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Read important updates and information on voting on the new proposed Tentative Agreement for Republic Airways pilots.http://teamsterair.org/node/1214
(WASHINGTON) – The Teamsters Airline Division announced today that members at Air Canada voted 110-204 to reject the proposed tentative agreement. The members cast their ballots by phone and internet during the voting period that ran from Feb. 10-March 3, 2014.http://teamsterair.org/node/1213
Teamster members and leaders joined with York County legislators to denounce what has been termed the ‘Paycheck Deception Bill’ (House Bill 1507) at a press conference today.
“This bill is nothing more than a flat-out attack on workers’ rights,” said Fred Wilson, President of Teamsters Local 776, in Harrisburg, Pa. “Attacking middle-class families should never be a partisan issue.
The growing disparity in incomes between the “haves” and the “have nots” is a real problem for America, and one that is being felt in many corners of this country. And it is an issue policymakers are going to have to get a handle on if they want to ensure the U.S. retains the values that have made this nation great.
Here are today's top news stories of interest to Teamsters for March 5, 2014.http://teamsternation.blogspot.com/2014/03/teamster-news-today_5.html
Teamsters Local 174 has reached an agreement with First Student covering more than 450 school bus drivers who transport K-12 students for the Seattle School District.
It’s in your state. It’s in my state. It’s in every state. Income inequality knows no state boundaries, and it’s only been getting worse, according to a new report.
The state-by-state analysis, titled “The Increasingly Unequal States of America: Income Inequality by State,” offers a bleak look at America’s fiscal pie. It shows that the richest Americans took a bigger slice in all 50 states between 1917 and 2011 – so big, in fact, that when income growth resumed in 2009 it was nearly all at the upper end of the income scale.
The average income of the top 1 percent, $1.04 million in 2011, was 24.4 times greater than the average income of the bottom 99 percent ($42,694), according to the report, published by the Economic Policy Institute for the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN).
In four states – Nevada, Wyoming, Michigan and Alaska – only the top 1 percent saw their income rise between 1979 and 2007. The average income of the remaining 99 percent fell in those states. In another 15 states, the researchers found that the top 1 percent captured between half and 84 percent of all income growth during that same period.
“The statistics are startling,” said AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders. “They clearly indicate that the rules in America have changed, and that the system is being rigged in favor of the wealthiest. It’s no coincidence that this unfair distribution of wealth has taken place at the same time corporations and right-wing politicians have waged war on unions and the labor movement. They know that a strong labor movement helps level the playing field.”
In 2011, the Rhode Island Retirement Security Act dealt a huge blow to state retirees, partly replacing their secure pensions with risky 401(k)-style plans, taking away their cost-of-living adjustment increases, and raising the minimum age for retirement.
But public employees and retirees with AFSCME Council 94 didn’t take it lying down. They fought back, calling for an investigation into State Treasurer Gina Raimondo’s shady pension practices. And this month, state officials agreed to soften some of the provisions in the harmful legislation.
Among the changes to the original law:
“When the state of Rhode Island threatened our members’ retirement security, we pushed back,” said AFSCME Council 94 Pres. J. Michael Downey. “Now we’ve achieved some important changes to the harmful legislation that was imposed upon us. All things considered, these hard-fought achievements will help us protect retirement security for Rhode Island public employees.”
The agreement reached between the state and its public employees was brokered by federal mediators and must be run through a series of approvals before it is final.
Columbus, Ohio – Gov. John Kasich recently brought his State of the State address, and the entire state Legislature, press corps and a whole pack of half-truths to Medina, Ohio, where the annual speech was held.
Amongst the usual high-flying rhetoric, the governor outlined a few plans that stick out as particularly harmful. He also left out a few pesky facts that are inconvenient to him.
Kasich’s Idea: a huge new round of tax cuts.
The Fact: Kasich shifted the state tax burden off the wealthy and onto the backs of middle- and lower-class Ohioans. In his last budget, the governor gave the wealthiest Ohioans a $6,000 tax break while making the poorest 20 percent of people pay more in taxes. At a time when local governments struggle to make ends meet, is it really a good idea to rob the state of more important revenue?
Kasich’s Idea: “deregulate” the state’s education system.
The Fact: Governor Kasich is more interested in rewarding campaign donors who run for-profit charter schools than helping the state’s students succeed. Since taking office, the governor cut more than $500 million from public schools while giving more money to for-profit charter schools, which are run by some of the most generous political donors in the state.
“I'm really concerned about the drop in food stamps and telling people to go out and get jobs that are not there,” said Judy Smith, a caseworker in Trumbull County and a member of AFSCME Local 458. “They are coming after our unions, pensions and voting rights – this is not the way to build a great state. It's time for a change.”
Voting in America is everyone’s right. In Ohio, however, Gov. John Kasich recently made it harder for certain groups of people to cast their ballots.
Governor Kasich eliminated the so-called “Golden Week,” a period starting 35 days before Election Day when Ohio residents were allowed to register to vote and, at the same time, cast early in-person absentee ballots.
Another bill, also signed into law last week, prohibits county boards of election from mailing out unsolicited absentee ballot applications. This also is intended to make it more difficult for people to vote.
As the American Civil Liberties Union describes: “Eliminating ‘Golden Week’ and shortening the early voting period will needlessly complicate the voting process and place additional burdens on voters. Voters with disabilities, seniors, the homeless, new Ohio residents, people with a lack of transportation, and others such as parents and/or the working poor, among many others, have utilized Golden Week as a flexible way to register and vote simultaneously.”
Rep. Chris Redfern, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, said the party would file suit to prevent the measures from taking effect.
AFSCME, along with the Ohio American Civil Liberties Union, opposed the effort to end early voting.
ALEC and other right-wing groups push voter-suppression laws because they are afraid of what a Democratic election will produce when everyone who wants to vote is able to do so. By restricting voting periods, these laws make it harder for lower-income workers, the elderly, the disabled, students, and people of color to get to the polling places.
Of course, for the tea-party groups behind these efforts, that’s the point.
A grievance preparation and presentation training class for representatives that present cases at the system/joint board level is scheduled to take place April 29th and 30th in San Francisco. The class will be held at Local 856 in San Bruno and will be presented by the Airline Division with the assistance of the IBT Training and Development Department.http://teamsterair.org/node/1188
Here are today's top news stories of interest to Teamsters for March 4, 2014.http://teamsternation.blogspot.com/2014/03/teamster-news-today_4.html