June 7, 2012
AFSCME’s McEntee: “This Struggle Is Far From Over” Statement of AFSCME Pres. Gerald W. McEntee on the recall election in Wisconsin
AFSCME news release, JUNE 06, 2012
“With the help of his Wall Street backers and corporate barons, Gov. Scott Walker has survived the recall election. But with John Lehman’s defeat of Van Wanggaard in the Racine recall, a pro-worker majority now controls the Wisconsin state Senate. We have dealt a major blow against Walker’s “divide and conquer” strategy and his ability to do more damage to the workers and middle class of Wisconsin. … Remember that collective bargaining rights were taken from workers in Kentucky, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio and Puerto Rico – yet they all ultimately won them back. Make no mistake, the battle in Wisconsin will not end until workers in the Badger State win back their stolen right to a voice on the job.”
Unions, at Center of Wisconsin Recall Vote, Suffer a New Setback in Its Outcome
By DAVID KOCIENIEWSKI, New York Times, June 6, 2012
… “Remember that collective bargaining rights were taken from workers in Kentucky, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio and Puerto Rico — yet they all ultimately won them back,” said Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, in a statement.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s victory deals blow to unions
By Peter Whoriskey and Dan Balz, Washington Post: June 6
…. In interviews, union leaders rejected the idea that the outcome reflected any growing antipathy toward labor, or a diminished presence of unions. The campaign “showed our ability to put boots on the ground,” said Gerald McEntee, the head of AFSCME. …. Said McEntee: “I think [Republicans] see it as a way to weaken the Democratic Party. I think that labor in general is one of the legs on the stool of the Democratic Party. They see it. They know it.”
AFL-CIO tries to downplay Wisconsin recall
Rachel Weiner, Washington Post, 01:27 PM ET, 06/06/2012
… We didn’t decide on this recall,” Richard Trumka told reporters on a conference call this afternoon. “It was the workers in Wisconsin and the voters in Wisconsin who did.” … Numerous unions behind the recall push argued that forcing Walker to spend so much money was a victory in itself and vowed to fight on. “Make no mistake, the battle in Wisconsin will not end until workers in the Badger State win back their stolen right to a voice on the job,” said AFSCME President Gerald McEntee in a statement.
Labor Faces New Challenge / Losses in Wisconsin, California Come as Ranks of Government Unions Decline
By KRIS MAHER and MELANIE TROTTMAN, Wall Street Journal, June 6, 2012, 9:10 p.m. ET
… Labor officials on Wednesday played down the significance of the Wisconsin defeat. "Even with this loss, Wisconsin's voters have sent a clear message that attacks on workers' rights will not go unchallenged," said Gerald McEntee, the president of Afscme. He said Mr. Walker had "ended more than a half century of labor-management cooperation in state government," but that the union would continue to fight to win back government-worker bargaining rights.
Wisconsin exit poll: What happened?
Jon Cohen at 10:46 AM ET, 06/06/2012, Washington Post
…. Exit poll numbers released to subscribers just before polls closed in the Wisconsin recall election Tuesday dangled the possibility that Milwaukee Mayor Tommy Barrett (D) could win. …. Just a half hour later, the exit poll shifted to 52 to 48 percent, tilting in Walker’s favor. ….One issue with the exit polling for the recall election was that there was no telephone survey of absentee voters. NBC News estimates at least 15 percent of all voters voted that way, and that they favored Walker over Barrett.
Wisconsin Vote Underscores Challenges for Democrats
By MICHAEL D. SHEAR, New York Times, June 6, 2012
…. More than 40 offices run by the Democratic National Committee and Mr. Obama’s campaign deployed more than 100 paid staff members alongside union and state volunteers for months in what amounts to the first real test of the president’s ground game before November’s election. …. The labor movement had forced the recall by directing a wave of anger against Mr. Walker’s bid to end collective bargaining for state workers. But Mr. Walker benefitted from a surge in contributions from wealthy conservative donors from around the country who raised more than $30 million to Mr. Barrett’s $4 million.
Wisconsin’s dangerous result
By E.J. Dionne Jr., Wednesday, June 6, 12:57 PM, Washington Post
… It’s worth comparing what happened in Wisconsin with what happened last year in Ohio, where unions forced a referendum on the anti-labor legislation pushed through by Gov. John Kasich (R) and the Republican-controlled legislature. The unions and the Democrats won 61 percent in that vote, repealing the law. But this remedy was not available in Wisconsin. The recall, it turns out, was an imperfect instrument. … There was a sense of focus on the right that did not exist on the left. It was foolish for progressives not to work much harder to avoid a gubernatorial primary that wasted resources they couldn’t spare.
The Battle of the Boardroom
Gerald McEntee, President of the 1.6 Million-Member AFSCME Union. Huffington Post, : 06/06/2012 4:41 pm
"Corporations are people, my friend." It was the gaffe heard around the world. …. Public sector workers -- nurses, corrections officers, library workers and sanitation workers - have a trillion reasons to care about what happens in Wall Street's boardrooms. The 1.6 million members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO (AFSCME) participate in public pension funds with combined assets worth more than $1.7 trillion that own approximately 4 percent of the stock market. The retirement security of workers depends on strong economic growth to maximize the value of these pension assets.
CA: San Diego and San Jose Lead Way in Pension Cuts
By MICHAEL COOPER and MARY WILLIAMS WALSH, New York Times, June 6, 2012
… Many states and municipalities are struggling with rising pension costs. In many cases benefits were set when the stock market was booming and investments seemed to deliver nothing but gains. It was widely assumed at the time that investment returns would cover most of the cost of people’s pensions. Now, though, the expected investment gains have fallen far short, and municipalities everywhere must make up the missing money, sometimes by raising taxes, sometimes by cutting government services. … Some saw a pattern. “It isn’t lost on us that the one commonality in Wisconsin, San Diego and San Jose is that we were considerably outspent,” said Steven Kreisberg, the director of collective bargaining at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in Washington. “You have politicians conspiring with corporations to take away pensions from workers.”
California Pension Cuts May Have Ripple Effect
By ELLIOT SPAGAT Associated Press, June 7, 2012 (AP)
Decisive victories for ballot proposals cutting retirement benefits for government workers in two of the largest cities in the U.S. emboldened advocates seeking to curb pensions in state capitols and city halls across the nation.…. Henry Bayer, executive director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 in Illinois, said the California referendums reflect a "race to the bottom" to erode government benefits by putting them on par with the private sector. "This is part of a national effort to reduce retirement security for public employees, and it's very unfortunate," said Bayer, who represents about 70,000 government workers in Illinois.
Branstad inspired to follow Wisconsin's lead
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, Thursday June 7, 2012
Gov. Scott Walker's definitive victory in Wisconsin's recall election is already reverberating in other state capitals, including those in Iowa and Nebraska. … In Iowa, Gov. Terry Branstad, who is two seats shy of a Republican lock on the Legislature, said he would propose requiring state workers, some of whom pay nothing toward their health insurance, to shoulder 20 percent of their premiums. “Every state's situation's a little different ... but we kind of follow what each other is doing, and I've been inspired,” Branstad said. In Nebraska, where state employees already pay 21 percent of their health insurance costs, Gov. Dave Heineman said through a spokeswoman that many other states are looking to do what Nebraska is already doing. …. GOP lawmakers in states such as Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and New Hampshire are more likely to push harder for right-to-work legislation or other measures that restrict automatic union dues collection.
Government Job Loss: President Obama’s Catch 22
Jun 6, 2012 2:03pm ABC News
…. The number of public employees has dropped in Wisconsin after Walker’s reforms. And it’s dropped in other states too. But – and here’s the rub for President Obama – those same drops in public sector employment are contributing to the tepid job creation that’s standing in the way of his reelection. … Since Obama took office, 636,000 state and local jobs have been cut. In 2011 alone, 113,000 jobs were cut in local schools, 68,000 jobs were cut in local government administration, and 78,000 jobs were cut in state government administration, according to a Commerce Department report.
Democrats’ Comments Spark Tax Cut Debate
By JONATHAN WEISMAN, New York Times, June 6, 2012
Congressional Republicans pounced Wednesday on disputed comments from Bill Clinton and a former senior Obama economic adviser, claiming that the Republican push to extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts beyond the 2012 expiration date has support at the highest levels of the Democratic Party. White House officials and Congressional Democrats responded just as vigorously, saying neither the former president nor Lawrence H. Summers, a past director of the National Economic Council, ever said that all of the tax cuts should be extended.
More federal pay freeze plans pushed in House
By Eric Yoder, Washington Post, 06:21 PM ET, 06/06/2012
Federal pay rates would be frozen for the third straight year in 2013 under several plans that advanced in the House on Wednesday. A spending bill covering general government matters for the upcoming fiscal year approved by a House Appropriations subcommittee contains no additional money to pay for a raise, effectively rejecting President Obama’s request for a 0.5 percent increase in January.
Taxing Medical Devices Will Keep the U.S. Healthy
By the Editors Jun 6, 2012 7:09 PM ET, Bloomberg
Every now and then, a groundswell of support pushes legislation ahead in Congress, often on the grounds that it would provide jobs, increase U.S. exports, stop companies from moving overseas and save small businesses. The members vote, the news media congratulate them for a rare show of bipartisanship, and some interest group walks off happily into the sunset. That’s how the narrative is playing out for a rapidly advancing bill to repeal a 2.3 percent tax on the sale of medical devices.
Texas Teachers Taking Alternative Investing To New Risks
By Gillian Wee - Jun 6, 2012, Bloomberg
…. Pension funds across the U.S. are facing an unprecedented double squeeze: Baby boomers entering retirement are placing growing demands on resources, while investment returns during the past decade have dropped. Nationwide, public pensions faced more than $4 trillion in unfunded liabilities as of October, according to Joshua Rauh of Northwestern University. At TRS, Harris is reacting by ramping up stakes in so- called alternative assets ranging from private equity to real estate to hedge funds. The Texas fund had about a third of its money in these investments at the end of March -- more than any of the 10 largest public pension funds, according to London researcher Preqin Ltd. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System has 25 percent of its $237.6 billion of assets in such investments.
How America's Largest Private Prison Operator Plans to Beat Corporate Income Tax
Friday, 01 June 2012 Christopher Francis Petrella, Truthout |
Although many on the left have rightly repudiated the myriad manifestations of prison privatization characterized, in part, by involuntary prison labor, ongoing health and safety violations, corporate financing and even "the New Jim Crow," few, if any, have called attention to the relatively obscure relationship between private prison companies and their IRS corporate classification filing status. … Less than a month ago, the nation's largest private prison owner and operator, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), first announced its plan to assess the feasibility of a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) conversion. …. CCA bills its potential conversion into a REIT as a way to "increase long-term shareholder value," but it will also allow the company to 1) reduce its federal corporate tax liability to zero. and 2) "leverage" (nonexistent) revenue to create the illusion of "more cash on hand."
Wall Street CEO Pay Rises 20% With KKR’s Kravis No. 1
By Laura Marcinek and Nikolaj Gammeltoft - Jun 5, 2012 12:01 AM ET Bloomberg
… Kravis and Roberts, 68, lead a list of 50 financial CEOs whose compensation collectively rose by an average of 20.4 percent in 2011 -- a year when most big banks and brokerages saw their revenues, profits and stock prices plummet. The 2011 pay rise followed a 26 percent increase in 2010 for CEOs who held the same job in both years. …. The ranking is based on compensation data reported to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the firms’ annual proxy statements and 10-K filings.
France to lower retirement age to 60 for some
June 6, 2012 2:31 PM (AP)
France's new Socialist government moved Wednesday to lower the retirement age from 62 to 60 years old for certain workers, bucking the trend in developed countries in a gesture to unions that critics say is a costly mistake. …. Raising France's general retirement age from 60 to 62 years old was a key reform of conservative former President Nicolas Sarkozy.
AZ: Failed recall in Wisconsin could affect labor unions in Arizona
by Dennis Welch, azfamily.com, June 6, 2012 at 8:18 PM
A day after the union busting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker fought off a recall election, one of the most influential conservative think-tanks in Arizona said it’s renewing its attacks on organized labor here. Officials with the Goldwater Institute said Wednesday that Walker’s win gives them added confidence they can succeeded in curtailing what they believe is too much union influence in Arizona.
AZ: Judge bars city from paying police union officials
AP: Jun 06, 2012 2:53 PM EDT
A judge is prohibiting Phoenix from paying police union officials for time spent on union activities. Judge Katherine Cooper of Maricopa County Superior Court issued a preliminary injunction against so-called "release time" provided by the city to the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association. Cooper's order in a case filed by Goldwater Institute on behalf of taxpayers says release time appears to violate the Arizona Constitution's gift clause by using public money for private purposes.
CA: Bad Day For Unions Made Worse By Calif. Public Pension Initiatives
Wed June 6, 2012 5:02 pm, By Frank James, NPR
.. Joan Raymond, a San Diego sanitation truck driver and president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 127, said in an interview that the city doesn't have a pension crisis but a political crisis. She places much of the responsibility for the proposition one of its major proponents,
CA: San Jose unions sue to block pension reform
By John Woolfolk, Mercury News, 06/06/2012
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.
CA: Fitch downgrades $252 mln of Stockton, Calif., debt
Thu Jun 7, 2012 12:27am IST (Reuters)
Fitch Ratings downgraded on Wednesday more than $252 million of Stockton Public Finance Authority debt after the cash-strapped city voted to allow the city manager to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection if necessary.
CA: Artist pays homage to L.A.'s unseen workers
By Esmeralda Bermudez, Los Angeles Times, June 4, 2012, 10:03 p.m.
Their faces are vague, the color of coffee beans, but before Ramiro Gomez heads out with pliers and wire to install them, he gives each one a name. … For the last eight months, Gomez, an artist from West Hollywood, has made the invisible visible by installing life-size cardboard cutouts of nannies, gardeners, valet workers and housekeepers in Beverly Hills, the Hollywood Hills and other wealthy areas.
CT: Meriden Police Commander Expects Presidential Appointment
CHRISTINE DEMPSEY, The Hartford Courant, 7:55 a.m. EDT, June 7, 2012
President Barack Obama is expected to appoint the head of the Meriden Police Department's detective division to an administrative board. The president on Wednesday announced his intent to appoint Patrick Gaynor, a 15-year veteran of the department, to the Medal of Valor Review Board. The announcement by the White House Press Office was forwarded to the media by Det. Lt. Mark Walerysiak Thursday. …. Gaynor has worked in several divisions, including patrol, narcotics, SWAT, training and professional standards. He is president of the Connecticut Council of Police Unions, AFSCME Council 15.
CT: Union Leaders Rally In Hartford For Embattled Chris Donovan In Congressional Race
by CHRISTOPHER KEATING on JUNE 6, 2012 · Hartford Courant
Some of the top union leaders in Connecticut rallied outside a union building in Hartford on Wednesday in support of Democrat Chris Donovan, whose Congressional campaign was thrown into turmoil last week with the arrest of his finance director. The leaders included the two highest-ranking members of the state teachers’ unions, along with Sal Luciano, the leader of AFSCME Council 4. The crowd included Rick Melita, a high-level member of Donovan’s staff at the state Capitol; Larry Dorman, spokesman for AFSCME; Lori Pelletier of the state AFL-CIO, and others.
Florida Continues Purge Of Noncitizen Voters After U.S. Warning
By Michael C. Bender - Jun 6, 2012 6:13 PM ET, Bloomberg
Florida will continue to remove noncitizens from state voter rolls even after the U.S. Justice Department warned the program may violate federal law. Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner, an appointee of Republican Governor Rick Scott, said in a letter today to the Justice Department that the efforts are legal and nobody is removed without an opportunity to be heard. The state has identified about 2,700 potential noncitizens in its database of 11.2 million voters.
IL: After Wisconsin’s Recall, Rahm Emanuel’s Labor Battle
by Jim Warren Jun 7, 2012 4:45 AM EDT, Daily Beast
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other Democratic officials gagged at the recall victory of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. But they should also be emboldened by the Republican’s humiliation of organized labor. … “Will they now get more bold? Maybe,” said Bayer, who heads the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in Illinois. “It may not be the same scale as Walker. But it’s the same playbook.”
IL: Union: Attack on guard a planned hit
BY LINDA RUSH, The southern, June 7, 2012
A violent assault Sunday on an employee of Menard Correctional Center was “a planned hit,” the president of the Menard employees’ union told The Southern on Wednesday. … Kevin Hirsch, president of Local 1175 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said two inmates simultaneously attacked a correctional officer, causing numerous injuries to the worker. The two inmates have been transferred to Tamms Correctional Center, the supermax prison that was built to segregate dangerous inmates, Hirsch said
IL: Unit 5 busing contractor may have to deal with union
By Phyllis Coulter | pantagraph.com. June 7, 2012
When Cincinnati-based First Student Inc. takes over busing for McLean County Unit 5, it could very well be negotiating with the union that represents the current bus employees. Unit 5 approved an $18.5 million, three-year contract with First Student on Tuesday, a move that American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees officials attributed at least in part to an effort to break the new union.
IL: S&P Gives Illinois a Reprieve Over Pension Woes
Wednesday, June 6, 2012 By Yvette Shields, Bond Buyer
Illinois received a reprieve from Standard & Poor’s Wednesday over its failure to act on pension reforms during its spring legislative session, but the agency renewed its message that the clock is still ticking on its negative view of the state and its mammoth pension woes. S&P rates Illinois’ general obligation debt A-plus with a negative outlook that was assigned in January 2011. “We expect to resolve the outlook on Illinois this year based on our review of the fiscal 2013 enacted budget and the state’s progress, if any, on addressing its significant pension liabilities and associated cost pressures,” read the report from analysts Robin Prunty and John Sugden.
LA: State contracts out services
BY MARSHA SHULER, Adovcate, June 07, 2012
The state Civil Service Commission approved four more state contracts with private businesses that will result in the layoff of more than 100 state employees — most of them in the Baton Rouge area. Employees will lose their jobs as the state gets private contractors to pursue delinquent student loans, provide dietary services at four health agency facilities as well as potentially take over security for the Old State Capitol and State Archives Building.
LA: Panel debates value of Jindal school changes
BY CHARLES LUSSIER, Advocate June 07, 2012
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s far-reaching, but divisive changes to public education in Louisiana, particularly new state aid for some students in low-performing schools to attend parochial and private schools, prompted extensive and inconclusive debate at two panel discussions Wednesday morning. The panels, which included three lawmakers who fought against most of Jindal’s proposals, were organized by Metro Councilwoman Ronnie Edwards.
MI: Expert: Font Size on Emergency Manager Repeal Petition Was Correct
6:28 PM Jun 6, 2012 Reporter: Liam Martin , wilx.com
MSU professor Chris Corneal is a graphic design expert. He says the petition to repeal the controversial emergency manager law is in compliance with state law. "I determined that it was calibri bold set at 14 point," he says, demonstrating with a measurement tool. All this stems from a controversial decision in April, when two Republicans on the state Board of Canvassers rejected a petition from the group Stand Up For Democracy that would have placed a repeal of Public Act 4 on the November ballot. The two canvassers argued the font size was smaller than the state's 14-point requirement.
MI: Flint emergency manager plans to privatize operation of city jail
Wednesday, June 06, 2012, 4:00 PM By Ron Fonger | mlive.com
When the city jail reopens later this year, a private company will apparently be watching the inmates. Flint emergency manager Michael Brown confirmed his decision to privatize the operation of the city lockup today after Genesee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Jamie Curtis was told Sheriff Robert Pickell was no longer in the running to handle the job.
MI: Tim Skubick: Right to Work legislation on hold, despite Wisconsin's anti-union vote Tuesday
Thursday, June 07, 2012, 6:15 AM By Tim Skubick | MLive.com
Wisconsin voters chose Gov. Scott Walker and his anti-union policies on Tuesday. Should that affect right to work initiatives in Michigan? Normally when a political party scores a big win, as the GOP did on Tuesday in Wisconsin, the party tries to take advantage of the momentum that victory produces. So you would think here in Michigan, the anti-union cabal would be hot to trot on Right to Work legislation. Think again. There will be no political bounce out of the Cheese State because the backer of RTW legislation here has slapped the issue on hold until November.
Montana district judge strikes down tax refund referendum
By CHARLES S. JOHNSON Missoulian, June 7, 2012
A state district judge has struck from the November ballot a legislative referendum that, if approved by voters, would have provided for money to be automatically refunded to taxpayers if certain fiscal conditions were met. … The MEA-MFT, Montana AFL-CIO, Montana Association of Area Agencies on Aging and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Montana Council 9, sued last fall and asked Sherlock to remove LR-123 from the ballot.
Minnesota GOP may renew efforts to curb unions
Jun 07, 2012, 6:58 am By Tom Scheck Minnesota Public Radio
One of the big questions of Minnesota's 2012 legislative session was whether the Republican majority in the Legislature would ask voters to decide whether unions could require all workers to belong to a union and pay dues. Lawmakers never voted on the question, in large part because of concerns that the state's labor unions would spend millions to defeat the proposal and those who helped put it on the ballot. But supporters of the so-called right to work amendment say Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's victory in Tuesday's recall election should give them the courage to follow through with the plans.
NY: Parents, teachers, unions and elected officials protest Bloomberg childcare cuts
Thursday, June 7, 2012 12:00 am By CRAIG D. FRAZIER, Amsterdam News
…. Some of the unions on hand included AFSCME District Council 1707, Head Start Local 95 and Local 205 Day Care. Union leaders called on the City Council to reverse Bloomberg’s cuts and fully restore child care funding. “It’s about fighting for what is right and what is good in this city,” declared AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Lee Saunders. “Whenever you hurt children, whenever you hurt our unions, you have one fight on your hands.”
NY: A wake-up call from Wisconsin / But message from recall vote of Scott Walker is subject to ideological interpretation
By Rick Karlin, Times Union , 10:46 p.m., Wednesday, June 6, 2012
….. A day after the results were reported, conservatives in New York hailed Walker's victory as a sign that public sector unions aren't omnipotent. And they said the outcome should be a green light for New York lawmakers to get more aggressive with public employees when it comes to reining in spending. … "It certainly is a very sad commentary on the role of money in undermining democracy," said Stephen Madarasz, spokesman for the Civil Service Employees Association, which, like other unions in New York, sent volunteers to Wisconsin to support the recall effort.
NY: Library supporters rally against proposed cuts
Rich Bockmann, Times Ledger, June 6, 2012
Supporters of the Queens Library stood outside the central library on Merrick Boulevard in Jamaica Tuesday to rally against a proposed $26.7 million funding cut from the city that administrators said would be detrimental to services. … John Hyslop, president of the Queens Library Guild 1321, invited library patrons to step up to a microphone in front of the building and share what they would miss if their branch had to close.
NY: Move to put GPS devices in highway vehicles stalls
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 06 2012 10:27 DENISE CIVILETTI Riverhead Local
Highway Superintendent George Woodson's plan to install GPS tracking devices in highway department vehicles stalled Tuesday when the town board tabled a measure awarding a contract for the equipment. The motion to table came after CSEA union president Matthew Hattorff threatened litigation if the tracking devices are installed in town vehicles.
New York Hospitals Look to Combine, Forming a Giant
By ANEMONA HARTOCOLLIS, New York Times, June 6, 2012
Two of New York City’s biggest hospital systems reached agreement on Wednesday to pursue a merger that would shake up the way medical care is delivered, especially in Manhattan, where hospitals compete to serve some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the world. The proposed merger would bring together NYU Langone Medical Center, a highly specialized academic medical center, and Continuum Health Partners, a network of several community-oriented hospitals, including Beth Israel and the two St. Luke’s-Roosevelt campuses.
NY: Gambling Group Lobbied for Convention Center at Cuomo Fund-Raiser
By DANNY HAKIM, New York Times, June 6, 2012
…. On Wednesday, the Committee to Save New York continued to refuse to release its donor list — a step it is not required to take under current law. It remains unclear how the committee advocated for gambling interests; gambling was not the subject of its television advertisements. …. Assemblyman Thomas J. Abinanti, a Democrat from Westchester County, said he was disturbed that a group like the Committee to Save New York, which was the largest spender on lobbying last year, was not required to disclose its donor list. The state ethics commission is developing rules requiring such groups to disclose their donors, though it is unclear when those rules will take effect.
OH: Kent State President Lester Lefton wins $192,400 in bonuses
By Carol Biliczky, Beacon Journal, June 6, 2012
…. If the AAUP contract tracks that of the AFSCME contract approved earlier this year, faculty would receive 2 percent increases. For his yearly raise, trustees agreed to give Lefton the average percentage raise of the AFSCME and AAUP contracts. …Nonunion staffers received 1.5 percent increases in September. In March, AFSCME members received 2 percent raises retroactive to October.
OH: Mayor vows veto on health benefits
BY CLAUDIA BOYD-BARRETT, BLADE, 6/6/2012 –
A clear victory for legislation to extend health-care benefits to the domestic partners of city employees unexpectedly crashed Tuesday after Toledo Mayor Mike Bell threatened to veto an ordinance for which he spent more than a month lobbying. … Council also voted in favor of a new labor contract with AFSCME Local 2058, a union representing about 200 supervisors across various city departments. The contract, which reduces the city's pension contributions and increases employee health-care premiums, will save the city $1.4 million over three years, deputy mayor Steve Herwat said.
OR: Watch Oregon Dem Leaders Tell Mitt Romney He's Not Wanted Here
Willamette Week, June 7, 2012
Need a pick-me-up after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's dispiriting, Citizens United-aided victory in last night's recall election? How about a video of the head of an Oregon public employees' union telling Mitt Romney to scram? AFSCME executive director Ken Allen, Democratic Party of Oregon chairwoman Meredith Wood Smith and local contractor Sharon Maxwell took turns filibustering against the GOP presidential candidate on Monday, roughly two hours before his fundraising luncheon at the Governor Hotel. They even brought large, densely worded signs for a backdrop.
PA: Plan would end state pension system for new workers
7:59 am, Thu Jun 7, 2012. By Gary Weckselblatt, Phillyburbs.com
Just days after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker fought off state employee unions to win his recall election and residents of two California cities voted to cut pensions for current workers, Pennsylvania Senate Republicans are proposing to change the state’s pension system for new employees.
PA: Letter: Union official denies making deal (scroll down) Pete Matthews, President, AFSCME District Council 33, Philadelphia. Philly.com, June 7, 2012
I would agree with the careful readers who read between the lines of your article Wednesday ("How Philly did a sludge-plant deal") that a pay day of $9.2 million is pretty powerful incentive to try to defame unions and union officials. Hiram Hicks, who was a consultant for Houston-based Synagro Technologies Inc., claims I agreed to let City Council pass a bill in 2007 privatizing city jobs in the Water Department in return for those union members not getting laid off. Those claims are bald-faced lies.
PA: Parents sue to stop closure of Harrison School
Philly.com, JUNE 6, 2012
A group of parents at Harrison Elementary have filed a federal lawsuit to try to stop the planned closure of their school. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday by several parents and by District 1199C, National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees, AFSCME, AFL-CIO (many of its members are Harrison parents), alleges that students will be adversely affected by the closure.
RI: I-Team: Potential settlement in school budget fight
By: JIM TARICANI | NBC 10 , June 06, 2012
…. West Warwick's school superintendent, the School Committee chairman and the president of the teachers' union said they want the Town Council to give up $2.8 million being held in escrow and another $1.1 million for last year's maintenance of effort award.… James Williamson, the chairman of the School Committee, said its budget has been cut to the bone. "We've closed schools. We've gotten concessions from the teachers, major concessions from the teachers' union and Council 94," Williamson said.
VA: City to place juvenile inmates at 6 regional facilities
By: MICHAEL MARTZ | Richmond Times-Dispatch June 04, 2012 - 9:40 PM
Richmond plans to place juveniles detained for offenses in six regional facilities around the state as the city continues to assess the costs of closing its detention center at the end of last month.
WA: News media overlooked a few things in Walker recall win story
June 06, 2012, Sky Valley Chronicle
If you ask the Washington Federation of State Employees, the largest public employee union in the state, if the news media left out something important in the Walker Wisconsin recall story you’ll get a big yes. Such as in, “Democrats apparently prevailed in recalling one Republican state senator, taking back control of the chamber that was the epicenter of the 2011 fight that stripped Wisconsin’s public workers of most of their rights…Walker aroused a sleeping giant. Even though all politics is local, Walker sparked a nationwide movement to stand up for middle class workers,” says an email hotline alert from the union to WFSE members.
WI: Green Bay rejects plan to outsource crossing guards
11:00 PM, Jun. 6, 2012 | Green Bay Press-Gazette
School crossing guards in Green Bay will not see their jobs outsourced to a private company as a cost-saving measure. The Green Bay City Council on Wednesday rejected a plan to outsource all crossing guard positions to Per Mar Security Services of Davenport, Iowa.