Ukraine: Russia May Give Crimea $1 Billion In Aid – Sitrep


what came first the chicken or the egg

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Subject: Ukraine: Russia May Give Crimea $1 Billion In Aid – Sitrep

Ukraine: Russia May Give Crimea $1 Billion In Aid – Sitrep

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PERB finds CAPS violated Rachlis’ membership rights…again


Note to Rank and File Unit 10 members and State Workers

On February 27th 2014, in Case No. SA-CO-464-S the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) has found that Rachlis’ rights under the Dills Act had been violated by the California Association of Professional Scientists (CAPS). In turn, for the second time in two years, PERB has proposed a resolution in which CAPS, unless it appeals, will rescind the termination of Rachlis’ membership within ten days of the issuance of the order.

The CAPS leadership and the agents at Blanning and Baker can once again be accurately described as a serial scofflaws.

Three times the Blanning and Baker team of profit-takers gave bad advice to the CAPS leadership as regards denying Rachlis his membership rights, once in superior court and twice before PERB, Rachlis was vindicated and the CAPS leadership has been exposed for their undemocratic and apparently unlawful maneuvers.

Members must ask how is it possible that the full time labor consultants and their bevy of lawyers can be beaten time after time by a rank and file BU 10 member with absolutely no legal training? Obviously the Blanning and Baker team are not that stupid! They fail be design! Their main intention is to keep the opposition from coalescing around a class struggle militant who regularly challenges the cozy self serving relationship that CAPS leadership has with members of management and the Democratic Party through the agency of Blanning and Baker LLC., which besides representing CAPS also represents the Association of California State Supervisors (the very supervisors that manage rank and file State workers) and the Young Democrats of California (an organization for the up and coming politicos between ages of 18-35).

It has been our contention that CAPS, despite the rights bestowed upon it by PERB to represent BU 10, is not a workers’ organization. A workers’ organization must do more than just regularly fail to bring home the bacon or regularly side with management or appear weak kneed and compliant before management and the politicians, any of the thousands of petty bureaucrats in the labor movement can accomplish that and maintain the qualitative aspect of a workers organization-its social character which derives its rule, ostensibly, from the membership assembled! What is the special quality that proves CAPS is not a workers organization? It is not merely that the social quality of the organization has been denied by the violation of the memberships’ right to hold regular membership meetings, and it is not merely that laws are broken, or that membership rights are denied and that privilege is bestowed upon the in-crowd.

CAPS class character is determined by how and who founded it and for what purpose. We learned it under testimony supplied by B&B partner Matt Austin in Superior Court that he collected the signature cards that originated CAPS. Thus CAPS was brought into existence by the members farming out all self-organizational responsibility to a corporation. What is special is that despite the fact most of the original members are retired and gone today CAPS is run as a profit center for the profit takers at Blanning and Baker who control the membership and and have subordinated CAPS members interests to those of their other clients (some of whom are named above) for decades. In short CAPS is a captive organization, which under the guise of a state workers union is actually a construct of Blanning and Baker formed up (by one time office boy and now corporate partner Matt Austin) for its own ends.

Solidarity

Charles Rachlis

P.S. Now that it is established that the leaders of CAPS and their agents at B&B are scofflaws working to put the interests of supervisors and Young Democrats before the interests of the BU 10 it is time for the membership to dislodge the leadership and form up a rank and file negotiating team that will mobilize the membership and win our demands.

This can only be done by immediately launching a petition for a special meeting of the membership with a one point agenda to remove and replace the leadership and Blanning and Baker. In the build up to such a meeting local job site committees are required to prepare the membership for job actions to assert our strength, recruit the new leadership and establish principles of agreement and a fighting program of political independence and labor solidarity. The most appropriate job action at this moment is the lunch time speak out rally in-conjunction with workers in other unions still out of contract and those disillusioned with SEIU an other failed union leaderships. This type of rally at every job site on the days of negotiations will send signals that we are serious, we are organizing and we will not back down. Such rallies will also serve as organizing tools to prepare the rank and file for the tasks of self-organization, democracy and the actions which will be required to win.

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How Budget Cuts and PTA Fundraising Undermined Equity in San Francisco Public Schools


How Budget Cuts and PTA Fundraising Undermined Equity in San Francisco Public Schools
http://sfpublicpress.org/news/2014-02/how-budget-cuts-and-PTA-fundraising-undermined-equity-in-san-francisco-public-schools
By Jeremy Adam Smith
San Francisco Public Press
— Feb 3 2014 – 4:09pm
PUBLIC SCHOOLS, PRIVATE MONEY: Parent fundraising for elementary education in S.F. skyrocketed 800 percent in 10 years. The largesse saved some classroom programs, but widened the gap between rich and poor.

Evelyn Cheung is the principal of Junipero Serra Elementary School in Bernal Heights. Matthew Reedy is the principal of Grattan Elementary in the Haight. Both San Francisco public schools faced five straight years of districtwide budget cuts — which hit hardest in 2010 with a $113 million shortfall and last school year came to a more manageable $13 million.

But the belt tightening did not hurt the two schools equally. Cheung was forced to lay off staff and take other drastic steps, like freezing supply purchases for a year. By contrast, Reedy hired new staff and expanded his school’s academic programs, helping raise standardized test scores.

Why? The difference lay in the ability of their parent-teacher associations to raise money. The Grattan PTA has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, amounting to almost $1,000 per pupil. At Junipero Serra, where most students come from poor and immigrant families, the PTA raises approximately $25 per pupil.

“Every principal knows which schools have it and which schools don’t,” Cheung said. “We know who are the haves and who are the have-nots. The system just isn’t equitable.”

In an era of shrinking public investment in schools, parents have struggled to hold the line one school at a time. Since the pre-recession year 2007, elementary school PTAs in San Francisco collectively managed to more than quadruple their spending on schools.

With this money, some schools have been able to pay teachers and staff, buy computers and school supplies, and underwrite class outings and enrichment activities. These expenses, previously covered by the taxpayers, are increasingly the responsibility of parents.

But school district finance data, PTA tax records and demographic profiles reveal an unintended byproduct of parents’ heroic efforts: The growing reliance on private dollars has widened inequities between the impoverished majority and the small number of schools where affluent parents cluster.

Unlike some California school districts, which centralize and redistribute funds raised by parents, San Francisco so far has permitted all money raised at a school to stay there. This gives some schools an enormous advantage. School district data show that in 2011 (the most recent year tax records were available), parents of children at just 10 elementary schools raised $2.77 million — more money than those at the other 61 combined.

By bringing in as much as $1,500 per student, the top fundraising schools appear to have been largely insulated from the effects of budgets cuts. Meanwhile, parents at high-poverty schools such as Junipero Serra are seeing shrinking resources for their children. This means laid-off staff, dilapidated libraries, outdated computers and a dearth of essential supplies like pencils and paper.

Rachel Norton, president of the San Francisco Board of Education, said she and her colleagues were aware of significant disparities in the fundraising capacities of PTAs in the district. But administrators do not track donations, nor do they attempt to interfere with school fundraising.

“I’d never ding parents for raising money to provide more services and extras for their schools, especially in a state like California that has chronically underfunded schools,” Norton said. “The more economically diverse students the schools attract, the better off the schools will be.”

But fewer and fewer schools in San Francisco are attracting economically diverse students. The number of children from poor families is rising across the district, and there are more schools with high concentrations of poverty than there were 10 years ago. Meanwhile, the number of mixed-income schools is shrinking.

The district’s “lottery” system is supposed to keep schools racially and economically diverse by giving preference to students from disadvantaged backgrounds and neighborhoods when assigning spots. But data suggest it has largely failed at that task, since affluent parents have had the time and skills to game the system, and tend to cluster in certain schools.

Critics of rising income inequality say school districts across the country, in a rush to save public schools with private dollars, created a system in which education is improving for the affluent and declining for the poor.

“Parent fundraising has become more important as state and local funds have dwindled,” said Robert Reich, a former U.S. secretary of labor and now a political science professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who advocates for policies to close the gap between rich and poor.

“If we take the ideal of equal opportunity seriously,” Reich said, “we’ve got to commit ourselves to creating a system of public education in which kids from poor and working-class families have a genuinely equal opportunity to succeed. And we’re falling far short.”

In an effort to address unequal parent fundraising head-on, some Bay Area school districts have pioneered novel solutions that might be instructive to San Francisco. One is aggregating private dollars, and directing them to the schools that need the most help. Other California districts prohibit PTAs from paying for teacher salaries or training, a common practice that can significantly widen inequities among schools.

But with an expected influx of state money this year, San Francisco will have new policy options to address the growing inequities in the district. The city’s schools stand to bring in as much as $21.7 million more as soon as September, through Gov. Jerry Brown’s newly enacted Local Control Funding Formula, which provides extra funds to districts with many disadvantaged students. If student populations remain stable, this new money could grow to $184.6 million annually in eight years.

With a current school district budget $667 million, the new funds would represent an increase of 27 percent.

As San Francisco’s Board of Education prepares to hold public meetings this spring on how to spend the extra funds, the fate of increasingly unequal public schools could be in the hands of parents themselves. That may mean endorsing reforms to ensure more equitable local funding, or agreeing to share fundraising proceeds among schools.

SOME SCHOOLS DODGED CUTS

Matthew Reedy started working as a teacher at Grattan Elementary in the Haight in 2002. That was the year the district’s Weighted Student Formula took effect. The policy, devised as a way to help disadvantaged children, provides schools with a base rate of funding for each student, currently $2,896, and adds dollars based on need, such as the number of children receiving special education services, free and reduced-price lunches and lessons in English as a second language. So per-capita funding for schools is highly variable but generally biased toward schools with disadvantaged students.

The goal is not strict equality, but rather equity, meaning preferential funding for schools that need it most. San Francisco schools with many poor and immigrant students have bigger budgets on a per-pupil basis than do affluent schools, whose students are less expensive to educate.

When the formula went into effect in 2002, Reedy said, affluent schools such as Grattan lost funding, and parents felt compelled to make up the difference.

That year, elementary school PTAs in San Francisco brought in a total of just $592,000. But through 2011, their combined budgets had ballooned to $5.32 million, an increase of about 800 percent.

(The Public Press examined data from elementary schools only based on the tax records of legally recognized PTAs.)

As parent fundraising increased, so did the gap between the richest and poorest schools.

In 2010, Reedy became Grattan’s principal. Today, only 21 percent of 359 students there qualify for free and reduced-price lunch. That is one-third the district average, making it one of the wealthiest schools in a district whose students overall have gotten poorer. Not surprisingly, the Grattan PTA is one of the most successful fundraisers in the district.

In the 2012–2013 school year, the PTA at Grattan raised $353,000, about $983 per pupil, on top of the base $2,896 the school receives from the district for each student. The parents rely on an array of labor-intensive fundraising methods: “Count Me In!” parties with ticket prices up to $75, wine raffles and auctions, foundation grants, “Dine Out for Grattan” nights at participating restaurants, and a sophisticated e-newsletter and website.

See Flickr for a photo essay on fundraising for public education by Tearsa Joy Hammock and Luke Thomas

Reedy said Grattan has been spared the sting of budget cuts, thanks entirely to these parent fundraising efforts. “We’ve been able to take PTA money and donate it to our general fund to prevent layoffs,” he said.

Not only did the PTA protect jobs, it expanded Grattan’s academic programs by hiring reading specialists and a technology teacher, and adding a bilingual clerk and a parent liaison to the staff. The PTA also funds an extra teacher, helping Grattan actually reduce its average class size. In all, this school year the Grattan PTA is paying all or part of the salaries of six staff, totaling nearly $224,000. PTA money also supported the library, a garden that doubles as a science lab and a computer lab that is often cited as one of Grattan’s key strengths, among other programs.

Like many principals, Reedy sets spending priorities in consultation with a school site council, which includes parents, teachers and neighbors. Their decision to invest PTA funds in academics has paid off. From 2008 to 2013, Grattan improved standardized test scores from 787 to 923 points on a scale of 1,000, making it one of the district’s academically best-performing elementary schools.

While the sums raised by Grattan’s PTA may seem tiny compared with a district budget of $667 million, Grattan’s example reveals how small — but concentrated — amounts of private money can keep an entire school afloat. For schools with the means, parent fundraising is a solution to budget cuts.

But our analysis finds that the majority of San Francisco schools are unable to raise money at the same level. Indeed, reliance on parent fundraising appears to undermine the equitability goal of the district’s own funding methods.

HOW CUTS CREATE INEQUITY

Junipero Serra Elementary is situated between Holly Courts, a low-income housing project, and the hilltop Holly Park in Bernal Heights. Visitors hear more Spanish than English in the school’s hallways — 90 percent of the 269 students are immigrants or the children of immigrants, mainly from Latin America.

As principal, Evelyn Cheung has had to make hard choices in the past five years, in consultation with teachers and parents. One year they stopped buying supplies. The budget for the library fell to $500. Cheung was forced to lay off classroom aides, the nurse, the social worker and all “consultancies” — mainly arts teachers. The layoffs hurt morale more than other cuts, Cheung said, “because it’s people.”

“They have emotional ties, and there are bad feelings when someone is laid off,” she said.

Why can’t Junipero Serra fundraise its way around budget cuts? In part, because the parents have less to give, at least as measured by free or reduced-price lunches. At Junipero Serra, 86 percent of students qualify, more than four times as many as at Grattan.

To qualify for reduced-price lunch in California, a family of four must make less than $42,643 a year. To qualify for free lunch, less than $29,965. Researchers use these markers as proxies to measure poverty.

But those incomes are more meager in San Francisco, which in the past two years has had the most expensive housing in the country, straining the ability of poor families to pay for basic necessities. In San Francisco, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is now $3,942 a month — a stunning rise of $1,000 since the start of 2013.

The desperate situation faced by most of Junipero Serra’s families is, in fact, shared by 63 percent of families throughout San Francisco’s public school system. This represents a 10 percent increase since the start of the recession, which coincided with the start of the budget cuts.

This poverty has also become more concentrated. Data from the district show that the number of schools in which more than three-quarters of students are eligible for subsidized lunch has more than tripled in the past decade. Schools in which fewer than one-quarter qualify increased slightly. Meanwhile, the middle class is disappearing: The portion of schools in between those extremes of poverty and wealth fell, from 66 percent to 52 percent.

While Cheung lauded the ideals behind the weighted student formula, and similar federal programs such as Title I, she said current funding levels were not enough for schools with large numbers of disadvantaged students.

“Many of my parents don’t have the resources that many middle-class families have,” Cheung said. “We have to provide a computer lab and technology training for the kids because they don’t have computers at home. And they will go to middle school very far behind if we don’t provide that support.”

The disadvantages do not stop with electronic devices. “Many of our Spanish-speaking families work two jobs,” Cheung said.

Inflexible schedules that often come with working-class jobs make it hard for parents to volunteer in the classroom, which might otherwise make up for the layoffs of classroom aides, or help kids stay on top of homework — assuming the immigrant parents can read assignments in English. Hectic schedules create barriers to getting involved in the PTA, hurting the school’s chances to raise money and buffer against shortfalls. (See print edition photo essay, “Two PTA Presidents, Two Realities.”)

“They care a lot and they’re involved, but not in the traditional ways,” Cheung said.

THE TWO SIDES OF FUNDRAISING

This is how budget cuts perpetuate inequity: Affluent families are able to make up for lost funding by donating both time and money, whereas schools with poor families struggle to fill the gap. School district data show that as the number of students getting free and reduced-price lunch rises, PTA budgets fall. At the 44 elementary schools where a majority of the students live in poverty, fundraising is insufficient to offset budget cuts. Those cuts add stress to communities already struggling with low wages, financial instability and discrimination.

Despite these challenges, Junipero Serra has improved its academic performance. It saw its standardized test scores rise by 36 points in the past two years, to 752. But that is still below what the state deems “adequate yearly progress” and almost 200 points behind Grattan.

Cheung attributes the modest gains to “superhuman” efforts by teaching staff, doing more with less. “It’s a waste of time to be frustrated,” she said. “We just need to build on the strengths that we have.”

For Cheung, the problem is not that other schools have more money — it is that the needs are so different.

After including PTA contributions, per-pupil expenditures for Grattan and Junipero Serra come to within a few hundred dollars of each other. But this equivalency is misleading. Under the district’s weighted student formula, Junipero Serra is supposed to receive more money than Grattan.

The “extra” money going to Junipero Serra through the funding formula is for basic necessities: subsidized lunches, special education, English-language instruction and computers, to which the kids have little access at home. So Cheung’s expenses are higher than Reedy’s, and parents are not as able to help in the classroom to make up for layoffs.

While the kids at Junipero Serra start life on first base, most of Grattan’s are already on third. It is not hard to see why education inequality, as Robert Reich describes it, persists. Grattan does not need to cope with the same chronic insecurities confronting Junipero Serra, where families struggle with the stresses of living on the financial edge both at school and in the home.

“We shouldn’t have to fight so hard to provide kids with a strong foundational education,” Chueng said.

PARENTS NOT TO BLAME

Alvarado Elementary in Noe Valley is, in a way, an exception to this trend toward inequity, and might represent the best-case scenario in a system that overall is rigged against poor students.

The school draws poor and working-class Latino students from the Mission, as well as affluent white and Asian families from Noe Valley and the Castro. As a result, it is more diverse than both impoverished schools like Junipero Serra and affluent schools like Grattan. Forty-two percent of Alvarado students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.

Carl Bettag, a product designer and father of twin fourth-graders, leads fundraising efforts for Alvarado’s PTA, which this year aims to raise $375,000, or about $721 per pupil. That is considerably more than Junipero Serra, but less than Grattan.

With this money, the Alvarado PTA has staved off layoffs, supported literacy programs and launched and maintained a regionally famous arts program. It has initiated environmental programs, such as solar panels, that also provide learning opportunities.

Bettag said the low-income students at Alvarado benefit most from the fundraising prowess of middle-class families in an income-diverse school.

“If you were to walk into Alvarado, you would find a vibrant, functional school, but you would not find a gold-plated school,” he said. “The science room does not have a sink! Some of the computers don’t work. Alvarado needs all the money and support it’s getting. We have 500 students at the school. It’s the 200 students who are on free and reduced lunch that benefit most from all the effort and money that goes into the school.”

Bettag said he could not ask parents at Alvarado to contribute for other schools, and he was not sure that he should.

“The fundamental problem is that the public schools are woefully underfinanced, and nothing that the PTAs do is going to fix that problem,” he said. “The real problem is not at the local level. It’s at the state level.”

Reich agrees. After serving as secretary of labor in the Clinton administration, he has campaigned against economic inequality through books, articles, speeches, TV appearances and most recently the film “Inequality for All.”

“Parents should not be blamed for school inequality,” Reich said. “They should be thanked for making donations to their children’s schools. The problem is not with them. The problem lies much deeper. The problem is that we have a system of school finance that is topsy-turvy. Poor kids tend to end up in the worst schools, with minimal facilities, when they should be getting the best we as a society can offer.”

Unlike School Board President Norton, Reich said he does not believe that a hands-off approach is best for tax-deductible parent donations. Donations by parents to their children’s schools are not charity, Reich argued. It is the opposite — helping one’s own offspring instead of the less fortunate. These tax deductions diminish government revenues that could have gone to rich and poor schools alike.

NO EASY SOLUTIONS

Can the system be improved, or are we doomed to perpetuate the cycle of inequality? This problem is not unique to San Francisco. As anti-tax sentiment in recent years has reduced school funding nationwide, parents are increasingly fundraising to keep their own kids’ schools afloat.

In response, some California districts created centralized PTA foundations to redistribute funds to schools based on need (see story on the solution used in the East Bay city of Albany, available in the print edition). Others prohibited PTAs from raising funds for personnel or professional development.

The Santa Monica-Malibu school district embraced both solutions in 2011, under Superintendent Sandra Lyon. Today the district’s education foundation is the only way parents can donate money to support teachers and staff.

The key worry about such systems is that they will reduce the incentive for parents to support public schools beyond what they already pay in taxes. Lyon said her district struggled with the transition: “There are still some who believe parent money should stay at their children’s schools, and they are strongly against the change.”

The reform caused some affluent Malibu residents to try to break off from more working-class Santa Monica to create a separate school district. At least one Malibu school refused to participate in revenue sharing.

Overall, the district’s PTAs are struggling to raise as much as in previous years, Lyon said. Still, she sees progress. The foundation launched a $4 million campaign last spring, and by late fall 2013 it had raised $2.4 million.

“Some of our wealthiest Santa Monica schools have the greatest participation,” Lyon said. “Indeed, across Santa Monica schools, some of the loudest opponents have become the biggest champions and are leading the charges at their schools.”

Lyon has seen a culture change in a district heavily divided by social class. “Schools are collaborating in ways they had not done before,” she said. “The inequity in schools had bothered many for years, and so there has been support for the notion that we are working to create a better education for all students.”

The Santa Monica-Malibu district is one-fifth the size of San Francisco Unified. Every education leader interviewed dismissed the idea that such a system would work in San Francisco, largely because of the district’s size and diversity. Most defended the status quo.

If San Francisco moved to such a system, Carl Bettag said, “I think you’d get a lot of parents pulling their kids out of public schools and putting them in private schools. I’d pull my kids.”

Many educators fear losing support from affluent parents, who have the option to quit the public schools altogether and enroll their children in private schools — or flee to suburban schools. Harvey Milk Elementary principal Tracy Peoples said fundraising can create that kind of parental engagement.

“For schools like ours that do not qualify for additional funding based on test scores or student demographics, we depend on the parent community to step in to help raise additional funds for our students,” Peoples said.

Because the San Francisco Unified School District does not keep track of donations to PTAs, parents and educators have not had an accurate picture of how they factor into inequities among individual schools.

But as California moves this year to pour millions of dollars into diverse, high-poverty districts like San Francisco, parents and educators must ask themselves hard questions about which students were hurt most by five years of budgets cuts — and who was rescued by PTA fundraising.

Some parents have led a grassroots movement to counteract the inequities. Alvarado parent Todd David worked with peers in 2008 to launch EdMatch, a Web-based volunteer effort to enlist corporations and philanthropists to match funds raised for San Francisco public schools. The money was distributed to the most impoverished.

“EdMatch is a good system,” board president Rachel Norton said, “because it encourages people to voluntarily opt in, without penalizing parents who are working really hard.” But EdMatch, while noble in intent, has struggled more than five years to increase participation, raising only $100,000 last year — well short of its $6 million goal.

FROM CHARITY TO ADVOCACY

The most effective solutions may be political, not charitable.

Reich counsels parents troubled by growing public-school inequities to turn their energies from giving to advocating for reform. He said they should work to raise tax rates for the wealthy, decouple school budgets from property taxes and target state and local resources to the poorest schools.

In a Sept. 4 op-ed for The New York Times, Stanford political science professor Rob Reich (no relation to the coincidentally named Robert Reich) went a step further, proposing that the federal government create a special charitable status for school-based PTAs, so that those who give to poor schools get double deductions and those who give to affluent schools get none.

Norton said the changes in state funding have sparked other possible reform ideas specific to San Francisco.

“We desperately need to reweight the student formula,” she said. This may be the most decisive battle to be waged in the next year on behalf of poor and immigrant schools such as Junipero Serra.

“A well-educated populace is the key to a healthy democracy,” said David, the Alvarado parent, who turned to full-time education activism after a successful Wall Street career. “Public education is an investment, not an expenditure. My grandparents were immigrants. They came to the United States, they got a public education, they lived the American dream. Education is the one way we know that can help each person rise, generation after generation. If you care about the future of America, education for all kids is in all our interests.”

Jeremy Adam Smith is a fellow with the Institute for Justice and Journalism. He edits the website of U.C. Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and is author or coeditor of four books, including “The Daddy Shift,” “Rad Dad” and “The Compassionate Instinct.” His son briefly attended both Junipero Serra and Grattan.

This story is part of a special report on education inequality in San Francisco. A version of this story ran in the winter 2014 print edition.

- See more at: http://sfpublicpress.org/news/2014-02/how-budget-cuts-and-PTA-fundraising-undermined-equity-in-san-francisco-public-schools#sthash.bv6O4pRY.dpuf

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Portland teachers vote to strike


Portland teachers vote to strike
http://www.kgw.com/news/Portland-teachers-set-strike-vote-students-show-support-243538581.html
by KGW Staff
Bio | Email | Follow: @KGWNews
Posted on February 5, 2014 at 8:38 PM
Updated today at 9:05 PM

PORTLAND – Teachers at Portland Public Schools voted to strike Wednesday night.
A spokesman for the Portland Association of Teachers told KGW the vote was nearly unanimous.
Teachers are required to give the district at least 10 working days notice before they could walk off the job. They voted to set the walkout date for Feb.20.
If the district’s teachers walk off the job, it would be the first time in Portland history.
The next mediation session with PPS is set for Sunday, Feb. 9. If a contract deal is reached, the walkout would be canceled.
The district has roughly 2,900 teachers and 48,000 students.
In a letter to parents sent out before the strike vote, PPS Superintendent Carol Smith promised that the district was making preparations to keep classes going and that negotiations with teachers would continue.

“Our goal is to reach an agreement that adds teachers to schools, adds school days, raises teacher pay and maintains strong benefits,“ Smith said.
PPS has been notifying their contracted substitute teachers that work will be available if a strike occurs. The teachers union has complained that PPS is pressuring substitutes to cross the picket line.

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2/9 SF Forum-Workplace Bullying, Public Worker Whistleblowers And The Public Services Why Public Workers Are Being Targeted For Exposing Malfeasance & Corruption


UNITED PUBLIC WORKERS FOR ACTION [UPWA] 2/9 SAN Francisco Forum-Workplace Bullying, Public Worker Whistleblowers And The Public Services Why Public Workers Are Being Targeted For Exposing Malfeasance & Corruption

2/9 SF Forum-Workplace Bullying, Public Worker Whistleblowers And The Public Services Why Public Workers Are Being Targeted For Exposing Malfeasance & Corruption

Workplace Bullying, Public Worker Whistleblowers And The Public Services
Why Public Workers Are Being Targeted For Exposing Malfeasance & Corruption

Workplace Bullying, Public Worker Whistleblowers And The Public Services
Why Public Workers Are Being Targeted For Exposing Malfeasance & Corruption

Stop Workplace Bullying Group Forum
Sunday February 9, 2013 1:30 PM
San Francisco Main Library Latino Room Lower Level
100 Larkin St./Market St
San Francisco, CA

There is an epidemic of workplace bullying going on throughout the country. Many of those public workers
who have been bullied on the job have been retaliated against for whistleblowing about financial malfeasance,
corruption and misuse of public funds and services.
These workers have been targeted for doing their jobs as public workers who are serving the public.
This forum will look at these cases of workplace bullying, whistleblowers and how managers, supervisors
and some politicians have helped not only cover up the malfeasance and corruption but actually supported the
targeting and retaliation against the public workers.

Speakers:
Dr. Derek Kerr, Whistleblower at Laguna Honda Hospital over financial malfeasance. While Kerr and another
doctor were fired the person who misused funds is still a manager at the hospital.

Stacie Plummer, City of Richmond Library worker who blew the whistle on the Human Resources Director who
was using city offices and city workers for her business. Plummer is now being targeted and retaliated by
the Richmond City Manager Bill Lindsay for being a whistleblower and other workers who spoke out are also
being targeted.

Brenda Barros, SEIU 1021 General Hospital worker and COPE co-chair has fought to defend whistleblowers and
campaigned for the labor movement to stop workplace bullying on the job.

Sean Gillis, Oakland Fire Department IFPTE Local 21 Oakland Unit M Political Director, Alameda Labor Council Delegate
and EMT trainer whistleblew on outsourcing and privatization of public service jobs and has faced retaliation.

Linda Cooks, Martin Luther King Middle School teacher who was bullied out of the school for opposing physical abuse and
a cover-up by the principal Natalie Eberhard and assistant principal Anthony Braxton and a cover-up by Assistant Superintendent
Jeanie Pon.

The Stop Workplace Bullying Group was organized to defend workers public and private who are being bullied on the job
and want a safe and healthy workplace. We also support legislation in California to prohibit workplace bullying.
http://stopworkplacebullyinggroup.org/
http://www.bullyfreeworkplace.org/
Endorsed by United Public Workers for Action
http://www.upwa.info

For more information call (415)282-1908

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Workplace Bullying For Bosses


Workplace Bullying For Bosses
http://www.apaexcellence.org/resources/special-topics/workplace-bullying
In a major national survey, 35 percent of American adults reported that they have experienced bullying behaviors at work and another 15 percent said they have witnessed others being bullied (Workplace Bullying Institute, 2010). Workplace bullying can have serious repercussions for employees and the organization alike. Severely bullied workers may suffer a variety of health consequences, including depression and anxiety disorders. Bullying can also diminish productivity and morale, and lead to higher absenteeism and turnover. It can even increase employee benefit costs and the risk of legal action.

On this page, you’ll find a collection of workplace bullying resources, including articles and research abstracts, book recommendations, useful statistics and links to other high-quality resources. Check out the short video about workplace bullying, below, and share it with the HR staff and managers in your organization to help get the conversation started.

Workplace bullying may be direct, such as repeated yelling and verbal humiliation, hostile glares, or silence and deliberate exclusion. Or it may be more indirect, such as behind-the-back sabotage, spreading damaging rumors, or imposing unreasonable work demands designed to make the target fail. Supervisors are the most frequent aggressors, followed by peers. In instances of mobbing, employees gang up to bully a co-worker.

Prevention is key for any organization. It starts with leaders who encourage mutual respect in the workplace and send a message that bullying and similar behaviors will not be tolerated. Organizations should educate their employees about workplace bullying and create a policy and procedures for addressing reports of bullying fairly and promptly. Consultation with legal counsel may also be advisable to ensure that liability concerns are adequately addressed.

By promoting a psychologically healthy workplace and taking steps to prevent and address negative workplace behaviors, employers can create a work environment where employees and the organization thrive.

General Overviews
U.S. Workplace Bullying: Some Basic Considerations and Consultation Interventions
By Gary Namie & Ruth Namie
Consulting Psychology Journal Special Issue: Workplace Bullying and Mobbing: Organizational Consultation Strategies (September 2009)

Workplace Bullying and Ethical Leadership
By David C. Yamada
Journal of Values Based Leadership (2008)

Prevalence Studies
CareerBuilder 2012 Survey

CareerBuilder 2011 Survey

Workplace Bullying Institute 2010 Survey

Workplace Bullying Institute 2007 Survey

Resources for Employers and Consultants
Consulting Psychology Journal Special Issue: Workplace Bullying and Mobbing: Organizational Consultation Strategies (September 2009)

Search our database of professional, academic and popular press literature forarticles about workplace bullying.

Resources for Targets of Bullying
The Workplace Bullying Institute

Minding the Workplace blog

The Bully at Work: What You Can Do to Stop the Hurt and Reclaim Your Dignity on the Job (2009)
By Gary Namie & Ruth Namie
In this completely updated new edition based on an updated survey of workplace issues, the authors explore new grounds of bullying in the 21st century workplace. Gary and Ruth Namie, pioneers of the Campaign Against Workplace Bullying, teach the reader personal strategies to identify allies, build their confidence and stand up to the tormentor – or decide when to walk away with their sanity and dignity intact.

Resources for Mental Health Professionals
Grown-up Bullying, Counseling Today (March 2013)
By Lynne Shallcross

Introduction to Workplace Bullying for Mental Health Practitioners – InstructionalDVD (2013)
By Jessi Eden Brown

Books on Workplace Bullying
Titles and descriptions come from the APA Center for Organizational Excellence’s Amazon Associates Store.

Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace: Developments in Theory, Research, and Practice (2011)
Edited by Stale Einarsen, Helge Hoel, Dieter Zapf & Cary L. Cooper
Edited by leading experts and presenting contributions from pioneers in their respective subject areas, the book is an up-to-date research-based resource on key aspects of workplace bullying and its remediation. The book presents a comprehensive review of the literature, the empirical findings, the theoretical developments, and the experience and advice of leading international academics and practitioners. The book explores a variety of explanatory models and presents available empirical evidence that sheds light on where, when and why bullying develops. It contains a wide range of contributions on the possible remedies for prevention and minimization of the problem for management when it occurs, and for healing the wounds and scars it may have left on those exposed.

Preventing Workplace Bullying: An Evidence-Based Guide for Managers and Employees
By Carlo Caponecchia & Anne Wyatt (2011)
Workplace bullying is more common and costly than most people realize. It can make life unbearable for employees in any industry and ultimately undermine an organization’s potential for profit. In this practical guide, Carlo Caponecchia and Anne Wyatt explain how to identify workplace bullying and apply best practices to its prevention and management. Caponecchia and Wyatt outline what constitutes bullying at work, demystify some of the controversial issues and discuss the various factors which influence workplace bullying. The responsibilities of management, and legal implications are outlined and supported with best practice guides for policies, complaints procedures and risk management systems.

Workplace Bullying: Symptoms and Solutions (2012)
Edited by Noreen Tehrani
This book explores the impact of bullying from the perspective of both the employee and the organization in which they work. In addition to describing the negative outcome of bullying, Workplace Bullying also looks at ways to promote resilience and the opportunity for growth and learning to take place. Divided into four sections, this book covers: the impact and symptoms of workplace bullying; individual interventions; organizational interventions and underlying causes and future considerations.

The Violence-Prone Workplace: A New Approach to Dealing with Hostile, Threatening, and Uncivil Behavior (2001)
By Richard V. Denenberg & Mark Braverman
Almost every week reports of violence erupting in the workplace make headlines. Contrary to popular opinion, such incidents are not random and senseless but, according to Richard V. Denenberg and Mark Braverman, typically result from conflict that has been allowed to fester. Combining the insights of both crisis management and dispute resolution, their book presents a comprehensive look at the problem of violence on the job, including ways of preventing it. The authors describe underlying factors in the workplace which can foster extreme behavior and prevent an effective response. Calling for early intervention in situations that could result in violence, they suggest specific techniques for reducing the risk that arises from threats or a climate of hostility. An extensive appendix provides government guidelines and sample policies intended to serve as templates for violence-prevention plans.

Mobbing: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace (1999)
By Noa Davenport, Ruth Distler Schwartz & Gail Pursell Elliott
Every day, capable, hardworking, committed employees suffer emotional abuse at their workplace. Some flee from jobs they love, forced out by mean-spirited co-workers, subordinates or superiors — often with the tacit approval of higher management. Mobbing is a “ganging up” by several individuals, to force someone out of the workplace through rumor, innuendo, intimidation, discrediting and particularly, humiliation. Mobbing affects the mental and physical health of victims. It extracts staggering costs from victims, their families and from organizations. This book helps readers understand what mobbing is, why it occurs, how it affects a victim and organizations and what people can do. An overview of the literature and research is provided, as well as many practical strategies to help the victims, managers, healthcare workers and legal professionals.

Mobbing: Causes, Consequences, and Solutions (2012)
By Maureen Duffy & Len Sperry
Duffy and Sperry provide a wealth of research to demonstrate the devastating toll that mobbing takes on its victims, their families and the organizations where it occurs. The authors painstakingly avoid simplistic solutions to mobbing, such as removing the “bad apples,” and instead, move the conversation forward by showing how bold and compassionate organizational leadership is required to improve conditions for the benefit of both individuals and their organizations.

The Bully at Work: What You Can Do to Stop the Hurt and Reclaim Your Dignity on the Job (2009)
By Gary Namie & Ruth Namie
In this completely updated new edition based on an updated survey of workplace issues, the authors explore new grounds of bullying in the 21st century workplace. Gary and Ruth Namie, pioneers of the Campaign Against Workplace Bullying, teach the reader personal strategies to identify allies, build their confidence and stand up to the tormentor – or decide when to walk away with their sanity and dignity intact.

The Bully-Free Workplace: Stop Jerks, Weasels, and Snakes From Killing Your Organization (2011)
By Gary Namie & Ruth Namie
A guidebook for employers that discusses workplace bullying. Managers will learn how and why to stop bullying; prepare executives to lead the campaign and to resist undermining efforts of subordinates; and create a new, positive role for human resources. Outlining the required steps, The Bullying-Free Workplaceincludes information on how to create a preventive policy that brings consequences, when violated. The authors discourage half-hearted, short-term fixes that are prevalent today, and present a methodology to successfully protect employee health.

Workplace Bullying: What we know, who is to blame, and what can we do?(2001)
By Charlotte Rayner, Helge Hoel & Cary L. Cooper
A variety of well publicized surveys have revealed that workplace bullying is an issue endemic in working life in Britain; and, at a conservative estimate, over half the working population can expect to experience bullying at work (either directly by being bullied, or through witnessing it) at some stage in their careers. The recognition of the problem and the emergence of court cases, have both served to focus employers on the need to deal with the issue. Workplace Bullying is derived from the largest survey ever carried out on workplace bullying, supported by the CBI, TUC, Federation of Small Businesses, IPD and the HSE among others. This study covered 5,500 people, but the book goes beyond it to explore all the issues associated with what is becoming a major issue in organizations.

Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work (2007)
By Paul Babiak & Robert D. Hare
Researchers Paul Babiak and Robert Hare have long studied psychopaths. Hare, the author of Without Conscience, is a world-renowned expert on psychopathy, and Babiak is an industrial-organizational psychologist. Recently the two came together to study how psychopaths operate in corporations, and the results were surprising. They found that it’s exactly the modern, open, more flexible corporate world, in which high risks can equal high profits, that attracts psychopaths. Snakes in Suits is a compelling, frightening and scientifically sound look at exactly how psychopaths work in the corporate environment: what kind of companies attract them, how they negotiate the hiring process and how they function day by day.

The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t (2007)
By Robert I. Sutton
In a landmark Harvard Business Review essay, Stanford Professor Robert Sutton showed how assholes weren’t just an office nuisance, but a serious and costly threat to corporate success and employee health. In his book, Sutton reveals their huge cost in today’s corporations, shows how to spot them and provides a “self-test.” And he offers tips that you can use to keep your “inner jerk” from rearing its ugly head. Sutton then uses in-depth research and analysis to show how managers can eliminate mean-spirited and unproductive behavior to generate a newly productive-workplace.

Professional Associations & Membership Organizations
American Psychological Assocation

International Association on Workplace Bullying & Harassment

Society for Occupational Health Psychology

Society for Human Resource Management

Events
Work, Stress and Health Conference – Convened by the American Psychological Association, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Society for Occupational Health Psychology

Articles from the American Psychological Association
Recognizing and Confronting Workplace Bullying

Bullying by Any Other Name

Stop office bullying

Still wearing the ‘kick me’ sign

Bullying stems from fear, apathy

Worrying for a living?

Banishing Bullying

Bullying more Harmful than Sexual Harassment on the Job, Say Researchers

The American Psychological Association’s Center for Organizational Excellence gratefully acknowledges the assistance of David C. Yamada, JD, Holly Siprelle, Debbie Grant and Tara Davis in developing this resource page.

The content provided above is for informational purposes only. The inclusion of any product, service, vendor or organization does not imply endorsement, recommendation or approval by the American Psychological Association, theAPA Center for Organizational Excellence or the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

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Staples’ selling postal products without USPS workers stirs fears of privatization


Staples’ selling postal products without USPS workers stirs fears of privatization

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/staples-selling-postal-products-without-usps-workers-brings-complaints-of-privatization/2014/01/16/2db20606-7ed3-11e3-95c6-0a7aa80874bc_story.html

The Federal Diary
Joe Davidson
Staples’ selling postal products without USPS workers stirs fears of privatization

By Joe Davidson, Thursday, January 16, 5:59 PM E-mail the writers
With its steep financial challenges, the U.S. Postal Service desperately needs to find innovative solutions, including new ways to deliver services to the public.

A pilot project with Staples stores around the nation does that.

But feeling ignored in this equation are postal workers left watching as their jobs go to private employers who can pay their employees less, even as postal employment plummets.

The largest postal employee union and a U.S. senator say the pilot also is a step toward privatization of the USPS, an assertion the postmaster general vehemently denies.

Here’s the story:

The Staples pilot project, called the Retail Partner Expansion Program, began in October. Eighty-two stores nationwide, though none in the D.C. area, have sections resembling mini-post offices. They sell a variety of products and services, including stamps, Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express and package handling. Staples doesn’t offer registered mail, money orders, stamped envelopes or post office boxes.

“Our goal,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in an interview, “is to provide universal access to products and services, and if we can do that through agreements with companies like Staples . . . we need to do that. . . . It gives us an opportunity to grow the business.”

That’s cool, as far as the American Postal Workers Union is concerned, but why not have postal employees work those counters in Staples? “I can’t dictate to Staples what their hiring policies should be,” said Donahoe, who is chief executive of the Postal Service.

But can’t USPS say it wants a postal employee to sell postal products at a postal counter in Staples? “It would never be my intention to do that,” he said. “That’s their business. . . .That’s their call.”

It’s the wrong call, APWU President Mark Dimondstein said.

“This is a direct assault on our jobs and on public postal services,” he said in a statement. “The APWU supports the expansion of postal services. But we are adamantly opposed to USPS plans to replace good-paying union jobs with non-union low-wage jobs held by workers who have no accountability for the safety and security of the mail.”

Carrie McElwee, a Staples spokeswoman, would not discuss the pay or union status of the company’s workforce.

Dimondstein also fears that the Staples experiment foreshadows a privatization of the U.S. Postal Service. He is concerned about maintaining “the infrastructure of the Postal Service that belongs to the people of this country.”

The APWU is willing to go along with the Staples project if it uses postal employees, “but we also have to be very careful that the private companies don’t become the Postal Service, because those private companies can be here today and [not] be here tomorrow,” Dimondstein said by phone. “We don’t want private companies making decisions about what’s best for the public good and the public service when their bottom line is simply profit.”

Donahoe said the Staples project is good for the public and for postal employees, too.

“My goal is to grow the business,” he said. “If we grow the business, that benefits 490,000 career employees and another 100,000-plus non-career. It’s good for everybody.”

The number of postal workers has fallen by about 44 percent since 2000, Donahoe said. TheBureau of Labor Statistics has projected these declines in the postal workforce between 2012 and 2022: postal mail sorters, processors and processing-machine operators, 30 percent; mail carriers, 27 percent; and mail superintendents, 24 percent. Postal finances are improving, but the Postal Service lost $5 billion in fiscal 2013.

Donahoe said privatization “would be a crazy idea. I think the Postal Service as structured is a great service provider. . . . Why would we ever put anything like that at risk?”

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), chairman of the federal workforce subcommittee, doesn’t think USPS provides great service, and he also warns against privatization. Tester said he doesn’t object to postal products being sold in stores, but he was critical of Donahoe for seeking to shut postal facilities, which Tester said would delay deliveries.

Delivery standards are a personal issue with Tester, an issue he wants addressed in postal reform legislation that has bounced around Capitol Hill for years.

“I’ve been late for house payments” because of poor delivery resulting from the closing of processing centers, he said in an office interview. He said his wife mails payments a week earlier than previously.

“What I see this postmaster general doing is shutting down post offices, then saying let Staples do it,” Tester said. “Well, guess what: I don’t have a Staples.” Tester farms wheat outside Big Sandy, Mont., which has 600 residents.

Donahoe “can say whatever he wants,” Tester said, “but I think he wants to privatize. And I think there’s plenty of people in Congress who agree with that. I don’t.”

Previous columns by Joe Davidson are available at wapo.st/JoeDavidson.

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