Archive for the ‘AFL-CIO’ Category

[original post 6/6/2010]

A new hard-hitting documentary entitled, “The Lottery,” from director Madeleine Sackler premieres tomorrow, for one night only, in theaters across the country.  The focus of the film is the battle for the future of our nation’s children over education.

“In a country where 58% of African-American 4th graders are functionally illiterate, The Lottery uncovers the failures of the traditional public school system and reveals that hundreds of thousands of parents attempt to flee the system every year. The Lottery follows four of these families from Harlem and the Bronx who have entered their children in a charter school lottery. Out of thousands of hopefuls, only a small minority will win the chance of a better future.”

And at the core of that battle is a network of special interests; a coalition of community groups, labor unions, and politicians, all working together to hold onto power and control, while losing sight of the children; the future of our country.

The inner workings of such a web are little known or understood to most, even to some of those close to the system.  To understand how powerful this network is, first you need to be extremely observant.  And then, you need to go right to the source.  Within no time, many of the issues that stand in the way of reforming our public education system become as clear as the most perfect of ocean waters on a sunny day.

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[original post 4/12/2010]

stern

According to Ben Smith of Politico, Andy Stern, longtime President of the Service Employees International Union, is rumored to be resigning from his position. From the Politico post:

Service Employees International Union President Andrew Stern, one of America’s most prominent labor leaders, is set to resign, according to a member of the union’s board and another SEIU official.

The President of an SEIU local based in Seattle, Diane Sosne, broke the news to her staffers at 11:35 this morning, local time.

“Last night I received confirmation that Andy Stern is resigning as President of SEIU. He has not yet made a public announcement; we will share the details as we become aware of them,” Sosne wrote in an email obtained by POLITICO.

Sosne offered no explanation for the move, but another SEIU official speculated that Stern had finally tired of the draining job.

Read the entire Politico post here.

Hmmmm…I’d speculate differently. Here are my top guesses:

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[original post 2/1/2010]

Ten minutes prior to the start of a December 15th, 2009 board meeting of the Riverside Community College District in California, board members are handed a 52-page document filled with millions of dollars in projects to be funded by the district’s taxpayers, who themselves are struggling under the state’s 12.4% unemployment rate.  The document, a draft Project Labor Agreement (PLA), will commit long-term construction and ancillary projects for the next several years to labor unions.

At least twenty-three members of the public, many of them local private business owners who oppose the PLA, have attended to publicly comment on the proposal.  Two of the board members have never even seen the PLA prior to today, and have asked for a special session to review it.  Despite opposition from the public, and the concern voiced by those two board members, the remaining three board members have moved that the Board of Trustees authorize Chancellor Greg Gray to negotiate the final PLA with the Riverside and San Bernardino Building and Construction Trade Councils. Board Trustees Virginia Blumenthal and Janet Green dissented.

riverside-ca

So, without adequate time for all to review the draft, without any backup analysis provided to justify the use of up to $350,000,000 in Measure C taxpayer funds, without giving the public reasonable time to voice their opinions, and with an unemployment rate of over 12% when non-union workers are in even greater need of jobs than union workers…why would three of Riverside’s five board members vote to move forward with a final negotiation anyway? Why the rush? Residents and business owners in Riverside are wondering the same thing, and hope to have the chance to weigh in before the PLA’s final draft is signed.

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