Thursday, September 10, 2015
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Pasco schools closed Thursday as teachers strike continues — The Pasco School District’s teachers strike will continue for at least a seventh day Thursday as the district canceled classes for all 21 of its schools and Delta High. As contract talks continue, no teacher contract was reached Wednesday to end the strike that began Sept. 1.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Empty classes, no talks as Seattle schools stalemate continues — As Seattle teachers prepared to walk the picket lines for a second day Thursday, district officials are saying they simply don’t have enough money to pay educators as much as they’re asking. While Seattle officials said they expected to resume negotiations Thursday, union President Jonathan Knapp said his group is not planning to resume talks until district leaders signal “that they have some new ideas.” He said union leaders plan to meet with a mediator Thursday, and will determine their next steps after that.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Pay varies widely for Washington state teachers — Teacher pay is a complicated mix of state and local dollars: Teachers get a base salary from the state, which on average is 81% of teachers’ salaries. Another chunk of the pay comes from local districts, funded by local property tax levies. That supplemental amount was introduced in the 1970s and was supposed to be for extra tasks, but it has increased over time. This, the state Supreme Court found, has led to an uneven education system in which wealthier school districts are able to raise more money than poorer ones.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane Public Schools board accepts 1-year teacher contract
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Washington education chief wants special session on charter schools — Superintendent of Public Schools Randy Dorn urged Gov. Jay Inslee to call a special session to address Friday’s decision on charter schools, as well as an earlier ruling that the Legislature has not developed a plan to deal with another legal problem: the way some school districts use local tax money to pay for expenses that are the responsibility of the state.
ALSO at The Stand — Having the public education system we want costs money (by John Burbank)
► In today’s News Tribune — Spanaway Haggen grocery workers lament their dilemma — The news Wednesday that their employer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection didn’t surprise three workers at a Spanaway Haggen grocery that is currently hosting a liquidation sale. They aren’t sure when the store will close. They aren’t sure of many things… Said Elijah Ellis: “It’s like having a rug pulled out from under us.”
► In today’s P.S. Business Journal — Here’s how much Haggen owes former CEO, workers, creditors — Struggling Bellingham grocery chain Haggen owes its top 30 unsecured creditors more than $55.1 million. The company, which employs 10,880 workers, estimated it owes employees about $10 million in unpaid salaries, accrued wages and overtime pay as of Sept. 8.
► From KPLU — Alaska Airlines asks state Supreme Court to reverse SeaTac minimum wage decision — Alaska Airlines and other businesses are now asking the Washington Supreme Court to reverse its recent opinion, in which five of nine justices ruled that SeaTac’s minimum wage applies to workers at Sea-Tac International Airport.
► From Working WA — With new motion, Alaska Airlines once again attempts to block good jobs from arriving at SeaTac Airport — At this point it is clear that Alaska Air CEO Brad Tildon doesn’t have a legal strategy. He has a strategy of delay for delay’s sake.
► A related story in the Seattle Times — (Alaska Air spokesman) Russell Wilson buys $6.7 million waterfront mansion in Bellevue — The mansion is 10,210 square feet with towering ceilings, a master bedroom with glass turret providing a 180-degree view, seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms.
EDITOR’S NOTE — @DangeRussWilson: “You cannot serve God and money.” Matthew 6:24 #AlaskaErr
► In the P.S. Business Journal — Boeing bumps up 767 production rate — Boeing’s 767 wide-body jet, which teetered on the edge of extinction just seven years ago, is about to get a production boost — from 1.5 to 2.5 planes per month.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing picks Mukilteo firm to supply equipment to assemble 777X wing — Mukilteo-based engineering firm Electroimpact has won a contract to supply Boeing with the equipment that will assemble the giant wing of the forthcoming 777X jet.
► From The Hill — Clinton lands third union endorsement — The International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, a group with about 80,000 members, said in a statement that “no presidential candidate is better qualified than Hillary Clinton to occupy the White House.”
► From Reuters — Sanders overtakes Clinton in Iowa — Bernie Sanders leads the former secretary of state for the first time among Iowa Democrats likely to caucus in February, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll. The Vermont senator’s advantage is within the margin of error — he took 41 percent compared with Clinton’s 40 percent.
► From Reuters — Republican hopeful Scott Walker to go national with labor plans — A source familiar with Walker’s plans said the governor would deliver a major policy speech on the matter in Las Vegas, home to many unionized workers employed by casinos and the hospitality industry.
► In today’s Washington Post — Jeb’s! tax plan would add trillions to deficit — The GOP candidate’s long-awaited plan calls for only three tax brackets and would slash corporate rates.
► From TPM — How Donald Trump threatens to blow up bipartisan criminal justice reform — Instead of talking about criminal justice reform, the GOP primary contenders are warning of a supposed nationwide crime spike, touting the mandatory-minimums in “Kate’s Law,” and lobbing “soft on crime” accusations.
► From Reuters — U.S. to focus more on executives, not just companies, in criminal cases — The U.S. Justice Department has issued new guidelines that emphasize prosecuting individual executives in white-collar crime cases, and not just their corporations.
► From The Hill — Federal contractors tell Obama: Stop picking on us — Federal contractors say they are being unfairly targeted as President Obama pushes an agenda that’s focused on raising wages and creating safer workplaces. Since 2009, the President has issued 13 executive orders that have led to 16 regulations applying to companies that do business with the government.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Here’s an idea: If you don’t want to pay livable wages, offer paid sick leave or make jobs safe then don’t seek any more federal contracts.
► From think Progress — New York could be first state with $15 minimum wage — On Thursday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) will become the first governor to call for a $15 minimum wage across his entire state. A wage hike would need to be passed by the state legislature, where the state senate is Republican-controlled.
► From the Hill — Labor group: On-demand workers should have benefits — Lawmakers should give workers in the on-demand economy access to a minimum hourly wage and benefits like unemployment regardless of whether they are considered employees or independent contractors, The National Employment Law Project said in a report released Wednesday.
► From the Onion — 6-year-old data entry prodigy already entertaining offers from major temp agencies (video) — “We’ll do anything short of giving him benefits or a full-time position to get him on our team,” says Richard Downs, a temp agency HR director.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.