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Tacoma backs nurses, paying our teachers, staying human…

Thursday, December 15, 2016


NOTE TO READERS — After today, The Stand will be going on hiatus for the remainder of 2016. But we’ll be back in 2017!



► In today’s News Tribune — Tacoma General nurses rally on chilly overpass before federal mediation session — Nurses for MultiCare’s Tacoma General Hospital staged a rally at a Tacoma overpass Wednesday morning before a session with federal labor mediators. Around 200 nurses and their supporters attended the rally in subfreezing temperatures. Around 730 registered nurses who work at the hospital have been without a union contract for a year.

► In today’s News Tribune — TCC president resigns after faculty complaints — Tacoma Community College’s president, Sheila Ruhland, resigned this week, about a month after members of the college’s faculty sent a scathing letter criticizing her leadership.

► From PubliCola — Seattle council majority doubles down on pro-union position for Uber drivers — Five city council members think the standard that qualifies an Uber driver to participate in a unionization vote should be higher than the one recommended by the mayor’s team. Uber already thought the mayor’s proposal was too high, arguing that it exclude thousands of part-timers from participating.




► From CrossCut — What an Obamacare repeal would mean for Washington — As one of the most successful states under Obamacare, Washington could be one of the most vulnerable to changes in the law, and may offer one of the most pitched battles over what will replace it.

► In the PSBJ — ‘Moral outrage’ – Gutting Obamacare would hurt jobs, families and the economy, Inslee says — Getting rid of Obamacare would be a “moral outrage” and would undermine the state’s insurance market and overall economy, says Gov. Jay Inslee.

ALSO at The Stand — Affordable Care Act works, can be fixed to work better (by John Burbank)

► In today’s Seattle Times — Teacher pay is state, not local, responsibility (editorial) — The legislative committee trying to reform public-school funding now has data to confirm that Washington teachers are paid, on average, comparably to other professionals with similar requirements. However, starting pay for teachers is still woefully inadequate. The report includes local levy dollars in its assessment of how much teachers are paid. So the state’s overreliance on local tax dollars still must be fixed.At least lawmakers have a dollar amount to reach for — nearly $3 billion a biennium — as they design a new regional pay structure for teachers.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Inslee wants $300 million to fix mental-health system in state budget plan — Gov. Jay Inslee has proposed a 2017-19 state operating budget that would add billions of dollars — including hundreds of millions to the mental-health system.

► From KNKX — Will a carbon tax fly in Washington state, even after rejection of I-732? — Research from the non-profit Nature Conservancy shows Inslee’s proposal is actually consistent with what voters want, even though only about 40 percent of Washington voters supported I-732.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Race matters in our elected representatives … but not always the most (by Jerry Large) — In the diverse 37th Legislative District, another woman of color is headed to the state Senate, and that’s good. But it could have gone another way.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane’s greatest election that never was: Baumgartner vs. Knezovich vs. Shea vs. Stuckart vs. Parker vs. Brown — They all said they would run for Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ congressional seat if Donald Trump had moved forward with her nomination as Secretary of the Interior. (He didn’t.)




► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Murray to fight any Trump administration cutbacks at Hanford, PNNL — Any effort to roll back progress at the Hanford nuclear reservation or to shortchange Pacific Northwest National Laboratory under the administration of President-elect Donald Trump will be met with swift opposition, said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) She made the comment after Trump picked former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to head the Department of Energy.

► In today’s Washington Post — What happens to the working class when millionaires and billionaires are in charge — Researchers have found evidence of a natural gulf between the policy positions of the wealthy and the working class in the United States — and they’ve found that the preferences of the wealthy have been far more likely to translate into action. … researchers of people in or near the top 1 percent of wealth holders showed that extremely wealthy Americans were more likely than the population as a whole to support cutting Social Security, food stamps and health care, as well as somewhat more likely to support cutting homeland security, environmental protection and job programs. They were less likely to support labor unions, increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit and providing unemployment benefits.

► In today’s NY Times — Democrats at crossroads: Win back working-class whites, or let them go? — It is a sensitive topic, touching on race and class, but the choices that Democrats make in the coming months will shape their post-Obama identity and carry major implications in both the midterm elections of 2018 and the next presidential race.

► In today’s Washington Post — Ellison calls for ‘3,007-county strategy’ in DNC bid

► In today’s NY Times — To combat Trump, Democrats ready a GOP tactic: lawsuits — Some of the country’s more liberal state attorneys general have vowed to use their power to check and balance Trump’s Washington.

► In today’s Washington Post — Report ranks best and worst agencies for federal employees — The ratings indicate that the best places to work are NASA, among large agencies; the FDIC, among midsize agencies; and the National Endowment for the Arts, among small agencies. The worst places to work in the same categories are the Department of Homeland Security, the FEC and the Secret Service.

► From the Atlantic — The National Park Service has a big sexual harassment problem — In January 2016, the Department of the Interior released a report revealing that female employees of the River District of the Grand Canyon had been sexually harassed for years, and that park and regional administrators had known and failed to stop it. Since then, women working in parks, monuments and historic sites across the country have come forward alleging on-the-job sexual harassment, assault and gender discrimination. Many of them, like Olivia, are worried about retaliation and have asked to remain anonymous.

ALSO at The Stand — What you can do if you are targeted, harassed at work




► In today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch — As a right-to-work law appears inevitable, Missouri AFL-CIO turns to voters — As GOP lawmakers and an incoming governor vow to make Missouri the 27th right-to-work state, Missouri AFL-CIO President Mike Louis has filed several versions of an initiative petition that would amend the state constitution to protect union negotiating rights.

► From WTOP — Hundreds of workers go on strike at Reagan National, Dulles — Hundreds of contracted airport service workers walked off the job Wednesday morning at Dulles International and Reagan National airports, speaking out against their employer and demanding to be paid a minimum of $15 an hour.

► In today’s WSJ — NBA, players reach tentative agreement on labor deal — The NBA and its players have agreed to keep the most lucrative era in league history rolling. The sides agreed in principle on a new collective bargaining agreement, one that could last up to seven years and needs now only to be ratified by players and owners in the coming weeks.




► With The Stand going on hiatus for the rest of the year, The Entire Staff first intended to post a video by one of the many great musicians we lost in 2016. But sadly, there were too many to choose from, and given the other tragedy of 2016 and the trepidation many of us feel about 2017, we picked this song by Michael Franti, an outspoken singer/rapper/poet on peace and social justice issues. It’s from the band’s album Stay Human, about which Franti says, “Half the record is songs about what’s happening in the world right now, and the other half is about how we cope with it as people who are concerned about what’s going on.” Plus, this song brings the funk. Enjoy.


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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