’s blog — Machinists at regional landfill ratify contract — Members of Machinists Union Local Lodge 1951 voted 82% “yes” to ratify the deal with Allied Waste, which owns the regional landfill at Roosevelt, the state’s largest regional landfill.

► At SeattlePI.com — Female jail workers allege years of sexual harassment at workplace — A group of female jail workers at King County’s Regional Justice Center have filed claims alleging two of their coworkers sexually harassed them for years.

 


BOEING

 

► At HeraldNet.com — SPEEA, Spirit reach tentative deal in Wichita — The union is recommending its 2,300 represented professional and technical workers should accept the contract. “The increase in membership we experienced in the past two months made a remarkable difference,” said Bill Hartig, chair of the SPEEA negotiation team. “The company listened to their employees and made significant improvements to their previous offer.”

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Boeing’s Albaugh upbeat on 787 production, 737 MAX orders — The company already has 700 order commitments from nine customers for its refreshed 737. The jet maker has “additional commitments that you’re going to hear very soon,” he said.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing orders likely to survive American Airline bankruptcy

 


NATIONAL

 

► At AFL-CIO Now — 300,000 say ‘Recall Walker’ in petition drive’s first 12 days — In just 12 days, more than 300,000 Wisconsin voters have signed petitions to hold a recall election of Gov. Scott Walker.  The 60-day window to gather 540,000 signatures to qualify for an election ends Jan. 17.

► At The Hill — Republican wildcard in NLRB vote — The NLRB’s vote Wednesday to move forward on a contentious union election rule could rest on the shoulders of one man. Brian Hayes, the lone Republican member of the labor board, threatened to resign or withhold his participation after the NLRB began to push forward on the rule. The possibility of his declining to take part in Wednesday’s vote — perhaps by not attending — has raised questions about whether the NRLB has the power to move forward with the proposed regulation.

► In today’s NY Times — Lines grow long for free meals at U.S. schools — Millions of American schoolchildren are receiving free or low-cost meals for the first time as their parents, many once solidly middle class, have lost jobs or homes during the economic crisis, qualifying their families for the decades-old safety-net program.

► In today’s NY Times — Support for Tea Party falls in strongholds, polls show — In Congressional districts represented by Tea Party lawmakers, the number of people saying they disagree with the movement has risen significantly since it powered a Republican sweep in midterm elections.

► In today’s NY Times — In bankruptcy, a bid to cut costs at American Airlines — Airlines have used federal bankruptcy rules in the past to force new contracts on their employees, and American may now take a tougher position with its own unions.

► In today’s NY Times — Britons strike as government extends austerity measures — Public sector workers begin Britain’s biggest strike in a generation to protest austerity measures, a day after the British government said that the measures would drag on for two more years.

 


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 9 a.m. These links are functional at the date of posting, but sometimes expire.

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