Tier 1 National Org

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Yesterday, November 16

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    3:56pm
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    3:49pm

    Nixon lacked the cable network’s advantage, but are its viewers misled?

    By NICHOLAS KRISTOF

    When President Richard Nixon’s Watergate misconduct was being dissected before congressional committees in 1973 and 1974, Republican support for him collapsed because most Americans shared news sources and inhabited a similar political reality.

    In short, facts mattered.

    Aides to Nixon did propose to him a plan to create sympathetic television news coverage; Roger Ailes backed the idea; and it eventually evolved into Fox News. And today Fox gives President Trump an important defense system that Nixon never had.

    Read more here.

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    10:46am
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    Below are links to PDFs (Picture Data Formatted) files of the Union Bug editions. As new editions are available we will include the links for your convenience.
     
    Below are links to PDFs (Picture Data Formatted) files of the Union Bug editions. As new editions are available we will include the links for your convenience.
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    9:30am

    By BRUCE SCHREINER

    Associated Press

    On election night, long before his win in the Kentucky governor’s race became official, Democrat Andy Beshear made clear who he thought helped make it happen.

    “To our educators, this is your victory,” Beshear proclaimed in a Nov. 5 victory speech as he maintained a slim 5,000-vote margin.

    Now that Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has conceded, Beshear is moving quickly to translate the political activism of teachers that began in 2018 and persisted through this year’s election into tangible school improvements.

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    6:28am
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    6:14am

    Benjamin Dorsky, President of the Maine State Federation of Labor, AFL (left) greets George Jabar, President of the Maine State Industrial Council, CIO, in anticipation of merger between the two Maine labor organizations at the Maine State Federation of Labor convention held in Old Orchard Beach in 1955. Courtesy of the Portland Press Herald.

    63 years ago today, 60,000 Maine union members came together under one banner of the state Federated Labor Council, which later became known as the Maine AFL-CIO. The year was 1956 and Maine had just become the 19th state to approve the merger of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) after several years of tense relations between the two labor organizations. 

    The roots of the rivalry went back to the 1930s when the Committee for Industrial Organizations formed out of the AFL and began organizing whole workplaces along industrial lines, rather than by specific crafts. The CIO had tremendous success in organizing autoworkers, textile workers and shipbuilders, especially after President Franklin Roosevelt signed the National Labor Relations Act in 1937. However, the AFL opposed the formation of this “dual organization” on ideological and strategic grounds and voted to expel ten unions that joined the CIO, which later changed its name to the Congress of Industrial Organizations.

    Maine AFL leaders didn’t like the radical militancy of this new upstart group of unions and its news organ Maine State Labor News would often run columns declaring that there was little hope for unity as long as “Communists controlled the CIO.”  Nevertheless, the AFL couldn’t dispute the fact that its rival’s tactics were successful. Soon the CIO sent out a small army of organizers to organize shoe workers in Freeport, Bangor, Gardiner, Hallowell, Augusta, Norway, and Skowhegan as well as paper makers in Rumford, and shipbuilders in Bath. 

    One organizing drive led to the violent Lewiston-Auburn Shoe Strike of 1937, in which the companies and the state launched a full frontal assault against the workers using court injunctions, strike breakers, State Police and even the National Guard. Observing these egregious violations of workers’ rights at the time, the American Civil...
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Friday, November 15

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    11:48pm
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  • 9:44pm

    Leaders of a west Sonoma County teachers union reached a tentative agreement with the district Friday, ending a three-day strike that disrupted classes for more than 1,000 students.

    About 110 teachers and staff in the West Sonoma County Teachers Association have been on the picket lines in Sebastopol and Forestville since Wednesday. Friday’s meeting was the first round of bargaining since efforts to avert a strike at a four-hour meeting Tuesday fell short.

    The tentative agreement reached Friday provides teachers with a 12% pay raise over three years, with just the third year contingent on voter approval of a proposed parcel tax for the March 2020 ballot, according to a news release from the district. Health and welfare benefits will increase over the life of the contract, and wage increases for psychologists, speech therapists and nurses are also included in the agreement.

    “This is an incredible day for our entire school community,” said Superintendent Toni Beal in the release. “We value our teachers—this agreement will allow the district and teachers to move forward for the benefit of all students.”

    Since the strike began, classrooms in the West County Union High School District have been mostly empty at Analy, El Molino and Laguna campuses, as well as a special education consortium. District officials estimated the strike caused losses of $85,000 each day because school funding is tied to attendance.

    Union president Lily Smedshammer expressed appreciation for the union’s negotiation team in a Facebook post about 4:30 p.m., celebrating the tentative agreement.

    “Thank you to our community!” Smedshammer said in the post. “You have honored us with your support!”

    Neither Beal nor Smedshammer could immediately be reached by phone for comment on the tentative agreement.

    Under the previous contract, teachers with no experience receive an annual salary of $48,079, with a health benefits and life insurance package valued at $25,200 — the second highest in Sonoma County, according to a district report.

    A teacher who reaches the maximum step on the salary schedule would receive pay of $83,950 and the same benefits plan. Retirement benefits were not called out in the report.

    The average salary for a California public schoolteacher in 2017-18 was $80,680, according to the state Department of Education. Averages for teachers in high school districts of a similar makeup to West County Union ranged from approximately $48,600 to $99,800 at the top step.

    During negotiations Tuesday, union leaders turned down a district offer that would have provided the 12% raise over three years because two of the three increases would have been contingent on voter approval of the 2020 parcel tax. Beal previously...

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