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Keyword: unionthugs

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  • The California Rule: Why can’t pensions be altered?

    07/10/2012 10:23:58 PM PDT · by SmithL · 4 replies
    Halfway to Concord ^ | 7/9/12 | Bill Gram-Reefer
    In March 2011, the Little Hoover Commission alarmed California’s comfortable labor-dem,ocrat ruling class when it urged state and local governments to roll back benefits for current workers. Inconceivable! cried the public pension industrial complex; “benefits always go up…never down, that is the natural order of things.” And now comes Amy B. Monahan, a University of Minnesota law professor, who in the Iowa Law Review not only agrees with the Little Hoover Commission, but cites a 1917 California Supreme Court decision about benefits for a police widow. as potential legal wiggle room for pension reform in California.The Voice of San Diego...
  • Heat Wave to Test Power Grid As Utility Threatens Strike

    06/30/2012 2:34:00 PM PDT · by Inspectorette · 42 replies
    Con Edison has authorized a strike if necessary; its contract expires at midnight Saturday. The second heat wave of the summer will again test the power grid in our area just as a deadline comes for a possible Con Edison strike. Temperatures reached 98 degrees at LaGuardia Airport Friday, while Newark, N.J. saw 97 and Central Park hit 93. A mix of sun and clouds continues Saturday and temperatures will linger in the muggy low- to mid-90s. Strong to severe thunderstorms are possible in the afternoon. Con Edison and its workers are in the middle of contract negotiations, with the...
  • Across the nation, pension funds are coming up short

    06/24/2012 3:11:07 PM PDT · by SmithL · 31 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 6/24/12 | Jon Ortiz
    California's public retirement systems' pension obligations were a combined $112 billion beyond the value of their assets in 2010, according to a report released this week, with anticipated retiree health costs adding another $77 billion in unfunded liabilities. The study issued by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Pew Center for the States says that the combined pension and health costs are both a cause for serious concerns. California's total long-term retirement and health costs two years ago totaled $593.7 billion, but the funds paid just 75 percent of the recommended contribution into pension plans and 29 percent of what the state should...
  • AFL-CIO super PAC casts U.S. Senate hopeful Josh Mandel as LeBron James in $100,000 online ad buy

    06/19/2012 4:13:29 PM PDT · by Clintonfatigued · 6 replies
    The Cleveland Plain Dealer ^ | June 19, 2012 | Henry Gomez
    Deep-pocketed groups supporting U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown or Republican challenger Josh Mandel have spent millions of dollars to beat up the other guy. Each side is constantly accusing the other of being out of touch with average Ohioans. But a $100,000 online advertising push launched today by Workers' Voice, the super political action committee affiliated with the AFL-CIO, aims to tug at the emotions of the put-upon Cleveland sports fan. The web ads depict Mandel, the Republican state treasurer, in ex-Cavaliers' star LeBron James' iconic pre-game pose under the tagline "Witness the Mandel investigation" -- a reference to the federal...
  • Unions fire Internet blast at California ballot measure

    06/11/2012 10:49:37 PM PDT · by SmithL · 8 replies
    SacBee: The State Worker ^ | 6/11/12 | Jon Ortiz
    The organized labor coalition fighting a November ballot measure that would end payroll-deducted money for political spending -- the channel through which unions raise funds to play in politics -- has launched a new video blasting the proposal. The unions' message attacks the measure as an unfair idea that would put new limits on the influence of organizations that speak up for working people while exempting self-interested elites. As we mentioned in our Sunday story on the battle ahead over the proposition, look for labor to continue connecting the words like "exempt" and "Wall Street" to tar the measure.
  • California budget process has reverted to secrecy

    06/11/2012 9:44:40 AM PDT · by SmithL · 9 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 6/11/12 | Dan Walters
    As the Capitol churns toward Friday's deadline for a new state budget, the macro-issues are well known, such as whether health, welfare and child care services should be slashed by billions of dollars to close the deficit. There are, however, other aspects of the annual budget wrangle that go largely unnoticed, such as the march into secrecy – or, more accurately, sneakiness. For decades, a few key legislators drafted the entire budget in secrecy with virtually no public exposure or input, but about 40 years ago, there was an internal revolt because one powerful senator had loaded up the budget...
  • Move over, Wisconsin -- the union battle is beginning in California

    06/10/2012 8:50:24 AM PDT · by SmithL · 60 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 6/10/12 | Jon Ortiz
    Labor unions and business interests have been quietly raising millions of dollars and testing campaign messages for months, girding for a brawl over a November ballot measure that could fundamentally shift political power in Sacramento. Now, on the heels of an election that saw unions handed a major defeat last week in Wisconsin, the opposing camps in California soon will launch a campaign battle likely to consume $50 million or more in political spending. "Unions have just two channels of influence," said Daniel J.B. Mitchell of the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA, "collective bargaining and the political side,...
  • Our View: Democrats bow to labor on bankruptcy (Stockton & other CA cities)

    06/08/2012 12:38:27 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 5 replies
    Merced Sun-Star ^ | Tuesday, Jun. 05, 2012 | (Editorial board)
    Despite objections from the mayors of California's ten largest cities, the Assembly last week approved Assembly Bill 1692 by Fremont Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski. The bill will make it harder for cities to seek bankruptcy protection. It reneges on a carefully crafted compromise measure approved just six months ago that requires financially beleaguered cities to enter into good-faith negotiations with their creditors—including most significantly, public employee unions—before filing for bankruptcy protection. Stockton was in the midst of that mediation when the bill to undo it began moving in the Legislature. Just how bad are things in Stockton? Well how's this for...
  • Votes on public pensions fuel calls for statewide change

    06/07/2012 9:53:54 AM PDT · by SmithL · 11 replies
    SacBee: The State Worker ^ | 6/7/12 | Jon Ortiz
    Tuesday's landslide pension reform votes in San Diego and San Jose were just the early tremors in what could become a public pension earthquake by the end of this month. The big question: What does this mean for pension reform legislation at the Capitol? Gov. Jerry Brown, who has floated a 12-point pension reform plan, told a San Francisco Chronicle reporter on Wednesday that the vote in liberal San Jose was "a very powerful signal" that pension reform is "an imperative" that he's putting "at the top of the agenda." Brown thinks pension reform will make his tax initiative more...
  • Pension votes in cities put pressure on Gov. Brown

    06/07/2012 9:42:56 AM PDT · by SmithL · 6 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 6/7/12 | Joe Garofoli, Chronicle Political Writer
    After voters in San Jose and San Diego, two of California's largest cities, rolled back public employee pensions in Tuesday's election, pressure is mounting on Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature to take similar action to deal with financial crises that are crippling state and local governments. But don't expect politicians in California to attack the collective bargaining rights of public unions as they did in Wisconsin, experts said Wednesday. The Democratic Party controls both houses of the California Legislature and all of the statewide offices, and left-leaning politicians have little incentive to crack down on labor unions that are...
  • San Jose unions sue to block pension reform

    06/06/2012 12:52:25 PM PDT · by SmithL · 32 replies
    San Jose Mercury News ^ | 6/6/12 | John Woolfolk
    San Jose police officers Wednesday made good on promises to legally challenge San Jose's voter-approved pension reform with a lawsuit filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court. San Jose Police Officers' Association President Jim Unland said the lawsuit argues that the measure -- approved by almost 70 percent of voters Tuesday -- violates employees' "vested rights" to their pensions. He based that on a history of court rulings that effectively hold that government employers cannot cut back workers' retirement plans without offering a comparable benefit in return. The officers asked the court to block implementation of the measure's provisions until...
  • LOCAL VOTERS APPROVE MAJOR PENSION OVERHAULS [Union Thugs Lose in Urban California!]

    06/06/2012 1:57:28 AM PDT · by SoFloFreeper · 7 replies ^ | 6/6/12 | Dan Oney
    In San Jose, the current model for pensions and benefits will be substantially adjusted. In San Diego, it will be replaced. Both results come after voters overwhelmingly supported ballot initiatives in Tuesday’s elections.
  • SAN DIEGO: Pension reform scores big with voters

    06/05/2012 10:39:07 PM PDT · by SmithL · 6 replies
    San Diego Union-Tribune ^ | 6/5/12 | Craig Gustafson
    A ballot initiative that would replace guaranteed pensions with 401(k)-style plans for most new city hires appeared likely to pass as early returns showed 69 percent of San Diego voters in favor. Proposition B is viewed by supporters, including Mayor Jerry Sanders, as pivotal to moving the city past a decade of financial problems that stem, in part, from the decision by past city leaders to twice increase benefits for workers without identifying a way to pay for them. Labor unions, which strongly oppose the measure, say Proposition B is illegal and will be tossed out by courts. They also...
  • Mayor thanks San Jose voters as early returns show huge lead for pension reform

    06/05/2012 10:34:11 PM PDT · by SmithL · 11 replies
    San Jose Mercury News ^ | 6/6/12 | John Woolfolk
    San Jose voters Tuesday were handing Mayor Chuck Reed a crucial victory with his nationally watched pension reform measure leading by almost 3 to 1 in early returns. It was a big night for pension reform, with a San Diego measure also leading by a wide margin. City employee unions who argued the measures are illegal were expected to challenge both in court. But voter approval of San Jose's Measure B puts Reed and the city in the vanguard of efforts to shrink taxpayer bills for generous government pension plans. Passage also strengthen's Reed's hand as he and his City...
  • BREAKING NEWS: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker survives recall effort, NBC News projects [ticker]

    06/05/2012 6:55:14 PM PDT · by Steelfish · 117 replies
    MSNBC ^ | June 05, 2012
    MSNBC CALLS WALKER WIN: RECALL LOSES [ 22% Reporting Walker 61%, Barrett=38%]
  • Wisconsin recall's a 'test run,' DNC chair says

    05/27/2012 10:32:31 AM PDT · by SmithL · 48 replies
    CNN ^ | 5/27/12 | Gabriella Schwarz
    Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Sunday classified Democratic efforts in the Wisconsin recall election as a “test run” for the presidential race. “It’s given the Obama for America operation an opportunity to do the dry run we need of our massive, significant dynamic grassroots presidential campaign,” the Florida representative said of the battleground state on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
  • Firing of Dobbs Elementary teacher upheld for aiding students on tests (cheating)

    05/27/2012 3:58:00 AM PDT · by Libloather · 22 replies
    AJC ^ | 5/23/12 | Jaime Sarrio
    Firing of Dobbs Elementary teacher upheld for aiding students on testsBy Jaime Sarrio The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 5:59 p.m. Wednesday, May 23, 2012 The firing of a fifth teacher in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal was upheld Wednesday by a tribunal. Derrick Broadwater, a teacher at Dobbs Elementary, was accused of helping students with words they didn't know and prompting them to recheck answers if he suspected something was incorrect. The tribunal voted to uphold APS' decision to terminate Broadwater after hearing recordings of the teacher talking to GBI investigators in March 2011. “I always tell my kids to go...
  • Judge rules Wisconsin public union members must opt in on dues

    05/19/2012 4:37:34 PM PDT · by Jean S · 20 replies
    JSOnline via ^ | 5/18/12 | Patrick Marley
    MADISON, Wis. -- State unions were dealt a setback Friday when a federal judge said they would have to get their members to opt in, rather than opt out, to having the state deduct union dues from their paychecks. What's more, the judge did not rule on dues deductions for unions that he earlier found the state improperly decertified. The state's largest unions were decertified, and the ruling -- at least for now -- will make it harder for them to get money from dues. But U.S. District Court Judge William Conley gave unions one beneficial ruling by saying that...
  • Two 'Shame on...' protestors arrested on sex offender registry violations

    05/18/2012 7:40:33 PM PDT · by SmithL · 8 replies
    Knoxville News Sentinel ^ | 5/18/12 | Lance Coleman
    Since February, workers hired by a union to picket First Baptist Church of Dandridge have held up a sign reading, "Shame on Pastor Brown," to protest nonunion workers building a new addition at the church. Each day the church's pastor, Dr. Robert Brown, waved at the men and waved off the criticism they leveled at him and the church. On Friday, Jefferson County Sheriff G.W. "Bud" McCoig arrested the two men and charged them with violating the sex offender registry act. "It's hard to miss the irony, isn't it?" Brown said. "I've said to several folks that I've done a...
  • Judge strikes down union election rules

    05/14/2012 4:50:33 PM PDT · by SmithL · 6 replies
    AP via SFGate ^ | 5/14/12 | SAM HANANEL, Associated Press
    A federal judge on Monday struck down new regulations governing union elections, saying the National Labor Relations Board did not follow proper voting procedures when it approved the rules last year. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg said the board never had a quorum when it voted on the rules that speed up the pace of union representation elections. He did not address the merits of the rules and said the NLRB could simply take a new vote to approve them. Business groups and Republicans had vigorously challenged the rules, which took effect April 30, claiming they didn't give company managers...
  • Municipal bankruptcy infighting flares anew in California

    05/14/2012 9:08:13 AM PDT · by SmithL · 19 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 5/14/12 | Dan Walters
    When Vallejo declared bankruptcy in 2008, one collateral consequence was a years-long political duel in the Capitol between lobbyists for local governments and those for unions representing their workers. Unions pushed legislation that would have required local governments to get permission from an obscure state agency before filing for bankruptcy – an agency that is and probably always will be dominated by union-friendly Democratic politicians. Although it did not come to pass in Vallejo, unions representing police officers, firefighters and other local workers were worried that a federal bankruptcy judge might be willing to abrogate their contracts and perhaps even...
  • Time for obstructionist to end snarky comments and seriously address pension reform

    05/13/2012 10:27:22 AM PDT · by SmithL · 11 replies
    Oakland Tribune ^ | Updated 5/13/12 | Daniel Borenstein - Staff columnist
    Spotting my scheduled appearance on an upcoming conservative think-tank panel to discuss public-employee pensions, union spokesman Steve Maviglio went into Twitter attack mode last week.@stevenmaviglio branded me a "pension basher" and called my ethics into question. His sad attempt to divert the debate badly mischaracterizes my position and further undermines serious discussion of a complex issue.Here's a 140-character response I considered tweeting:Pensions good idea if affordable w/ honest numbers. Lacking in CA. Results: Lost jobs, cuts to needy, huge debt. Progressive issue. #GetRealBut this debate deserves more than digital sound bites. Here's some of my thinking: Traditional pension plans provide...
  • SAN FRANCISCO: Lusty Lady needs investment bigger than 1s and 5s

    05/10/2012 8:11:16 PM PDT · by SmithL · 23 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 5/10/12 | C.W. Nevius
    The Lusty Lady has been serving the nude dancer and peep show needs of North Beach for nearly 30 years. But now that it is facing financial problems, San Franciscans should remember the club's place in the city's colorful history.A case can be made that the Lady is the most pro-feminist strip club in the city - and maybe in history. In 1996, the dancers at the Lusty Lady created a national sensation when they became the first nude club to create an "exotic dancers union." Seven years later, they had another landmark moment when the dancers banded together to...
  • Union president says she told Jerry Brown: 'furloughs are off the table'

    05/10/2012 4:25:17 PM PDT · by SmithL · 37 replies
    SacBee: The State Worker ^ | 5/10/12 | Jon Ortiz
    In a memo to members today, SEIU Local 1000 President Yvonne Walker said that she was consulted about Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to cut state employees' pay and that she drew a line at imposing unpaid time off on workers. "First let me say that I have made it clear that furloughs are not on the table," Walker wrote.
  • Jerry Brown tells unions to brace for California state worker pay cuts

    05/09/2012 9:55:33 PM PDT · by SmithL · 19 replies
    SacBee: The State Worker ^ | 5/9/12 | Jon Ortiz
    State workers' compensation is back on the budget chopping block. Brown administration officials met with the state employee union leaders last week, according to sources familiar with the meetings, to warn them that the next version of the governor's budget will include an unspecified cut in employee costs up to 10 percent. The administration in January estimated that California is confronting a $9.2 billion deficit through 2012-13, but a recent state analysis concluded the actual gap is considerably more. The sources, who declined to talk on the record because the administration asked all involved to keep the discussions secret, said...
  • Scott Walker Dominates, Labor Falters in Wisconsin Recall Primary

    05/09/2012 2:47:32 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 12 replies
    Daily Beast ^ | 05/09/2012 | Ben Jacobs
    Tuesday was a bad night for the labor movement. In Wisconsin, with only token opposition, incumbent Gov. Scott Walker got 97 percent of the vote in the Republican primary, and almost as many votes were cast for him than in the entire Democratic primary combined. This is a bad sign for Democrats. The percentage of the vote Walker received seemed more appropriate for Mugabe than the former county executive of Milwaukee. Wisconsin Democrats were supposed to be enthusiastic about taking down Walker. The labor movement in the United States put a bulls-eye on the governor and labeled him public enemy...
  • Gov. Walker declared winner in GOP primary

    05/08/2012 6:38:47 PM PDT · by Brown Deer · 77 replies
    FOX11 ^ | 5/8/2012 | SCOTT BAUER Associated Press
    MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Republican Gov. Scott Walker has easily defeated token opposition in a GOP primary in a recall election that has become a nationally watched battle over union rights. Preliminary results from Tuesday's primary show Walker beat protester Arthur Kohl-Riggs with 96 percent of the vote.
  • CALIFORNIA: SEIU Local 1000 president supports retirement for all

    05/08/2012 3:10:27 PM PDT · by SmithL · 27 replies
    SacBee: The State Worker ^ | 5/8/12 | Jon Ortiz
    Risky retirement plans aren't doing right by U.S. workers, SEIU Local 1000 President Yvonne Walker says in a piece published today, and she thinks a California retirement-for-all bill is a "step in the right direction." Walker's op-ed item refers to Senate Bill 1234, by Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, which would establish a state-administered retirement fund for private-sector workers.
  • Mortgage legislation splits California Democrats

    05/07/2012 8:40:05 AM PDT · by SmithL · 5 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 5/7/12 | Jon Ortiz
    The "60 Minutes"-style video climaxes with an assemblyman hustling through a Capitol corridor and down a flight of steps, trailed by a constituent asking where the lawmaker stands on controversial mortgage legislation. Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, the Sylmar Democrat who is the subject of "What Legalized Bribery Looks Like," says the piece produced by liberal activists is a "lie." It also highlights how the pitched political struggle over the future of California's mortgage law has roused labor and activist groups into using guerrilla tactics to call out moderate Democrats in an election year. . . . The issue is tailor-made for...
  • California a right-to-work state? Stop effort now

    05/07/2012 8:32:22 AM PDT · by SmithL · 27 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 5/7/12 | Christine Bronstein
    There is a sneaky initiative on the November ballot that would put California on its way to higher poverty and lower wages. Dubbed the "Stop Special Interest Money Now Act," this initiative could increase the number of uninsured workers, double the wage gap, and cut your annual income by almost $6,000. Also known as the "Paycheck Protection" initiative, the measure would put California on a path to becoming a right-to-work state, that is, a state that limits collective bargaining. The initiative claims that it will remove "Big money Interests from politics" by banning unions and corporations from using "payroll-deducted funds...
  • Unions falter in fighting benefit cuts

    05/04/2012 8:59:44 AM PDT · by SmithL · 13 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 5/4/12 | Dale Kasler
    Pushed to the margins of the U.S. economy, labor unions like the one representing Northern California's grocery workers are engaged in an epic struggle to preserve their members' wages and benefits. For the most part, they're losing. Union members across America still enjoy higher pay on average than their nonunion counterparts, but the gap is shrinking. Organized labor is under persistent pressure to make concessions. Diminishing membership also has eroded union power. The United Auto Workers gave ailing Detroit automakers $1 billion in cuts. Pilots at American Airlines learned last month their pay and benefits could get reduced substantially. Even...
  • Oakland labor march shows Occupy losing power

    05/04/2012 8:42:24 AM PDT · by SmithL · 9 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 5/4/12 | Chip Johnson
    Since the Occupy movement cranked up in Oakland last fall, the group has successfully attracted like-minded liberal protesters to their marches, if only to later be caught up in confrontations with police. But Tuesday, as May Day protests sparked up all over the Bay Area, Oakland Occupy appeared to be losing some of its cachet. Attempts by Occupy Oakland adherents to join the March for Dignity demonstration - an annual event that predates the Occupy movement and involves thousands of demonstrators for immigrant and worker rights - didn't go too well. The March for Dignity folks had permits to march...
  • CSU faculty authorizes strike for next fall

    05/02/2012 9:51:23 PM PDT · by SmithL · 15 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 5/2/12 | Timothy Sandoval
    California State University faculty announced today that they have approved a measure to give their union leaders the power to authorize a strike next fall that could delay the beginning of school for thousands of students across the 23-campus university system. At a noon press conference at Cal State Long Beach, the California Faculty Association announced that faculty had approved the measure by 95 percent of those who voted . . .
  • Firefighters, SEIU Local 1000 give $500,000 to fight ballot measure

    04/28/2012 8:42:58 AM PDT · by SmithL · 10 replies
    SacBee: The State Worker ^ | 4/28/12 | Jon Ortiz
    California Professional Firefighters and SEIU Local 1000 recently donated a combined half-million dollars to the group combating a Nov. 6 ballot measure aimed at curbing unions' political power and banning direct contributions to candidates from corporations and unions. The California Professional Firefighters Independent Expenditures PAC donated $250,000 on April 11 and Local 1000 kicked in $252,762 a couple days later, according to a report filed this week with the state. . . . Contributions to defeat the measure now total $5.7 million. Supporters raised about $2.9 million so far.
  • California pension reform proposals shunted off

    04/28/2012 8:38:17 AM PDT · by SmithL · 6 replies
    SFGate: Capitol Notebook ^ | 4/28/12 | Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau
    One of the biggest mysteries at the Capitol these days is whether lawmakers are really going to make any substantive changes in the pension system for public employees. This week didn't do much to answer that, even though there were hearings on bills that were taken word-for-word from proposals Gov. Jerry Brown had sent to the Legislature. The apparent problem? Republicans introduced the bills. They deal with a host of issues, but the two most contentious are increasing the retirement age and creating some kind of hybrid system that includes a traditional pension plus a 401(k)-style plan. Republicans were ready...
  • CALIFORNIA: Dems, unions pushing new local government bankruptcy bill

    04/26/2012 2:03:17 PM PDT · by SmithL · 4 replies
    SacBee: Capitol Alert ^ | 4/26/12 | Dan Walters
    Although a new law to govern bankruptcy filings by local governments is just four months old, Democratic legislators and labor unions are lining up behind a major revision that local officials say would tilt the playing field. . . . The League of California Cities and other local government groups are crying foul, saying it undoes major portions of last year's compromise and gives unions a leg up in pre-bankruptcy negotiations. The City of Stockton is one opponent, telling the Assembly Local Government Committee in a letter that "these changes would dramatically increase the likelihood that mediations will be prolonged...
  • Gov. Haslam signs government employment reform

    04/24/2012 2:28:38 PM PDT · by SmithL · 1 replies
    Nashville Business Journal ^ | 4/24/12 | Brian Reisinger
    Gov. Bill Haslam signed into law today his reform of state government employment practices. The Republican governor held a signing ceremony this morning for the passage of the Tennessee Excellence Accountability and Management (TEAM) Act, one of the major components of his legislative agenda this year. Some business leaders pushed for the measure, saying it would improve regular and often expensive interactions with state government, though critics cautioned against political patronage.Lt Gov. Ron Ramsey, the Republican head of the Senate, followed the signing ceremony with a statement applauding the law. Republicans were generally supportive of the measure, though it was...
  • SAN FRANCISCO: Union protests rattle CPMC community

    04/24/2012 9:09:14 AM PDT · by SmithL · 3 replies
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 4/24/12 | C.W. Nevius
    No one is happy over at California Pacific Medical Center on California Street. The operating engineers of Local 39, who have been without a contract for 18 months, have been picketing for 30 days. The problem is the protests are impacting patients. Benton Armstrong says he and his wife worry about their daughter, London, a premature baby who was born six weeks ago, weighing just 2 pounds. "The doctors and nurses are very concerned about overstimulation of the preemies," Armstrong said. "When we are in the newborn ICU, we are asked to whisper." Except the local is periodically staging rallies...
  • CALIFORNIA: Unions already battling against November political money initiative

    04/19/2012 1:11:10 PM PDT · by SmithL · 2 replies
    SacBee: The State Worker ^ | 4/19/12 | Jon Ortiz
    We're months from when the real fighting starts, but already the labor union and business interests on opposite sides of a November ballot measure are honing their messages. "The Stop Special Interest Money Now Act" would ban both unions and corporations from contributing directly to candidates. Both could still fund independent expenditure campaigns to support them. The measure, which hasn't been assigned a proposition number yet, is especially tough on labor because it would ban all payroll-deducted contributions – unions' primary method of raising money for those independent expenditure committees. Corporations, by contrast, raise the bulk of their political money...
  • CA Paycheck initiative gets $250,000 donation; union trumps it

    04/18/2012 12:33:36 PM PDT · by fifedom · 1 replies
    The Sacramento Bee ^ | April 16, 2012 | Jon Ortiz
    -the initiative received -- $250,000 last month to support a ballot measure that would ban payroll deductions for raising money for political purposes, ... Two days after the California Faculty Association Political Issues Committee put $350,000 into opposing it. -The initiative will start- a political slugfest that could total $50 million or more in campaign spending by the time voters decide on the measure in November.
  • Stockton not only California government in financial distress

    04/16/2012 9:48:24 AM PDT · by SmithL · 1 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 4/16/12 | Dan Walters
    It's easy – justifiably so – to beat up on Stockton for spending itself into a fiscal hole so deep that bankruptcy may be its only course. City officials borrowed and spent heavily on a baseball park, a sports arena, a marina and other facilities in hopes of resurrecting a woebegone downtown, and simultaneously boosted their employees' salaries and fringe benefits. At the time, Stockton was seeing a surge of sales and property taxes from a housing boom and the city's politicians and administrators wagered, in effect, that it would go on forever. When the bubble burst, it was left...
  • Judge:Gov't cannot require union posters at work

    04/13/2012 5:38:23 PM PDT · by mdittmar · 6 replies ^ | April 13, 201 | SAM HANANEL Associated Press
    A federal judge ruled Friday that the National Labor Relations Board cannot require millions of private employers to put up posters informing workers of their right to form a union. U.S. District Judge David Norton in South Carolina said the labor board exceeded congressional authority when it approved the poster requirement last year.The decision Friday conflicts with a ruling last month by another federal judge in Washington, D.C., who found the posters were a reasonable means to make workers aware of collective bargaining rights.Both lawsuits were brought business groups that claim the posters are too one-sided in favor of unions....
  • Jerry Brown, unions agree to delay contract talks until after tax vote

    04/10/2012 8:15:48 AM PDT · by SmithL · 11 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 4/10/12 | Jon Ortiz
    Gov. Jerry Brown has agreed to extend the labor contracts of four state worker unions, pushing aside a potential obstacle to his quest for a tax increase later this year. The agreements affect roughly 24,000 state employees working under deals that expire July 1, extending their current terms for one more year. The governor's deals with labor are "mind-numbing," given the state's $9.2 billion deficit, said Senate GOP leader Bob Huff. The Diamond Bar Republican and three other GOP leaders last month put their names on a budget proposal that included cutting state workers' pay by about 5 percent. "It's...
  • Bakery protest turns violent after clash over cookies

    04/08/2012 9:50:45 AM PDT · by matt1234 · 88 replies ^ | April 7, 2012 | Brandi Kruse
    A labor protest at a historic Seattle bakery turned violent Saturday and police were called when demonstrators clashed with patrons outside. More than 80 protestors from the Seattle Solidarity Network, also known as SeaSol, picketed outside of Borracchini's Bakery in the Rainier Valley as part of a planned protest against the owner, Remo Borracchini. Hundreds of customers arrived in advance of the protest and launched a counter demonstration. Supporters wore red, white and green ribbons in honor of the bakery's Italian roots. Fights broke out among patrons and protestors after a customer offered cookies to one of the demonstrators, a...
  • SEIU Local 1000, business interests prep for ballot initiative battle

    04/03/2012 6:41:56 PM PDT · by SmithL · 4 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 4/3/12 | Jon Ortiz
    Cash is beginning to flow into campaign war chests as labor and business interests prepare for an all-out brawl over a ballot measure that will ask Californians whether employee payroll deductions should fund political action committees. Stop Special Interest Money Now has recieved $460,000 in donations since Jan. 1 to support the measure, according to California Secretary of State filings (embedded after the jump). Of that, $200,000 came from Californians Against Special Interests. That group, in turn, is backed with money from Charles T. Munger Jr. and others. Munger is a son of Charles Munger, the billionaire vice-chairman of Berkshire...
  • Judge tentatively rules for California in school funding suit

    03/27/2012 5:32:33 PM PDT · by SmithL · 4 replies
    SacBee: Capitol Alert ^ | 3/27/12 | Kevin Yamamura
    In a court battle that could shape how schools are funded, a judge tentatively ruled Tuesday that California lawmakers can reduce education funding by diverting state revenues into new pots of money. School boards and administrators sued the state last fall alleging that Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers had shortchanged schools by shifting about $5 billion in sales tax revenues to counties in a new realignment fund. Under voter-approved Proposition 98, the state is required to devote a specified share of overall general fund revenues to K-12 schools and community colleges. School officials said that by diverting $5 billion in...
  • Report says unions have big money advantage in politics

    03/26/2012 6:40:26 PM PDT · by SmithL · 4 replies · 5+ views
    SacBee: The State Worker ^ | 3/26/12 | Jon Ortiz
    Here's one side of the argument you'll be hearing for the next seven months over the so-called "Stop Special Interest Money Now Act" the political-committee funding measure on the Nov. 7 ballot in California. "DUES AND DEEP POCKETS: Public-Sector Unions' Money Machine," published by the conservative Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, argues that dues withheld by payroll deduction and paid directly to unions, along with rules that force employees to pay for representation even if they aren't members, gives labor "an abundant and reliable source of money, sparing unions the need to spend resources on recruitment, retention, and fund-raising." Author...
  • Big pension conflicts ahead in California

    03/26/2012 8:02:22 AM PDT · by SmithL · 8 replies · 17+ views
    Sacramento Bee ^ | 3/26/12 | Dan Walters
    California's great public pension battles are heating up, and may be headed for some kind of political explosion. The Legislature's Democratic majority appears to be doing its best to ignore significant pension reform, even though Gov. Jerry Brown says the current system is "unsustainable" and an overhaul is needed to persuade voters to raise taxes this year. Democrats are reluctant to do anything that public employee unions oppose – such as passing Brown's 12-point pension reform plan – in a year when they'll be running in much-changed districts and will need all the union help they can get. With Brown's...
  • Rep. Darrell Issa Confronts Illegal Union Political Spending

    03/23/2012 11:15:33 AM PDT · by jazusamo · 4 replies · 1+ views
    PJ Media ^ | March 23, 2012 | Patrick Richardson
    His new report lists examples of abuse. PJ Media has reported on incidents of workers residing in states without “right-to-work” laws being forced to unionize in order to keep their jobs. In some instances, workers have been forced to unionize simply to care for disabled family members. An additional angle to this story: unions have been misappropriating those dues to skirt laws restricting a union’s ability to spend that money for political purposes. According to a report released by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), unions spent more than $1.1 billion in dues to finance political and lobbying activities during the 2010...
  • It's Labor History Week, er, Month

    03/23/2012 7:57:24 AM PDT · by SmithL · 8 replies
    <p>A Democrat-dominated Legislature that wanted students to learn about the accomplishments of unions apparently goofed a decade ago in designating the first week in April as Labor History Week, urging schools to commemorate it.</p> <p>That week is spring break in many school districts, so students are neither attending classes nor applauding unions.</p>