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Strikes end in Kennewick, Toutle ● Nurses say ‘no’ ● Missy works it

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UPDATE (Aug. 31, 2019)

► In the (Longview) Daily News — Toutle Lake teacher strike comes to an end

► In the Tri-City Herald — 99% vote to end Kennewick teacher strike. School starts Tuesday

 


Friday, August 30, 2019

 


TEACHER CONTRACTS

 

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — It’s done! Kennewick teachers, administrators reach tentative agreement to end strike — Just as the legal fireworks started to fly, the Kennewick teachers association and administrators reached a tentative agreement that would bring an end to a strike that has closed classrooms this week. The Kennewick Education Association announced at 6:30 p.m. that a tentative agreement was reached with the district. Teachers will reportedly have a general membership meeting on Friday at 10 a.m. to hold a ratification vote. School will be canceled Friday as teachers review the new contract proposal, a process that could take hours.

ALSO at The Stand — Tentative deal in Kennewick teachers’ strike — So the rally planned for Friday morning is CANCELLED.

► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Friday classes cancelled after Toutle Lake contract talks hit snag — Toutle Lake school officials canceled Friday classes after contract talks with the faculty union apparently snagged Thursday afternoon after some early optimism that the labor dispute would be resolved. However, mediator-assisted talks were continuing into the evening past TDN press time.

► In today’s Ellensburg Daily Record — Teachers protest school board meeting urging the district for higher salaries — Contract negotiations have been ongoing since June and in a statement released by the Ellensburg School District on Aug. 23, the Ellensburg Education Association (EEA) and the school district are now bringing in a third party to help mediate a deal… EEA President Donna Grassel passionately argued to the board to imagine what the district will look like if experienced teachers leave for higher paying districts.

► Meanwhile, in today’s (Everett) Herald — Revised contract keeps Everett teachers Washington’s best-paid — Teachers in Everett Public Schools have agreed to changes in their contract that extend its length and ensure the district continues paying the highest salary in the state to veteran classroom instructors. Under the deal, approved on a boisterous voice vote Wednesday, the current collective bargaining agreement will be extended one year and expire in August 2021.

► From KNKX — Tacoma teachers, office professionals and other staff approve new three-year contract — Last year, Tacoma public schools were delayed by a teachers strike that lasted more than a week. This year, the district and the educators union reached an agreement well before the start of school.

 


LABOR DAY

 

► In today’s Seattle Times — For Labor Day, tallying the many cuts that bled unions and the long road back (by Jon Talton) — Nearly 21 percent of workers in Washington state were represented by unions, among the highest in the nation and due in good part to Boeing’s large unionized workforce. According to a new report by the Washington State Labor Education and Research Center, these employees earn an average 7.2% more than nonunion workers, are 20% more likely to have employer-sponsored health care and are 37% more likely to receive retirement benefits… History shows that all workers benefit from strong unions. Democratic presidential candidates have pitched themselves to organized labor. For example, Bernie Sanders offers a proposal to double union membership in four years. Like much else, this depends on commanding majorities in the Senate and House. But have Americans become so polarized and atomized that they aren’t capable of the essence of unionization, solidarity? If so, they can continue to watch society become more unequal and wonder why.

ALSO at The Stand:

This Labor Day, celebrate power of solidarity (by Larry Brown, Aug. 30)
‘Union Effect’ in Washington: Higher wages, better benefits (Aug. 29)
Labor Day events planned across Washington state on Sept. 2

 


LOCAL

 

► In today’s Olympian — Providence St. Peter nurses vote down contract proposal — Nurses at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia have overwhelmingly voted down a contract proposal that would have changed the way they get paid time off. The nurses voted Wednesday 544 to 1 to reject the contract proposal from hospital management, following the recommendation from their union’s bargaining team. Their union, UFCW 21, represents about 1,200 nurses at Providence St. Peter.

► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Nippon Dynawave extruder employees authorize union leaders to strike — AWPPW Local 633 has been negotiating with Nippon, formerly the Weyerhaeuser Co. paper packaging mill in Longview, since March. The parties are at odds over “quality of life” in the workplace, said AWPPW representative Jim Anderson.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — After years of preparation, work to empty Hanford leak-prone waste tanks is ready to restart — The Washington state Department of Ecology, the regulator on the project, called it “the beginning of another significant phase in the Hanford cleanup.”

► From Crosscut — King County lost FEMA homelessness funding because the region is too wealthy — Despite its homelessness “state of emergency,” King County no longer qualifies for a federal grant used by local shelters and food banks.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Here’s how it works. If you live in a poor state/region — says, one that actively suppresses wages with right-to-work (for less) laws– you get access to lots and lots of federal spending, even though you contribute relatively little in tax revenue. Just ask Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell  and Sen. Rand Paul (R’s-Ken.) They hail from the second most government-dependent state in the nation. Fully 40 percent of Kentucky’s revenue comes from U.S. taxpayers. For every dollar a Kentuckian pays in federal taxes, they’re getting $2.61 back in federal spending. As New York Times columnist Paul Krugman points out:

“If Kentucky were a country, we’d say that it was receiving foreign aid on an almost inconceivable scale… It’s fair to say that far more Kentuckians work in hospitals kept afloat by Medicare and Medicaid, in retail establishments kept going by Social Security and food stamps, than in all traditional occupations like mining and even agriculture combined. So if you really believe that Americans with higher incomes shouldn’t pay for benefits provided to those with lower incomes, you should be calling on ‘donor’ states like New Jersey and New York (and Washington) to cut off places like Kentucky and let their economies collapse.”

 

 


THIS WASHINGTON

 

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Democrat-led Legislature will sue the Democratic governor — The Legislature announced Thursday plans to sue Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, saying he overstepped his authority with a series of one-sentence vetoes in this year’s transportation budget. Lawmakers said the governor violated the constitutional ban against vetoing less than a full section of legislation.

 


THAT WASHINGTON

 

► From The Hill — Labor leader to visit Mexico to discuss trade deal — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka will lead a delegation to Mexico to discuss a path forward on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), Trump’s update to the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). “The proposed replacement still falls short of what we need,” Trumka said. “We want to get to yes.”

► From Reuters — Democrats’ Medicare for All must consider union-won plans: AFL-CIO — “There’s no question that ultimately we need to establish a single-payer system, but there has to be a role for those hard, hard-fought-for, high-quality plans that we’ve negotiated,” Trumka said. “You can’t ask the American worker, who sacrificed wages and everything, to simply say: ‘Okay, I’ll accept this plan here’,” Trumka added, noting that some union plans likely provide more benefits than Medicare.

► From HuffPost — DHS blocks House Oversight staff from visiting migrant detention centers — Committee Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) wrote to Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan: “I am writing to express my deep concern that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) decided to block Committee staff from conducting visits to 11 detention facilities just days after previous staff inspections revealed potentially serious ongoing problems with the treatment of children and adults in DHS custody ― including blocking visits to sites where the Inspector General warned about ‘an immediate risk to the health and safety of DHS agents and officers, and to those detained.”

► In today’s Washington Post — Trump has no trouble gutting the law to build his wall (editorial) — What are the niceties of established law, federal regulations or eminent domain compared with Trump’s wish to satisfy his partisans’ chants of “Finish the wall!”?

► From CNN — Trump administration is decimating workers’ rights (by Nan Aron and Celine McNicholas) — The Trump administration is advancing policies that further rig a system that’s already stacked against working people in America. There are few more powerful examples than the administration’s support of forced arbitration, a practice in which employers require workers to agree, as a condition of employment, to resolve all workplace disputes in arbitration. It robs workers of their right to take employers to court for all types of claims and forces workers into a process that overwhelmingly favors employers.

► From DailyKos — Labor Day 2019: Trump tries to outlaw balloons (by Tom Conway) — Giant balloons apparently terrify Peter Robb, Trump’s hand-picked NLRB general counsel. Big balloons shaped like rats, cats, pigs and cockroaches so frighten Robb that he has used his office to take extraordinary steps to outlaw them… This petty attempt to deflate labor power symbolizes just how far the Trump administration will go to crush the very workers that Trump constantly pledged to protect during his campaign.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Apparently, right-wing conservatives think First Amendment free speech rights should apply to cash (Citizens United) and people who want union services for free (Janus), but not to union members protesting corporations.

 


NATIONAL

 

► In today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette — Google contract workers seek USW representation — Google contract information technology workers at HCL America Inc. are asking the NLRB for a vote on representation by the Pittsburgh Association of Technical Professionals, a project of the United Steelworkers union. More than 66 percent of HCL’s 90 employees at Google’s offices in Bakery Square signed cards seeking union representation. A vote by employees is needed before collective bargaining could begin for a labor contract.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Hey, contract workers for Amazon and other tech companies: Tired of doing the same work as “actual” employees for less money and less respect? Get more information about how you can join together with co-workers and negotiate a fair return for your hard work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!

► From SAG-AFTRA — SAG-AFTRA members re-elect Gabrielle Carteris president, Camryn Manheim welcomed as Secretary-Treasurer — Said Carteris, “We will keep building on our commitment to honesty, transparency and a strategic vision that protects our members, strengthens our contracts, and fortifies our union… Together, we will continue to build on our successes and further establish SAG-AFTRA as the world’s premier and most powerful entertainment union.”

► From Mother Jones — Bret Stephens and the crushing fragility of entitled men (by Inae Oh) — It’s easy and perhaps psychologically convenient for some to dismiss the Bret Stephens business as nothing more than routine Internet folderol. The Amazon is literally burning, after all. But consider: Here was a white man, a columnist at the world’s most influential paper, trying to use his power to directly threaten a critic’s paycheck. This was a singularly revealing incident. With a single email, Stephens exposed the whole kampus kops routine as the intellectual grift that it is and, what’s more, demonstrated the crushing fragility of entitled men like him who can’t fathom life without the impunity they’ve long enjoyed.

 


T.G.I.F.

 

► The Entire Staff of The Stand are not fans of most award shows. And we can’t imagine sitting through the desperate attention-seeking and self-congratulatory nonsense of MTV’s Video Music Awards in its entirety. But thanks to YouTube, it’s easy to watch some of the individual performances. And Missy Elliott’s medley from Monday night is well worth seeing. Over-the-top production? Check. Crazy and amazing dancing? Check. A chance to revisit some great songs by the Turn-of-the-Millennium’s Queen of Hip Hop? CHECK!

Billboard’s review: “There’s no question as to who got the most people dancing at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards.” Enjoy!

 


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

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