Monday, December 9, 2019
► In the (Aberdeen) Daily World — Salaries at issue as Willapa Valley teachers strike continues — After a tough week of negotiations in a teachers strike, neither side in the Willapa Valley School District has indicated they’re ready or willing to compromise much. Classes were canceled all week and athletic events were rescheduled to be away from home. On Friday, the teachers’ union proposed a 6.1% raise in the first year of a three-year contract, down slightly from the 6.25% they asked for on Monday. All week, the district has maintained its 2% proposal for year one based on an inflation measure. While both sides will say the standoff isn’t all about money, parents of the districts 340 students should prepare for schools to be closed until the two sides get closer together on the numbers.
EDITOR’S NOTE — The Washington Education Association writes: It’s a tough time of year to go on strike, and a strike fund has been set up for Willapa Valley educators. Please help out by sending checks to:
Willapa Valley EA c/o WEA Chinook, 5220 Capitol Blvd. SE, Tumwater, WA 98501-4419
► In the Columbian — Clark College faculty one step closer to possible strike — Clark College faculty are poised to strike if a contract is not reached between the union and college leadership. The Association for Higher Education voted unanimously to allow its leadership to call a strike at any time. If faculty do go on strike, it will be the first time teachers at the Southwest Washington community college have done so. “It just goes to show how important and what a big deal it is,” union president Suzanne Southerland said of the unanimous vote. “This is one of the most important things faculty at Clark College has done.”
ALSO at the Stand — Clark College faculty union votes to authorize strike
► In the Seattle Times — Pilot union at Horizon Air blames management for ‘deteriorated’ safety programs, highlighting distrustful relations — The union representing pilots at Horizon Air, the regional carrier for Alaska Airlines, sent a note to its members Thursday alleging that the airline’s management is undermining long-standing industry safety programs by focusing on penalizing individuals. The note includes a link to a letter the union wrote this summer to the board of directors of Alaska Air Group and CEO Brad Tilden drawing attention to “the deteriorated state of Horizon Air’s safety programs.”
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — State accuses feds of withholding Hanford safety data. The fine could top $1 million — The Washington state Department of Ecology, a Hanford regulator, says the Department of Energy is making it too difficult to get information about the Hanford site, one of the issues covered in the legally binding Tri-Party Agreement.
► From the AP — State AGs look to head off T-Mobile-Sprint deal in court — T-Mobile, in its attempt to buy Sprint for $26.5 billion, has already notched approvals from key federal regulators. Now it must convince a federal judge that the 14 state attorneys general suing to stop the deal are wrong. A trial starts Monday in U.S. District Court in New York and is expected to last several weeks. The states argue that having one fewer mobile carrier would reduce competition and cost Americans billions of dollars in higher phone bills.
EDITOR’S NOTE — The Communications Workers of America opposes the merger, which the unions estimates will cost 30,000 jobs. KUOW reports: Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has not joined the lawsuit against Bellevue-based T-Mobile US. (He declined a request to be interviewed for KUOW’s story.)
► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle state Rep. Gael Tarleton to announce run for Washington secretary of state — A four-term lawmaker from the 36th District and former Port of Seattle commissioner, Tarleton is entering what could be one of next year’s hardest-fought statewide races against Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman.
► In today’s Seattle Times — How much money did Tim Eyman make last year: Depends what form you check — Eyman, the candidate for governor, says his income was less than $48,000 over the last 12 months. Eyman, the serial initiative promoter and conservative activist, says he made more than $297,000 over the last 12 months.
► In today’s News Tribune — Enforcing election transparency is endless game of whack-a-mole. This Washington state agency needs more tools for the job (editorial) — Over the past two years, Washington lawmakers have invested in the PDC to make it more responsive to 21st century challenges. Now the agency wants the 2020 Legislature to go even further – not with money, but by modernizing rules.
► In today’s Washington Post — White House, congressional Democrats on cusp of revised North American trade deal, Trumka says — The White House and House Democrats are on the cusp of finalizing a new trade deal for North America, a major achievement for President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that comes even as Democrats prepare to impeach the president. A key party to the talks, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, said Monday morning that there was a deal and he planned to meet with his executive committee Monday afternoon to discuss it. “We have pushed them hard and have done quite well,” Trumka said in an email to the Washington Post. Support from the AFL-CIO, which opposes the existing NAFTA and blames it for destroying millions of good-paying manufacturing jobs, would likely ensure support from a majority of House Democrats if the deal is brought up for a vote. Backing from the AFL-CIO would also indicate that Democrats had succeeded in negotiated stronger enforcement mechanisms and protections for labor than existed in the agreement signed by Trump and the leaders of Mexico and Canada a year ago.
► In today’s NY Times — House passes voting rights bill despite near unanimous Republican opposition — The House voted on Friday to reinstate federal oversight of state election law, moving to bolster protections against racial discrimination enshrined in the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the landmark civil rights statute whose central provision was struck down by the Supreme Court.
EDITOR’S NOTE — All Democratic members of Washington’s House delegation voted “yes,” and Republican Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler, Dan Newhouse and Cathy McMorris Rodgers all voted “no.”
► From HuffPost — Kamala Harris leads senators in demanding ‘immediate removal’ of Stephen Miller — More than half of Senate Democrats say Miller’s “demonstrable white nationalist ideology has been directly translated” into Trump administration policy.
► BREAKING in the Washington Post — Impeachment hearings live updates
► In the Washington Post — Trump creates evidence faster than the House can draft impeachment articles (by Jennifer Rubin) — As Trump continues to deliberate use unsecured communication, unbelievably, Giuliani is back in Ukraine still digging for imaginary dirt to use against Trump’s political rival, former vice president Joe Biden… Republicans’ refusal to recognize the ongoing threat to national security posed by this president is among their most grievous and unpardonable sins. They are no more loyal to the United States than Trump is, who we now know cannot refrain from further endangering national security even as he faces impeachment.
► In the Columbian — Herrera Beutler silent on inquiry
► In the Washington Post — This is the hottest job market since the 1990s. Why aren’t wages growing faster? — Many hoped this would be the year wages really accelerated. After all, business leaders have been complaining for months they can’t find enough workers — both highly skilled and not — and the natural response to that is usually to bump up pay. But wage growth peaked in February at 3.4 percent and has pulled back since then, puzzling economists… Some point to the decline of union membership and the lack of bargaining power for workers now vs. in the past.
► ICYMI from CBS News — Almost half of all Americans work in low-wage jobs
EDITOR’S NOTE — Want a raise? Get some bargaining power! Find out 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 NBC Washington — Fairfax Connector workers reach agreement with Transdev to end strike — More than 500 members of the ATU Local 1764 who began picketing early Thursday are expected to return to work Monday, after striking for better pay, benefits and working conditions.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.