Monthly Archives: November 2015

We have a lot to be thankful for this week.

This Wednesday, a group of clergy will hold a press conference at 10:30 am on the steps of St. Mary’s church in Iowa City. They will release a statement in support of the minumum wage increase,  written by Father Rudy … Continue reading

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Labor History

November 25 Some 10,000 New Orleans workers, Black and White, participate in a solidarity parade of unions comprising the Central Trades and Labor Assembly. The parade was so successful it was repeated the following two years – 1883 Teachers strike … Continue reading

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Presentation of ‘Turkey of the Year’ award to Senator Chuck Grassley

On Wednesday, November 25th, our friends at the Why Courts Matter Iowa Coalition will be presenting Senator Grassley with their “Turkey of the Year” Award for his historic obstruction of judicial nominees in his role as chair of the US … Continue reading

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This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for Medicaid, the health care safety net that protects us all.

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Many Medicaid dollars provide care to severely disabled people.  Without Medicaid, those costs would bankrupt almost any family in Iowa. Simply put, the Medicaid safety net protects us all, regardless of our income. For example, I have a friend from … Continue reading

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Five Questions Governor Branstad Needs to Answer Before Medicaid Privatization

        (http://bit.ly/five_medicaid_questions_for_Gov_Branstad) Statement by Senator Joe Bolkcom, member of the Legislature’s Health Policy Oversight Committee 1)     Governor Branstad, you have consistently claimed that using private companies to manage Medicaid services will save money and improve care. Do … Continue reading

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Labor Continues Fight for Justice for all Immigrant Working Families

A year after the executive action on immigration, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued the following statement:   Today should have been a day of celebration for working families across the nation. Instead, thanks to partisan legal obstructionism of the DAPA … Continue reading

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Iowa JobWatch: Concerns shadow uptick in jobs

Jobless Rate Improves to 3.5 Percent in October IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa nonfarm jobs and the unemployment rate showed slight improvements in October according to new data released today by Iowa Workforce Development and the U.S. Bureau of Labor … Continue reading

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Here is your November 20th, 2015 Friday Alert:

Democratic Debate Includes Prescription Drug Focus The Democratic Presidential debate on Saturday night included questions about addressing the high cost of prescription drugs in the United States. Hillary Clinton said that she supports capping out-of-pocket prescription drug costs at $250 … Continue reading

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Editorial: Follow Johnson County on minimum wage

Sometimes you go it alone to do the right thing. That’s what officials in Johnson County did this year when they raised the minimum wage there. While Iowa’s pay floor remains at a pitiful $7.25 per hour, on Nov. 1 … Continue reading

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Labor History

November 23 History’s first recorded (on papyrus) strike, by Egyptians working on public works projects for King Ramses III in the Valley of the Kings. They were protesting having gone 20 days without pay—portions of grain—and put down their tools. … Continue reading

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Branstad refuses to acknowledge Medicaid facts

You, me, and almost every other Iowan know at least one person who depends on Medicaid. After all, nearly 600,000, or one out of six Iowans, receive care from our state’s 42,000 community Medicaid providers. That’s why there is so … Continue reading

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Infrastructure Week 2016 to be held nationwide May 16-23, 2016

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Infrastructure Week 2016 to be held nationwide May 16-23, 2016   Washington, D.C. — November 20, 2015 — Today, the nation’s largest organizations representing American business, labor, and policy announced the fourth annual Infrastructure Week, to be held the week … Continue reading

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I took an action on Action Network called “Stop the Attacks on Working People.”

We’ve had enough! It’s time to stop attacking working people, including teachers, nurses and other public service workers who work to make our communities better. Corporate CEOs and the wealthy special interests cannot stop working people from banding together and … Continue reading

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Governor’s own numbers show that Iowans’ access to health at risk due to low participation in Medicaid privatization plan

A statement by State Senator Joe Bolkcom of Iowa City, member of the Health Policy Oversight Committee, in response to today’s Medicaid privatization report by Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds. “It’s unbelievable that Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds … Continue reading

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Branstad touts Medicaid contracts, but few hospitals signed

Gov. Terry Branstad, who is pushing to shift management of the state’s Medicaid program to private companies on Jan. 1, said Thursday that the firms have signed more than 12,000 contracts with pharmacies, doctors and other health care providers. But … Continue reading

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Family Involvement Key to a Child’s Education

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – This is American Education Week, to honor all the people it takes to provide a quality education to students. Iowa State Education Association president Tammy Wawro of Cedar Rapids said it’s important to recognize the critical … Continue reading

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Labor History

November 21 Six miners striking for better working conditions under the IWW banner are killed and many wounded in the Columbine Massacre at Lafayette, Colo. Out of this struggle Colorado coal miners gained lasting union contracts – 1927 The 1,700-mile … Continue reading

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Medicaid meeting set for Dec. 7 at state capitol

If you’re interested in what state lawmakers have to say about the planned Jan. 1 statewide Medicaid transition to managed care, mark Dec. 7 on your calendar. That’s the date of the Iowa State Senate’s Health Policy Oversight Committee is … Continue reading

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Let’s set the facts straight on TPP

The details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, were recently released to the public, and we’ve got some serious issues with it. In short, it leaves U.S. workers in the lurch. Politicians and the media have been sounding off on … Continue reading

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AFL-CIO Files Shareholder Proposals to Ban Wall Street ‘Government Service Golden Parachutes’

(Washington, DC) The AFL-CIO Office of Investment submitted a new round of shareholder proposals urging six of the largest Wall Street banks to ban special compensation packages for banking executives who leave for government positions. The proposals address the controversial … Continue reading

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