Tag Archives: Christie’s

Barack Obama’s Remarks in Selma – American History

This speech …

the First Family traveled to Selma, Alabama to mark the 50th anniversary of the historic marches from Selma to Montgomery. Those marchers in March of 1965 wanted to ensure that all African Americans could exercise their constitutional right to vote — even in the face of a segregationist system that wanted to make it impossible.

As President Obama explained in his remarks this weekend, the lesson of Selma isn’t an outlier of the American experience:

[Selma] is instead the manifestation of a creed written into our founding documents: “We the People … in order to form a more perfect union.” “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

If you missed the President’s powerful speech, watch it here — and pass it on.

Watch the President's remarks in Selma.

“Washington State’s water quality standards are not protecting you”

EPA, Washington State Department of Ecology: Reject Increased Cancer Risk Level; Approve New Fish Consumption Rate

Seattle Human Rights Commission (SHRC)
Seattle, Washington

PLU adjunct faculty lose union vote, say they’ll try again

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in seattletimes.org Jan.15

Adjunct faculty members at Pacific Lutheran University, who won a precedent-setting national victory last month when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) endorsed their right to form a union, appear to have lost a vote to unionize.

The faculty group announced Wednesday that they were withdrawing a petition to form a union, but say they’ll likely attempt a new vote later this year.

The decision comes a week after the impounded ballots from the election — which was held in October 2013  — were finally counted. The vote was 54 votes against union representation and 30 votes in favor, but 38 votes were uncounted because they were challenged by either PLU or the contingent faculty.

The uncounted ballots were impounded immediately after the election when PLU appealed to the NLRB, arguing the school was exempt from national labor rules because it is a religious institution, and because full-time contingents (as adjuncts are called at PLU) were managerial employees.The NLRB, in its decision last month, rejected those arguments.

“The election was hopelessly flawed so we decided a new vote was the best course of action,” said Jane Harty, a contingent music teacher at the university, in an email. She said there were so many challenges to the ballots that it “would be very expensive and take months to contest” the challenges to the ballot.

PLU Provost Steven Starkovich said the university would try to address the contingents’ concerns through its faculty governance committee and a task force of contingents. “As we have stated before, we believe our robust, general-assembly style of faculty governance can serve as a model for other universities,” he said in a statement.

Adjunct faculty make up at least half the higher-education workforce nationwide, according to some studies. They are not eligible for tenure and teach anything from one class each quarter to a full-time slate of courses. They usually make less money than tenured professors and often have fewer benefits.


Raped and no right to choose — 24 hours to help

A 10-year-old girl in Paraguay was reportedly sexually abused by her stepfather for years. Now pregnant, the government denied her the abortion she asked for — but Congress is reconsidering the law in a special session this week, and it could turn the tide. Let’s launch a massive global outcry so this child, and thousands like her, will have a choice:


President Obama Features Paid Leave In State of the Union Address

Dear Friend,
Yesterday was a thrilling day for working families, A Better Balance, and the entire paid leave movement in the United States! In the past few months, we have shared with you an incredible number of work-family victories, including the passage of 4 new paid sick time laws (which A Better Balance worked on) in November’s election. The momentum is clearly continuing into 2015! In his State of the Union address, President Obama featured the need for paid leave laws in the United States and pointed to the success of the issue in the November election.
A Better Balance is currently drafting and providing legal support on paid sick time bills and paid family leave bills in dozens of states across the country. The President’s call for a nationwide paid sick time law, his pledge to provide support through his budget for state paid family leave programs, and his spotlight on the need for workplace leave will provide an incredible boost to these campaigns and our organization’s work.
"Today, we’re the only advanced country on Earth that doesn’t guarantee paid sick leave or paid maternity leave to our workers. . . . So I’ll be taking new action to help states adopt paid leave laws of their own. And since paid sick leave won where it was on the ballot last November, let’s put it to a vote right here in Washington."

A Better Balance’s Co-Presidents, Sherry Leiwant and Dina Bakst, released the following statement last night on the President’s remarks:
“A Better Balance applauds President Barack Obama for shining a national spotlight on paid family leave – and the idea that Americans cannot be financially secure unless our public policies support their ability to care for their children and families – in tonight’s State of the Union address. 
Ten years ago, A Better Balance was founded as a legal advocacy organization to address the problems caused by the failure of our public policies to keep up with the changing workforce and the needs of families. The proliferation of new laws we have written in states and cities around the country guaranteeing workers paid sick time for themselves and their families, paid family leave and an end to pregnancy discrimination are proof that better policies are possible and will work.
Tonight the President makes it clear that this is a national problem that requires national solutions – so that families are not left with impossible choices between caring for their loved ones and meeting their basic financial needs.  And we pledge to work harder than ever to ensure that those policies become a reality for all American families.” 
On our blog, we provide more information on the President’s specific proposals. To learn more about the paid sick time wins that President Obama referenced last night, check out our webpage on the issue and our comparison chart of paid sick time laws in the United States.
As we continue to fight for paid leave laws and policies, you can help! Stories are crucial to informing public officials of the need for paid leave. If you have a story about your need for paid sick time or paid family leave, or if having paid time off to care for your family (especially if it is leave provided under one of the laws we’ve helped pass) has made a difference for you, please share your story with us! And if you work in New York State and would like to support our ongoing campaign to pass a paid family leave insurance law, please add your name to our petition.
Thanks for all you do to support our work.
The A Better Balance Team,
Sherry, Dina, Phoebe, Jared, Elizabeth, Risha, Morenike, Rachel, Jake, Molly & Lynn