CWA e-Newsletter: May 30, 2013
- CWAers in N.Y. Campaign for Public Election Financing
- CWAers Tell Senators Give Me 5 NLRB Members
- Fighting for Quality Care in New York
- Building Our Movement
- Urge Lawmakers to Pass Federal Shield Law
NY State Senator David Carlucci joins CWA district 1 canvassing event.
Training turned into action in New York State's Hudson Valley as CWA members joined their elected representatives and other like-minded citizens in the push for publically financed campaigns in New York.
A measure proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, passed by the State Assembly and is pending before the State Senate. Supporting the legislation is a broad coalition of state and national organizations including CWA, Citizen Action, Common Cause, the Working Families Party and The Brennan Center for Justice.
CWA Local 1103 rallies for publically financed campaigns in New York.
Last Thursday, CWA members met at CWA Local 1120 in Poughkeepsie for an intense day-long mobilization training led by veteran Working Families Party organizer Maureen Darras. CWAers talked about the huge role of money in politics, learned which elected officials needed pressure to support publically financed campaigns and determined how to "cut turf" in specific geographic areas to reach a maximum number of union households.
Training also included practice in the art of canvassing, from the initial greeting to getting a signature on a petition.
During the day, activists received phone calls from state lawmakers who encouraged them to keep up the fight, and a representative from the office of New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Hudson Valley native, attended the session to personally encourage the activists.
Hitting the ground running, CWA canvassers met with State Senator David Carlucci, a key swing vote on the issue, in his Rockland County office; Carlucci expressed his support for their work. Over the two day canvass, the group knocked on hundreds of doors.
CWA Local 1120 Legislative and Political Action Director John T. O'Malley said the program will continue into June with member-to-member outreach in Westchester and Orange Counties as well.
CWA activists and allies -- all part of the Fix the Senate Now campaign -- turned up the heat in a week of action spotlighting the need to have all five nominations to the National Labor Relations Board confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
A coalition-led petition drive, involving 17 organizations, produced more than 140,000 signatures that were sent to the offices of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and top Democratic leader Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)
The petition says: "We call on you, and all the members of the Senate, to restore fairness and honor to the nomination and confirmation process for executive and judicial nominations, and use the rules of the Senate in a constructive way that fulfills both your constitutional responsibilities and the needs of the American people in these challenging times. Or to reform those rules if a determined minority remains adamant in maintaining a veto over everything that conflicts with their radical philosophy."
CWA's online petition to "Give Us Five NLRB Members" has nearly 20,000 signatures and is growing fast. Sign it at http://www.giveus5NLRB.org.
CWAers and allies met with Senators and staff in home districts during this recess week. Meetings were held with the offices of Senators Reid, Robert Portman (R-Ohio), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and others.
To tell your senator that you want fully-functioning, five-member NLRB dial 1-888-717-0911 or visit www.nlrbcall.org.
CWAers pressure lawmakers to pass the two critical bills in the Senate and Assembly.
CWA members from several CWA District 1 Health Care Coordinating Council locals were among the 1,500 health care worker activists who rallied and lobbied at the State Capitol in Albany last week to build support for two critical bills: safe staffing and safe patient handling.
CWA activists participated in two days of training, lobbying, rallying and solidarity, joining with members of PEF, SEIU 1199, NYSNA and NYPNU.
They spent several hours learning about lobbying, how bills pass through the legislature, why contributions to the Political Action Fund (PAF) matter and more, ending with a presentation on healthcare reform by Dr. Jamie Torres, regional director of the US Department of Health and Human Services.
CWA District 1 Healthcare Coordinating Council locals rally in Albany, NY.
The Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act would require all acute care facilities to comply with safe minimum nurse-to-patient staffing ratios. The Safe Patient Handling Act would create a written policy, with training, on the proper procedures for lifting and moving patients that would reduce injuries to both patients and healthcare workers.
Speakers included elected union leaders, legislative sponsors of the bills and Mary Anne Reardon, a registered nurse and member of Local 1126, chair of the CWA District 1 Healthcare Coordinating Council.
Larry Yee and members of CWA 9410 march with Jobs with Justice San Francisco, United Students Against Sweatshops and other groups outside the GAP annual meeting May 21 in San Francisco. Demonstrators want GAP to sign the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Agreement; four people were arrested. GAP, like Walmart, so far has not signed on to the agreement. More than 1,100 Bangldeshi workers were killed in building collapse last month.
CWA members in Los Angeles protest against a bid by the right-wing Koch brothers to buy the Tribune Co. newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. Joining the protest were members of NABET-CWA Local 59043 who are fighting for a fair contract at Telemundo station KVEA in Burbank, California.
The Guild launched an email campaign this week to turn up the heat on Congress to pass a federal shield law, ensuring that journalists are allowed to protect their sources and do their jobs without government interference.
Click here to find your member of Congress and send an email. You can choose to send the message as prepared or edit and change as you desire.
"There's a lot of talk, a lot of energy right now on Capitol Hill around the idea of a shield law and we need to seize on that," NewsGuild President Bernie Lunzer said. "If we don't bring pressure to bear on Congress right now, we could lose this window of opportunity."
That window opened earlier this month when news broke that the Department of Justice, probing leaks, had seized Associated Press phone records and was investigating a FOX News reporter.
Last week, NewsGuild added its name to supporters of the "Free Flow of Information Act," a bipartisan federal shield law bill introduced in the U.S. House, and in the Senate two days later. The Act, as proposed, sets a high bar for the government to compel a journalist to disclose confidential information.
For more information on the full bill and its section-by-section analysis visit http://newsguild.org/node/3173.