Monthly Archives: April 2015

Mayor de Blasio to Iowans: If candidates don’t address income inequality, “walk on by”​

Des Moines, Iowa – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio spent all of last Thursday warning Iowans of the dangers of income inequality. He spoke first to Drake University students, then to a crowd at the Progress Iowa event at … Continue reading

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OUR OPINION: The arrogance of power – a case study in Iowa education

Des Moines, Iowa – It’s only a couple of weeks until the mortar boards fly at graduation ceremonies across the state, but nobody at the statehouse deserves a tassel for education policy this spring. Iowa’s education system hangs in the balance … Continue reading

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Iowans speak out on need for Mental Health Institutes

The Senate’s Government Oversight Committee heard testimony this week from patients and former employees of the state-run Mental Health Institutes (MHIs) that have been targeted for closure by Governor Branstad. Under current Iowa law, the state must maintain and operate … Continue reading

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Economic development budget is good for Iowa workers

Senate Study Bill 1281 contains an Economic Development Budget that will expand Iowa’s middle class and move our economy forward. The state’s Economic Development Budget funds Small Business Development Centers, research and economic development at our state universities, arts, cultural … Continue reading

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Clark: We need safe jobs at a fair wage

Four decades ago, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), which created regulations to try to guarantee every worker the right to work in a safe workplace. Since then, unions and many good upstanding employers have worked to … Continue reading

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Ensuring college students can afford the education they need

We’re working to keep college affordable so that all Iowans get the educational opportunities that lead to great jobs. Almost half of bachelor’s degrees awarded in Iowa come from our private colleges and universities. Iowa Tuition Grants help them pay … Continue reading

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AFSCME Legislative Update: April 24, 2015

 Budget Update Iowa Senate Democrats and Iowa House Republicans have each released their budget targets. Iowa Senate Democrats proposed spending $7.341 billion in the upcoming fiscal year. This number is the same as the Governor’s budget; however, funds are allocated … Continue reading

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Budgeting in the dark

April 15 is more than Tax Day. It’s also Budget Day, the date by which Iowa school districts are required to certify and adopt their budget for the year starting July 1. And that’s important, because Iowa schools consider themselves … Continue reading

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Owen: School funding overdue as political games linger

By Mike Owen, Executive Director IPP PDF — as published in the April 18, 2015, Iowa City Press-Citizen School districts across Iowa certified budgets last week without knowing how much they would have to spend. Contracts are being negotiated and … Continue reading

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Here is your April 24th Friday Alert: ARA

Senate Finance Committee Approves “Fast Track” Trade Promotion Authority Bill The Senate Finance Committee voted 20-6 on Wednesday to approve the Trade Promotion Authority Bill (“fast track”) that would allow the President greater powers to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP). … Continue reading

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Labor History

April 27 First strike for 10-hour day, by Boston carpenters – 1825 James Oppenheim’s poem “Bread and Roses” published in IWW newspaper Industrial Solidarity – 1911 (Rebel Voices: An IWW Anthology: Originally published in 1964 and long out of print, … Continue reading

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Labor History

April 25 The New York Times declares the struggle for an 8-hour workday to be “un-American” and calls public demonstrations for the shorter hours “labor disturbances brought about by foreigners.” Other publications declare that an eight-hour workday day would bring … Continue reading

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Wages are 3.1 Percent Lower in “Right to Work” States

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Annual wages in RTW states are $1558 lower for a typical full-time worker April 22, 2015 Wages are 3.1 percent lower in so-called “right to work” (RTW) states, for union and nonunion workers alike—after correctly accounting for differences in cost … Continue reading

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Worker’s Memorial Day Events around Iowa

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Worker’s Memorial Day Events around Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO Safe Jobs save lives, keep the promise alive Cedar Rapids: April 28, 5:30 pm. IBEW Local 405 Hall, 1211 Wiley Blvd SW. Speakers: Kelly Steinke, President of Hawkeye Labor Council; … Continue reading

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Iowa State Education Association delivers more than 2,000 messages to the Capitol

Education groups hold “off-site” lobby day to demonstrate public support for increased education funding DES MOINES, IA (04/22/2015)(readMedia)– The Iowa State Education Association (ISEA) delivered more than 2,000 email messages today to Governor Branstad and House Republican Leaders from educators, … Continue reading

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School budget fight spills over to community colleges

While lawmakers remain stalemated on funding for public school districts, an increase in funding for community colleges also remains in limbo in the Iowa Legislature. Support for prekindergarten through 12th-grade school systems is the biggest chunk of the state budget, … Continue reading

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MHI workers dispute the ‘antiquated’ label attached to the facilities

Four employees at the state-run Mental Health Institutes in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant testified before the Iowa Senate Oversight Committee Wednesday, disputing the governor’s assertion that their facilities are antiquated. Sue Rehwaldt-Hays is an occupational therapist who has worked at … Continue reading

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Labor History

April 24 The Int’l Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union halts shipping on the West Coast in solidarity with Mumia Abu-Jamal, a Philadelphia journalist who many believed was on death row because he was an outspoken African-American – 1999 An eight-story building … Continue reading

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House GOP budget “devastating” to Iowa’s middle class families

Statement by Senator Bob Dvorsky, chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee   “The budget targets released today by the Republican leaders of the Iowa House would be a devastating blow to Iowa’s families.  House Republicans appear determined to needlessly deny … Continue reading

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Lee County Labor Council Worker’s Memorial Day Tribute

Pictured is a memorial on display at the Fort Madison Labor Center. Listed are the names and workplaces of Iowan’s killed on the job in 2014. Workers’ Memorial Day is observed every year on April 28. It is a day … Continue reading

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