In This Issue:
- “Defending Patient Care” April 15: Register Now!
- “Whistleblowers & OSHA” May 11
- DPE Executive Committee Convenes
- AAUW Asks “Why So Few? Women In Science, Technology, Engineering And Math”
- PftPI Takes Up Structure & Sustainability
- DPE Contributes To The Berger-Marks Foundation Women’s Summit
- Diane Ravitch Rethinks What Works in Education
“DEFENDING PATIENT CARE” APRIL 15: REGISTER NOW!
– Put together three experts from three health care disciplines with a Radio Hall of Fame moderator. Add participants who already registered from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, the Center for Medicare Advocacy, professional associations, unions, universities, and elsewhere. Focus on “Defending Patient Care Against External Pressures: Dilemmas and Possibilities” – and you’ve got the start of an extraordinary discussion!
From 2 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 15, 2010 in the Springwood Room at the Washington Court Hotel, 525 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC, Professionals for the Public Interest: Associations and Unions Defending Professional Integrity (PftPI) will sponsor the first PftPI Forum, in conjunction with the AFT Healthcare 2010 Professional Issues Conference. Admission is free and open to the public with advance registration.
When health care facilities respond to financial or political pressures in ways that adversely affect patient care and professional integrity, how should the professionals in those organizations respond? What measures might policymakers, administrators, professionals, associations and unions take to protect professional integrity against external pressures?
Panelists Linda Green, MD, Associate Program Director, Prince George’s Hospital Center, and an American Public Health Association activist; Dawn Hobdy, LICSW, Manager of the Office of Ethics and Professional Review at the National Association of Social Workers; and David Keepnews, PhD, JD, RN, FAAN, associate professor in the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing at Hunter College, City University of New York, will take up these questions with moderator Bob Edwards, host of “The Bob Edwards Show” on XM Satellite Radio and “Bob Edwards Weekend” from PRI and former host of NPR’s “Morning Edition.”
PftPI brings together 19 national and global organizations around a common focus: defending professional integrity against external pressures in the interests of the public. PftPI addresses that focus with the members of these organizations, policymakers, and the public. The organizations include eight professional associations; 10 national unions; and the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE), which collectively represent millions of professionals in disciplines from the sciences and engineering to human services.
For more information about the April 15 Forum, please contact DPE Executive Director David Cohen, email@example.com, 202-638-0320, extension 113, or Researcher and Representative Alexis Spencer Notabartolo, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-638-0320, extension 119. For information about PftPI, visit its website, www.pftpi.org. For information about the second PftPI Forum, see “‘Whistleblowers & OSHA’ May 11” below.
“WHISTLEBLOWERS & OSHA” MAY 11
– Register now for a second PftPI Forum, also at http://www.pftpi.org/events/.
On Tuesday, May 11, 2010, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels will address and discuss “Whistleblowers and OSHA: Strengthening Professional Integrity Against External Pressures.” IEEE-USA and DPE will host and moderate the program at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 1200 New York Avenue, N.W. Light refreshments from 11:45 am to 12:30 pm will precede the speech and discussion from 12:30 to 2 p.m.
The Whistleblower Protection Program in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces whistleblower provisions in 17 federal statutes. The provisions aim to protect workers outside the federal government who disclose illegal practices in industries from nuclear power to securities to consumer products and others. Agencies other than the Department of Labor enforce the basic provisions of 16 of those 17 statutes.
How is the Whistleblower Protection Program working now? How do its challenges relate to its responsibilities across so many statutes and industries? How could other approaches strengthen the protections for whistleblowers in the interests of the public?
For a biography of David Michaels, click here. For a January 2009 GAO report questioning the effectiveness with which OSHA enforces whistleblower protections, go here. For more information about this Forum, contact DPE Executive Director David Cohen, email@example.com, 202-638-0320, extension 113.
DPE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE CONVENES
– On March 24, 2010, the DPE Executive Committee met to review DPE activities and guide DPE emphases.
Executive Committee members from AEA, AFGE, AFM, AFT, AFTRA, IATSE, SAG, and USW heard DPE President Paul E. Almeida report on, among other topics, the statement that DPE and its affiliated unions developed, “Piracy is a Danger to Entertainment Professionals.” They urged that DPE expand its role in conveying how important intellectual property is to U.S. jobs and how harmful digital theft is to U.S. workers. Also in President Almeida’s report: a sampling of the extraordinary attention that the DPE report, Gaming the System: Guest Worker Visa Programs and Professional and Technical Workers in the U.S., has received and an update about the proposed merger of Comcast and NBC Universal.
DPE Executive Director David Cohen described the April 15 and May 11 Professionals for the Public Interest Forums (PftPI) (see the two items above). He also invited input from the Executive Committee about the structure and sustainability of PftPI, which the PftPI Joint Working Group had on its agenda for the next day (see the item immediately below, “PftPI Takes Up Structure & Sustainability”).
DPE Researcher and Representative Alexis Spencer Notabartolo brought the Executive Committee up to date about the AFL-CIO Young Workers Summit, scheduled for June 11–13, 2010. She also summarized the discussions at the Berger-Marks Foundation Women’s Summit, which she attended (see the item “DPE Contributes To The Berger-Marks Foundation Women’s Summit” below).
AAUW ASKS “WHY SO FEW? WOMEN IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATH”
– On March 25, 2010, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) examined the issues in its new report “Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.” The presentation and discussion focused on the environmental and social factors that discourage women from entering these fields—including stereotypes of these fields, gender bias, and the culture of science and engineering departments at the university level.
Video from the event, which was attended by DPE Researcher and Representative Alexis Spencer Notabartolo via webcast, can be streamed free of charge from the AAUW website.
PftPI TAKES UP STRUCTURE & SUSTAINABILITY
– The Joint Working Group (JWG) of Professionals for the Public Interest: Associations and Unions Defending Professional Integrity (PftPI) met on March 25, 2010. A major focus: beginning a discussion about how and in what form PftPI should evolve.
The JWG raised a spectrum of options, from continuing as is to moving toward formal 501(c)(3) status. With its discussion as a starting point, it asked that the Operations and Ground Rules Subgroup, chaired by Joanne Carney of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, meet to elaborate on the possibilities and report to the next JWG meeting on May 27.
The JWG also heard reports and responded to recommendations and queries from the Policy Subgroup, which met by conference call on March 10; from the Activities Subgroup, which has been vigorously engaged in planning for the April 15 and May 11 PftPI Forums (see the first and second items above); and from the Communications Subgroup, which met on March 9 to plan publicity and media outreach for the two Forums.
For more information about Professionals for the Public Interest, please contact DPE President Paul E. Almeida, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-638-0320, extension 112, or Executive Director David Cohen, email@example.com, 202-638-0320, extension 113.
DPE CONTRIBUTES TO THE BERGER-MARKS FOUNDATION WOMEN’S SUMMIT
– DPE Researcher and Representative Alexis Spencer Notabartolo was one of the more than 30 experienced women activists from unions and other national and international organizations invited to the Berger-Marks Foundation Women’s Summit on March 14–16, 2010, in New Orleans, LA. The Summit’s focus was an open discussion of the contemporary world of work, social justice, needed change and making those changes happen. This robust dialogue will form the basis for a report by the Berger-Marks Foundation, much like the 2005 report “Women Organizing Women: How Do We Rock the Boat Without Getting Thrown Overboard?” Summit participants also heard from AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Schuler, whose remarks were detailed in a post to the AFL-CIO blog.
The Berger-Marks Foundation was established to aid in bringing the benefits of unionization to working women and to assist organizations committed to its goals. Among many other activities, the Berger-Marks Foundation previously provided funding for the DPE-commissioned report “Union Organizing Among Professional Women Workers” by Dr. Kate Bronfenbrenner. The Foundation is named in honor of Edna Berger and her husband, Gerald Marks. Berger, as Edna was called, was an outstanding organizer in The Newspaper Guild-CWA, and its first woman international organizer on staff. Gerald was a Tin Pan Alley songwriter, and royalties from Gerald’s prolific catalogue, including his most famous song, “All of Me,” have helped fund the foundation and its activities.
For more information about the Berger-Marks Foundation Women’s Summit, please contact Alexis Spencer Notabartolo at Anotabartolo@dpeaflcio.org or 202-638-0320, extension 119.
DIANE RAVITCH RETHINKS WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION
– On March 15, 2010, the American Federation of Teachers hosted a reception, discussion, and book signing for nationally known education policymaker, analyst, and historian Diane Ravitch. Her latest book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System, has attracted national attention as a personal repudiation of the idea that testing and choice are sufficient to improve public education. Introduced by AFT President Randi Weingarten, Ravitch described the still mounting evidence that the No Child Left Behind Act, which she once championed, has not brought the improvements it promised.
For an account of the event, which DPE President Paul E. Almeida and Executive Director David Cohen attended, see “Ravitch Book Creating a Big Stir in Education”.