In This Issue:
- “Whistleblowers & OSHA” May 11: Register Now!
- Congressional and Labor Leaders Call for Performance Rights
- Young Workers Summit Is “Next Up”
- 1st Professionals Forum Draws Rave Reviews
- DPE Confers with Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Espinel
- DPE Participates In IFPTE 2010 Legislative Advocacy Week
- CREA Forum Examines Censorship, Privacy
- DPE Signs On
“WHISTLEBLOWERS AND OSHA” MAY 11: REGISTER NOW! – You’re invited – and the time to register is now!
“Whistleblowers and OSHA: Defending Professional Integrity” brings together a topic in the headlines with a man who shapes it, David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. Free and open to the public with advance registration, the Forum is the second from Professionals for the Public Interest: Associations and Unions Defending Professional Integrity (PftPI).
On Tuesday, May 11, 2010, on behalf of PftPI, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) will host and moderate the program at AAAS, 1200 New York Avenue, NW. Light refreshments from 11:45 am to 12:30 pm will precede the speech and discussion from 12:30 to 2 pm.
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 testimony by Dr. Michaels on April 27, 2010 before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions that calls among other things for stronger whistleblower protections, go here. For a January 2009 GAO report questioning the effectiveness with which OSHA enforces whistleblower protections, go here.
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 that include the sciences and engineering, health and health care; the arts, entertainment, and media; and human services.
In April, PftPI prepared for the May 11 Forum in multiple ways. The PftPI Policy Subgroup, chaired by Raymond Garant of the American Chemical Society, heard about whistleblowers on April 14 from Tom Devine, Legal Director, and Shanna Devine, Legislative Campaign Coordinator, both of the Government Accountability Project. On April 20, the PftPI Communications Subgroup, chaired by Gary Hubbard of the United Steelworkers, prepared to publicize the event.
For more information about this Forum, contact DPE Executive Director David Cohen, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-638-0320 extension 113.
CONGRESSIONAL AND LABOR LEADERS CALL FOR PERFORMANCE RIGHTS – From the 1963 March on Washington to the halls of Congress, Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary sings out for justice. In 1963, the goal was civil rights. In a Capitol Hill press conference on April 27, 2010, the objective was performance rights: fair compensation to musicians and singers when AM and FM radio stations play recordings of their performances.
Calling for “equity for the arts,” Yarrow opened and closed the press conference. He brought Congressional and labor leaders alike to join in singing classics from “If I Had a Hammer” to “This Land is Your Land.”
American Federation of Musicians (AFM) International President Thomas F. Lee (left), who serves also as Chair of the DPE Executive Committee, called forcefully for Congress to pass the Performance Rights Act (H.R. 848): “Musicians are working people who create value for giant corporations like Clear Channel. Musicians have the right to be compensated fairly for their work. We must put an end to the corporate greed of the radio stations that deny them this right, in order to allow thousands of hard-working musicians to earn a fair wage and provide for themselves and their families.”
AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka declared, “The labor movement was founded on the principle that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. That’s the principle at stake in the fight for the Performance Rights Act.”
American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) National President Roberta Reardon underscored the point: “To us, it’s only fair that performers, like all other American workers – as President Trumka correctly points out – should have the right to be compensated for their work when it is used by others. The Performance Rights Act will help thousands of hard-working, middle-income recording artists, legacy artists, and session singers earn a living, provide for themselves and their families and support an economy that works for everyone.”
Also participating in the press conference were key legislators who declared their support for the Performance Rights Act: House Committee on Education and Labor Chairman George Miller (D-CA), House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI), and Representatives Bob Brady (D-PA), John Garamendi (D-CA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).
Representing DPE at the event was Executive Director David Cohen. For the 2008 AFL-CIO Executive Council statement “Fairness in Radio: A Performance Right for Sound Recordings,” click here. For more about the musicFIRST Coalition in which AFM and AFTRA participate in support of performance rights, go here.
YOUNG WORKERS SUMMIT IS “NEXT UP” – The AFL-CIO will welcome young workers, young union members and leaders, and young activists to Washington, DC on June 10-13, 2010 for a first-of-its-kind “Next Up” Young Workers Summit. “Next Up” will call on emerging leaders between ages 18 and 35 to share their thoughts about ways the labor movement can attract and empower young workers.
The weekend is designed to offer participants a chance to begin developing the skills to implement a long-term young worker program. It will include breakout sessions and work groups focused on young worker mobilization and capacity building. Avenues for involvement in the AFL-CIO’s 2010 midterm election efforts and jobs campaign will also be discussed.
If you know an emerging leader who should be a part of the “Next Up” Young Workers Summit, find more information and register here.
For more information about the “Next Up” Young Workers Summit, contact DPE Researcher and Representative Alexis Spencer Notabartolo at Anotabartolo@dpeaflcio.org or 202-638-0320.
1ST PROFESSIONALS FORUM DRAWS RAVE REVIEWS – People thought the speakers and moderator were “outstanding,” “very knowledgeable,” “very informative,” “entertaining,” “great,” “compassionate,” and “right on the mark” with “an important message.”
The occasion: the first Forum from Professionals for the Public Interest: Associations and Unions Defending Professional Integrity (PftPI) on April 15, 2010, “Defending Patient Care Against External Pressures: Dilemmas and Possibilities.” Setting the scene for the panelists and moderator were IEEE-USA Senior Legislative Representative Vin O’Neill and Ann Twomey, President of Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and an AFT Vice President.
(Photo by Alexis Spencer Notabartolo, DPE)
On the panel – moderated by Radio Hall of Fame member Bob Edwards (far left), First Vice President of AFTRA – were Linda Green, MD (far right), Associate Program Director, Prince George’s Hospital Center; Dawn Hobdy, LICSW (second from left), Manager of the Office of Ethics and Professional Review at the National Association of Social Workers, Washington DC; and David Keepnews, PhD, JD, RN, FAAN (second from right), associate professor in the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing at Hunter College, City University of New York.
The event marked the culmination of six months of planning by Mary Lehman MacDonald of AFT, Jesse Boyer of the American Public Health Association, Mel Wilson of the National Association of Social Workers, and Alexis Spencer Notabartolo and David Cohen of DPE, as well as work by the PftPI Joint Working Group, Activities Subgroup, and Communications Subgroup.
A 10-minute video offers highlights of the discussion; a 55-minute version encompasses the full panel discussion up to the moderator’s opening the floor to the audience. For an AFL-CIO Now Blog piece about the Forum, go here.
DPE CONFERS WITH INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ENFORCEMENT COORDINATOR ESPINEL – On April 7, 2010, DPE President Paul E. Almeida, Executive Director David Cohen, and Researcher and Representative Alexis Spencer Notabartolo met with White House Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria A. Espinel.
In a wide-ranging and constructive conversation, Ms. Espinel described the steps that she was taking toward developing a coordinated strategy, including outreach like the meeting with DPE. President Almeida underscored the view of the unions affiliated with DPE that protecting intellectual property translates into creating and preserving U.S. jobs. He delivered a copy of the resolution, “Piracy is a Danger to Entertainment Professionals,” that DPE submitted on behalf of its arts, entertainment and media affiliates and that the AFL-CIO Executive Council adopted; click here to read the resolution.
DPE PARTICIPATES IN IFPTE 2010 LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY WEEK – On April 13, 2010, DPE President Paul E. Almeida joined Ron Ault, President of the Metal Trades Department and Ed Wytkind, President of the Transportation Trades Department in a panel discussion moderated by IPFTE President Gregory Junemann. The panel addressed how the Trade Departments help to further the IFPTE legislative agenda. Close to 100 participants heard from each of the Trade Departments; a Q&A session followed the opening comments. The discussion demonstrated how IFPTE fits into these departments and how the departments develop their deep knowledge in their areas of expertise.
CREA FORUM EXAMINES CENSORSHIP, PRIVACY – On April 19, 2010, DPE Researcher and Representative Alexis Spencer Notabartolo attended a lunchtime discussion forum at the Library of Congress sponsored by the Congressional Research Employees Association (CREA), IFPTE Local 75, featuring Dr. Barbara Jones, Director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF)at the American Library Association (ALA). Dr. Jones spoke about censorship, the growing body of OIF field work to inform planning and policy making related to freedom of information and privacy, and the globalization of intellectual freedom issues in the 21st Century.
For more information about ALA, the OIF, or the April 19 event, please contact DPE Researcher and Representative Alexis Spencer Notabartolo at Anotabartolo@dpeaflcio.org or 202-638-0320.
DPE SIGNS ON – On April 20, 2010, DPE stood in solidarity with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers and joined more than 200 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organizations, political groups and labor unions in a letter to Congress calling for the passage of the Employment Non-discrimination Act (ENDA) (H.R. 3017 and S. 1584). For a full list of organizations, click here.