Thursday, December 13, 2018
► In today’s Columbian — VPS support staff to hold strike vote if no contract by Feb. 1 — The Vancouver Association of Educational Support Professionals on Wednesday raised the stakes in their ongoing negotiations with Vancouver Public Schools. About 500 paraeducators, clerks, secretaries and other support staff voted unanimously to hold a strike vote if a deal is not reached by Feb. 1. “We’re hoping they listen,” VAESP President Andrea Adams said. “These are all their classified employees saying we want our share of McCleary money that they sent for us.”
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Cleanup of troubled contaminated plutonium plant falls months behind schedule — Demolition of Hanford’s highly contaminated Plutonium Finishing Plant will not restart this month as expected. All involved have agreed that Hanford workers must show they can safely load contaminated debris from previous demolition work at the plant before demolition can restart again.
ALSO at The Stand — ‘Depraved action’ by Trump administration — On Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice followed through on its threat to sue Washington to try to force our state to scrap its workers’ compensation protections for sick Hanford workers.
► In today’s Wenatchee World — Confluence boosts minimum wage to $15 an hour — Confluence Health is increasing the minimum wage of its employees to $15 an hour starting Jan. 4. The change will affect 1,200 of its employees, the company said. Its current minimum wage is set at the state minimum, which is $11.50.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — When doing the job makes you a hero: 2 firefighters honored — Their rescue of twin girls in an Everett apartment fire earns Everett fire Capt. Nick Adsero and firefighter Brent Duckworth an award from American Red Cross.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Want to start a family, or employ people who do? Here’s a guide to Washington state’s new paid-leave law — Workers and businesses will start paying premiums for the state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits next month. Workers who give birth to, foster or adopt a child, or who need time off to take care of themselves or someone else, will be able to reap the benefits beginning in January 2020.
► In today’s Seattle Times — After paying $83 million in fines, Washington settles jail mental-health lawsuit — The settlement reached is designed to bring the state into compliance with the judge’s order to provide timely competency evaluations and treatment for mentally ill people charged with crimes.
► From KUOW — In one year, more than a million Washingtonians got unnecessary medical treatment — Low-cost, yet wasteful medical procedures cost an estimated $341 million from July 2016 to June 2017, according to a new report by the Washington Health Alliance.
► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Lost ballot in 26th LD Senate race found — Kitsap County elections staff on Wednesday combed through several thousand ballots before locating a ballot from the 26th Legislative District that had been misfiled during the sorting process for the Nov. 6 election. With the last ballot recounted, Democrat Emily Randall of Bremerton remains the winner over Republican Marty McClendon of Gig Harbor by 101 votes.
► From The Hill — Shutdown would affect 800K federal workers, Senate Dems say — If Trump and congressional leadership fail to reach a deal by Dec. 21, funding for agencies governed by seven appropriations bills would lapse. That would lead 380,000 workers to be furloughed, including most employees at NASA, the Department of Commerce and the National Park Service. Typically, Congress decides to pay federal employees for shutdown-related furloughs when a deal is struck to end the shutdown, but long furloughs can cause uncertainty and delays in pay. In the event of a shutdown, staff deemed essential are required to continue working, but without pay. Democrats estimated that some 420,000 workers would fall into that category, including FBI agents, prison correctional officers and Homeland Security employees such as TSA and Customs and Border security.
ALSO at The Stand — AFGE to Congress, Trump: Spare working people from shutdown
► In today’s Washington Post — Trump’s ultimatum on border wall boxes in fellow Republicans — President Trump’s increasingly urgent push to construct a massive wall on the border with Mexico has created a nightmare scenario for congressional Republicans as they race to avert a partial shutdown of the federal government at the end of next week.
► From Politico — GOP leaders still lack funding plan as shutdown looms
► From The Hill — GOP struggles to win votes for Trump’s $5B wall demand
► In today’s Washington Post — Pelosi strikes deal with rebels, will step aside by 2022 to win speaker votes
► In today’s Washington Post — Publisher of the National Enquirer admits to hush-money payments made on Trump’s behalf — The National Enquirer’s parent company acknowledged paying hush money to a woman who alleged an affair with Donald Trump to “suppress the woman’s story” and “prevent it from influencing the election.” The deal signaled the unraveling of the deep relationship Trump and AMI chief executive David Pecker had forged over decades. The deal also made clear that Pecker, whose tabloid strongly supported Trump’s candidacy, has turned on the president.
► From The Hill — Rep. Heck sees ‘beginning of the end’ of Trump administration — Rep. Denny Heck (D-Wash.), , a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said that he believes the country is witnessing the “beginning of the end” of the Trump administration following weeks of legal activity by special counsel Robert Mueller‘s team.
► In today’s Washington Post — Workers are ghosting their employers like bad dates — Economists report that workers are starting to act like millennials on Tinder: They’re ditching jobs with nary a text. “A number of contacts said that they had been ‘ghosted,’ a situation in which a worker stops coming to work without notice and then is impossible to contact,” the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, which tracks employment trends.
► From Splinter — The leverage against Amazon is here (by Hamilton Nolan) — When Amazon’s New York City warehouse opens for business, among its 2,200 workers are guaranteed to be quite a few who have already decided that they are there to unionize the place, here in a union town. There has never been a more likely candidate for a successful union drive in this company. And if it happens, it will be a foothold that Amazon cannot reverse, unless they want to throw away $100 million and a whole lot of political capital… At stake is the question of whether the jobs of tomorrow will work for humanity, or whether humanity will work for capital, as one man cackles from atop his $100 billion fortune. Let’s all get to work.
► Yesterday, the Senate approved Rep. Adam Smith’s legislation designating the post office at 4301 NE 4th St. in Renton as the James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix Post Office following its previous passage in the House. “This designation will further celebrate Hendrix’s deep connection to the Puget Sound region and help ensure that his creative legacy will be remembered by our community and inspire future generations,” Smith said in a news release.
On this day in 1966, Jimi Hendrix made his television debut on the British program “Ready Steady Go” and performed his first single, “Hey Joe.” Only sketchy audio recordings have survived, so The Entire Staff of the Stand presents this 1967 live performance of the same song. At the end, it’s pretty clear the kids in the audience don’t understand what they just witnessed. (“I guess you guys aren’t ready for that, yet. But your kids are gonna love it.”)
TESOTS will be taking Friday off… hence TGIT.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.