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States Must Find Way to Do Right by Home Care Workers
Lee A. Saunders, Huffington Post, Updated: 06/27/2014 11:59 am EDT

When does justice delayed become justice denied? For the nation's 2 million home care workers, that time may be here. But states have the power to rectify the situation, and they should.  Home care workers are in communities all across America, providing help with fundamental daily activities such as dressing, bathing and preparing meals for elderly individuals and people with disabilities.  Despite the critical role they play, you may not notice home care workers in your community until you, or someone you love, need their services. And, frankly, they are also sometimes overlooked in our society for other reasons: The workforce is predominantly female, more than half are women of color and approximately one-quarter are immigrants…

EDITORIAL: Pushback on Home Care
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD, New York Times, JUNE 29, 2014

The salvos keep coming from opponents of a new federal rule to ensure that home care workers are paid at least the minimum wage and time and a half for overtime. The rule, many years in the making, reverses a misguided policy from 1974 that has long denied home care workers those basic wage protections. Last month, some states pressed the Labor Department to delay the rule’s effective date, Jan. 1, 2015, for 18 months. They said the rule was too complex, but a deeper reason was that they fear the strain on their Medicaid budgets, which are used to pay many home care bills and which have long been balanced in part by underpaying home care workers. In response, and to its credit, the Labor Department issued guidance this month that instructed the states on how to follow the rule, focusing clearly on compliance, not delay. Now comes another challenge: Three groups that represent home care agencies have filed a lawsuit in federal court to stop the new rule on the grounds that the department exceeded its authority and did not follow proper procedures. ...

Special Report: Pensions becoming scarce in private sector
Steve Tarter  Journal Star, Posted Jun. 29, 2014

...Public sector interests such as the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees point to a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee study that says workers earned 12 percent less than private sector workers between 2000 and 2008 and that many public workers forced to forego Social Security have to rely on pensions in retirement….The move away from pensions in the private sector intensified in the late 1980s and early 1990s, said John Blossom, president and CEO of the Peoria-based Alliance Benefit Corp. of Illinois, a firm that sets up retirement plans for companies across the country. Growth has been “explosive” for Alliance, which now handles $3 billion in assets for client companies, Blossom said….

6 Groups That Are Reinventing Organized Labor
Josh Israel, ThinkProgress, June 27, 2014

...Through workers associations, work centers, and “alt-labor” groups, millions of these workers — along with part-time workers, temporary workers, and those who work for employers that have no union — are using new tactics to fight against that inequality of bargaining power. While the structures of these groups vary, each is pushing for higher wages, better working conditions, and other issues that benefit not just them but others in their communities. The groups are not competing with traditional unions, but rather working alongside them and in tandem. Here’s a look at the six groups using new and alternative methods to make gains for workers’ rights:...New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA).... Working America....  National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA).... National Guestworkers Alliance.... Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United ....  National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) ....And these six organizations are just some of the many springing up around the country. Others, such as Making Change at Walmart and Fast Food Forward have also drawn national attention in their efforts to force major corporations to take ownership of the treatment of workers at all levels of the employment chain....

What the Supreme Court’s Noel Canning Decision Means for Labor
BY DAVID MOBERG, In These Times blog, JUN 27, 2014, 6:15 PM

….And though the decision temporarily works in favor of the labor movement, the fallout from the legal battle could disrupt and slow the work of the NLRB. Employers have challenged roughly 100 NLRB decisions made by the board members who had been appointed during the 2012 recess. If most of those employers continue to contest those cases rather than settle, the current NLRB will have to revisit them.  Given the NLRB’s track record, this could take quite some time: After a federal court ruled in 2010 that the Board had to have a three-person majority vote to decide cases, it took nearly three years for it to review about 100 disputed decisions, according to NLRB spokesperson Gregory King. That experience suggests that the NLRB could be tied up for many of the coming months revisiting cases from January 2012 to August 2013, which would interfere with its pressing new work.  In the end, it seems neither side in the legal battle had much to celebrate. ….

How to Make a Smarter Minimum Wage
REBECCA J. ROSEN, New York Times, JUN 27 2014, 2:36 PM ET

Former White House economist Jared Bernstein suggests the minimum wage should depend on an area's cost of living.

Opinion: Inequality Is Not Inevitable
By JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ, New York Times,  June 27, 2014 6:16 pm

...If it is not the inexorable laws of economics that have led to America’s great divide, what is it? The straightforward answer: our policies and our politics. People get tired of hearing about Scandinavian success stories, but the fact of the matter is that Sweden, Finland and Norway have all succeeded in having about as much or faster growth in per capita incomes than the United States and with far greater equality. So why has America chosen these inequality-enhancing policies? Part of the answer is that as World War II faded into memory, so too did the solidarity it had engendered….Ideology and interests combined nefariously. Some drew the wrong lesson from the collapse of the Soviet system. The pendulum swung from much too much government there to much too little here. Corporate interests argued for getting rid of regulations, even when those regulations had done so much to protect and improve our environment, our safety, our health and the economy itself….The American political system is overrun by money. Economic inequality translates into political inequality, and political inequality yields increasing economic inequality….

Support High For Targeted Gas Tax Hike
by Jim Watts, Bond Buyer, JUN 27, 2014 5:03pm ET

A significant majority of Americans would support increases in the federal gasoline tax if the revenues are spent on highway projects, according to the latest nationwide poll in a multi-year series of studies by a transportation think tank. The June 2014 report by the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University in California summarized the results from the fifth year of a public opinion poll. The survey found that 69% supported a 10 cent increase in the 18.4 cent per gallon federal gasoline tax if the revenues are dedicated to road maintenance.

Smartphones cutting tax revenue
By James Nash Bloomberg News  •  Monday June 30, 2014 12:58 AM

Smartphone users are costing U.S. states and cities revenue as taxes rooted in old-fashioned telephone service fail to keep up with the Internet….Unlike voice calls, which face levies either on land-line or mobile networks, data use — where the growth is — can’t be taxed under federal law. The use of mobile Internet more than doubled last year from 2012 to 3.2 trillion megabytes, according to a report released this month by CTIA-The Wireless Association, an industry trade group. And while voice use over cellular networks rose 14 percent, multimedia-messaging soared 29 percent, according to the report. Text messaging, which uses the same mechanism as voice calls and is also taxed, fell 13 percent….

On July 1, Many States Will Cut Taxes
By Susan Milligan,, June 30, 2014

...July 1 is the start of most states’ fiscal years, and for the first time in years, governors and legislators are cutting some taxes, taking advantage of an improved revenue outlook and banking on the financial breaks to encourage business and job growth in their states. While a few fees and certain sales taxes will go up, the general trend has been to use corporate tax cuts to get the economy churning, said Brian Sigritz, director of state fiscal studies at the National Association of State Budget Officers.... Critics say business tax cuts do little to stimulate the state economies or lure companies from other states. “There’s always this cycle, when revenues start coming back a little bit, you start to see legislatures using some of the revenue to cut taxes. And it’s unfortunate, because revenues are just finally back to where they were, pre-recession, after adjusting for inflation,” said Michael Mazerov of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a research group focused on low-income families. Just two percent of the job losses during the recession occurred because businesses moved to another state or country, Mazerov said.....

A Year After Windsor, More Employers Give Benefits to Same-Sex Couples, Survey Finds By Sean Forbes, BNA Daily Labor Report, 124 DLR A-8, 6/27/2014

A year after the U.S. Supreme Court's Windsor ruling, 82 percent of U.S. employers offer benefits to same-sex couples, up from 61 percent in June 2013, according to survey results released June 26. More than half (55 percent) of the 538 human resources, benefits and industry professionals who responded to the survey said they offered benefits to same-sex couples because they strive to be inclusive and recognize that there are types of families other than those designated by law, according to the report from International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. The remaining 45 percent said they offered such benefits simply to remain compliant with the law, according to the report, “Employee Benefits for Same-Sex Couples: the DOMA Decision One Year Later.”

Obama's immigration dilemma
By Alexander Bolton - The Hill - 06/28/14 06:21 AM EDT

…..Democratic strategists, however, say Obama needs to do something to rev up Latino voters who are disappointed his 2012 reelection has not yielded reform or slowed the pace of deportations. ...There are some moves Obama could make that amount to a middle ground, of a kind.  Pro-immigrant activists expect Obama to take action to limit cooperation between state and local law enforcement and the federal government on enforcing immigration laws. They also assert he should slow or stop the deportation of illegal immigrants with particularly strong ties to the United States.  Activists say Obama could curtail or end the so-called 287 program, which allows state and local law enforcement to enter into partnership with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to receive authority to enforce immigration laws within their jurisdictions…..

Opinion: Let's lead on paid leave
Thomas Perez, Detroit News, June 30, 2014 at 1:00 am

...Congress has shown little inclination to act so far. But California, Rhode Island and New Jersey have already passed paid leave laws, with energetic grassroots campaigns in several more states. Sometimes, change comes to Washington, not from Washington. That’s what happened with unpaid leave a generation ago, and we’re seeing a similar movement in the states on minimum wage. The Labor Department wants to encourage that process. We’ve just announced new grants for states to conduct feasibility studies about the development or implementation of paid leave. As part of the larger commitment to working families, the president also announced that he is directing us to invest $25 million to help people who want to enroll in job training programs but have difficulty accessing child care. We are also investing in research about lessons learned in states innovating with paid leave….

Flexible working extended to all employees in the United Kingdom
Charles Wynn-Evans and Georgina Rowley, Lexology,  June 30 2014
As of today, 30 June 2014, any employee with at least 26 weeks’ service will enjoy a statutory right to request a flexible working arrangement (usually part-time or changed hours or working from home). This replaces the previous regime which applied only to parents and carers. It also replaces the current formal statutory procedure which applied to such requests and places a duty on employers to deal with requests in a reasonable manner. The right remains only a right to request flexible working, not an absolute right to work flexibly.


CA: As healthcare signup grows, demand surges for interpreters in California
Bigad Shaban, CBS Evening News, June 29, 2014, 6:07 PM [video]

Over eight million people signed up under the Affordable Care Act, but some are finding their new health coverage lost in translation, as signups of non-English speaking patients increases. Medical professionals say the surge is leading to a critical shortage of interpreters across California.

CT: Board members mull over cafeteria worker agreement
By SUSAN CORICA, Bristol Press, Friday, June 27, 2014 9:24 PM EDT

After a lengthy meeting with its attorney this week, the Board of Education made no decision on a response to the state Board of Labor Relations’ order to comply with a tentative agreement reached with the school cafeteria workers….Meanwhile, the board has already signed a contract with Long Island-based Whitsons Culinary Group to outsource cafeteria services, effective Tuesday, July 1. “Whitsons is aware of what’s going on,” said Genard Dolan, school board member. “They also received a copy of the report from the state Labor Relations Board.” Back in January the state Board of Mediation and Arbitration granted the Board of Education the right to privatize school food service operations. However, Local 2267 of Council 4 AFSCME, which represents the 53 cafeteria workers, is suing to vacate that ruling….

FL:  Labor negotiations heat up as Miami-Dade prepares annual budget
Patricia Mazzei, Miami Herald, 06.28.14

Three-year union contracts are up for renewal. The mayor wants to cut pay and extend concessions that are scheduled to end this year. … But agreeing to leaner health insurance would hurt employees’ pocketbooks, said Andy Madtes, administrator of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 199, which represents general-government workers. “It would be a draconian change to go from our plan to that plan,” said Madtes, who has proposed alternatives such as clinics for county employees modeled by some in New York City for hotel workers….

HI: A Disregarded Request From a Beloved Senator Shakes Up Hawaii’s Primary
By ADAM NAGOURNEY, New York Times, JUNE 29, 2014

...Randy Perreira, the executive director of the Hawaii Government Employees Association, which is supporting Mr. Schatz, said that while enough time had passed that damage for Mr. Schatz had ebbed, the remarks “resurrected some feelings that were fading.” “The governor created more problems for himself than anyone else,” he said. “It gave an opportunity to his challenger, Senator Ige, that perhaps wasn’t there before.” Mr. Abercrombie, in an interview, declined to comment on the political repercussions of the appointment. “I can’t let that influence my decision-making,” he said….

IL: This just in… AFSCME’s Henry Bayer retires
Rich Miller, Capitol Fax, Friday, Jun 27, 2014  

… Yesterday Henry Bayer announced his retirement from AFSCME Council 31 and submitted his resignation as executive director (effective July 31) to the union’s executive board.  The board unanimously elected longtime deputy director Roberta Lynch as the union’s new executive director. Roberta is a tenacious champion for workers and a veteran union leader who has served AFSCME for more than three decades.  …. Related: WMAY News: Executive Director Of AFSCME Council 31 To Retire

IL: Guard injured after hit by inmate at Shawnee Correctional Center
KFVS, Updated: Jun 29, 2014 6:11 PM EDT

A correctional officer was injured after being hit repeatedly by an inmate on Friday at the the Shawnee Correctional Center in Vienna, Illinois. That's according to AFSCME Local 3605 President Kelly Beal.  Beal says the inmate hit the guard several times and broke the guard's jaw. The guard received a broken jaw along with 12 stitches and at least one broken tooth. The guard is seeing a doctor on Monday and is facing possible surgery.

KS: Tax cuts in Kansas have cost the state money — and job creation’s been terrible
BY CHRISTOPHER INGRAHAM, Washington Post, Wonkblog, June 27, 2014

...In fact, as Josh Barro notes in a must-read over at The Upshot today, job growth in Kansas has actually lagged behind the U.S. average, especially in the years following the first round of Brownback tax cuts in 2012….Earlier this year, my colleague Niraj Chokshi reported
on a Center and Budget Policy Priorities study of Kansas' cuts
. In an unusually frank assessment from the nonpartisan think tank, the study's authors concluded that "Kansas is a cautionary tale, not a model. As other states recover from the recent recession and turn toward the future, Kansas’ huge tax cuts have left that state’s schools and other public services stuck in the recession, and declining further — a serious threat to the state’s long-term economic vitality. Meanwhile, promises of immediate economic improvement have utterly failed to materialize."...

MI:  AFSCME, Orr sign contracts that include pay increase for workers Wage restorations for 3,500 workers are expected as part of the agreement

Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and a bankruptcy mediator joined the city’s largest labor union on Friday to sign contracts that call for a pay increase and were ratified by workers this week…. Members of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 25 and a majority of the city’s unions represented in the labor coalition, ratified the tentative five-year agreements this week during the city’s bankruptcy proceedings….Ed McNeil, a representative for AFSCME, said the ratification vote was “overwhelmingly supported” by the groups.  “This represents one of our contributions to try to move the city forward,” he added….. Related: ClickOnDetroit: AFSCME strikes deal in Detroit Grand Bargain

MI:  CMU Reaches Contract Agreement with POAM, AFSCME
Targeted News Service, June 28, 2014

Central Michigan University issued the following news release:  The CMU Chapter of the Police Officers Association of Michigan on Thursday ratified a new three-year collective bargaining agreement with Central Michigan University. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1568 also reached tentative agreement later that evening on its three-year contract with the university...

MI: Michigan awards $90M deal to builder of problem-plagued
Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, 5:23 AM, June 30, 2014

The State of Michigan has awarded computer contracts worth nearly $90 million to the Canadian firm that built the federal government’s Affordable Care Act website and took much of the blame for its disastrous launch. Officials in the administration of Gov. Rick Snyder chose CGI Technologies and Solutions, whose parent company is headquartered in Montreal, over three U.S.-based firms. CGI did not submit the lowest bid.…The State Administrative Board on Tuesday awarded CGI two contracts worth $89.5 million to build the state’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. … One contract is for more than $50 million over seven years. The other is for nearly $39 million over three years….

MN: Carver administrator given high marks
By Nick Mason, Chaska Herald, June 28, 2014 1:27 pm

...Seven non-management employees represented by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Minnesota Council 65, AFL-CIO, Local 2789 received raises Jan. 1, 2014 ranging from 2.34 percent to 3.41 percent….

MO: EMS workers vote to form union  
By Jesus Lopez-Gomez, Examiner,  Posted Jun. 28, 2014 @ 1:24 am  

Independence's emergency personnel will be soon be organizing into a union. The decision follows a 51-17 vote by American Medical Response's Independence and South Platte employees to organize as a chapter of EMS Workers United-AFSCME. Local paramedic Laura Cain said she and the other supporters are celebrating the opportunity to build a formally organized workforce. “We're eager to get the ball rolling with the contract and get the union running,” said Cain, a member of the union organizing committee….Kirk Stobart, president of Local 781 of the international Association of Fire Fighters, which represents Independence firefighters and EMTs, favors the city taking over ambulance service. He mentioned the impending unionization vote and raised the possibility that AMR might pull out of Independence and other places in Missouri given that no contract exists between the city and the contractor….

NJ: EDITORIAL: Gov. Christie’s Money Trail
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD, New York Times, JUNE 29, 2014

...The latest news involves what appears to be a diversion of funds originally intended for a vital tunnel under the Hudson River to a bridge repair job that normally would have been paid for by state funds. In 2010, Mr. Christie canceled plans for the tunnel, a decision that itself was a huge mistake. The Times reported last week that the Securities and Exchange Commission and the office of the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr., were investigating Mr. Christie’s efforts to use part of the $1.8 billion that belonged to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and was earmarked for the tunnel, to rebuild a deteriorating bridge known as the Pulaski Skyway….

NY: Bridge Authority union workers approve new contract  
Mid-Hudson News Network, June 28, 2014

Some 150 workers at the New York State Bridge Authority have overwhelmingly ratified a new contact with the agency. They are represented by the CSEA.  The new five-year pact, which was also approved by management, runs from April 1, 2012 through March 31, 2017. It calls for wage increases in three of the five years – 2.75 percent on April 1, 2014 plus a one-time $500 payment for full-time workers and $250 for part-timers; 2.75 percent on April 1, 2015 and 2.5 percent in April 1, 2016; plus a minor change in health insurance for new hires and enhancements to the existing health insurance buyout, according to CSA labor relations specialist Howard Baul…. Related: Times Herald Record: NY bridge workers OK contract that gives raise, bonuses

NY: Yonkers union leaders worry school workers may lose benefits
Gary Stern,, 11:32 p.m. EDT June 27, 2014

Union officials are concerned that more than 50 school district employees could lose a portion of their pay and benefits when their jobs are absorbed by the city on July 1….Most of the employees are members of the Civil Service Employees Association, which does not represent any city employees. Most will likely join the Service Employees International Union, which has a somewhat different contract for its workers.  Lionel Turner, president of Local 9169 of the CSEA in Yonkers, said that some employees, due to different longevity rules, could lose several thousand dollars in pay. He would like the transfer of employees to be delayed until the details are worked out.  "Why can't there be some integrity in this process for those who have been loyal school district employees all these years?" he said….

NY: No drug-testing of police, this year or next
By John Mason, Register-Star, Posted: Friday, June 27, 2014 12:30 am

...Members of CSEA are randomly drug tested, due to the city’s agreement with that union; members of the Police Officers’ Union, due to their contract, are not randomly drug tested. The present union contract expires Dec. 31, 2015….

NY: EXCLUSIVE: Audit finds Bilinguals Inc. used taxpayer funds for fancy cars, apartment, funeral expenses
BY Kenneth Lovett, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, Monday, June 30, 2014, 4:00 AM

The new audit found more than $875,000 in improper reimbursements out of the $13.3 million Bilinguals Inc. billed government during the three-year period. … The audit, set to be released Monday, found that Bilinguals Inc. received reimbursements to help cover the cost of rent on a Manhattan apartment for Executive Director Trudy Font-Padron and her husband, Robert Padron, an assistant executive director, "so they wouldn't be too far from the office," even though the headquarters are in Forest Hills. Taxpayers also paid parts of the leases, insurance and other costs related to three upscale vehicles - 2009 and 2011 Lexus SUVs and a 2010 Honda CRV - for Font-Padron and her husband, as well as cable TV at their Manhattan apartment, auditors found....

NY: Nassau sewer system to be managed by NJ firm under multimillion-dollar deal
By PAUL LAROCCO AND ROBERT BRODSKY, Newsday, Updated: June 29, 2014 12:38 AM

...The contract between Mangano and United Water of Harrington Park, New Jersey, calls for Nassau to pay the firm $57.4 million a year -- adjusted annually for inflation -- to operate its three major wastewater treatment plants, 53 pumping stations and 3,000 miles of sewers…United Water must provide at least $10 million a year in savings to the county by taking on the salaries and benefits of sewage treatment workers, according to the agreement. CSEA president Jerry Laricchiuta said he was "not thrilled" the county was privatizing operation of the plants. But he said the union agreed to the deal because Mangano had signed a no-layoff agreement. "My main concern is making sure that my people stay employed," he said. "So, as long as they follow the agreement, we will not fight this."

OH: AFSCME approves new contract Pact has 1.5% pay increases, drops pension pickup
BY MARK ZABORNEY, Toledo Blade, Saturday, 6/28/2014

Members of Toledo’s largest municipal union Friday overwhelmingly approved a new three-year contract, the first full-term contract to be negotiated by Mayor D. Michael Collins.  The agreement provides for 1.5 percent pay increases in January of 2015, 2016, and 2017, according to a memorandum from the Collins administration to city council members.  The contract also eliminates, starting next month, the 3 percent employee share of pension contributions that the city has been paying.  Members of American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 7 approved the contract by a 70 percent margin, said Steve Kowalik, regional director of AFSCME Council 8. The tally was not released…..“After city council reviews and approves their portion of it, the city and AFSCME Council 8 will issue a joint statement to talk about the process and, with the council’s approval, our accomplishment,” Mr. Kowalik said….

OH: Auditor warns that state cuts could trigger a deficit
By Lucas Sullivan The Columbus Dispatch  •  Sunday June 29, 2014 5:30 AM

...Now, City Auditor Hugh J. Dorrian is warning of possible deficits by the end of this year. Dorrian blames cuts in state funding for cities. But an analysis of the past five years of city budgets shows that new programs created by Mayor Michael B. Coleman and the Columbus City Council have contributed to spending that has grown 22 percent since 2010, outpacing revenue that grew by 17.6 percent. The general-fund budget, which supports most city operations, including public safety, has increased $147 million in the past five years, to $807 million this year….

PA: Lawmaker offers paycheck protection ‘compromise’
By Andrew Staub | PA Independent, June 27, 2014

A leading proponent of paycheck protection legislation in Pennsylvania says he’s found a “fair compromise” to alleviate union concern about the proposal that would force labor organizations to collect their own political money. State Sen. John Eichelberger, R-Blair, said an amendment to his legislation, Senate Bill 1034, would still allow public-sector union employees to have fair-share fees — which pay for representation in collective bargaining, arbitration and legal matters — automatically deducted from their paychecks. The portion of union dues that go toward advocacy and any political action committee contributions, though, no longer would be taken out automatically through the government payroll system, as is the case now. Eichelberger’s original legislation would have also barred the fair-share deduction....

PA: Elected officials-only pension reform plan teed up for a vote in the Senate
Jan Murphy |, June 29, 2014 at 10:11 PM  

It's not at all the sweeping pension reform that Gov. Tom Corbett sought but the Senate has now positioned a bill for a vote by that chamber that would move elected officials into a 401k-style plan like most private sector employees have.  The Senate Appropriations Committee tonight took the historic step of voting unanimously to approve the legislation that is hoped might grease the skids for a broader pension change later that Corbett wants….

PR: U.S. Investment Firms Challenge Puerto Rico Restructuring Law Wall Street Firms Say Law Violates U.S. Constitution
AARON KURILOFF, Wall Street Journal, Updated June 29, 2014 7:09 p.m.

….Funds managed by Franklin Templeton Investments and OppenheimerFunds Inc. asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico to block the law, arguing that only Congress is allowed to create bankruptcy rules. The funds hold about $1.7 billion combined in debt from the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, which they say they believe will seek to restructure its debt under the act "imminently."...

RI: Council 94 endorses Mollis, Caprio and Kimartin RANDAL EDGAR, Providence Journal, June 27, 2014 03:07

The largest state employees union announced Friday that it is endorsing A. Ralph Mollis in the race for lieutenant governor, Frank Caprio for treasurer and Peter Kilmartin for attorney general. Michael Downey, president of Council 94 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said the three Democratic candidates all have “a proven track record of supporting and championing issues that matter most to working families.”...

WI: Worker unions ending at UW Hospital  
David Wahlberg | Wisconsin State Journal, June 29, 2014

A 2011 state law that ended most collective bargaining for most state employees went a step further at UW Hospital, where the law known as Act 10 is eliminating union representation for about 5,000 workers…. Another large worker group at UW Hospital will be affected in January, when the contract ends for about 2,800 medical assistants, housekeepers, security guards, food service workers and others in the Wisconsin State Employees Union.  The workers, who are seeking public support through ads and appearances at parades and other events, continue to ask administrators to recognize the unions. But doing so wouldn’t be “consistent with the letter and spirit of Act 10 that governs us,” hospital spokeswoman Lisa Brunette said…..

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