Friday, October 24, 2008

Parental pacification and the assault on staff.

There have been more than a few people calling the blog tip line and sending anonymous emails expressing concern about the latest district tactic to weaken opposition to the dismantling of Terrace Park. Apparently, the District plans to create a highly-capable program at Brier Terrace Middle to pacify opposition. What leg does the parental argument stand upon for eliminating the only non-lottery K-8 school in the District if the plan includes candy canes and gum drops at the replacement location?

The problem with the District's approach is that parents should be bright enough to know a ruse when they see one. Parents couldn't possibly be stupid enough to believe that conversations about a new highly-capable program will still be happening after the move takes place. In fact, I would even place a wager that the program never launches and that it is merely idle chatter intended for no other purpose than to make middle-of-the-road parents start swearing their allegiance to district management.

Another interesting tidbit is the latest decision to meddle with the medical benefits of staff and the overtime of custodians. From what I have been able to extrapolate from the messages on the tip line, it would appear that the District is launching a financial assault against employees that dodged staffing cuts. Oddly, while administrators are getting an increase in benefits, everyone else appears to be in the cross hairs. What makes this situation all the more egregious is the lack of sufficient notification. Why inform staff of reductions just one week before it hits their monthly paycheck?

The overtime issue is alarming. From what I have been hearing, if there is a paid holiday during the week and a custodian works eight hours of overtime during the same week, they will not receive overtime pay for those eight hours. I have also heard a rather pathetic assertion that the District has been violating state law for years in paying overtime when the first 40 hours involved vacation time or sick leave. I suspect Floridians couldn't even be this stupid. How hard will it be to get a custodian to work overtime when there is a vacation during the week? What good is it to use sick leave or take a vacation if it won't count toward your 40 hours of weekly effort?

More details are needed, so if you have a perspective to contribute, your insight will be much appreciated.


Anonymous said...

There has been a problem with some custodians taking Fridays off when they know they are covering a church on Sunday or an event on Saturday.

This latest gimmick is intended to discourage absences during the week.

Anonymous said...

How about the head of custodians bob hansen, getting a $30,000 bump in pay, when were in budget crunch.
One more thing, thank you for that raise edmonds school district. I think I'm going to lose money on this deal. You can take that raise and shove it up your *******

Anonymous said...

I saw an email today sent out by local 925 informing employees that the district pool is about $200.00 less than it was last year for our medical benefits. Maybe somebody with an IQ above a tree would wait to negotiate a raise of 4.4 percent until the district turns in its final counts for enrollment? If this is the basis for the new benefits figure, we need to get some people involved in the union that have some teeth. The Rasmussens and Woods of the world live only for themselves. They couldn't fight their way out of a paper sack. My raise of 4.4 percent did not even amount to $75.00 a month. My new contribution of benefits for my family will likely exceed $150.00. Does this make sense to anyone? And to the HR directors and middle managers of the district that like to say that they are faced with the same fate, a raise of 4.4 percent for you is going to mean a hell of alot more in your pocket than mine. As well, a further flat contribution toward benefits won't be as painful for you as it will be for me. So please stop that chatter. It carries no weight with me. Your salaries are horribly disproportionate to classified staff,and will only continue to grow more lopsided with each raise or straight across the board benefits increase. The district also does not want to pay mileage reimbursement for people who use their own vehicles to support the kids in the district. They are going to fight the hard workers on every nickel and dime to make up for the poor decisions that Marla and Nick have made. Thank You Pete for the timely, feel good email. What a clown! And I don't agree with signing a 5 year bargaining agreement with people that I would not trust with my own children. That was as foolish as foolish gets. What a sweet deal for administration,huh? Again there is just no fight in our reps. They are in place to rubber stamp anything Debby and Cathy put on the table. If you grown men won't stand up to these two flyweights, get off the porch!

Anonymous said...

the benefits issue caused quite a stir with the OP group. Most of us will be paying huge out of pocket and we have one week to refigure our budges. we had emails from all over including payroll to try and make us feel better about getting a raise and then getting the shaft. Guess we are suppose to sit back and smile and be glad we have jobs that offer benefits. The union president sat in her office and cried because her members had the nerve to question the issue.

Anonymous said...

It strikes me as an amazing coincidence that the school district wants to move the Terrace Park 7th and 8th graders to Brier Middle--and now the school district is considering creating a "highly capable" program at Brier Middle. I asked my retired school teacher husband about this "amazing coincidence". He said, "Sounds to me like they're creating the "highly capable" program to keep the Terrace Park parents from objecting to the move. In other words, to keep the parents from complaining at school board meetings. A sly tactic. Might just work!"

Anonymous said...

I would like to see a sick out or go on STRIKE!
If we all stand up NOW! we can beat these clowns.
WE ARE, Losing money people.

Anonymous said...

Ha like i'm going to work faster and smarter now.
Nice raise.

Anonymous said...

It was in '04 or '05 that the highly capable program was eliminated at CPM. The reason given was the high cost of transportation. Has the cost of transportation gone down so much that they can restart a middle school highly capable program? Think about it; it doesn't make sense. What other unspoken factors may have been in play at CPM? What is not being said now? Don't get played again.

Anonymous said...

Health Care Politics
One of my favorite monthly publications is Registered Nurse – the journal of the fast growing, progressive California Nurses Association (CNA) – a union that stands up for patients rights and well-being.

The June 2008 issue contains stories that illustrate how this nurses group takes stands. On June 19, the CNA sponsored street rallies for its Medicare for all (single-payer with free choice of doctor and hospital) in San Francisco and a dozen other major cities around the nation.
For over a decade these nurses have made full Medicare for all their major goal. They have run voter initiatives, lobbied legislatures and have opposed sweetheart labor-management deals like those embraced by the Service Employees International Union – SEIU. (SEIU also opposes single-payer health insurance which is supported by a majority of physicians and the American people.)

The June magazine describers the autocratic native of SEIU toward its members and how its leader, Andy Stern, cuts labor deals with large corporate employers that shockingly deprive workers of normal union rights.

Here is an example of what CNA says:

“In exchange for access to more dues units, SEIU gave California nursing home operators the “exclusive right” to set all pay rates, working conditions, speed up and reassign work, eliminate jobs at will, and outsource union work.”

“SEIU also agreed to support legislation limiting patient’s right to sue over care abuses, to oppose reforms to require better staffing for patients safety, and to never report health care code violations.”

Stern rejected single-payer health insurance at his recent union convention. Senator Barack Obama has declined to propose single-payer as well. SEIU is pouring tens of millions of dollars to elect Senator Obama President. CNA works to eliminate “the insurance nightmare through establishing a high-quality, single payer healthcare system. (See:

The current health care industry is a wasteful, redundant, defrauding mess costing Americans over 2.2 trillion this year and hundreds of thousands of avoidable injuries, fatalities and serious infections a year. The honest, competent caregivers are on the edge of despair, unable to do their best work due to the domination and control of commercial-profit priorities which include denial of care by these corporations.

People die or get sicker sometimes when they are denied health care. People die when they cannot afford health insurance – 18,000 Americans a year according to the Institute of Medicine

Corporate billing fraud and abuse costs over $200 billion a year. Ask Malcolm Sparrow of the Kennedy School at Harvard University or read his book License to Steal.

Do you ever hear John McCain or Barack Obama focus public attention on these tragedies and rip-offs of consumers and taxpayers?

The employers of health insurance companies, hospital chains and drug industry are pouring money into the coffers of these two men and their parties.

Strange as it many seem, on June 26, 2008 even the principled, independent California Nurses Association fell in line with the AFL-CIO. The CNA endorsed Senator Barack Obama.

Well, Senator Obama doesn’t have to worry a minute about CNA’s nurses putting up one of their famous critical demonstrations at his events. He can continue dialing for corporate dollars.

Anonymous said...

The Tenet-SEIU agreement would allow SEIU to conduct organizing campaigns and hold union elections at 28 Tenet hospitals in California and two in Florida – with the blessing of Tenet's hospital management. In return, and in advance of any employees voting for the union, SEIU union locals at the Tenet hospitals are required to accept pre-negotiated wages in a four-year contract agreement and give up their federally legislated right to strike.

"This kind of back-room dealing by a union with the country's most notorious anti-union and anti-patient corporation is nothing less than shameful and represents a major setback for the labor movement in California," said Julie Pinkham, RN, executive director of the Massachusetts Nurses Association, an independent nurses union representing more than 22,000 RNs and health professionals in Massachusetts. "The point of collective bargaining is to organize a union to negotiate a contract that meets your needs. This deal forces nurses to except a contract in order to have a union, and a union without the power to act like a union at all."

"Tenet is notorious for its commitment to profits regardless of the consequences for the public's well being," said Nader. "As has already occurred with other arrangements, SEIU's back room deal degrades independent professional responsibility of nurses for patient care protection."

Anonymous said...

Union Democracy Group Says SEIU’s New ‘Ethics Commission’ a Scam

For those of you following the several recent L.A.Times stories ( see here, here, here and here), the Service Employee International Union (SEIU) has been embroiled in scandal over misuse of funds in California and Michigan. Several SEIU head operatives have vacated their positions of power and all are tied to SEIU president Andy Stern.

Recently Stern announced that the SEIU was setting up an internal ethics commission to look into allegations of fraud and abuse of funds. But, this sham effort to root out corruption is so transparent that even other pro-union groups are skeptical that Stern is seriously trying to stamp out corruption.

The Association for Union Democracy issued a press release scolding Stern for his obvious attempt to cover up, rather than root out, corruption in the SEIU.

Now, remember, the AUD is a pro-union group. In their mission statement, the AUD claims to support “actions which strengthen the democratic process, promoting membership participation, free speech and fair elections, so that union members can transform and lead their unions.”

Despite the AUD’s desire to support unions, they find Stern less than forthcoming.

An internal panel of the kind proposed by SEIU President Andrew Stern would simply mull over the niceties of still another code and would be more than a waste of time; it would be an evasion. What the SEIU needs now is to establish a board composed of respected individuals, independent and completely outside the union power structure - a kind of supreme court endowed with the power, in defense of member rights, to overrule decisions of the international president and the international executive board in those circumstances in which members’ democratic rights could be endangered.

Instead of an internal group answerable to and controlled by President Stern the AUD thinks that any ethics commission should be made up of folks outside the direct control of the SEIU.

The need is not to devise a code of ethics, the need is the genuine practice of democracy. The basic code of ethics was deliveresd on Mount Sinai in the commandment “Thou shall not steal.” Everything else is a refinement. If the SEIU feels it needs an amplification of its own code to remind its officials of that commandment, it need only copy one of the many excellent codes already available. The problem in the SEIU is not that it lacks an ethical code, but that it has evolved a bureaucratic system of organization and, despite any code, has created an atmosphere of authoritarianism that obviously spawns corruption.

But, there’s the rub. Andy Stern is not interested in rooting out corruption as much as he is interested in iron-fisted control of everything SEIU. In fact, Stern’s rival in California is already afraid that Stern is merely using this facade of setting up an ethics commission as a weapon to attack rebel elements inside the SEIU. Sal Rosselli, a major thorn in Stern’s side, thinks that Stern will use this commission to further undermine his own status in the California branch of the SEIU.

It appears that President Stern is not fooling anyone with his proclaimed intentions to root out corruption inside his own union.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I was fooled by the new Audi and the Payne Stewart golf hat. To be honest, without any real knowledge or facts I always assume first that somebody at the top of a group like SEIU has already embezzeled hundreds of thousands of dollars before I catch on. No exception with this dirtbag bunch. Have a nice day Matt.
You know WAMU would probably sell you the only thing left of their company. Their slogan "Friend of the family." SEIU should jump all over that. That fits nicely, and you're already mismanaging our dues. You're way ahead of the game.

Anonymous said...

I think the edmonds school district unions need to look at corruption in the distrist. Is our pool money really ALL be distribited correctly? Maybe the auditor needs to take a look at this. Some districts actually look at pools once a month just to be fair to thier employees. Now remember the Edmonds Dist. is receiving interest on all of these monies and that money is not going back to the employees in the pools. Must be in the general fund?

Anonymous said...

I believe SEIU 925 is a worthless organization, amounting to little more than a bribe to work. SEIU represents the interests of the District, not the employee. I believe they are afraid of angering the District administration and so have chosen complacency - if not outright collusion, over defense the membership.

I believe the representing officers are incompetent, disinterested and largely involved to suit their own personal interests. I am speaking from solid experience – having asked for union representation over a number of issues. I speak from experience here as well – and received hostility when asking for assistance.

I find it sad that the custodians in particular are so sheeplike in nature that they readily accept this treatment – but this scared wimp attitude is the norm among custodians and few have an adult backbone. The District knows this and continuously capitalizes on the fact.

There are of course alternatives. One being the opportunity to “find religion” and enjoy the exemption from paying dues through it. This bribe to work can be donated to a charity where some good will come of the money.

Unless you are one of the few (damn few) who have the courage to speak up – quit complaining so vigorously about the status quo. You deserve exactly what you are getting from both SEIU - and the District for that matter. Baaa Baaa Baaa

Anonymous said...

Similar experience with EEA. I've belonged to other similarly sized locals and they actually get things done for their members rather than serve management. "Settlement agreements" are counter-productive to the defense of members'rights; they just cover up administrative problems rather than expose them. Don't sign 'em; tell the union folks that they can do better or they will be voted out the next time.