Tuesday, August 20, 2019
RESPECT OUR TEACHERS!
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Kennewick teachers vow strike if no agreement by Aug. 26 — Kennewick teachers voted Monday to go on strike on Aug. 27, the scheduled first day of school, if no tentative agreement is reached by Aug. 26. “We are frustrated that the Kennewick School Board and district are not prioritizing students and their families,” said Rob Woodford, KEA president. “Our members have said they are seeking competitive salaries with those in the other cities in the Tri-Cities — Richland and Pasco.”
► In today’s Columbian — La Center teachers vote to approve strike, 75-1 — A year after La Center teachers were some of the only ones in Clark County to avoid a strike, teachers have voted 75-1 to strike if a new contract isn’t reached by the first day of school on Aug. 28. The teachers voted on Thursday and started informational picketing Friday. The next bargaining session between the union and district is scheduled for Tuesday.
► From KNKX — Seattle educators and the school district try to reach a new contract agreement — This is a big week for the state’s largest school district as it tries to reach a contract agreement with teachers and other school staff… SEA’s Michael Tamayo said members want to receive pay that’s similar to districts north of Seattle, such as Mukilteo and Northshore.
► From Bloomberg — Boeing hit with labor charges in high-stakes union fight — A machinists union scored a partial but significant win in a high-stakes battle to unionize Boeing’s South Carolina facility, thought to be a bellwether for labor’s potential to organize workers in the southern U.S. Federal investigators concluded there’s merit to nine unfair labor practice charges filed by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers against Boeing Co., according to the union. The list includes allegations that six workers were illegally fired last year in retaliation for openly supporting the union.
ALSO at The Stand — Fired SC Boeing Machinists win legal battle
► In today’s Seattle Times — Washington state GOP Sen. Barbara Bailey to retire Sept. 30 — Washington state Sen. Barbara Bailey of Oak Harbor announced her retirement Monday, becoming the second Republican senator in two weeks to unveil their plans to leave the chamber. Last week, Sen. Hans Zeiger (R-Puyallup) announced his intention to run for a Pierce County Council seat in 2020, rather than the Legislature.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane Police Guild joins calls for Rep. Matt Shea’s resignation over gathering of ‘intelligence’ on City Council members — The union representing the rank and file of the Spokane Police Department joined Spokane City Council members in calling for state Rep. Matt Shea’s (R-Spokane Valley) resignation on Monday. The demands follow reports that revealed the Spokane Valley lawmaker collected “intelligence” on local progressive leaders, including Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart, Councilwoman Lori Kinnear and Councilman Breean Beggs.
► From Talking Points Memo — What we know about WA state rep’s ties to a Christian military training group — Washington state lawmaker Matt Shea has in recent months faced calls for his resignation and been referred to the FBI for his how-to guide on the “Biblical Basis for War,” outlining a potential conflict in which Christians battle non-believers in the United States.
► In today’s Washington Post — White House officials eyeing payroll tax cut in effort to reverse weakening economy — Workers pay payroll taxes on income up to $132,900, so cutting the tax has remained a popular idea for many lawmakers, especially Democrats seeking to deliver savings for middle-income earners and not the wealthiest Americans. But payroll tax cuts can also add dramatically to the deficit and — depending on how they are designed — pull billions of dollars away from Social Security.
EDITOR’S NOTE — And there’s the rub. Given lawmakers’ unwillingness to raise or scrap the $132,900 cap on Social Security taxes, such cuts — even if temporary — would tee up benefit cuts in Social Security and Medicare down the road. All because the sugar-high from the Trump/GOP tax cut is fading and his tariffs and other failed economic policies are steering the economy toward recession.
► A related story in today’s Washington Post — Could the public do better than Congress at controlling the deficit? — In our survey, both Republicans and Democrats would raise taxes on the wealthy and on corporations.
► In today’s Washington Post — Democrats back off once-fervent embrace of Medicare-for-all — The idea of a unified government health program that would take over the basic function of private insurance became a liberal litmus test at the outset of the presidential campaign, distinguishing Democratic contenders who cast themselves as bold visionaries from more moderate pragmatists. But in recent months, amid polling that shows concern among voters about ending private insurance, several of the Democratic hopefuls have shifted their positions or their tone, adopting ideas for allowing private insurance in some form.
► From Jacobin — Nonprofit workers need unions, too (by Ramsin Canon) — Young radicals often work at nonprofits out of a genuine desire to challenge the symptoms of capitalism. But they often find that the nonprofit model rests on their own exploitation — and on preserving the political status quo.
ALSO at The Stand — Union makes a difference at legal services, advocacy nonprofits (July 3, 2019) — As a united group of nonprofit employees, we understand the unique challenges of working at nonprofit organizations. We’ve used our collective voice to address these challenges and make our workplaces even better.
► From WNYC — Undocumented restaurant worker is arrested by ICE during deposition against his employer — An undocumented Chinese restaurant worker claims he’s owed $200,000 in back wages and is suing the former employer in federal court in Albany for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. Last Monday, he and his attorney were giving a deposition at the office of the defense counsel near Albany. ICE agents arrested him when they broke for lunch.
► From Vox — I was skeptical of unions. Then I joined one. (by German Lopez) — Good organizing and outreach from colleagues helped change my mind about the need for a union at Vox Media specifically. But so did approaching the research on unions the same way I would any topic in my reporting: by looking at the data and talking to experts. Research suggests that unions have their biggest effects from density. When more people are part of a union, unions don’t just boost their workers’ wages and benefits; they also lift up those they don’t represent.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.