Wednesday, September 16, 2015
► From The Stand — Safe staffing saves lives! Support UWMC nurses TODAY at 3:30! — Safe staffing saves lives. It really is that simple. More than 1,500 Registered Nurses at the University of Washington Medical Center represented by the Washington State Nurses Association have been in contract negotiations for months and have now involved a mediator. Safe staffing levels remains one of the key unresolved issues between the nurses and management. Join these RNs for a “March on Montlake” informational picket and rally TODAY from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Meet on the sidewalk in front of the main entrance of the UWMC, 1959 NE Pacific St., at 3:30 p.m. for a short rally with speakers and then proceed to walk to the nearby Montlake Bridge.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Union suspends strike; school to start Thursday in Seattle — The Seattle Education Association’s board of directors and its representative assembly both voted to recommend approval of a tentative agreement.
ALSO at The Stand — Seattle teachers suspend strike, back to work
► MUST-READ in today’s Seattle Times — Seattle teachers strike not all about money in the end (by Danny Westneat) — It turned out the teachers compromised on their pay demands to take a stand on other classroom issues… That the only forceful, official condemnation of our local teachers strike came from 2,000 miles away — and from one of the nation’s most polarizing figures in labor relations (Scott Walker) — just about says it all. It’s a major reason why the teachers just concluded their strike with relatively little fuss.
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Kelso schools closed Wednesday as teachers strike — Despite 11th-hour negotiations between Kelso’s teachers union and the district Tuesday, schools will be closed today. In a letter to parents, the district said “there will be no access to schools until the strike is over.” The Kelso Education Association voted “overwhelmingly” Monday night to go on strike effective Wednesday morning.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Pasco teachers union pays $5,600 fine — The Pasco teachers union has paid $5,600 in court-ordered fines for continuing its strike against the Pasco School District. But a judge has yet to decided if the fines on individual union leaders must still be paid.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Haggen plans broad retreat from costly expansion, filing shows — The Bellingham grocer expects to shed most of the sites acquired in its ambitious 146-store deal, bankruptcy documents show.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Snohomish County Council to vote on mostly symbolic hiring freeze — Council members are set to vote Wednesday on imposing a hiring freeze for government employees, in another sign of unease over finances. The move might put other leaders on notice, but the main effect would be symbolic.
► In today’s Columbian — Tax info crucial for laid-off firefighters — Battle Ground will switch its firefighting contractor next year, but what that will mean for the 11 firefighters facing layoffs at Clark County Fire & Rescue in large part depends on the city’s next property tax valuation.
► From AFSCME — Risks come with job, but she loves her work — Lisa Tavarez, a community corrections specialist and member of Washington Federation of State Employees Local 308, never knows what she’ll face when she’s on the hunt for suspects, and she’s had many close calls over the years. But on Sept. 3, she had the closest call of her 14-year career. Her experience is a reminder of the risks AFSCME members in public safety take daily.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Washington marijuana sales amount to $357 million in 15 months — One-third of a billion dollars. Sales of all marijuana products topped that figure in the first 15 months recreational marijuana has been available in the state.
► In today’s P.S. Business Journal — This is why Boeing is moving slowly, deliberately as 737 Max assembly begins — Boeing is ramping up production across many of Washington state’s assembly lines and putting pressure on suppliers to keep up the pace. But there’s one place where Boeing is moving slowly and deliberately: Renton’s new 737 Max production line.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing loses contract, Ex-Im Bank standoff cited as GE shifts jobs — General Electric announced plans Tuesday to move 500 jobs overseas, and Boeing said it lost the second foreign satellite contract in recent weeks. Both corporate giants attributed those developments to the Republican-led Congress’ failure to keep the federal Export-Import Bank open to help finance new deals.
► From Politico — Ex-Im opponents scoff as GE moves jobs overseas
► From The Hill — Dems press GOP leaders to quickly renew Ex-Im
► In today’s NY Times — With possible shutdown nearing, Obama looks to take budget fight to GOP — Congress hurtled toward a government shutdown on Tuesday, with Republicans threatening to block a budget deal if it includes financing for Planned Parenthood, as President Obama prepared to join the fight by pushing Republicans to scrap a multibillion-dollar tax advantage for private equity managers.
► From AFP — UAW, Fiat Chrysler reach tentative deal — The United Auto Workers union said it had reached a tentative agreement with the U.S. subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for a new four-year labor contract. The deal will serve as a template for the UAW’s contracts with two other major US automakers — GM and Ford — which are also up for renewal.
► In today’s NY Times — Legislators in Missouri take aim at union dues — Republicans in Missouri’s General Assembly, with the support of business groups, are trying to make this the 26th state to enact what they call a “right to work” policy. The battle will reach its climax Wednesday, when the Republican-dominated General Assembly is expected to try to override Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill that would allow workers who choose not to join a union to avoid paying fees.
► In today’s NY Times — Attitudes shift on paid leave: Dads sue, too — As men shoulder more responsibilities at home, they are increasingly taking legal action against employers that they say refuse to accommodate their roles as fathers.
► From Huffington Post — Disgraced United CEO is the reason for income inequality (by Leo W. Gerard) — Jeff Smisek, the guy forced by scandal to resign last week as CEO of the world’s fourth-largest airline, is a major reason American workers can’t get a raise. Smisek and his overpaid boardroom buddies nationwide have swindled American workers and American communities in a scam to amass wealth for themselves and well-heeled stockholders. They’ve extracted value from corporations and put it in their pockets and shareholders’ purses almost to the complete exclusion of investing in their corporations to create new wealth and prosperity.
► From AFL-CIO Now — New AFL-CIO report: Landmark year in collective bargaining will raise wages for millions — Working people are achieving significant victories through the most expansive period of collective bargaining in modern labor history, according to a new report by the AFL-CIO’s Center for Strategic Research. The report represents the most comprehensive look at the current state of collective bargaining in a period when an estimated 5 million American workers will bargain for new contracts. According to the report, working people who bargained for new contracts in the first half of 2015 saw their wages increase by an average of 4.3%, an increase of $1,147 a year for an average wage earner in the United States. These increases are up from 2.9% in the first half of 2014, with substantial wage wins occurring in sectors from nursing and oil to airline pilots and teachers.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.