Dolores Day ● Dennis the Decider ● Janus loses in court

Tuesday, March 19, 2019




► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Senate approves day to honor farm-worker activist Dolores Huerta — April 10 will be set aside to honor longtime civil rights activist and labor organizer Dolores Huerta under a bill that received final approval Monday in the state Senate. The co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association once told her people to never be ashamed to say they work in the fields, calling it “God’s work” that provides food for everyone’s table. With Huerta watching from the wings with other activists for Latino communities, the Senate sent to Gov. Jay Inslee on a unanimous vote a bill calling for state recognition for her on her birthday. After the Senate vote, she spoke to activists gathered on the North Steps of the Capitol for Latino Legislative Day, urging them in English and Spanish to make sure their communities are counted for the upcoming 2020 census so they are represented in government and eligible for federal and state programs.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Washington principals face a growing teacher shortage. How are they filling classroom vacancies? — State lawmakers have advanced legislation to both address the overall shortage and remove barriers that prevent aspiring teachers of color from entering the profession.

► In the South Seattle Emerald — I grew up witnessing how Washington’s tax code hurts families — let’s fix it (by Rep. Debra Entenman) — The Working Families Tax Credit is a simple, proven policy that puts money back into the pockets of working people. The credit boosts income by returning a portion of sales taxes paid by lower-income workers. That money could help one million people buy groceries or a bus pass or help them put more into savings. I know it would have made a difference for my mother’s monthly budget.




► In today’s NY Times — After 2 crashes of new Boeing jet, pilot training now a focus — The chief executive of Boeing backed down on Wednesday. He called President Trump to recommend that the United States temporarily take the company’s best-selling jet out of service, following two deadly crashes in less than five months. Hours later, the president announced that the plane had been grounded. Just the day before, the chief executive, Dennis A. Muilenburg, had urged the president to keep the plane flying, as regulators around the world banned the jet.

► From the AP — Justice Dept. probing development of Boeing jets — U.S. prosecutors are looking into the development of Boeing’s 737 Max jets, a person briefed on the matter revealed Monday, the same day French aviation investigators concluded there were “clear similarities” in the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Max 8 last week and a Lion Air jet in October.





► From KIRO — Sea-Tac Airport pushing forward with expansion plans — Tuesday morning, airport officials are expected to go before the Washington State Transportation Commission to lay out several projects they want to accomplish — both long-term and short-term – to be able to accommodate 56 million passengers forecast by 2027. This includes the $650 million expansion to the Alaska Airlines terminal, which boosts the number of N gates by 8. The construction is also bringing a 45-year-old structure up to seismic code.

► In the Columbia Basin Herald — Moses Lake teachers concerned over administrator contracts — “In offering a performance-based incentive to Superintendent (Josh) Meek tied to budget reductions, the school board successfully undermined over a decade of hard-earned respect that Dr. Meek has garnered with his straight shooting and honest interactions with staff,” said teacher Jay Mather of the Moses Lake Education Association.

► In the Peninsula Daily News — Port Angeles School District sends notices to 18 employees facing layoffs — The district has sent notices to 18 employees who are facing layoffs as the district looks to save $2.6 million next year.




► In today’s Washington Post — Pentagon sends Congress list of military construction projects that could be delayed to free up money for wall — Many of the projects are updates to facilities that affect daily military life on bases — dining halls, schools, fire stations, medical facilities, roads and parking lots. Others are construction projects that directly impact military operations and training, such as firing ranges, aircraft maintenance hangars, flight simulation facilities and munitions depots.

ALSO at The Stand — Heck decries potential cuts in state military projects for wall

► In today’s Washington Post — Ross’s census sabotage was ‘arbitrary,’ ‘capricious’ and ‘cynical,’ says a federal judge (editorial) — A second federal judge ruled on March 6 that the most consequential decision Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has made drips with bad faith. The conclusion was forceful and persuasive. The Supreme Court now should stop Ross from abusing his powers.

► From The Hill — House to take up gender pay gap, Violence Against Women Act — The House will consider legislation in the coming weeks to address the gender pay gap, reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act and reinstate net neutrality rules, said Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)




► From the AP — Southwest, mechanics union announce tentative contract after 6 years of negotiations — Southwest Airlines and a union representing its mechanics could be on the verge of ending a bitter, long-running labor dispute that has triggered hundreds of flight cancellations and raised safety concerns. The tentative deal still needs to be voted on by the roughly 2,400 members of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association who will receive a 20% raise if the contract is approved. The five-year contract also calls for $160 million in bonuses for the mechanics.

► From Vice News — 10,000 NYC nurses are about to go on strike over understaffing — Unionized nurses delivered a formal strike notice to New York City’s three largest hospital systems Monday, a sign that another big organized labor force is prepared to follow the nation’s teachers and walk off the job if their demands are not met. If hospital management and the New York State Nurses Association cannot reach a deal by April 2, 10,000 nurses will stop showing up for work and start picketing.

► From the LA Times — An escalating labor dispute at a ritzy California resort is pulling in brides and others — A young couple with plans to hold their fall wedding reception at the swanky Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., got an unexpected message on their online wedding planning site. “Congratulations on your engagement! I am sorry to say that nine women, employed or formerly employed at the Terranea Resort, came forward with allegations of sexual harassment and other misconduct of a sexual nature at the resort,” read the message, sent by an organizer for UNITE HERE Local 11, which is embroiled in a two-year feud with the resort.




► In the Chicago Sun-Times — Despite landmark ruling, judge says Janus can’t have his money back — A federal judge handed him a loss in his latest legal squabble over what court records say amounts to about $3,000. Janus insisted AFSCME should pay back the representation fees he paid as a state worker before the Supreme Court ruling disallowing such fees, between March 2013 and July 2018 — $2,929.56 — plus interest. U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman disagreed in a six-page opinion Monday. He awarded Janus no damages, finding that AFSCME relied on a longstanding court precedent and could not have anticipated the Supreme Court’s ruling.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Before he became a tool for the National Right-to-Work Foundation, Mark Janus was a child support specialist for the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. He has exercised his right under the 1977 Abood decision to withdraw from the union and not be a member, but by law, AFSCME Council 31 still represented him. Under his union contract, Janus made $71,000 a year in 2015 in a state where both the average pay for social work and the statewide median income was less than $60,000. He also earned time-and-a-half for working overtime. Almost every year he got a step pay increase and/or cost-of-living increase. He got paid holidays and paid vacation time. He got his choice of several health care plans and was also eligible for retiree health care coverage. He got paid sick leave and paid paternity leave. He was eligible to receive a defined-benefit pension that, upon retirement, will pay him a portion of his salary for the rest of his life. He had job security and the peace of mind that if some manager violated his rights or tried to fire him without cause, the union would represent him to protect his job and his family.

That job would be a dream come true for most social workers — and for most Americans. Thank you, AFSCME! And for all that, Janus paid a fair-share fee of $45 per month to the union, about what the average American pays for a gym membership. None of his money went to political campaigns, or lobbying, or any other community and charitable activities his union is involved in. Just the contract. And still, he and his new friends sued to get that money back.


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

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