TPP

tpp settlement

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Iowa Senate to pass Medicaid privatization repeal

Pen stethoscope glasses and dollar on blank Patient information

Pen stethoscope glasses and dollar on blank Patient information

Iowa Senate Democrats say they will approve a bill next week to repeal Gov. Terry Branstad’s plan to privatize Iowa’s Medicaid program. However, House Republicans are signaling that the measure will be dead on arrival when they receive it.

Senate Study Bill 3081, known as the “Health Care Protection Act,” would immediately give termination notices to three private managed care companies. It also would direct the Iowa Department of Human Services to continue previous efforts to improve patient outcomes, increase access to care, and continue to make the public management of Medicaid more efficient.

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Warning to New Hampshire Republican Primary Voters: Iowa’s Top 3 Come with Baggage

The Iowa caucus results on the Republican side are in, and the three presidential contenders with the most delegates are Sen. Ted Cruz, with 27.6% of the caucus votes, Donald Trump (24.3%), and Sen. Marco Rubio (23.1%). “Ted Cruz, Donald … Continue reading

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Jochum: Senate will vote on ending Medicaid Privatization

Statement by Senate President Pam Jochum of Dubuque This week, legislation was introduced in the Iowa Senate to stop Governor Branstad’s unilateral decision to privatize Iowa’s Medicaid program. Democrats support this legislation—Senate Study Bill 3081, also known as the “Health … Continue reading

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Governor, Medicaid privatization actually means fewer health care providers for Iowa kids

DES MOINES – Today Governor Branstad claimed that “Managed care means more doctors for Medicaid patients.” However, when it comes to the 37,000 children who had been served by Iowa’s nationally praised Hawk-I health insurance program, new numbers from the … Continue reading

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Labor History

February 06 Ironworkers from six cities meet in Pittsburgh to form the Int’l Association of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers of America. Their pay in Pittsburgh at the time: $2.75 for a 9-hour day – 1896 Philadelphia shirtwaist makers vote … Continue reading

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Unions Matter

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We’ve entered the final year of the Obama presidency, a time when we’re taking a look at all we’ve accomplished and what we want to do before the clock runs out. There’s no denying that we’ve made a lot of … Continue reading

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We Cannot Compromise on Protecting Health Care

family healthStatement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka in response to reports of changes to the healthcare benefits tax in President Obama’s upcoming budget proposal:

President Obama clearly recognizes that the tax on health care plans for working men and women is broken. But this harmful and unnecessary tax won’t be fixed by delays or incremental changes. The only real solution is a full repeal and we will not accept anything less. We cannot compromise on protecting the health care that working people have earned.

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THE VAST MAJORITY OF IOWANS BELIEVE OUR CHILDREN DESERVE AT LEAST A 4% INCREASE IN EDUCATION FUNDING

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We need your help. The caucuses are over, but the legislature is still in session, and there’s a lot of work left to be done. We need your help to move our state forward and build a better future for … Continue reading

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Agenda for the 2016 IFL Legislative Conference

Click here to get the Agenda for the 2016 IFL Legislative Conferenceifl leg logo

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Trades Donate $5,000 towards Ames Project

IMG_7738William Gerhard, President of the State Council of the Iowa State Building and Construction Trades Council (ISBCTC), presented Iowa Federation of Labor Secretary/Treasurer Charlie Wishman with a check for $5,000 to help with the Ames organizing drive project.

President Gerhard made this presentation at the ISBCTC 63rd annual state convention in Altoona, February 3, 2016

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Democrats must build on a proven Caucus Process – The Iowa Daily Democrat

iowa flag shape of iowaBy Rick Smith02/04/16
The local and national media have attacked and exaggerated some of the problems that cropped up during the Democratic caucus. Some have even compared it to the Republicans’ 2012 miscount. In the 2012 caucus, the Republicans initially awarded the win to Romney but eventually were forced, following a recount to correct their error and give it to Santorum.

The Democrats caucus complaints are directly related to the problems created by the massive turnout. The voting results are not in question. That big turnout is a positive for the Party and indicates the high interest in our candidates. I served as temporary and then permanent chair of a caucus in Polk County and found each of the campaigns extremely helpful in conducting a successful caucus.

Stories coming out of Monday night’s Democratic caucuses suggest there were serious flaws in the planning, organization and execution of Iowa Democrats’ presidential selection process. There are a number of stories emerging suggesting long waiting lines, inadequately sized venues, confusing locations with multiple precincts and a lack of trained volunteers. The fact that the Clinton/Sanders race came down to a razor thin margin has led to questions by the media about the credibility of the process. The good news is that Iowa Democrats are very patient and were generally very gracious about the long waits and confusion. The Caucuses have a long tradition of demonstrating “Iowa Nice.”

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Labor History

February 05
First daily labor newspaper, N.Y. Daily Sentinel, begins publication – 1830
(Making the News: A Guide for Nonprofits and Activists: Tired of the union being ignored by your local media? Fed up with the way your employer’s side of the story always gets told…while the union side gets barely a passing mention, usually negative? Want to start your own labor-side publication?! You’ll want this book. Making the News explains the basics of how to talk to reporters, how to do a news release, ways to “create” a news event, how to get invited to—and sound good during—radio and TV interviews… it’s a true A to Z of media smarts.)

The movie Modern Times premieres. The tale of the tramp (Charlie Chaplin) and his paramour (Paulette Goddard) mixed slapstick comedy and social satire, as the couple struggled to overcome the difficulties of the machine age including unemployment and nerve-wracking factory work, and get along in modern times – 1937

President Bill Clinton signs the Family and Medical Leave Act.  The law requires most employers of 50 or more workers to grant up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for a family or medical emergency – 1993

In what turns out to be a bad business decision, Circuit City fires 3,900 experienced sales people because they’re making too much in commissions. Sales plummet. Six years later it declares bankruptcy. Duh. – 2003

Union Communication Services

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Call in to STOP TPP

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On November 5th of last year the President released the text of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. This started a 90-day period for public review before Congress can take an up or down vote. In the agreement are … Continue reading

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Davenport Special Election

Now that caucus is over we can again focus on local election.
Tuesday February 16th is the Special Election for School Board.
WIN Committee and DEA met with all the candidates and had divided recommendations. WIN recommended Bruce Werning (Carpenter) and DEA recommended Clyde Mayfield.
QCFL followed WIN’s recommendation and endorsed Bruce Werning (see attached and share with your members and on social media). We will talk about this at next Tuesday’s meeting along with a focus on candidate recruitment for Scott County races (filing period ends March 30).
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Reform Groups Strongly Oppose Constitutional Convention; Would Put Constitutional Rights at Risk

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Statement by the Brennan Center, Center for Media and Democracy, Common Cause, CREW, Democracy 21, and People For the American Way Efforts are being undertaken in state legislatures to pass resolutions calling for a constitutional convention to send various constitutional … Continue reading

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IFL Legislative Hospitality Night

ifl leg logoFebruary 8: Iowa Federation of Labor Legislative Conference Hospitality (cash bar) and Dinner with Iowa Legislators. Prairie Meadows Skinner Ballroom. 5:30 pm

Enjoy the evening talking to your Iowa elected officials!

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Iowans should receive equal pay for equal work

equal pay  2It has been seven years since the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was signed into law by the President and Iowa approved its own Fair Pay Act. Yet nationally and in Iowa, a pay gap remains between men and women.

On average, a woman in the United States makes 79 cents for every dollar a man earns. Iowa women fare even worse, making only 77.4 cents for every dollar a man earns. That puts Iowa at 35th in the nation when it comes to our gender pay gap. If current trends continue, Iowa will not see equal pay until 2056.

Women make up 48 percent of Iowa’s workforce. On average, almost half of our workforce makes less than two others doing the same work.

Iowa values ought to respect and reward hard work.

Senate Democrats have introduced legislation to strengthen our equal pay laws. Some of the provisions of SSB 3071 include prohibiting employers from forbidding employees to discuss their pay with co-workers, prohibiting employers from discriminating or retaliating against employees who discuss their pay, and establishing a task force to study wage disparities in Iowa’s public and private sectors.

By closing the pay gap, we can lift the income of Iowa women and families and strengthen our economy.

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Ensuring the best-possible child care for Iowa families

children circleIn November 2014, Congress reauthorized the Child Care & Development Block Grant for the first time since 1996. New requirements will bring much-needed improvements that are child-focused, family friendly and fair to providers, while maintaining state flexibility.

The Iowa Department of Human Services has developed a new Child Care State Plan that incorporates the requirements of the reauthorization without need for additional funding.

Changes will:

  • Provide consistency for kids by increasing eligibility for child care assistance to 12 months, instead of 6.
  • Soften the impact on working families by tapering off child care assistance as income goes up.
  • Allow families to receive child care assistance for 3 months while searching for work.
  • Offer higher reimbursement rates for providers that achieve a high Quality Rating score.
  • Require a bigger investment in quality programming.
  • Give more on-site monitoring of child care settings.
  • Include annual unannounced visits to providers.
  • Require more training for providers.
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Labor History

February 04
The Ohio legislature authorizes construction of the 249-mile Miami and Erie Canal, to connect Toledo to Cincinnati.  Local historians say “Irish immigrants, convicts and local farmers used picks, shovels and wheelbarrows,” at 30 cents per day, to construct the 249-mile-long waterway – 1825

“Big Bill” Haywood born in Salt Lake City, Utah: Leader of Western Federation of Miners, Wobblies (IWW) founder – 1869

Rosa Parks, whose refusal to give up her bus seat to a White man launched the 1955 Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott and the birth of the civil rights movement, is born in Tuskeege, Ala. – 1913

Unemployment demonstrations take place in major U.S. cities – 1932

Thirty-seven thousand maritime workers on the West Coast strike for wage increases – 1937

President Barack Obama imposes $500,000 caps on senior executive pay for the most distressed financial institutions receiving federal bailout money, saying Americans are upset with “executives being rewarded for failure” – 2009

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