Thursday, April 4, 2019
► In the Spokesman-Review — Washington nurses, hospitals at odds over bill limiting overtime, requiring rest breaks — The bill would require nurses to take uninterrupted meal and rest breaks as required by state law, with exceptions carved out for emergency situations and when the employee’s specific skill set is required to complete a procedure. It also prevents hospitals from handling staffing shortages by requiring nurses to remain “on-call” after their shifts have been completed, causing them to work longer than 12 hours in a single 24-hour period.
► From Crosscut — Overworked nurses are a danger to patients. WA can change this. (by Linda Arkava, BSN, RN) — A third of all new nurses leave the profession within the first two years, in large part because they cannot take their rest and meal breaks during their long shifts, experiencing extreme mental, emotional and physical fatigue and thereby putting patient care at risk. That is why my colleagues and I are calling on the Washington state Legislature to pass an urgently needed bill that would protect breaks for hospital staff.
ALSO at The Stand — Hospital caregivers’ unions: SHB 1155 is urgently needed — Please visit BreaksAreALifesaver.org to send your state senator a message to vote YES on this important patient-safety legislation. SHB 1155 will help ensure our nurses and caregivers are well-rested and alert, and help reduce medical errors and ensure quality care for Washingtonians.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Kickbacks, a lifetime ban and Tom Cruise movies: Inside the attorney general’s case against Tim Eyman — Serial initiative-filer Tim Eyman has laundered political donations through out-of-state charities, pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations, refused to comply with campaign-finance laws and lied to his donors and to the public about it, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson alleges in recently filed court documents. And Ferguson would like Eyman to stop. Ferguson’s lawsuit against Eyman, first filed in 2017, seeks to bar the longtime anti-tax crusader from “managing, controlling, negotiating or directing financial transactions of any kind for any political committee in the future.” On Friday, a Thurston County Superior Court judge will begin to settle the debate: Can the attorney general block Eyman from forever participating in the financial aspects of his political campaigns?
► In the Seattle Times — Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan signs deal with city unions to counteract Supreme Court’s fees ruling — Durkan signed an agreement with a coalition of city unions Tuesday meant to counteract the Janus decision. Calling the case part of a “continued assault” on worker rights and organized labor, the mayor at a City Hall news conference said Seattle’s new agreement will “make sure workers are protected.”
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Providence not following its values in contract offers (letter to the editor) — Providence St. Joseph’s Health and Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett identifies itself as a nonprofit or “not-for-profit,” emphasizing the organization’s defining criteria to provide goods services without seeking profits for private gain. If this is truly the objective of Providence and they stand by their stated values of compassion, dignity, justice, integrity and excellence than why does it money trail state otherwise? Removing previously earned sick leave without just compensation, forcing employees to go through an L&I claim process to receive sick leave compensation, removing the earned sick leave from signed nurses contract in retrospect, does not fit into those values.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle Times to sell Bothell printing plant to help fund news operations — The Seattle Times plans to sell its printing-press property in Bothell to fund news operations, and will shift to printing the paper at its Rotary Offset Press in Kent next year. There will be job losses at the facility, which typically employs about 150 people, but it’s too soon to know how many, a spokesman said.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Preliminary crash report confirms Ethiopian 737 MAX pilots lost control despite following Boeing’s instructions — It confirms also that the pilots lost control even though they followed the procedure Boeing laid out after the Lion Air crash as a way to recover from such a system failure. This finding casts serious doubt on the adequacy of the emergency procedures Boeing and the FAA directed pilots to follow after the first crash.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Why Boeing’s emergency directions may have failed to save 737 MAX — Boeing has publicly contended for five months that this simple procedure was all that was needed to save the airplane if MCAS was inadvertently activated…. A local expert, former Boeing flight-control engineer Peter Lemme, recently explained how the emergency procedure could fail disastrously. His scenario is backed up by extracts from a 1982 Boeing 737-200 Pilot Training Manual posted to an online pilot forum a month ago by an Australian pilot.
► In the Washington Post — Pelosi demands changes to Trump’s trade deal with Mexico, Canada — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Tuesday that President Trump must reopen talks with Canada and Mexico to tighten enforcement provisions in a proposed North American trade deal, casting renewed doubt on prospects for congressional ratification of the accord. “No enforcement, no treaty,” she said, offering some of her most pointed remarks to date on the fate of a measure that the administration has labeled its top trade priority. Pelosi’s comments, at a Politico event in Washington, came one day after AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told reporters that negotiators should return to the bargaining table to strengthen the enforcement provisions.
► In today’s Washington Post — House Democrats
seek demand 6 years of Trump’s personal and business tax returns — The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee asked the IRS on Wednesday for six years of Trump’s personal and business tax returns, a request with which the president immediately said he was not inclined to comply. Privately, Trump has told White House advisers that he does not plan to hand over his tax returns to Congress — and that he would fight the issue to the Supreme Court, hoping to stall it until after the 2020 election.
► In today’s Washington Post — Limited information Barr has shared about Russia investigation frustrated some on Mueller’s team — Members of Mueller’s team have complained to close associates that the evidence they gathered on obstruction was alarming and significant. Summaries were prepared for different sections of the report, with a view that they could made public, one official said… “Why did Barr feel the need to release his own summary?” said Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. “Why didn’t he release a summary produced by Bob Mueller itself instead of trying to shape it through his own words?”
► In today’s Washington Post — One group that wouldn’t be surprised if Barr undersold Mueller’s findings: Most Americans — Polls show that most Americans believe Trump wasn’t exonerated of the specific allegation that his campaign had colluded with Russia but that, instead, possible coordination couldn’t be proved.
► From Politico — Progressive Dems attempt to fend off moderate push on minimum wage — Leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are now lobbying fellow Democrats to help extinguish a competing plan backed by more than a dozen moderates that would permit lower hourly wages in more rural areas. “We want to pass a full $15 minimum wage bill. Not a regional bill. We’re very clear about that,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) said. “Being in Congress means leading, and we need to lead on minimum wage.”
► From HuffPost — ICE arrests hundreds in largest workplace raid in over a decade — ICE agents went into the offices of CVE Technology Group, a telecommunications equipment repair business in Allen, Texas, and arrested more than 280 employees for “administrative immigration violations,” which generally are arrests for being unauthorized, not for committing any other offense.