We Have Cure for What Ails State of the Union
The Huffington Post When President Obama delivers the State of the Union address, he'll be able to celebrate a strengthening economy. Yet, most Americans aren't exactly high-fiving each other. Never mind the state of the union; the state of their households isn't great.
Does your state have a deal with the private prison industry? Check our map to find out.
OH: Union-Busting & Privatization On Tap For Dayton Schools In New Year
Plunderbund When school resumes on January 5 for Dayton Public Schools (DPS), an out-of-state company will be in charge of placing substitute teachers (called “reserve teachers” in Dayton) in classrooms.
Toll road proposal could add $20 to cost of drive across Missouri
KMBC Kansas City A toll road proposal for Interstate 70 could result in an additional $20 in tolls for people driving between St. Louis and Kansas City.
NJ: On privatization, Gov. Christie should practice, not preach, government transparency
NJ.com The governor slammed the door on a bill that would have created sorely needed transparency and accountability in contracts that turn government services like the state lottery over to a private agency.
NY State Official Raises Alarm on Charter Schools - And Gets Ignored
ProPublica One of New York state's top fiscal monitors told ProPublica that audits by his office have found "practices that are questionable at best, illegal at worst" at some charter schools.
Pregnancy Should Not Be a Disqualification
The Huffington Post Pregnancy should not cost women their paychecks. But that's exactly what happened to UPS delivery driver Peggy Young when she became pregnant in 2006.
Converting a Union Skeptic
The Atlantic Audra Rondeau wasn't a fan of labor groups—then home-care workers in her state organized, and she gave them a second chance.
Building Trust Between Communities and Local Police
White House Blog Today, the Administration announced new steps we’re taking to strengthen the relationships between law enforcement agencies and the communities they are obligated to protect and serve.
“This Is the Part of Detroit That Most People Are Not Aware Of”
Mother Jones How private security guards divide Detroit into two separate and unequal cities.
How Macquarie Makes Money By Losing Money on Toll Roads
Angie Schmitt and Payton Chung,
Streetsblog Macquarie Group, the gigantic Australian financial services firm with some $400 billion in assets under management, has made a lot of money in the infrastructure privatization game.
Private Funding Brings a Boom in Hydropower, With High Costs
The New York Times While some dams in the United States and Europe are being decommissioned, a dam-building boom is underway in developing countries
UC outsourcing is bad for workers and campuses’ bottom line
Sacramento Bee UC’s exploitation of contract workers is nothing short of hypocrisy.
Tightened Guidance for U.S. Healthcare Workers on Personal Protective Equipment for Ebola
CDC The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is tightening previous infection control guidance for healthcare workers caring for patients with Ebola, to ensure there is no ambiguity.
They Want Us to Stay Home on Nov. 4
Huffington Post Supporters of more restrictions on voting know that when a majority of Americans go to the polls their grip on power is weakened. That’s why they are trying so hard to stop us. Don’t let them. Use your vote.
Taxpayers vs. Private Investors: Shifting the Risk of Funding Public Projects
Next City One kind of public-private partnership is gaining national popularity. Called the availability-payment model, they tend to carry more financial risk for public agencies.
MD: Tougher prison contraband law taking effect
Herald-Mail New prison security laws that supporters say will enhance the safety of officers while clamping down on the smuggling of contraband such as cellphones into correctional facilities take effect in Maryland on Wednesday.
MA: Janitorial firm fined for wage gaffe
The Boston Globe An East Boston janitorial company has been ordered by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley to pay more than $750,000 for unlawfully deducting wages from workers’ paychecks.
MS: Child support privatization protest
Mississippi News Now A rally in the capital city Thursday evening protested the privatization of child support. The rally took place in Smith Park and was led by state workers and community leaders.
IN: Indiana Toll Road rates and revenue are up, traffic has been stagnant
The Elkhart Truth Toll rates for cash customers on the Indiana Toll Road are up. Not surprisingly, revenue is up, too. Way up. Traffic, though, is down, at least compared to 2008.
Are Venture Capitalists Poised to 'Disrupt' Education?
The Investigative Fund Next year, the market size of K-12 education is projected to be $788.7 billion. Much of that money is spent in the public sector. "It's really the last honeypot for Wall Street," says Donald Cohen, the executive director of In the Public Interest.
IL: Cook County Begins 24-Hour Tracking of Juvenile Offenders
NBC 4 Change in policy prompted by 17-year-old teen accused of sexual assaulting pregnant woman while on home monitoring.
TX: For guards, some county lockups are more lucrative than prisons
Mineral Wells Index Jailers in the state’s five largest counties are paid better on average than officers at the Texas Department of Corrections, a deficit that has the potential to drain still more workers from the depleted prison workforce.
KS: Current Hutchinson prison employees speaks out about staffing issues
KAKE News In an I-Team Investigation we tracked down a current employee who says there is a serious staffing issue at the Hutch prison. He believes Wednesday's stabbing could have been prevented if there was an adequate number of staff.
NJ: Employees protest the privatization of state group homes
NBC 40 Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees are hoping to raise awareness for what they say are the damaging affects of privatizing a state group home.
Panel urges transparency, caution for public-private partnerships
Land Line Magazine The House Panel on Public-Private Partnerships published its report on Wednesday, Sept. 17, urging transparency and accountability to the public whenever a public-private partnership, also known as a P3, is being considered.
Kansas Seeks To Address Prison Guard ‘Correctional Fatigue’
KCUR The state Department of Corrections is one of many prison and jail systems around the country working to overcome “correctional fatigue” — the mental and physical stress that lead to corrections workers burning out.
The Key to Fighting Privatization? Preparation
NEA Today While spring is the high season for privateers to court vulnerable school board members, the time for local Associations to prepare arguments and mobilize members against outsourcing is … always.
South Miami rejects plan to privatize trash collection
Miami Herald Applause spilled out of the doors of the commission chambers at South Miami City Hall on Tuesday as commissioners unanimously rejected an ordinance that would have privatized the city’s solid waste department.
OH: Inmates seek food outside cafeteria
The Columbus Dispatch Purchases at prison commissaries have jumped since Aramark Correctional Services took over meal service last fall, with some prisoners complaining about food quality and quantity.
LA: Analysis: Strife emerges in LSU privatization deal
The Associated Press Only a year into privatization, a bitter feud has erupted from a deal that transferred management of LSU’s Shreveport and Monroe hospitals to a research foundation that had never run a patient care facility.
IL: Rahm to Aramark: Clean up the schools or clean out your desks
Lauren Fitzpatrick and Fran Spielman,
Chicago Sun-Times Responding to reports of filthy conditions inside Chicago Public Schools after privatizing janitorial management, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Aramark could "clean out the schools or they can clean out their desks and get out."
IN: Indiana Toll Road failing despite 176 percent toll increase for trucks
Land Line Magazine The lease agreement also contained a “non-compete” clause that prohibits the state of Indiana from fixing up nearby toll-free roads that compete with the Indiana Toll Road for traffic.
WA: State workers say they were punished for blowing whistle on prison violence stats
The Tri-City Herald Two state employees say they were demoted for exposing skewed statistics on prison violence.
The Fight for Universal Pre-K: New York Charts a Checkered Path Toward Equal Early Education
Truthout The first day of school is fast approaching, and this fall in New York City it will look a little different, as new mayor Bill de Blasio's signature program, universal pre-kindergarten, rolls out.
MN: County courthouse and sheriff’s support employees form union
Park Rapids Enterprise A majority of 24 employees of Hubbard County voted to form a union represented by the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 65 late last month.
ME: Former guard: Hazing of rookies at Maine State Prison goes too far
The Portland Press Herald Handcuffed and pinned to the floor by three fellow guards, Cory Peaslee said he looked up to see a sergeant stepping in to point a can of pepper spray in his face...
#WEmatter and We Demand Change
Secretary-Treasurer Laura Reyes,
Huffington Post For too long the needs of women and families have been dismissed by our elected officials, as if women, who make up more than 50 percent of the population, are a special interest group seeking special treatment.
WI: Milwaukee County Zoo Food, Catering and Retail Concessions May Be Privatized
Express Milwaukee With no public discussion, the Milwaukee County Zoo offered a request for proposals (RFP) to operate and manage its lucrative food service, catering and retail operations from interested private vendors.
Union barbecues warn residents of health care privatization
Prince Albert Daily Herald With summer drawing to a close, Canadian Union of Public Employees' (CUPE) goal of raising awareness of health care privatization shows no signs of letting up.
PA: On public land, a gas company takes private control
State Impact On any given day Bob Deering doesn’t know how much trouble he’ll have getting to and from his home. He lives in Lycoming County and he’s routinely stopped and questioned by security guards. It’s been happening ever since the natural gas boom began.
States learn partnerships come with hazards
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette States using public-private partnerships, or P3s, are discovering that what sounds like a straightforward, efficient process can be fraught with hazards and hidden costs.
New Koch, Same as the Old Koch
The Huffington Post Don't be fooled by the recent USA Today column in which Charles Koch, a man who made billions while trampling workers' rights, shares his supposed deep concern for working families, young people and the disadvantaged.
IL: Supreme Court to consider IBM welfare privatization case
Indianapolis Star ...The state canceled the contract three years later after a flood of complaints about the system from clients, their advocates and federal officials. At the time, the state had paid IBM $437 million.
IL: Cost of mental illness on the rise in Illinois prison system
Qad City Times Taxpayers will be billed more than $17.8 million in the coming year to convert existing prison space into facilities for examining, treating and housing seriously mentally ill prisoners.
VT: Forced Overtime Exhausts Prison Officers, Costs State Millions
NHPR For more than a decade, New Hampshire prisons have been under enormous pressure. The prison population has gone up as staff numbers have gone down. Aside from the inmates, few feel the consequences as acutely as the state’s correctional officers.
Policing Private Contractors Is Challenge for States
Pew Stateline State auditors often find that contractors initially bid low to win the business, but later submit “change orders” resulting in higher costs, saying the scope of the project changed.
ME: Claims of guards’ harassment lead to state prison probe
PORTLAND PRESS HERALD The state Department of Corrections is investigating the conduct of guards at the Maine State Prison for harassing or intimidating other prison employees, according to two state lawmakers and a union official.
OH: Lawmakers Hear About Food, Security Problems In Prisons Blamed On Private Vendor
OHIO PUBLIC RADIO There are problems with maggots, food shortages and contraband in state prisons, and the committee that inspects those facilities is blaming a private vendor hired by the prison system.
Why the Anti-Union Argument Loses Every Time
The Huffington Post We at AFSCME are not hanging our heads. Instead, energized members are helping us grow in the face of the raging anti-union storm.
OH: Legislative committee to hear update on complaints facing Ohio prisons food vendor
ASSOCIATED PRESS A legislative committee is getting updates on complaints facing the private food vendor that won the contract to feed Ohio inmates.
Ohio prison growth ‘unfathomable’ to director
Marion Star .... More controversial has been Mohr’s part in other changes, including privatization of two prisons and food services across the state in attempts to reduce the budget.
KS: 17 reported incidents at Kansas prisons
AP More than dozen attacks on guards at Kansas prisons have been reported this summer, including a recent fight in which an inmate used a chair against two guards, leaving one of the guards with a concussion.
IL: Third altercation occurs at Shawnee Print
Southern A third correctional officer in less than a month has been assaulted at the Shawnee Correctional Center, an AFSCME union representative and an Illinois Department of Corrections spokesman said.
PA: Clerk: Prison arbitration decision cost county $170K
Daniel Walmer ,
The Sentinel A June arbitration decision settling a dispute between Cumberland County and the union representing the county’s prison workers will cost the county $170,000 this year, Chief Clerk Larry Thomas said Wednesday during a commissioners finance meeting.
WI: Dunn County deputies oppose sheriff in election
Leader Telegram It doesn't appear as if Dunn County Sheriff Dennis Smith can count on the support of the people who work for him in his bid for re-election.
IL: Differing accounts provided in prison clash
The Southern The incident, which was the second injury to a correctional officer at the prison in the last three weeks, occurred after an inmate's makeshift clothesline was taken down in his cell and discarded, along with the items on the clothesline.
OH: Drones to be tested at Warren Co. prisons
enquirer.com Unmanned tethered aerial balloons equipped with cameras and infrared could start keeping an eye on two state prisons in Warren County as part of a test program aimed at enhancing security.
WI: Wisconsin may expand 12-hour days for guards to second prison
Journal Sentinel Correctional officers at one state prison now work 12-hour instead of eight-hour shifts, and Gov. Scott Walker's administration is considering expanding the program to another institution next year.
PA: Prison guard union's appeal denied
Sean Collins Walsh,
Daily News A Commonwealth Court panel yesterday denied an appeal by the AFSCME city prison guards union of a 2012 arbitration award that resulted in less generous pension benefits for new hires and lower wage increases than the union had sought.
PR: 10 Guards injured in prison riot in Puerto Rico
Fox Latino Ten guards and several inmates were injured during a large-scale riot at the Zarzal Correctional Institution in the eastern town of Rio Grande, Puerto Rican authorities said.
Principle Is a Terrible Thing to Waste
AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders,
The Huffington Post Last month, United Negro College Fund President Michael Lomax announced that his organization has received a $25-million grant from the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers. I sent the following letter to him.
The Supreme Court's Crafty Minefield
The Huffington Post In a 5-4 Harris v. Quinn decision authored by Justice Samuel Alito, the Court doubled down on its anti-worker, pro-corporate personhood agenda.
ID: State begins takeover of private prison in Boise
Associated Press Idaho is taking over the state’s largest prison since Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter announced earlier this year he would not renew the $29 million-a-year contract with Corrections Corporations of America.
VIDEO: The wage war for public workers’ unions
MSNBC The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that home care and child care providers members were not required to pay fair share dues. Dorian Warren from the Roosevelt Institute discusses how this affects unions.
IL: AFSCME Guard injured after hit by inmate at Shawnee Correctional Center
KFVS An AFSCME correctional officer was injured after being hit repeatedly by an inmate on Friday at the Shawnee Correctional Center in Vienna, Illinois.
MI: Inmates sick after maggots found on serving line at prison
Detroit Free Press About 30 prisoners at a Michigan correctional facility are being treated for symptoms consistent with food poisoning after maggots and fly larvae were discovered in one of the meal serving lines, an official confirmed Monday.
40% of SC child-welfare workers bear heavy caseloads
AP Child-welfare workers in the Midlands bear some of the highest caseloads in South Carolina.
Limiting Rights: A Hit to Collective Bargaining
New York Times The Supreme Court’s ruling on Monday...was not the deathblow to public-sector unions that many feared it would be.
Supreme Court Rules Disadvantaged Workers Should Be Disadvantaged Some More
The American Prospect The decision in Harris v. Quinn—written by the Court’s leading union-hater, Justice Samuel Alito—appears designed to cripple unions by creating incentives for "free riders."
Harris v. Quinn Ruling Will Undermine Gains Made by Low-Wage Home Healthcare Workers
The Nation The decision, penned by Justice Alito and generally reflective of his anti-labor views, could have gone broader by invalidating fair share for all public sector workers.
Supreme Court Delivers a Hit—But Not a "Kill Shot"—to Public-Employee Unions
Mother Jones But there's good news for organized labor: The court did not deliver the killer blow to public-employee unions as some warned it might.
Supreme Court rules against home care workers unions
Daily Kos The Supreme Court's decision in Harris v. Quinn, the case challenging fair share fees for unionized home care workers, is bad, but it could have been worse.
Supreme Court Rules Against Union Fees For Some Home Care Workers
Supreme Court issues narrow ruling against labor unions
Amanda Becker and Lawrence Hurley,
The Raw Story The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled that in-home care workers in Illinois who are paid by the state are not similar enough to government employees to be compelled to pay fair share dues.
Harris v. Quinn ruling: Unions hit, but not fatally, by SCOTUS
Politico The conservative majority on the Supreme Court on Monday signaled its distaste for state laws requiring public-sector workers to pay union dues — but stopped short of sweeping them away.
A Lot Riding on Court’s Harris v. Quinn Decision
The State Journal Register No court case is going to stop home-care providers and consumers from staying united and standing up for good jobs and quality home care.
Home Care Workers Vow to Stand Up for Good Jobs and Quality Home Care in Wake of Harris v. Quinn Ruling
SEIU "No court case is going to stand in the way of home care workers coming together to have a strong voice for good jobs and quality home care," said SEIU President Mary Kay Henry.
NEA President: Supreme Court silences voices of working families
NEA The Supreme Court of the United States today struck another blow against working families with its narrow 5-4 decision in Harris v. Quinn when it eliminated agency fee arrangements for Illinois home healthcare workers.
The Incompetence Dogma: So Much for Obamacare Not Working
The New York Times Have you been following the news about Obamacare? The Affordable Care Act has receded from the front page, but information about how it’s going keeps coming in — and almost all the news is good.
WI: State prison guards demand 1% raise they say is overdue
Journal Sentinel AFSCME guards in Wisconsin prisons shouldn't have to wait any longer to get the 1% raise given to all other state workers a year ago, argues Marty Biel, president of the Wisconsin State Employees Union in a letter to Gov. Scott Walker
PA: Mom of N.J. man who killed himself at Lancaster County Prison says she 'wants justice'
Lancaster Online "The union feels that steps could have been taken to prevent” the suicide, said Brian Secor, president of the local chapter of AFSCME.
Florida Puts Child Safety Before Parents' Rights
Carol Marbin Miller,
McClatchy News Gov. Rick Scott signed into law Monday a sweeping overhaul of Florida's long-troubled child welfare agency, discarding a decade-old policy that favored the rights of parents over those of neglected and abused children.
Workers win food fight: Decision lets 53 school cafeteria staffers keep their jobs
The Bristol Press A ruling by the state Board of Labor Relations Tuesday said the Board of Education must honor the tentative agreement it negotiated with the union, a deal that the Republican majority on the panel declined to back.
North Miami Beach rejects privatizing trash collection
The Miami Herald North Miami Beach council members voted 4-3 against privatizing the sanitation department early Wednesday morning.
TX: Citing health concerns, Texas inmates file lawsuit to keep prisons cool
theeagle.com Lance Lowry, president of the Huntsville American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, has been outspoken about the need for Texas prison officials to do something for the protection of correctional officers as well as prisoners.
PA: Lancaster County loses another prison-related legal decision
LancasterOnline The case — affecting seven employees — involved a fight between the county and AFSCME, the union representing its prison guards, over whether maintenance employees should be included in the bargaining unit that represents the prison’s 193 guards.
NY: Nassau, correction union officials agree on new contract
Newsday Leaders of the 900-member Nassau correction officers union have agreed to a new labor contract with the county that will provide a series of pay hikes totaling more than 13 percent by the end of 2017
New Data on Affordable Care Act (ACA) Shows it is Making Coverage Affordable
AFSCME Federal Legislative Report The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released data this week showing the impact that ACA tax credits were having on consumers purchasing health coverage.
KS prison guards sound the alarm about under staffing across the state
KWHC Last week, there were at least three separate incidents at one prison in which officers were hurt trying to control inmates….
Heated comments fly at Dubuque Co. supervisors meeting
VA: Virginia investigating VDOT outsourcing contract
Video: Caregivers and clients win big in state budget
UDW Homecare Providers Union
MI: Outsourced: Ann Arbor Public Schools hires private company for custodial work
MD: Residents, workers protest housing authority plan to privatize public housing
The Baltimore Sun
Right-Wing Billionaires To Use California Ruling to Nationally Crush Teachers' Unions
DR&C fills only 27 of 83 new Correction Officer positions; claims need for “4 percent vacancy rate”
OCSEA Ohio Civil Service Employees Association blasts the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation of Correction for promising to hire 83 new Correction Officer positions to address prison overcrowding and high staff assault rates, but only filled 27 positions.
OSHA schedules stakeholder meeting to consider proposed standard to protect safety, health of emergency responders
U.S. Department of Labor The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has scheduled an informal stakeholder meeting to gather information as it considers developing a proposed standard for emergency response and preparedness.
HI: Halawa’s no-contact facility to keep contraband out of prison
KHON A new visitors policy at Halawa Correctional Facility is aimed at stopping the flow of drugs and other illegal items into the prison.
Editorial: A Model for Juvenile Detention Reform
The Editorial Board,
New York Times States are sending fewer children to juvenile correctional facilities, partly in response to research showing that locking up young people increases the risk that they will eventually become permanently entangled with the justice system.
Supreme Court aligns against the have-nots
Washington Post Well into the New Deal, the Supreme Court consistently overturned laws that enabled workers to win higher wages, helping to delay the advent of the middle-class majority... It now has the option to speed that middle class’s demise.
The fight for homecare workers
Moshe Z. Marvit,
Washington Post ...Harris v. Quinn, a case that has been referred to as a “sleeper” by both conservatives and liberals and may turn out to be the most significant labor law case in decades.
New Film Decries The Return Of Debtors Prisons
The Huffington Post In Alabama, Georgia, and other Southern states, many local governments have signed contracts with for-profit firms that specialize in collecting fees and fines from people who owe the courts money for low-level infractions.
The High Cost of Low-Wage Public Service Outsourcing
ROB GARVER ,
The Fiscal Times In the late 1990s, school districts in New Jersey turned over their school lunch programs to private contractors ... a new study suggests that the overall cost to New Jersey may have been higher than the amount saved by individual school districts...
Vermont corrections officials seek to curtail flow of drugs into prisons
States take steps to reduce sexual assault in prisons
Sari Horwitz ,
Washington Post The majority of U.S. states and territories are taking steps to reduce sexual assaults in prisons as required by federal law, according to Justice Department officials.
CO: Colorado lawmakers approve new rules for public-private partnerships
Land Line Magazine A bill on the Colorado governor’s desk would place new rules on public-private partnership deals for highway projects.
IL: Captive to costs: Inmate, staff figures drive overtime for state prisons
Kurt Erickson ,
lee.net The cost of paying overtime to employees in the state's prison system topped $60 million last year, more money than it takes to run many of the state's agencies.
OSHA Launches Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers
Occupational Safety & Health Administration
PA: Union: Lancaster County Prison guards fired after suicide are 'scapegoats'
JOE HAINTHALER ,
Lancasteronline.com A union leader objected Thursday to the firing of two Lancaster County Prison guards after an inmate hanged himself last month.
Managing Prison Health Care Spending State Health Care Spending
Matt Mulkey ,
Pew This report examines state spending on inmate health care and the factors driving costs higher.
NJ: Opponents of toll-collection privatization say savings would be minuscule
Press of Atlantic City The human cost would be huge. The financial savings would be minuscule.
MS: Jackson school board votes not to privatize transportation
The Clarion-Ledger The Jackson Public School Board voted down a proposal by Superintendent Dr. Cedric Gray to outsource transportation during a special meeting Tuesday.
TX: Power shift in Texas election to benefit anti-toll cause
MySA ...handing our public roads to private toll corporations who charge Texans 95 cents a mile to drive, and using gas taxes and a host of public money to subsidize and guarantee the loans on toll roads.
KS: Privatization initiative offers window on Kansas government
Dave Ranney, Mike Shields,
Kansas Health Initiative News Service "...One contractor had the ear of the governor’s top staff, made the sales pitch, and no other contractors were invited or in attendance.”
LA: Contract review bill killed
The Advocate For the second year in a row, the Louisiana Senate Finance Committee killed legislation that would require review and oversight of contracts that would privatize services provided by state government.
IA: Prison officials: Inmate assaulted staffers
KCCI News Officials say several staffers at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison required medical attention after an inmate allegedly attacked one of them.
Here’s some wasteful Big Government spending. Why isn’t Fox News outraged?
The Washington Post Northrop Grumman improperly charged the U.S. government more than $100 million in “questionable” costs on a contract, according to a Defense Department inspector general’s report.
No Reason to Delay Fair Wages
The NY Times Editorial Board,
The New York Times Any delay would further the exploitation of home care workers — mostly women, minorities and immigrants.
5 ways privatization is fleecing American taxpayers
Salon The result of falling for the privatization scam is that taxpayers have been fleeced, services to citizens have been cut way back and communities have been made poorer.
Illinois Lawmaker Calls On Quinn To Nix Private Company That Runs Lottery
WUIS State Representative Jack Franks, a Democrat from Marengo, says privatizing the lottery has been a disaster, as it has continually failed to meet goals.
Privatized North Carolina Commerce takes first step during legislature’s short session
Triangle Business Journal A bill to take the privatization of the N.C. Department of Commerce from an idea to reality was introduced this morning on the opening day of the General Assembly’s short session.
Millions spent and not even a road to show for it
Progress-Index.com In Virginia the McDonnell administration made the project its top transportation priority but it is has been clear for years that business case for this project simply didn't make sense.
FL: Toll road didn’t come as advertised
Tampa Tribune ..there was no scenario under which IIP — which includes OHL Infrastructure, a giant Spanish construction company with expertise in private toll roads — could proceed without a substantial input of tax dollars.
Chamber of Commerce gives ultimatum to GOP
Politico Tom Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the GOP shouldn’t even field a presidential candidate in 2016 unless Congress passes immigration reform this year.
The Privatization Scam
Abigail Caplovitz Field,
Reality Check “Privatization” and “public-private-partnerships” for infrastructure and other public assets are scams driven by private greed and public cowardice. Americans have been burned by these scams.
What Moms Really Want
Huffington Post "We know that our issues are at the heart of how we support working families in America and how we must strengthen our nation's fragile economic health."
CO: US 36 toll lane controversy sparks new Colorado road contract requirements
ABC 7 (Denver) A Colorado bill prompted by public anger over public-private road contracts is on its way to the desk of Gov. John Hickenlooper.
The perils of privatized probation
Washington Post Last week, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed a bill that would have expanded the portion of probation service that the state contracts out to private companies.
MI: State employee unions cite safety as privatization ramps up
Lansing State Journal The unions allege that recent deals to privatize food service in Michigan prisons and nursing aides at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans have hurt quality and decreased safety. . . .
FL: DOT official close to pulling plug on Pasco toll road
Suncoast News Florida Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad says he is close to pulling the plug on a controversial toll road project across southern Pasco County.
Merced County, CA makes offers to homecare workers
Merced Sun-Star Home-care workers of Merced County got their wish after more than a year of contract negotiations – but the offer was rejected because it wasn’t a fair deal.
Homecare Workers Union Strikes Tentative Deal With Administration
Vermont Public Radio One year after winning the right to form a union, Vermont home care workers have reached a tentative contract that would mean higher wages for about 9,000 workers scattered across Vermont.
What Older Americans Really Need
Jessica Brill Ortiz,
The Hill If we genuinely want to give back to elders who have done so much for us, we must turn our attention to direct care workers
Where Are the "Disrupters" for Labor on College Campuses?
Huffington Post Last week, Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME), delivered the 23rd annual Philip Murray Memorial Labor Lecture at Penn State's School of Labor and Employment Relations.
Let Medicare negotiate drug prices: Our view
Editorial Board ,
USA Today The real drug-spending problem is Medicare's "Part D" prescription plan
Wear AFSCME Green during Public Service Recognition Week
WFSE The committee is asking members to wear their AFSCME Green t-shirts on Wednesday, May 7, and Thursday, May 8 for Public Service Recognition Week.
Privatization of foster care to expand
Robert T. Garrett,
Dallas News Texas’ protective services chief said Tuesday that he intends to expand an ambitious privatization of foster care, despite warnings from some child advocates that he’s moving too fast.
U.S. Supreme Court Might Take Up Rick Scott's "Drug Test Everyone" Plan
Miami News Times Gov. Rick Scott's plan to randomly drug test every single state employee in Florida -- from department heads to minimum wage DMV janitors -- has already failed the common-sense test and an appeals court ruling.
California Governor Appoints a Journalist to Be the State Librarian
Patrick McGreevy ,
MCCLATCHY NEWS Librarians expressed concerns that a non-librarian would be appointed as state librarian.
KY: Legislation to end library lawsuits in jeopardy
Cincinatti Enquirer The Republican-controlled Senate took out language put in by House Democrats that would have validated how libraries have raised their taxes since 1979, when the state established rules for special districts.
Americans Still Love Their Libraries
J.B. WOGAN ,
Governing.com More than two-thirds of Americans like their public libraries and use them often, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center.
Why Direct Care Worker Wages Are Key to Closing the Gender Wage Gap
Jessica Brill Ortiz,
Huffington Post The wage gap is about more than just equal pay for equal work; it is also about the near-poverty wages we pay for some predominantly female professions.
Who cares for the home-care aides?
Olympia Dukakis – CNN Care workers are invaluable. We must provide for them in the same amount they provide our elderly…
Meet America's Highest Paid Government Workers
Huffington Post Contrary to their promises to run public services "better, faster and cheaper" than the government, "Exposed: America's Highest Paid Government Workers" documents how these CEOs use public dollars to cut corners.
Paul Ryan and the Politics That Turn Stomachs
Huffington Post It's hard to imagine conservative political ideology becoming so twisted that one of its standard bearers would step up to a podium and assert poor children are better off going hungry.
LA: New LSU hospital manager asks state for more money
MELINDA DESLATTE ,
Associated Press "Something is a little odd about that. The main reasons that I understood that we were privatizing is because it was going to bring relief to our taxpayers," said Rep. Roy Burrell, D-Shreveport
The Sexist Agenda Hidden in Harris v. Quinn
Laura Reyes ,
Huffington Post The question now is whether the Supreme Court justices will side with hard-working women and men, or rule in favor of those clinging to the inequalities of the past.
Senate Also Approves Farm Bill
AFSCME Legislative Weekly Reports
Senate GOP Blocks Unemployment Benefits Again
AFSCME Legislative Weekly Reports
GOP Leaders Hold Back on Lifting Debt Ceiling
AFSCME Legislative Weekly Reports
Debate Over Impact of the Affordable Care Act on the Labor Market
AFSCME Legislative Weekly Reports
Study Finds Affordable Care Act Improves Incomes of the Bottom 20%
AFSCME Legislative Weekly Reports
Senate Majority Leader Opposes Fast Track
AFSCME Legislative Weekly Reports
House of Representatives Finally Passes Farm Bill Agreement
AFSCME Legislative Weekly Reports
House GOP Leaders Release “Standards for Immigration Reform”
AFSCME Legislative Weekly Reports
Senate to Vote on Extending Unemployment Benefits This Week
AFSCME Legislative Weekly Reports
Obama Delivers State of the Union Address
AFSCME Legislative Weekly Reports
Florida County considers putting jail up for sale
Ocala Star Banner
Teachers sue over suspensions, claiming Newark district violated their free-speech rights
The Star-Ledger Five Newark school principals suspended for speaking out against a controversial school reorganization plan file federal lawsuit
Costs of Privatization Hidden in Plain Sight
Truthout Services and infrastructure have been privatized, even though keeping them public is the better choice.
We Honor Veterans With Jobs, Justice
AFSCME Blog Veterans Day is not an abstraction for many members of AFSCME.
Video: “This is the year for AFSCME women everywhere.”
AFSCME Video Excerpts from address to the 2013 AFSCME Women's Conference in Denver, Colorado.
Why Is Affordable Health Care Such a Bitter Pill for Some to Swallow?
Huffington Post At every turn, right-wing members of the U.S. House are trying to destroy a law that that will improve the lives of working families. Our union will do everything in our power to make sure that the law succeeds.
OSHA launches new safety and health certificate program for public sector employees
Occupational Safety & Health Administration A new certificate program that provides public sector employees training on occupational safety and health to reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities among workers in state and local governments.
Letter: AFSCME Urges Yes Vote to End Budget Stalemate (House)
Federal Government Still Shut Down; Endgame Unclear
Legislative Weekly Report In the absence of federal funds, states have begun to furlough employees and more layoffs are contemplated around the country if the federal government is not reopened.
More Questions Raised About Florida prison provider
Tampa Bay Times Two top executives of a state vendor...were abruptly dismissed on Wednesday.
Taxpayers fund empty CCA prison beds
The Tennessean Taxpayers paid nearly a half-million dollars over the past two years for empty beds at Metro’s private prison.
Why Seniors Should Say 'No' to Paying for the Medicare Doctor-Fix
Huffiingtonpost Congress is floating a proposal that would require people covered by Medicare to fork over more of their money...
LeBrun: Bridge loans fog real cost of span
AFSCME Urges the U.S. House of Representatives to Reject Proposed SNAP Cuts
Park District, nonprofit part ways on nature center/ Action could clear way for district to resume management of nature center
Newark Advocate Park district director Bob Williams presented a planning proposal for the nature center at the meeting and recommended the park district resume management of the center.
CDC opposes liquor store privatization in PA
PA Independent Recommendations from the federal agency’s Community Preventative Services Task Force say turning over to the free marketing the sale of wine and liquor leads to excessive drinking.
KS: Changes to privatize Kansas child support system raises questions about process, contracts
ASSOCIATED PRESS Private contractors are preparing to take over operations of the Kansas child support system from a state agency even as questions remain about how the contracts were awarded.
IL: Chicago Mayor hopes warning is ticket to deterring illegal use of disabled parking cheats
CHRIS FUSCO ,
Chicago Sun-Times ...The abuses have cost Chicago taxpayers millions of dollars in reimbursements to Chicago Parking Meters LLC, the private company running metered parking citywide under the meter-privatization deal...
TX: TxDot moving toward toll roads
KETK NBC ...If the toll revenue doesn’t meet its target, the state guarantees the difference.
LA: Audit: Mental health privatization increased costs
MELINDA DESLATTE ,
Associated Press Gov. Bobby Jindal's privatization of behavioral health and addictive disorder treatment programs has created confusion and added costs.
Pennsylvania Extends Lottery Privatization Bid — Again
NACS A British firm is holding on while Attorney General Kathleen Kane waits for the state to submit another contract proposal
The privatization blues, or the 'looting of America' - Opinion
Chippewa Herald If you want to know how school voucher programs turn out, you don't have to guess. We've been through it. It is called the 19th century.
Economic Policy Institute (EPI) launches new website on growing income inequality and how to fix it.
The Secret to Cutting Government Waste: ...ask public employees for their ideas.
Eric Schnurerjul ,
Alderman Roderick T. Sawyer continues fight for good jobs with privatization ordinance
Sedgwick County discusses privatizing Comcare
The Wichita Eagle
Audit shows two Dauphin County districts were overbilled $1 million for transportation services
House Panel Examines Medicaid Reform
AFSCME Federal Legislative Report ...AFSCME opposes cost-shifting, which would threaten Medicaid services.
Senate Committee Passes Education Bill
AFSCME Federal Legislative Report Senate committee votes to reauthorize Elementary and Secondary Education Act that governs K-12 public education.
House Taking Up Piecemeal Immigration Bills
AFSCME Federal Legislative Report GOP leadership to go forward with small-bore immigration bills next week.
Immigration Reform Senate Floor Debate Begins
AFSCME Federal Legislative Report Senate considers the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act” (S. 744).
House Busts the Budget; Year-End Funding Storm Brewing
AFSCME FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE REPORT The House Appropriations Committee passed a defense funding bill shifting even deeper cuts to non-defense programs like labor, health, education, housing, nutrition, and law enforcement.
STUDY: Fiscal Austerity Is Undermining Long-Term U.S. Economic Prospects
Center for American Progress Spending cuts and fiscal contraction are costing America billions of dollars and millions of jobs.
Nuns Rally w/ Labor on Capitol Hill, Visit Oval Office
Paramus Post ...“Nuns on the Bus” gathered with prominent labor leaders and immigration activists at the United Methodist Building in Washington, D.C., to urge Congress to pass commonsense immigration reform in 2013.
Immigrants Help Medicare Trust Fund
HealthAffairs Researchers found immigrants contributed $13.8 billion more to Medicare…..
‘A’ Is for Avoidance
New York Times Apple is the latest example of how American multinationals avoid taxes.
Letter to the Editor: Companies Should Disclose. We Do
WSJ Disclosure is in shareholders' best interests, and the efforts of a broad coalition of investors should be lauded, not subjected to misleading attacks.
Senate Votes to Advance Marketplace Fairness Act and Help States and Localities Collect Sales Tax
AFSCME FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE REPORT A large bipartisan majority of senators voted this week to advance the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 (S. 743), which would grant states the authority to require remote sellers (out of state internet and mail order) to collect sales tax.
Senate Committee to Begin Debate on Immigration Reform Bill
AFSCME FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE REPORT The Senate Judiciary Committee was to hold its first session to begin amending the comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) bill (S. 744).
Hundreds March on Mayday in San Diego.
Democratic Underground ..... At the end, Laura Reyes, General Secretary of the United Domestic Workers International and leader of AFSCME took to the stage.
Reid headlines Las Vegas immigration rally
Associated Press People waving American flags, honking hand-held horns and chanting “Si se puede” — Spanish for “Yes, we can” — flooded Las Vegas to rally for comprehensive immigration reform, joining similar demonstrations that took place in cities around the country.
Long-Term Care Needs: Two-Thirds Of Americans Over 40 Are In Denial
Associated Press Americans underestimate their chances of needing long-term care as they get older – and are taking few steps to get ready.
Minnesota child-care union would help kids
Star Tribune Everyone benefits if providers are given the right to form a union.
Big Pharma Pockets $711 Billion in Profits by Price-Gouging Taxpayers and Seniors
Health Care for America Now The pharmaceutical industry derived much of that profit from price-gouging the Medicare....
45 years after Martin Luther King shot, "50 days of nonviolence"
Reuters ...Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees labor union, which organized the 1968 sanitation strike in Memphis, plan a march from the local union office to the museum.
Mayor Wharton Responds To Sanitation Criticism
WREG Memphis The president of AFSCME tells News Channel 3, he feels the fight to keep Dr. King’s dream alive is being drowned out by those at city hall on the eve of the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s death.
Martin Luther King Jr. Celebrated on the 45th anniversary of his Death
Atlanta Black Star Some of the sanitation workers who went on strike in Memphis in 1968...will join in events this week commemorating the 45th anniversary of the civil right leader’s death.
Progressive Groups Revive King’s Message on Anniversary of Mountaintop Speech
WREG Memphis On the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final speech at Mason Temple, labor unions and community leaders gathered at the same spot to revive his message.
White House warns cutting Medicare will shift costs
USA Today If Congress addresses the nation's budget deficit by cutting Medicare…
The Ryan Budget Includes Devastating Health Care Cost Increases for Seniors—Again
Center for American Progress The misguided budget proposes replacing traditional Medicare benefits for seniors with a voucher ….
AFSCME Letter of Concern Over Continuing Resolution Vote H.R. 933
Act now on fair wages for home care aides
Bruce C. Vladeck,
The Hill With the stroke of his pen, the president can remove from the Fair Labor Standards Act the archaic “companionship exemption,” which excludes home care workers from federal wage protections.
Republicans revisit Medicare reform to cut spending
Los Angeles Times Republicans are launching a new phase in their austerity campaign — resurrecting the plan to turn Medicare into a voucher-like system…
When Sequestration Hits, Women and Children Bear Heavy Burden of Cuts
Huffington Post Let's close the tax loopholes enjoyed by the wealthiest Americans before we make life far more difficult for the women and children struggling to get by in today's economy.
Home Care Rules in the Home Stretch
New York Times The companionship exemption amounts to an institutionalized form of sexism, racism and exploitation ….
It worked in Michigan; Raise wages for home care workers across the nation
Detroit Free Press The Obama administration has proposed to end long-standing discrimination against home care aides ….
Business owners urge Congress to take Medicare, Social Security cuts off the table
Washington Post 80 percent of business owners said they oppose proposals to save federal money by curbing Social Security benefits...
Public-Sector Workers Rally Against Sequestration
GovExec.com …“We’re here to stand up for public services that have been cut to the bone,” said AFSCME president Lee Saunders. “Not just here in Washington, D.C., but across this country. We’re here because somebody’s got to stand up for what’s right.”
Union leaders denounce sequestration at DC rally: ‘They want to see us bleed’
The Hill …. “That top one and two percent want more power. They want more wealth and at the expense of all of us. And today we stand and we are making a line in the sand and we say ‘Hell no!’ ” said Lee Saunders, AFSCME’s president.
Union President on Labor and Black History
The Root On the 45th anniversary of the Memphis Sanitation Strike, we spoke to Lee Saunders, AFSCME's first black leader.
AFSCME President Slams Pat Quinn, Michael Nutter As 'Turncoats' Who Must 'Pay'
Huffington Post One of the top labor leaders in the country ripped into two prominent Democratic lawmakers Monday morning, calling them "turncoats" and unfavorably comparing them to high-profile anti-union Republicans.
Medicaid Vital to Long-term Care of Seniors
Kaiser Family Foundation A new report describes how Medicaid is the nation’s primary payer of long-term
services and supports.
HHS report: Medicare prescription drug savings hit $5.7B
USA TODAY Seniors have saved about $5.7 billion on prescription drugs since January 2011 because of provisions in the 2010 health care law.
theGrio’s 100: Lee Saunders, organizing America’s largest union
theGrio Lee Saunders is the first black president of AFSCME. … Saunders made history as the first African-American president of the nation’s largest public employee union. And 2012 was a critical year for labor,..
Link Between Poor Health And Seniors Switching Out Of Private Medicare Plans
Kaiser Health News New research findings fuel concerns that the private plans don’t provide the most attractive care for the very ill.
Americans are willing to pay more for Social Security
Reuters Very large majorities across every age group, political affiliation and income group said they would be willing to pay more to maintain current benefits.
Long-Term Care Ombudsmen Face Challenges To Independence
Kaiser Health News/ USAToday Elderly living in nursing homes or assisted living centers might not know it, but they’ve got an advocate …
Six in ten Americans oppose any cuts to Medicare and Social Security
Kaiser Family Foundation/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health New poll finds most Americans would not be willing to see any reductions in Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid.
Drawing Inspiration from Lincoln, King on the Eve of President Obama's Second Inauguration
Huffington Post It is time for all of us to pull together and fight for the enduring ideals of justice, equality and the rights of working men and women.
Massive Cuts are Coming Unless We Work Together
Huffington Post It’s time to pull together to prepare America for the future. Together, we must be part of the fight to make that happen.
Raising the Medicare Eligibility Age Would Harm Seniors
Maura Calsyn and Lindsay Rosenthal,
Center for American Progress We estimate that in a single year, almost 435,000 seniors would be at risk of becoming uninsured.
The Road to Jobs and Economic Growth
Huffington Post One of the great lies of our time is that raising taxes on the wealthy hurts job creation and undermines economic growth.
America’s Working Families Won
Huffington Post Election Day 2012 brought very good news for the working middle class, the Main Street movement and the American Dream. The American people sent a clear message that we will stand with a President who stands with all Americans.
The role of nursing in delivery of primary care
Health Affairs Policy Brief Nurse practitioners could fill the growing primary care shortage . . .
Time to Vote
Huffington Post If we do all we can, we will win on Tuesday, a victory that will help build a better future for every American family.
Romney and Ryan and Respect for Workers
Huffington Post In Mitt Romney’s America, the men and women who collect trash, plow streets, guard prisoners, care for children and heal the sick should simply do as they’re told.
The Truth About Medicare
Nancy Pelosi Special to CNN The Affordable Care Act does not cut a single benefit or add a single penny to the cost of insurance for any Medicare beneficiary.
Meet Richard Hayes: He Collects Mitt Romney's Trash
Huffington Post Videos spotlight public service workers, underscore Romney’s arrogant dismissal of nearly half of all Americans.
Do Your Part: Vote!
Labor Press Registering to vote is the first step to raising our voice.
New Report on Harm to Medicare by Repealing Obamacare
Repeal of the ACA would make Medicare's trust fund insolvent in 2016, and increase costs for many Medicare beneficiaries.
Fewer Uninsured People
New York Times Repealing health care reform or shrinking Medicaid, as many Republicans want to do, would be disastrous moves.
California nabs federal funding for home- and community-based program
McKnight’s California will get an additional $573 million in federal Medicaid funds for personal attendant services.
Home Care Consumers Want Better Pay and Benefits for their Workers
Consumer Voice Increased funding for in-home services and better pay and benefits
for workers are vital to quality home care.
Workers struggle to find voice
Burlington Free Press Vermont home care workers are organizing and hope forming a union will help improve conditions.
Labor Day and the Future of America
Huffington Post We must do more to insure that future Americans live in a country where their voices can be heard and their freedom is secure. This Labor Day, and throughout the crucial next two months, we must show that we are equal to the task.
New York Times The draft Republican platform says of Medicare and Medicaid….
Preserving and Strengthening Medicare
White House President Obama speaks about the critical need to strengthen and preserve Medicare for our seniors and future generations.
How Much More Will the Romney-Ryan Medicare Plan Cost You?
Center for American Progress Romney and Ryan claim that no one over 55 will be affected by their plan. This claim is false.
School nurses' duties wide ranging
The Spectrum Nurses deal with everything from students with diabetes to paralysis…
Health Law Gives Medicare Fraud Fighters New Weapons
NPR Fraud squads that look for Medicare scams have new weapons from Affordable Care Act.
Patients Would Pay More if Romney Restores Medicare Savings, Analysts Say
New York Times Restoring the $716 billion in Medicare savings would increase premiums and co-payments for beneficiaries by $342 a year.
The Romney-Ryan Medicare shuffle
NY Daily News If political double-talk were an Olympic event, Mitt Romney would have scored a perfect 10 in…
Paul Ryan isn’t a deficit hawk. He’s a conservative reformer.
The Washington Post Take Ryan’s budget. It’s most famous for cutting entitlement programs, particularly Medicare.
New ad hits GOP over tax cuts
CNN PoliticalTicker Americans United for Change teamed up with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees labor union to release a new television ad Monday, attacking Republicans for opposing tax increases on the very wealthy.
Let's pay home-care providers fairly
The Tennessean Home care is a civil right….
Poll: More Americans Favor Medicaid Expansion Than Oppose It
Governing Americans slightly favor states' volutarily expanding their Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Taxes, Offshore Accounts and Corruption
Huffington Post As Romney pushes a plan full of budget-breaking tax cuts for the very rich, serious questions remain about his own tax returns and use of offshore accounts.
Want to Protect Medicare? Reduce Deficits in a Balanced Way
Paul N. Van de Water,
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Reducing deficits almost entirely by cutting programs, with little or no new revenues, would likely require deep cuts in Medicare…
Medicaid Expansion May Lower Death Rates, Study Says
NEW YORK TIMES A new study found when states expanded their Medicaid programs fewer people died.
Doughnut hole drug savings hit $687M in 1st half
USA TODAY In the first six months of this year, more than 1 million seniors and people with disabilities saved $687 million on prescription drugs...
Working poor stand at center of Medicaid debate
BUSINESSWEEK Without a Medicaid expansion, the state's working poor will continue relying on emergency rooms — the most costly treatment option…
Ending Bush tax cuts for rich would save about $80 billion in 2013, analysts say
Washington Post A Republican proposal to preserve tax cuts for the nation’s wealthiest households next year…
Hospital's heavy lifting lightens load on nurses
USA TODAY Nurses, nursing aides and orderlies have borne the weight of the nation's obesity epidemic and suffered the consequences.
The Commonwealth Fund Medicare does better than private coverage when it comes to fulfilling the main purposes of health insurance—providing access to care and adequate financial protection…
Your Guide to "Ending Medicare As We Know It"
The American Prospect If the Ryan plan were enacted, there would likely be many seniors who would have no health coverage.
In Florida, Obama Presents Romney as Bad Choice for Seniors
New York Times Mr. Obama assailed Republican plans to transform Medicare into a voucher program.
States saying no to ‘Obamacare’ could see downside
Associated Press States that reject the law's Medicaid expansion risk leaving behind many of their low-income residents.
Health Insurance Prices For Women Set To Drop
Shots – Health Blog,
NPR Under the health care overhaul, insurers can’t charge women higher premiums than men.
Romney: “I believe in America,” but bank in Switzerland
Huffington Post Why would a man who says he believes in America need a Swiss bank account?
Settlement for New York Home Care Workers Highlights Injustice in Labor Law
In These Times The mistreatment of these home care workers sheds light on a national problem…
Health care repeal effort: Worth the time? (Video)
CBS The Republican repeal effort has taken up at least 80 hours on the House floor, costing taxpayers around $50 million...
The Road to More Jobs
New York Times
The Republicans’ relentless opposition to constructive policies has kept unemployment high…
Over 16 million people on Medicare get free preventive services
Department of Health and Human Services The new health care law means over 16 million people with original Medicare got services at no cost …
Obamacare Is Good for Medicare
Center for American Progress Obamacare actually improves the program for Medicare beneficiaries.
The Affordable Care Act has made the U.S. health-care system stronger
Washington Post The Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act was a turning point in the health-care debate…
Mitt Romney’s “Fake-Facts”
Huffington Post The Romney campaign is attempting to distort the real impact of the Affordable Care Act.
Newsmakers with Lee Saunders
C-SPAN AFSCME’s president discusses his plans for the union, the upcoming presidential election and related issues.
Opinion: Give protections to homecare workers
NH Sentinel Shameful, substandard working conditions aren’t good for home-care employees, they aren’t good for your loved ones and they aren’t good for society.
When It’s the Nurse Who Needs Looking After
New York Times Blog Recent research reveals that when nurses suffer, so do their patients…
Medicare Premiums: the Rumors Return
Wall Street Journal Blog The Supreme Court’s decision upholding much of the Affordable Care Act last week breathed new life into an unfounded rumor…
Economic Pressures On Local Governments
Diane Rehm Show,
NPR Kerry Korpi discusses economic pressures on local governments and the push to privatize public services.
Medicare helps Beneficiaries Save $3.7 billion on Rx
Thanks to health care reform 5.2 million people on Medicare saved $3.5 billion on their prescription drugs.
Social Security: It’s for young people, too
National Academy of Social Insurance The truth is that we can be confident in Social Security’s future.
Presidential Proclamation -- Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week
President Barack Obama,
Medicare disruptions seen if health law is struck
Associated Press Tossing out President Barack Obama's health care law would have major unintended consequences for Medicare's payment systems.
A nugget of good Medicare news
Washington Post Medicare trustees' report shows trust fund will be able to cover its bills through 2024
Broccoli and Bad Faith
New York Times
USA Today Editorial: Medicare Cost Panel is Common Sense
USA Today The Medicare board seems like a common-sense mechanism. The reason it engenders such heated opposition is that like the "death panels," it's a convenient vehicle for scaring people into opposing health reform — facts to the contrary.
Calls for Action at King Vigil
The Root Speakers reflected on the legacy of King, also stressed the need to reaffirm and commit to justice and peace.
They stood their ground for respect
Local 1733 Exec. Dir. Chad Johnson, Sec.-Treas. Lee Saunders,
Commercial Appeal The Memphis sanitation workers' strike and its aftermath continue to inspire AFSCME today.
Eighty Seven Groups Urge “Be Fair to Those Who Care” by providing Home Care Workers with federal wage and hour protections
Op-Ed: Home care workers deserve fair wages
Newsday “This isn't just the right thing to do, it's the smart thing.”
New Mexico’s Workers Join Main Street Movement
The Light of New Mexico Our Main Street movement echoes New Mexico’s motto: “It grows as it goes.”
Working Families Targeted in Michigan
Huffington Post Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is using the economic mess Wall Street created as a smokescreen to dismantle public services and destroy workers' rights.
$350 Million Home Health Care Scam Busted
Washington Post Texas doctor arrested for allegedly preying on the elderly and disadvantaged to bilk Medicare.
Home health industry fights minimum wage rule
USA Today Highly profitable home care industry fights proposal to grant minimum wage and overtime to workers.
Latinos in the Direct-Care Workforce
National Council of La Raza Revenues in the for-profit home care industry have doubled in the last 30 years, but wages for personal-care aide and home care aides have remained stagnant.
Florida Prisons Bill Would Expand Private Management, Netting A Big Win For Political Contributors
Huffington Post State could hand over a major slice of its prison system to private, for-profit businesses.
Mitt Romney and the 1%
Gerald W. McEntee,
Huffington Post If they have their way, Mitt Romney and the wealthiest people in America won't have to release their tax returns. They won't even have to file.
Liberal Union Joins Attack on Romney in Florida
FactCheck.org The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees is running a TV ad in Florida slamming Mitt Romney for profiting personally from a company later convicted of Medicare fraud while he was a director.
Liberal groups join in Fla. ad war against Mitt Romney
Washington Post Several liberal groups are funding new ad campaigns in the Sunshine State targeting the vulnerable GOP presidential candidate.
Martin Luther King Jr., the labor movement and the American dream
Lee A. Saunders,
The Grio Dr. King often spoke of the links between the struggle for workers' rights and the cause of civil rights.
Economic Justice Key Part of Dream
Lee A. Saunders ,
Albuquerque Journal Dr. King recognized that civil rights and workers’ rights are intertwined.
Killing Pensions to Benefit the 1 Percent
Lee A. Saunders,
Huffington Post The Wall Street Journal continues its push to gut the retirement security of millions of middle class workers across the country while enriching Wall Street.
AFSCME Launches 'Political Match Game', Highlighting Anti-Worker Positions of GOP Presidential Candidates
Crooks & Liars The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union launched a fun interactive game Monday test people's knowledge of the anti-worker sentiments of the top Republican presidential contenders.
California pension system not in crisis
San Francisco Chronicle Despite those who claim otherwise, the sky is not falling on the California pension system.
Fairness for Home Care Aides
New York Times Proposed changes to Labor Department rules grant home care workers needed protections.
Don't blame government workers' pensions
Gerald W. McEntee,
USA Today The big players on Wall Street have devastated our economy and our retirement savings.
Sharpton's Jobs March Hits 25 Cities on Same Day
Claudio E. Cabrera,
The Root Sharpton and his organization, the National Action Network, along with partners such as AFSCME, held a 25-city rally on Friday to expose the issues affecting African Americans and other minority groups in this country.
Obama Gains Major Union Endorsement And, Potentially, $100 Million War Chest
Huffington Post The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees formally endorsed President Barack Obama's reelection on Tuesday, beginning an extensive and expensive process to, in part, shore up the president's support among white working class voters.
Public workers union endorses Obama as ‘only choice for the 99 percent’
The Hill The largest public employee union in the country endorsed President Obama for a second term on Tuesday.
AFSCME votes to endorse Obama for reelection
44 blog at Washington Post The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees voted Tuesday to officially endorse President Obama in the 2012 election.
His Love of Labor Won’t Fade Away
National Journal Gerald McEntee won't let retirement slow him down in his fight for America's working class.
Did Gingrich insult America's children?
MSNBC Rev. Al Sharpton and panel talk about Newt Gingrich's comments on children, labor laws and poverty.
How Progressives Won the Labor Rights Showdown in Ohio
Truthout To understand how progressives pulled off this remarkable win, I spoke with Paul Booth, one of the chief strategists behind the campaign to repeal SB5.
Labor's turning point?
Politico Ohio victory has revived labor movement to level not seen in years.
The Lessons of Issue 2′s Defeat in Ohio
Swampland blog at Time The vote "delivered a clear message to corporate-backed politicians across the country that we will no longer stay silent as Wall Street tries to steal the American Dream. This was a brazen attempt to silence the voice of the 99%.”
Public Service Workers Are Helping to Cut Taxpayer Costs
Gerald W. McEntee,
Wall Street Journal Union members are pulling together to find real solutions to our economic problems.
What the Ohio vote means
Gerald W. McEntee,
Reuters Voters will not tolerate unnecessary cuts to vital programs and attacks on working families.
Ohio Vote: We Won't Be Misled, Fooled or Led Astray
Lee A. Saunders,
The Root Senate Bill 5 is the right wing's attack on public-sector workers and public services.
Ohio's Issue 2 hurts African-Americans most
Lee A. Saunders,
theGrio In Ohio and around the country, one-fifth of all public-sector employees are African-American.
Why the GOP Won’t Vote on the American Jobs Act
Gerald W. McEntee,
Daily Kos Putting more people to work is the last thing House Republicans want to accomplish.
State Worker Benefits Threatened as U.S. Supercommittee Considers Cuts
Jennifer Oldham and Holly Rosenkrantz ,
Bloomberg A congressional supercommittee is seeking another $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction, which may cut deeply into federal aid to states and cities amid an already slowing economy.
Remembering the `invisible workers’ of 9/11
Washington Post On AFSCME's video remembrance of the workers who rose to the call of duty that day.
19 of 50 slain police killed in ambushes
USA Today Nearly 40% of police officers fatally shot this year have been slain in ambush-style attacks.
Dems say Congress could reopen FAA during recess
WJLA ABC-7 The Obama administration urged Congress Wednesday to end the partial shutdown of the FAA.
The ALEC Cabal: How Influence Peddlers Undermine Democracy
Gerald W. McEntee,
Firedoglake Corporate lobbyists work secretly with right-wing state legislators to draft far-reaching legislation.
Labor Steamed at Debt Deal, But Do They Blame Obama?
Shushannah Walshe ,
ABC News President Obama met for more than hour with the executive committee of the AFL-CIO Tuesday morning, the same day he would sign the deal raising the debt ceiling, averting disaster, but angering the labor movement—a core Democratic constituency.
Fewer cops, more potholes: How debt deal could hit states hardest
Christian Science Monitor The debt-and-deficit bill will slash aid to states already reeling from the recession.
Stalemate in Senate Leaves 4,000 Out of Work at F.A.A.
New York Times Senate negotiators tried and failed on Tuesday to end a stalemate over temporary financing for the Federal Aviation Administration.
Unions Launch Debt Ceiling Ad War on GOP
Wall Street Journal Three major labor unions and a pro-labor outside group will run attack ads this weekend on Republican House members for blocking a deal to raise the debt ceiling.
Unions Go After Gang Of Six Deficit-Cutting Plan: 'It Would Kill Jobs'
Michael McAuliff & Elise Foley,
Huffington Post Unions are coming down hard on the so-called "Gang of Six" deficit-cutting plan, blasting the bipartisan proposal with a harsh ad set to come out Friday in Capitol-focused publications.
Why Unemployment Makes the Tea Party Happy
Gerald W. McEntee,
Firedoglake Tea party Republicans see political benefit from increasing unemployment with Pres. Obama at the helm.
Debt Ceiling Medicaid Cuts: Union Lobbies Democratic Senators For Help
Huffington Post AFSCME urges moderate Senate Democrats to reject debt ceiling proposals that would cut Medicaid funding.
Idled Minn. public employees holding on -- for now
Associated Press Nation’s longest state government shutdown in a decade poses challenges for 22,000 public workers.
Labor angered by Obama's willingness to cut Social Security in debt ceiling deal
The Hill “I think this is a huge political mistake,” said AFSCME legislative director Chuck Loveless.
Opponents of GA immigration law rally at Capitol
Associated Press Several hundred people rallied at the Capitol against the state's new law targeting illegal immigrants.
Two Firms Defy Investor Views on Pay Vote Frequency
RiskMetrics “It’s a bad precedent to ignore a majority of shareholders,” noted AFSCME’s Lisa Lindsley.
With each UC cut, low-wage workers pushed closer to margins
San Jose Mercury News The University of California's lowest paid workers have taken the brunt of cuts.
Report: Private Prisons Love Mass Incarceration, And Want Politicians To Love It Too
Ryan J. Reilly,
Talking Points Memo Major private prison companies have an incentive to encourage policies which increase populations.
Austerity Is Already Here, and It's Killing the Recovery
The Atlantic State and local government spending has already declined, dampening growth and hiring.
Memphis saves jobs of union championed by King
Associated Press Sanitation workers score a victory as city council passes budget without privatizing solid waste collection.
Medicare trustees criticize Ryan plan
The Hill Criticism targets two key components of Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) plan to overhaul the program.
Scott Walker finds making bumper stickers is easier than creating jobs
Washington Post Where are the jobs, Gov. Walker? He hasn't created many.
Rules would speed up union elections
Associated Press NLRB rules drop roadblocks to organizing new members, cut time for anti-union campaigns.
Budget cuts force libraries to re-examine roles
Associated Press Some forced to charge for premium services, sell passport photos and offer commercial movie-rental boxes.
Financial Manager Repeal Effort Begins in Michigan
FOX 2 Detroit Opponents of law giving financial managers broad powers over local governments step up efforts to get repeal on the ballot.
Cuomo and Pensions: A View From a Union Leader
Gerald W. McEntee,
New York Times Pension costs grew due to the financial crisis, not because benefit levels are too high.
Anti-union Republicans seize their moment
Stateline The pace and magnitude of change for the state’s public employees have been startling.
Privatization At The Heart Of Divisive Battles In Wisconsin
Huffington Post Secretary-Treasurer Lee Saunders: what Walker is doing is "a power play, pure and simple."
SB5 repeal effort exceeds 700,000 signatures
Columbus Dispatch We Are Ohio has collected triple the number needed to get on the November ballot.
LEAKED: Secret Report on Jindal's Privatization Plan
Talking Points Memo Louisiana effort to privatize health insurance would increase premiums according to confidential report.
Gov. Jindal's plan to sell state prisons is killed by House committee
Times-Picayune Louisiana House deals governor a tough loss on a top priority for his administration.
Ordinary workers took extraordinary stand, made history
Hilda L. Solis, Secretary of Labor,
Memphis Commercial Appeal Memphis sanitation strike an important turning point in the fight for civil rights, workplace equality
Government regulations save lives on the job
Economic Policy Institute Every occupational sector now operates more safely than it did 20 years ago, including mining.
The short-sighted attack on collective bargaining
Boston Globe Attacks on collective bargaining and workers rights are likely to backfire in the long run, by making relations with public employees less predictable - and more costly.
Private prisons see opposition
Marion Star A proposal to privatize six prisons in Ohio faces opposition from a coalition of non-profit groups.
Everyone out of the pool: Cities close public swimming pools, say they're budget-busters
Associated Press Public pools across the country are being closed permanently thanks to revenue and budget problems.
Judge strikes down Walker's collective bargaining law
Wisconsin State Journal A judge has struck down Gov. Scott Walker's controversial new collective bargaining law.
Unions File Unfair Labor Practice Against Montana Legislature
KFBB News Channel 5 Legislature rejected a deal with state employee unions already negotiated with Gov. Brian Schweitzer.
Election officials wary as Walker signs voter ID bill into law
Wisconsin State Journal Controversial Wisconsin law includes a measure requiring voters to use photo IDs.
Historical civil rights figures weigh in on pension debate
ABC-7 News Video: Participants in the Memphis sanitation strike speak out in San Jose, Calif.
Middle class jobs focus of event in Kent
Record Courier Small business owners, public and private employees united to show support for the middle-class workforce.
GOP Govs' Popularity Plummets
The Daily Beast Over-reach by Republican governors leads to voter backlash from Ohio to Florida to Wisconsin.
Private Prisons Found to Offer Little in Savings
Richard A. Oppel Jr.,
New York Times Data from Arizona suggests privately operated prisons can cost more to operate than state-run prisons.
Unions to lawmakers: Take away corporate tax expenditures to pay down deficit
The Hill Organized labor and other groups are pushing Congress to eliminate corporate tax breaks and use the extra revenue to pay down the deficit.
Stop Enabling Crazy CEO Pay
The Motley Fool AFSCME recently blamed the largest mutual funds for doing the least to rein in CEO compensation.
California Protesters Refuse to Become 'Wisconsin of the West'
The Nation Hundreds of San Jose city workers gathered at City Hall to oppose proposed budget cuts.
Poll shows Ohio Senate Bill 5 will be repealed
Columbus Dispatch Senate Bill 5 would easily be repealed by voters if the referendum were held now, a new poll today shows.
Scott Walker Quietly Consolidating Power In Wisconsin
Huffington Post Secretary of State Doug La Follette: "It's a power grab. He wants to control everything."
Federal worker pensions emerge as target in debt-reduction talks
Washington Post Republicans have proposed saving more than $120 billion over the next decade by requiring the civilian workforce to contribute more toward retirement.
Connecticut Unions Agree to $1.6 Billion in Givebacks
New York Times Representatives for 45,000 unionized state employees agreed Friday to $1.6 billion in concessions over two years to help balance the budget.
Medicare Trust Fund Boosted By Health Care Reform: Report
Huffington Post The Medicare trust fund will last eight years longer than it would have without the passage of last year's health care law, the program’s trustees announced Friday.
NYC Parents Rally For Child Care
NY1 News Thousands rallied outside of City Hall Wednesday in support of child care for working families.
Efforts by GOP lawmakers to curtail private-union powers faltering in most state capitols
Associated Press Of the 14 states where 'right-to-work' bills were considered, only NH has passed the legislation.
Unions refocus political activity
USA Today Larry Scanlon, AFSCME's political director, said, "People have woken up to the fact that they have to be more aggressive in electoral politics in the states."
Former AIG exec Kevin Fitzpatrick sues for $822M
Crain’s New York Business “Working families keep seeing huge payouts for the Wall Street executives who drove our economy into the ditch and are apparently living high on the hog with taxpayer money,” said Lee Saunders, the union's international secretary-treasurer.
AFSCME decries big pay at Pfizer
The Day One of the nation's leading labor unions is pushing Pfizer Inc. investors to lodge a protest against what it sees as lavish executive pay at the world's leading pharmaceutical firm.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signs anti-union bill -- but Democrats say they're the political victors
CBS News Political Hotsheet Lee A. Saunders, secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, told the Washington Post that it's no coincidence Republicans are pushing anti-union measures in states that will be key in the 2012 elections.
Threat to Blacks in the Public Sector
Lee A. Saunders,
The Root Radical conservative politicians want to slash city, county and state jobs — and undercut economic security.
Poll shows Americans oppose entitlement cuts to deal with debt problem
Jon Cohen and Dan Balz,
The Washington Post Despite growing concerns about the country’s long-term fiscal problems and an intensifying debate in Washington about how to deal with them, Americans strongly oppose some of the major remedies under consideration, according to a recent poll.
California in-home services escape ax
Sacramento Bee As they reduced the budget deficit, Democrats repeatedly emphasized the ideological sacrifices they'd made.
ACLU warns against plan to sell state prisons
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH Privatizing Ohio prisons won't save money, will undermine sentencing reform and will post a security risk.
Thousands rally at Capitol against Michigan budget, cuts to education, pension taxes
Lansing State Journal Thousands of protesters angry at Gov. Rick Snyder's proposed budget converged on the state Capitol lawn Wednesday to send a message to legislators.
Countering the Siege
New York Times AFSCME President McEntee on how attacks on public service workers have energized union members and our allies in a growing battle over workers’ rights.
GOP senators all back Toomey balanced-budget bill
Philadelphia Inquirer In just three months, freshman Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania has emerged as the deficit hawk's deficit hawk, and on Thursday all 47 of his GOP colleagues joined him in sponsoring a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution…
Sharpton: “Convention Is About Action, Not Speeches”
Claudio E. Cabrera,
News One With Black unemployment currently at 15 percent and rising, the long lines at job fairs were what affected Lee A. Saunders, treasurer of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees.
In history's footsteps: Memphis rally in King's memory follows historic trail
The Commercial Appeal "Isn't it ironic that on April 4, 2011, we are fighting the same fight they were on April 4, 1968?" asked Lee Saunders, national secretary-treasurer of AFSCME, referring to the original march.
Union workers march on King death anniversary
CNN Wire Staff,
Editorial: Dump the prison privatization plan
Miami Herald Florida Senate proposal would cause massive disruption
Md. firm to take over 3 Calif. libraries as debate grows over privatization
Michael A. Fletcher,
Washington Post “Privatization often sticks the community with the risk while privatizing the profits,” said Lee Saunders, secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees.
Ohio Lawmakers Pass Anti-Union Bill
New York Times This bill is a reprehensible attack on the middle class and the rights of Ohio’s workers,” said Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
Unions look to weaken support for Brown
Obama pep talk to donors
Peter H. Stone,
Center for Public Integrity
A Spoonful of Sugar
National Journal In contrast with their Republican counterparts, Democratic governors are trying negotiation, not confrontation, with public employees.
Do Roads Pay for Themselves?
Governing.com A new study seeks to dispel the oft-repeated claim of highway advocates that roads pay for themselves due to gas taxes and other user fees assessed on motorists.
The Plan to Blame Unions For Everything
Gawker Why is our economy in the predicament that it's in today? High unemployment, sluggish growth...who's to blame? The unions, of course.
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