Friday, August 31, 2018
PAY OUR TEACHERS!
► In today’s Daily News — Longview teachers, district report progress in negotiations — Striking Longview teachers and the school district reported progress at Thursday’s bargaining session, and faculty members held a mass lunch-hour picket that involved hundreds of supporters along Ocean Beach Highway. Despite signs that the 10-day negotiating logjam may be breaking, officials canceled classes Friday, the third day of school lost to the strike.
► In today’s Columbian — Strikes continue in Clark County school districts — Strikes continued for a third day in Clark County, as teachers from six districts continued to picket in favor of higher wages. Meanwhile, bargaining teams pushed on in an effort to settle salary increases in light of new school funding legislation in the state. But with all striking districts announcing school closures through Friday, negotiators are prepared for bargaining to continue into the Labor Day weekend.
► In today’s Daily News — Teacher-strike supporter threatened with ticket for honking — Longview police Thursday issued warnings to drivers for honking in support of striking Longview teachers, a move that some strike supporters viewed as an infringement of their freedom of expression.
► In today’s News Tribune — Teacher strikes in Tacoma and Puyallup look more likely as salary negotiations stall — Teacher unions in the two school districts — the largest in Pierce County, serving a collective 52,000 students — are poised to hit the streets if they can’t reach agreements with school district leaders over hoped-for salary increases.
► In today’s Seattle Times — As negotiations continue, teachers union leader says a 3-year contract is unlikely — Two days after Seattle educators voted to authorize a strike, bargaining was still underway for a teacher contract.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane teachers ratify new contract, agree to average salary increases of 13.3 percent — Capping a first day of school like no other, Spokane Public Schools teachers ratified a new contract Thursday night that will raise their salaries by an average of 13.3 percent. Nearly all of them walked out of the Shadle Park High School gymnasium with smiles after a long but satisfying day.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Pasco teachers approve double-digit raise — Pasco teachers have approved a new two-year contract that includes a double-digit raise. A total of 607 teachers cast ballots Thursday night, with about 95 percent voting in favor.
► In today’s Peninsula Daily News — Port Angeles teachers, district agree on salary schedule — A potential teachers strike was averted late Wednesday afternoon when the Port Angeles Education Association ratified a new salary schedule for the 2018-19 school year with the Port Angeles School District that will net starting teachers $47,000 a year.
► In today’s Columbian — Battle Ground district settles with classified employees — The new three-year contract covering more than 570 classified employees includes salary increases of 6 percent for the current school year, 3 percent for the 2019-2020 school year and another 3 percent in 2020-21.
► In today’s Daily World — Hoquiam teachers contract details kept under wraps, talks progressing
► From AFT Washington — AFT Washington stands in solidarity with striking teachers — President Karen Strickland: “This is about respect and building the middle class. For decades teachers and school-support employees, whether in K-12 or higher education, have been undervalued and underpaid for their work. Educators should earn enough to have economic security and take care of their families.”
► In today’s Seattle Times — Side deals end Seattle-area construction strike for some projects — Several projects that had been sitting quiet since last week sprang back to life Thursday as the local union representing striking workers reached deals with specific contractors bargaining independently from the management group overseeing the master labor negotiations.
ALSO at The Stand — Operating Engineers Local 302 on STRIKE in Western Wash. — UPDATE — IUOE 302: “We have met and discussed with many of our dirt, vertical, paving, and crane contractors the new Master Labor Agreement of Western WA (MLAWW) option. We have voted and signed several contractors to this agreement and many more meetings and ratification votes are scheduled. This new agreement is taking hold and, once approved, our members are cleared to go to work for these contractors ASAP.”
► In the Bellingham Herald — Construction strike starting to have an impact on these big Bellingham projects — Two key projects being delayed are the Donovan Avenue water main replacement project and the road work being done in the waterfront district, formerly home to Georgia-Pacific.
► From AP — Senate Democrats urge Boeing to negotiate with union in SC — Nearly two dozen Democratic U.S. senators are calling on the Boeing Co. to negotiate with a union now representing some employees at a South Carolina plant. On Wednesday, 23 Senate Democrats penned a letter to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, asking the company to recognize the International Association of Machinists. “Boeing’s accomplishments would not have been possible without the skills, dedication, and ingenuity of the IAMWA workers that build your planes,” wrote the lawmakers, which include both senators from Washington, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray. Flight-line employees at Boeing’s North Charleston plant voted in May to join the Machinists. Boeing has appealed the vote, asking the National Labor Relations Board to toss it out because flight-line workers aren’t a distinct group from the rest of the plant.
ALSO at The Stand — Boeing South Carolina unit votes to join together with IAM (June 1, 2018)
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Boeing wins contract to build 4 carrier-based drone tankers — The drones would be used to refuel Navy fighter jets and will be built in St. Louis.
► From Politico — Trump cancels pay raises for almost 2 million federal workers — President Trump announced Thursday he was canceling across-the-board pay raises for civilian workers across the federal government, citing the “nation’s fiscal situation.” He wrote: “We must maintain efforts to put our nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases.” Under Trump’s policy, roughly 1.8 million people wouldn’t get an automatic pay boost next year… The Senate has already backed a 1.9% pay raise for civilian federal employees this year, but House Republicans have approved their own spending bill that endorses the White House’s pay freeze. Most civilian workers are slated to receive a 2.1% increase under a years-old government formula.
ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Happy Labor Day! Trump freezes federal pay — Rep. Derek Kilmer: “The President’s choice today takes money out of the pockets of tens of thousands of people in our region. It robs the folks at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard working hard so the U.S. Navy can defend us. It rips off the people managing the submarines homeported up the road at Subbase Bangor, the park rangers guiding millions of visitors through Olympic National Park this holiday weekend, the nurses and doctors at the VA medical centers serving the large group of veterans who live in our region, and the Forest Service workers who literally grow local jobs by prepping timber harvests in our federal forests.”
PREVIOUSLY at The Stand — Public servants aren’t the enemy. They’re us. (by Rep. Derek Kilmer)
► A related story from the Washington Post — Poll: 60 percent disapprove of Trump — President Trump’s disapproval rating has hit a high point of 60 percent, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll that also finds that clear majorities of Americans support the special counsel’s Russia investigation and say the president should not fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
► From Politico — Trump expected to put Congress on NAFTA alert Friday — The Trump administration is gearing up to notify Congress on Friday that it plans to sign an updated NAFTA agreement later this year — either with or without Canada.
► From Reuters — U.S., Canada slug it out as deadline looms to clinch NAFTA deal
► From HuffPost — Trump hasn’t scared American companies out of ditching U.S. workers — President Trump campaigned on the promise that he would prevent companies from laying off American workers in favor of cheaper foreign labor. So far, he hasn’t delivered. Companies are laying off workers due to foreign competition at a pace of roughly 90,000 per year since Trump’s election, according to a new report from Good Jobs Nation. That’s slightly above the average of 87,000 workers displaced annually in the five years before Trump took office.
► In today’s Washington Post — Still separated: Nearly 500 migrant children split from their parents remain in U.S. custody — Problems reaching and vetting parents, along with multiple legal challenges, are slowing efforts to reunify families.
► In today’s NY Times — The continuing tragedy of the separated children (editorial) — With its zero-tolerance barbarism, the Trump administration managed to do an impressive amount of damage in a very short time. In the six weeks the policy was in effect, more than 2,600 children were taken from their parents, with zero thought or planning for how the families might eventually be reunited.
► Today from Gallup — Labor union approval steady at 15-year high — Sixty-two percent of Americans approve of labor unions today, which is consistent with the 61% who approved last year and up from 56% in 2016. Before 2017, public support for unions hadn’t exceeded 60% since 2003, when 65% approved.
EDITOR’S NOTE — What are you waiting for? Contact a union organizer today!
► From NY Mag — Oklahoma teachers just purged the statehouse of their enemies — Tuesday night, Oklahoma’s GOP primary season came to an end — and the teachers beat the billionaires in a rout. Nineteen Republicans voted against raising taxes to increase teacher pay last spring; only four will be on the ballot this November.
► In the NY Times — Serving time should not mean ‘prison slavery’ (editorial) — Since Aug. 21, prisoners across the United States and in Canada have been on one of the largest prison strikes the nation has seen in years. They have several demands, but at the top is the end of the forced labor the state coerces out of them. Up to 800,000 prisoners a day are put out for work without their choice, usually for extremely paltry compensation that in Louisiana is as low as 4 cents per hour… Slavery still has never ended in the United States. It continues every day in our prisons. We must wash ourselves of this moral stain on our society and treat prisoners with the human rights that every person deserves.
► Happy birthday to the frontman for one of The Entire Staff of The Stand’s all-time favourite bands, Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze. Known for his silky-smooth voice and brilliant songwriting, Tilbrook is also a fantastic guitarist. In fact, the entire band was underrated for its musicianship, especially during this 1990 incarnation of Squeeze, which featured keyboardist extraordinaire Jools Holland. Enjoy!
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.