Friday, October 7, 2022
► From the Seattle Times — Paratransit drivers want better pay as they serve older and disabled people — Ninus Hopkins worked as a Solid Ground paratransit driver for more than three decades. It’s not the type of work that will make money and as he sees it, an impossible undertaking for someone not doing it out of love or care for the people. “Love or not though, we deserve a living wage,” the recent retiree said. About 150 Solid Ground paratransit drivers, labor union leaders and supporters gathered Thursday afternoon in South Park to rally for better wages as contract negotiations enter the eighth month.
A supermajority of members at UWMC-NW and Harborview have voted YES to ratify our contract with UW Medicine! By staying united and taking action together, we won a strong contract that will pay us our worth and make our workplace better for us all. pic.twitter.com/A9XSRL55pe
— SEIU Healthcare 1199NW (@SEIU1199NW) October 7, 2022
TODAY at The Stand — UW Medicine nurses at NW, Montlake win early surprise — WSNA’s tentative deal with record raises comes 9 months before contract expires.
► From the union-busting Columbian — Washougal School District, teachers reach tentative agreement — Washougal teachers and the Washougal School District have reached a tentative agreement on a two-year contract for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years. The contract will be presented to Washougal Association of Educators members Oct. 18 for ratification.
► From the Tri-City Herald — Fred Meyer workers shaken by deadly Tri-Cities shooting ready to finalize 1st contract — Some employees believe the contract will mean increased security isn’t just a temporary response.
► From the Spokesman-Review — State Supreme Court visits Gonzaga University for hearing on public collective bargaining — The state Supreme Court visited Gonzaga University’s School of Law on Thursday specifically to review a case on whether state law preempts a section of the city of Spokane’s charter that required union negotiations be open. The hearings followed a ruling last year by Spokane Superior Court Judge Tony Hazel that requiring public collective bargaining is unconstitutional and the city is prohibited from enforcing its own charter charter because it’s in conflict with state law. AFSCME Local 270, which represents more than 1,000 city of Spokane employees, sued the city in May, stating the charter amendment for public collective bargaining approved by voters in 2019 violates state law.
► From Crosscut — Immigrant Relief Fund opens long-delayed third round of aid — The funding, which attracted over 50,000 applicants in two weeks, was postponed due to short staffing, refugee resettlement efforts and a desire to get community input about the program, key players said.
► From the union-busting Columbian — 3rd District candidates Kent, Perez split on abortion rights — Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-Stevenson) is among the crowd of candidates using the nationwide uproar to urge citizens to act, specifically to vote for lawmakers who will prevent further restrictions on abortion. For her, it’s personal. In 2020, Perez had a miscarriage that required her to receive an abortion, and without it, she could have died. Her opponent, Joe Kent, told The Columbian he was ecstatic that Roe v. Wade was handed back to the states and supported components in Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham’s proposed federal abortion ban bill, including banning abortion in cases of rape and incest.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Marie Gluesenkamp Perez has been endorsed by the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO.
► From the Wenatchee World — Rep. Rob Chase, Matt Shea’s far-right recruit promotes election conspiracies, QAnon and more — As Rep. Rob Chase’s (R-Spokane Valley) platform has been elevated in the state Legislature, extremism experts say he’s emerged as a dangerous far-right figure. He’s leading a push among Washington state lawmakers to question the legitimacy of the elections process, and he’s kept the central tenets of Shea’s far-right ideology — like splitting Washington into two states — alive.
► From Roll Call — Latest ‘Dreamers’ court ruling prompts calls for Senate to act — Advocates have turned up the pressure on the Senate to pass legislation this year to establish a citizenship path for undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children, after a federal appeals court dealt yet another blow to the program that for now protects those so-called Dreamers. But with the status quo unchanged for current recipients of the program, the ruling may still not be enough to prompt at least 10 Republican senators to strike a deal with Democrats and pass a bill in the dwindling weeks of this legislative calendar.
► From The Hill — Judge dismisses student loan cancellation suit — A federal judge dismissed a legal challenge to President Biden’s student loan cancellation plan on Thursday, determining the plaintiff — a right-wing Wisconsin think tank called the Brown County Taxpayers Association — did not have standing as a taxpayer.
► From Roll Call — Biden announces sweeping pardon of federal marijuana possession convictions — “I’m announcing a pardon of all prior federal offenses of simple possession of marijuana. There are thousands of people who were convicted for marijuana possession who may be denied employment, housing or educational opportunities as a result,” Biden said in a video. “My pardon will remove this burden on them.”
► From Reuters — U.S. labor board says union representation petitions soar 53% in a year — The National Labor Relations Board said on Thursday that union representation petitions increased 53% in fiscal year 2022 when compared with 2021 and were at the highest since 2016. Workers are increasingly turning to both established and independent unions in an effort to address their work place issues ranging from wages and benefits to pandemic-related health and safety concerns.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Ready for a voice at work? Get more information about how you can join together with co-workers and negotiate for better wages and working conditions. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!
► From NPR — Americans are becoming less productive, and that’s a risk to the economy — An economic ennui has settled in among workers after the experiences of the last few years, says one analyst. Workers came away from their pandemic work experience feeling like the connection between working hard and being rewarded was broken.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Been broken for 40+ years. We’ll leave this right here…
► From Reuters — U.S. job growth solid in September; unemployment rate falls to 3.5% — U.S. employers hired more workers than expected in September, while the unemployment rate dropped to 3.5%, pointing to a tight labor market which keeps the Federal Reserve on its aggressive monetary policy tightening campaign for a while. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 263,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Remember back when job growth was a positive thing?
► From NPR — Early signs a new U.S. COVID surge could be on its way — As the U.S. heads into a third pandemic winter, the first hints are emerging that another possible surge of COVID-19 infections could be on its way. So far, no national surge has started yet. But as the weather cools and people start spending more time inside, where the virus spreads more easily, the risks of a resurgence increase. The first hint of what could be in store is what’s happening in Europe. Infections have been rising in many European countries, including the U.K., France, and Italy.
► After the smashing success of this technique last week, The Unprepared Staff of The Stand again chooses a TGIF video by putting our antiquated iTunes song library on shuffle. And the winner is… this chestnut from back when this band — along with The Specials, Elvis Costello, Squeeze, and multiple other ’80s Brit bands — were all we listened to. Here it is, ironically performed at the iTunes festival. Enjoy!
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.