Thursday, August 23, 2018
PAY OUR TEACHERS!
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Longview teachers go on strike — Longview teachers will go on strike Thursday morning after decisively rejecting the district’s offer for a 6.9 percent average pay raise. About 93 percent of union members present voted to strike during a Wednesday evening meeting at which union leaders reviewed the district’s offer.
ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Longview teachers reject contract, STRIKE
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane teachers urge school board to give $28 million in pay raises — Teachers turned up in large numbers and turned up the volume Wednesday night in their ongoing contract talks with the Spokane Public Schools district. As hundreds of their colleagues cheered outside, teachers and support staff urged the school board during its weekly meeting to commit nearly $28 million in pay increases from funds provided by the recently finalized McCleary decision.
► In today’s Columbian — Battle Ground teachers vote overwhelmingly to strike
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Richland teachers accept 22 percent pay raise over 3 years. Still no deal in Pasco
► In the Wenatchee World — New contract allows for teacher pay increases, class load limits
► In the Daily World — Aberdeen School District adds mediator to handle AEA negotiations
► In the Daily World — Hoquiam School District negotiations underway
► In today’s Columbian — Are teacher strikes illegal? Depends on who you ask — Teacher strikes are illegal in Washington state, but they still happen. And the reality is, while strikes may be illegal, there’s no law setting penalties against public employees who do strike.
► In today’s Yakima H-R — Teachers union says it’s ‘on solid ground’ with strike — Yakima Education Association President Steve McKenna said the union isn’t worried that strikes by public employees aren’t technically legal under Washington state law.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Report finds Rep. Matt Manweller engaged in a pattern of inappropriate behavior with female students — An investigation into Washington state Rep. Matt Manweller has found that he engaged in a pattern of inappropriate behavior with female students while he was a professor at Central Washington University, including allegations of unwanted touching, suggestive conversations and “offering an educational benefit in exchange for sex.” … One of his former students said Manweller leaned in, put his hand on her leg during a meeting, and said “There’s always a way for you to get an A in this class.” She understood him to mean that a sexual favor could earn her a positive grade, according to the report.
► In today’s News Tribune — Spokane lawmaker gets free pass on press-bashing. Why? (editorial) — When state Rep. Matt Shea (R-Spokane Valley) stood in front of a crowd last Saturday and lambasted the media, calling them, “dirty, godless, hateful people,” we immediately saw it for what it was: a watershed moment for House Republicans to stand up and repudiate such remarks.
PREVIOUSLY at The Stand — It’s up to Republicans to hold Rep. Matt Shea accountable (March 2016) — Now that there are reports that Rep. Matt Shea aided and abetted domestic terrorists, one wonders if any Republicans in Washington will muster the courage to call him out.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Yesterday, the Associated Press office in Los Angeles went into lockdown after some nutbag called and threatened: “At some point we’re just gonna start shooting you fucking assholes.” A couple of months ago a gunman blasted his way into the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Md., and killed five employees. Irresponsible hate speech targeted at anyone, including journalists, can have life-or-death consequences.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — State to fight Trump’s coal plant plan — Washington state plans to sue the Trump administration over its proposal to dismantle pollution rules that would have increased federal regulation of emissions from coal-fired power plants, Gov. Jay Inslee said Wednesday.
► In today’s News Tribune — We’re all breathing smoke, but climate change hits some people harder than others (by Matt Driscoll) — As a report from the University of Washington and Front and Centered details, factors like where you live, where you work and your access to health care will greatly influence your ability to cope with the impacts with man-made climate change.
ALSO at The Stand — Report: Vulnerable communities face greater climate change risks
► In today’s Washington Post — White House grapples with Cohen, Manafort convictions — Inside President Trump’s orbit, there is a debate: Some confidants see this week — in which two of his former aides were convicted in federal courts — as an unsettling inflection point. Others just see yet another round of problems that are not a danger to Trump.
► From Politico — ‘It is what it is’: Republicans shrug off Trump’s legal meltdown — Twenty-four hours after one of the most damaging days for Donald Trump’s presidency, the Republican wall of support around him shows no signs of crumbling. Though some GOP senators expressed discomfort with the the plea deal reached by Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and the guilty verdict rendered on former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, there has been no seismic shift in the GOP after a bombshell Tuesday. Some Republicans attacked Cohen as not credible, some said Manafort’s conviction has nothing to do with Trump and others still said the matter doesn’t fall in their purview as senators.
► In today’s NY Times — Congress, do your job (editorial) — Congress remains crouched and trembling in a dark corner, hoping this is all a bad dream. It’s not. Republican lawmakers need to buck up, remind themselves of their constitutional responsibilities and erect some basic guardrails to ensure that — in a fit of rage, panic or mere pique — this president does not wake up one morning and decide to drive American democracy off a cliff.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Instead of daring to criticize the president, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has invited his biggest (and perhaps most truth-challenged) defender, Kellyanne Conway, to appear at her private fundraiser in Spokane on Friday. Meanwhile, in Tri-Cities, Rep. Dan Newhouse does his part as another brick in Trump’s real wall, refusing to comment because he “hadn’t got a chance to read about the developments” a full 24 hours after the convictions of two close Trump associates and the implication of the president himself in a felony.
► In today’s Washington Post — Kavanaugh’s confirmation must wait (by Tom Nichols, a Republican) — If Republicans cared about any principle they have ever defended before today, they would put Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings on hold. The reason: We are now in the opening phase of a political crisis brought about by the guilty plea entered in federal court on Tuesday by the president’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen. Trump is now in a position to place a justice on the court who could well end up deciding essential matters as they pertain to the rule of law and to the president personally. This requires a deliberate pause.
► In today’s Washington Post — Not just misleading. Not merely false. A lie. — One of the distinguishing characteristics of Donald Trump’s presidency has been his loose relationship with facts. As of the beginning of this month, The Washington Post’s Fact Checker had documented 4,229 false or misleading claims from the president — an average of nearly 7.6 a day. But the Fact Checker has been hesitant to call them “lies,” as it is difficult to document whether the president knows he is not telling the truth. Until now. This week’s guilty plea by Cohen offers indisputable evidence that Trump and his allies have been deliberately dishonest at every turn in their statements regarding payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal.
► From USA Today — UPS, mechanics union reach deal for 31 percent raise over 5 years — Leaders of the UPS aircraft mechanics union (Teamsters Local 2727) are declaring victory in securing a tentative new contract they say will deliver the country’s best pay and benefits. The pact “sets a new bar for aircraft mechanics in the U.S. airline industry, with pay rates and benefits that surpass those at FedEx and all other major U.S.-based carriers,” Teamsters Local 2727 said in a statement. “Upon ratification of the new contract, Local 2727 members will become the highest paid aviation mechanics in the country by a wide margin.” If ratified as expected, the 1,300 members of the Louisville-based union would receive raises of about 16 percent now with 3-percent annual pay hikes.
GET PAID! — Union wages average 25% higher than nonunion. What are you waiting for? Click here to contact a union organizer today!
► From The 74 — Teachers unions claim they are beating back Janus threat, but it may take more than a year to really know — To hear the unions tell it, the Janus decision has brought about an upsurge in membership. Last month, New York State United Teachers President Andrew Pallotta claimed 9,000 members recommitted to the union the first two weeks after the decision was announced, and only nine dropped out. United Teachers Los Angeles President Alex Caputo-Pearl told a gathering of union activists that the number of non-members had been cut in half. Frank Flynn, president of the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Healthcare Professionals, said “well over 90 percent″ of his members have recommitted.
► In the San Jose Mercury News — California’s proposed ban on mandatory arbitration moves ahead with state Senate vote — A #MeToo-driven bill that would ban California employers from requiring workers to sign arbitration agreements forcing them to negotiate with companies over mistreatment rather than haul them into court has taken its last step before hitting the governor’s desk for a signature or veto.
► In the Washington Post — This is the moment all of Trump’s anti-media rhetoric has been working toward (by Margaret Sullivan) — Don’t believe your eyes and ears. Believe only me. That has been President Trump’s message to the public for the past two years, pounded in without a break: The press is the enemy. The news is fake. Trump has done his best to prepare the ground for a moment like Tuesday afternoon. It arrived with an extraordinary bang. Within an single, frantic hour, the world learned that Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, had become felons. Trump himself was implicated in Cohen’s crime. But in a divided, disbelieving nation, will this really turn out to be the epic moment it looks like? Or will Trump’s intense, years-long campaign to undermine the media — and truth itself — pay off now, in the clutch?
Regrettably, the press itself — maligned and beaten up as it is — nevertheless is Trump’s invaluable partner in distraction. It is prone to normalizing even the most bizarre behavior, trumpeting his spin, failing to follow up aggressively (North Korea denuclearization, anyone?) and insisting on giving precious airtime to proven liars… Journalists can’t change the minds of those most firmly in Trump’s camp, those who have decided to believe only him. That’s a lost cause, and not our mission anyway. But they can stop allowing themselves to be used as tools in Trump’s relentless — and successful — campaign to undermine the truth. And do so knowing that it may be too late.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.