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Our ‘forgotten’ colleges ● Our trade war ● Our climate job killer

Wednesday, April 17, 2019




► In today’s Seattle Times — Washington’s ‘forgotten’ community colleges call for more funding from the state — After years of feeling ignored by lawmakers, faculty and students at Washington’s community and technical colleges walked out of classes Tuesday, urging the Legislature to invest in their schools. The walkouts are part of a week of action organized by American Federation of Teachers union chapters in the Puget Sound region. Organizers estimated that around 1,000 people participated in Tuesday’s events at the three Seattle College campuses, Shoreline Community College and Port Angeles’ Peninsula College. At Seattle Central College, administrators and students held a rally in the plaza, where they emailed and texted legislators before marching down Broadway Avenue. They lamented what they said was inaction from lawmakers.

ALSO at The Stand — We must stop starving our state community, technical colleges (by Dr. Shouan Pan and Annette Stofer)

► In today’s Seattle Times — The fight to fund the schools was supposedly won. So why are they now slashing librarians? (by Danny Westneat) — One (problem) is that while state lawmakers did give a big short-term money boost, by their inexplicable design it’s set to plummet next year (in Seattle, school revenue is expected to drop by $74 million next year due to a cap on local levies)… This is how “government is broken” crusades sometimes get traction. Because this has been an epic fail of political leadership across all levels. The bottom line is they jacked property taxes by record amounts in some areas, and declared the problem fixed. Yet despite the seven billion dollars, instantly it feels as broken as ever, and in the same way as before.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — School layoffs and renewed push for higher local taxes show school funding far from fixed (by Shawn Vestal) — It would be hard to imagine a larger collapse between the intentions of a thing – the 2012 McCleary ruling that the Legislature provide “ample” funding for our schools as required by the state constitution – and the concrete result of the efforts to achieve those intentions. Surely, when the court called for the state to do better in amply funding basic education, it was not calling for bigger paychecks for fewer educators. Surely, it was not seeking the wholesale elimination of school librarians.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Emotional day for families as wrongful death bill is passed — On a 61-37 vote, the state House passed the bill to erase a provision in state law barring parents from bringing claims for the wrongful death of their adult son or daughter.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Illness sidelines Sen. McCoy as pace of lawmaking heats up — State Sen. John McCoy’s absence from the Legislature continued Tuesday as he deals with a nasty bout of flu and pneumonia. The 75-year-old Tulalip lawmaker has not been in the Senate the past week.




► From the AP — EU threatens to tax $20 billion of U.S. goods over Boeing aid — The European Union has drawn up a list of $20 billion worth of U.S. products it could tax in an escalating feud over plane industry subsidies, the EU’s executive commission said Wednesday. The commission said the EU could tax the products , which range from aircraft parts to frozen fish, from early next year in retaliation for U.S. financial support to Boeing that it says hurt Europe’s Airbus.

EDITOR’S NOTE — The recent WTO ruling at the heart of this recent trade-war escalation found that Washington state’s B&O tax cut for Boeing, which saved the company about $900 million in state taxes from 2004 to 2017, was an illegal subsidy.




► From Working Washington — Delivering Inequality: What Instacart really pays, and how the company shifts costs to workers — Our analysis of more than 1,400 samples of pay data provided by Instacart workers across the country finds that the average Instacart worker is paid just $7.66/hour, after accounting for the costs of mileage and additional payroll taxes borne by independent contractors. About half of all jobs and half of all weekly earnings reports show pay that’s below the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour, after expenses. Just 6% of weekly pay reports and 13% of jobs showed pay that meets the standard of $15 + expenses.




If you don’t count Trump’s tweets (and we don’t), nothing happened.




► From Vox — Flight attendants know the real job killer isn’t the Green New Deal. It’s climate change. (by AFA President Sara Nelson) — Extreme turbulence is on the rise around the world. It isn’t just nauseating or scary — it’s dangerous. In my 23 years as a flight attendant and president of our union representing 50,000 others, I know firsthand the threat climate change poses to our safety and our jobs. But flight attendants and airline workers have been told by some pundits that the Green New Deal, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey’s environmental proposal, will ground all air travel. That’s absurd. It’s not the solutions to climate change that kills jobs. Climate change itself is the job killer.

► In the Connecticut Post — Stop & Shop strike enters 7th day as talks drag on — The president of UFCW Local 919 addressed union members Tuesday from the negotiating table in Providence, R.I., estimating Stop & Shop’s revenue losses at $20 million a day since the strike began.

► In today’s NY Times — Employee wellness programs yield little benefit, study shows — The study, published on Tuesday in JAMA, a medical journal, looked at the experience of 33,000 workers at BJ’s Wholesale Club, a retailer, over a year and a half. While workers who enrolled in the wellness program reported that they learned to exercise more and watch their weight, the research found no significant differences in outcomes like lower blood pressure or sugar levels and other health measures. And it found no significant reduction in workers’ health care costs.


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