In This Issue:
- Act April 4! Support Public Employees and Collective Bargaining
- From Intellectual Property and Federal Budget to Football and Robocalling
- DPE Executive Committee Focuses on the State of the States
- Professionals Organize! Victories In 2010
- DPE Reaches Out to Administration and Congress on Visas
- Celebrate Equal Pay and Library Workers on April 12
- Coalition Tackles Scientific Integrity and the Executive Branch
- DPE to Congress: Defend U.S. Workers by Defending Intellectual Property
- Russell Library Awarded 2011 John Sessions Memorial Award
ACT APRIL 4! SUPPORT PUBLIC EMPLOYEES AND COLLECTIVE BARGAINING – Rallies. Vigils. Teach-ins. The “We Are One” pledge. Take action on Monday, April 4!
It’s time to oppose attacks on collective bargaining, workers’ rights, and public employees. It’s time to speak out against political payback in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and other states. Ruthless governors and legislators want to gut their political opposition – and ignore the damage to democracy, freedom of association, employment, and the middle class.
Last week the DPE Executive Committee unanimously adopted a resolution, “We Are One: Public Employees Serve Us All.” It urged affiliated unions to spread the word about April 4.
The DPE resolution declares:
Our members and leaders know the integrity, knowledge, and hard work that public employees bring to serving all of us. These basic facts explain our disbelief and horror at seeing good people villainized. …
While millions of Americans cannot find jobs, these political attacks make the situation worse. They hinder library workers who assist searches for employment, social workers who reach out to families in peril, and aid workers who provide what is left of an ever more tattered safety net.
Too many workers in the private sector lack jobs, health care, and pensions. The solution is not to deprive public employees of those things. The solution is to end the vicious anti-union onslaught by private-sector employers, rebuild strong private-sector unions, and restore jobs, decent wages, quality health care, and secure pensions.
For the complete resolution, click here. The AFL-CIO also posted the DPE resolution on the “We Are One April 4” website. For more about the March 21 meeting of the DPE Executive Committee, see “DPE Executive Committee Focuses on the State of the States” below.
FROM INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND FEDERAL BUDGET TO FOOTBALL AND ROBOCALLING – On March 8, 2011, DPE President Paul E. Almeida chaired a meeting of the Arts, Entertainment, and Media Industries, Industry Coordinating Committee (AEMI ICC).
With an agenda as wide-ranging as it was timely, participants from AEA, AFM, AFTRA, IATSE, IBEW, NFLPA, and SAG shared the news and planned action on intellectual property, the federal budget, football bargaining, robocalling through the AFL-CIO, and arts participation. They also detailed developments in their unions.
Paul Almeida led off with intellectual property. He highlighted the first Annual Report to Congress from White House Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) Victoria A. Espinel; it detailed progress on her 2010 Joint Strategic Plan. (See “Administration, Senate, DPE Focus on Intellectual Property” in the March 2011 DPE NewsLine. See also the Administration’s White Paper on Intellectual Property Enforcement Legislative Recommendations, which IPEC Espinel released on March 15, 2011. She and her staff previewed the planned recommendations for DPE and the AEMI unions in February. IPEC Espinel wrote about the recommendations on the White House blog.)
DPE Executive Director David Cohen followed with an update about the “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act,” a bill introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) in the last Congress. Participants agreed that industries dependent on intellectual property – and thus professionals and workers in those industries – face a domestic and global attack on the fundamental concept of copyright.
AFL-CIO Legislative Representative Gregory L. Jefferson, Sr. briefed the group about the battles over the federal budget. After describing the annual budget process, he focused on the draconian cuts that Congressional Republicans are demanding, which threaten, among many other programs, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Other updates included:
● Joe D. Briggs, Public Policy and Government Relations Counsel for the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), thanked the AEMI unions for their support and outlined developments in the NFLPA negotiations with the team owners.
● Mike Noonan, Strategic Planning & Technology Director in the AFL-CIO Politics/Field Department, explained how robocalling through the AFL-CIO could support affiliated unions’ organizing, grassroots campaigns, and community outreach.
● DPE Researcher and Representative Jennifer Dorning summarized three new NEA reports on participation in the arts. One key point: Education directly affects the likelihood that adults will participate in the arts – and programs of arts education are shrinking. (See “National Endowment for the Arts Presents Three Arts Participation Reports” in the March 2011 DPE NewsLine.)
For additional information about the AEMI ICC or the meeting, please contact DPE President Paul E. Almeida, 202-638-0320, firstname.lastname@example.org, or DPE Executive Director David Cohen, 202-638-0320 extension 113, email@example.com.
DPE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE FOCUSES ON THE STATE OF THE STATES – The DPE Executive Committee met on March 21, 2011. A primary theme: the embattled state of public employees and collective bargaining in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and other states.
That theme led the Executive Committee to act unanimously to adopt an AFT proposal for a DPE resolution, “We Are One: Public Employees Serve Us All.” (See “Act April 4! Support Public Employees and Collective Bargaining” above.)
Acting as Chair, DPE President Paul E. Almeida noted that this meeting was the first with a number of new DPE officers: a new DPE Chair, J. David Cox, Secretary-Treasurer of AFGE (precluded from attending by the funeral of AFGE National Vice President Charlotte Flowers); a new First Vice President, David White, National Executive Director of SAG; and new General Vice Presidents, Mary McColl, Executive Director of AEA, and Mary Mahoney, Secretary-Treasurer of OPEIU.
Almeida also reported on DPE affiliations; the newly redesigned DPE website, www.dpeaflcio.org; the activities of the Arts, Entertainment, and Media Industries, Industry Coordinating Committee (see “From Intellectual Property and Federal Budget to Football and Robocalling” above); and developments relating to immigration and visas, including statements that DPE released (for links to DPE policy statements, click here).
DPE Executive Director David Cohen sketched the most recent activities of Professionals for the Public Interest: Associations and Unions Defending Professional Integrity (PftPI). He mentioned the October 27, 2010 PftPI Forum on “The Appropriate Use of Science in Public Policy” as well as three policy statements – on federal advisory committees, whistleblowers, and scientific integrity in the Executive Branch – on which PftPI achieved consensus. For more about PftPI, go here and see “Coalition Tackles Scientific Integrity and the Executive Branch” below.
DPE Researcher and Representative Jennifer Dorning highlighted four updated DPE Fact Sheets about high-tech guest worker visas, the U.S. health care system in comparison with those of other countries, the misclassification of employees as independent contractors, and intellectual property theft. For links to all DPE Fact Sheets, go here.
PROFESSIONALS ORGANIZE! VICTORIES IN 2010 – DPE has posted on its website a sampling of its affiliated unions’ 2010 organizing victories. The list reflects professional and technical employees organizing in the public and private sectors and can be found here.
In the third quarter of 2010, workers won 70 percent of all representation elections. As a result, 50,120 new workers organized into unions. White-collar workers represent an increasing number of union members. In 2009, white-collar workers accounted for 53.9 percent of all union workers.
For more information, contact DPE Researcher and Representative Jennifer Dorning, 202-638-0320 extension 114, firstname.lastname@example.org.
DPE REACHES OUT TO ADMINISTRATION AND CONGRESS ON VISAS – On March 23, 2011, DPE President Paul E. Almeida wrote Dr. Jared Bernstein, President Obama’s Chief Economist and Economic Policy Adviser, to oppose expansion of the H-1B guest worker visa program. The letter responded to recent statements by Administration officials calling for expansion. President Almeida asked that the Administration fix the program, not expand it. Read the letter here.
President Almeida also sent a March 28 letter opposing expansion of the H-1B visa program to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement, with copies to all other Committee members. The letter can be found here. President Almeida delivered the letter in advance of the Thursday, March 31, 2011 hearing on “H-1B Visas: Designing a Program to Meet the Needs of the U.S. Economy and U.S. Workers,” which he attended.
Witness testimony addressed the H-1B program generally as there is no legislation pending to increase the number of available H-1B visas. Testifying before the committee were Donald Neufeld, Associate Director of Service Center Operations, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Bo Cooper, Partner, Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP; Ron Hira, Ph.D, Associate Professor of Public Policy, Rochester Institute of Technology; and Bruce A. Morrison, Chairman, Morrison Public Affairs Group.
For more information, contact DPE President Paul E. Almeida, 202-638-0320, or DPE Researcher and Representative Jennifer Dorning 202-638-0320 extension 114, email@example.com.
CELEBRATE EQUAL PAY AND LIBRARY WORKERS ON APRIL 12– Tuesday, April 12, 2011 marks both National Library Workers Day (NLWD) and Equal Pay Day.
NLWD celebrates the librarians, library workers, users, friends groups, and administrators who make valuable contributions to our libraries. This year NLWD takes on special significance since it coincides with Equal Pay Day.
While salaries for library workers are improving, there is more work that can be done. The American Library Association-Allied Professional Association created a Better Salaries and Pay Equity Toolkit to provide ideas on how librarians and library workers can advocate for pay equity.
You can also show your support for NLWD by nominating your favorite library worker for a “star” here.
Equal Pay Day highlights the disparity between pay for women and for men. This year you can wear red to show your support for the women who earn only 77 cents for every dollar a man earned in 2009. To learn more about Equal Pay Day, click here.
For more information, contact DPE Researcher and Representative Jennifer Dorning, 202-638-0320 extension 114, firstname.lastname@example.org.
COALITION TACKLES SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY AND THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH – On February 1, 2011, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DoI) released its reformulated scientific integrity policy. On March 9, 2011, the Policy Subgroup of Professionals for the Public Interest: Associations and Unions Defending Professional Integrity (PftPI) conferred to develop a response.
Chaired by Raymond Garant of the American Chemical Society, the Policy Subgroup authorized Garant and DPE President Paul E. Almeida, in his capacity as PftPI Chair, to write a joint letter of commendation and concerns to the newly designated DoI Departmental Scientific Integrity Officer, Dr. Ralph Morgenweck. Among the concerns: involving all who will be governed by the policy in its development, implementation, and revision; the details guiding communications between department scientists and scholars on one side and the public and media on the other; and the time limits for processing allegations of misconduct.
The DoI policy is the latest Obama Administration statement relating to scientific integrity and the Executive Branch. On December 17, 2010, John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, released a memorandum to executive departments and agencies on scientific integrity. That memorandum provided a starting point for the DoI policy. The memorandum from Dr. Holdren carried out in turn a directive from President Obama on March 9, 2009.
The Policy Subgroup also authorized adding a newly approved PftPI policy statement, “Scientific Integrity and the Executive Branch,” to the PftPI website and sending it to Dr. Holdren.
For more information about PftPI, which DPE began organizing in 2007, contact DPE Executive Director David Cohen, email@example.com, 202-638-0320 extension 113.
DPE TO CONGRESS: DEFEND U.S. WORKERS BY DEFENDING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY – Defending intellectual property (IP) means defending U.S. workers, jobs, and incomes.
That is the message that DPE and its affiliated unions continue to deliver. (See “Administration, Senate, DPE Focus on Intellectual Property” in the March 2011 DPE NewsLine.) In preparation for a March 14, 2011 hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives, DPE Executive Director David Cohen joined representatives from AFTRA, IATSE, the Directors Guild of America, and media stakeholders in March 11 meetings with staff members for Representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).
For more about the March 14 hearing of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet, “Promoting Investment and Protecting Commerce Online: Legitimate Sites v. Parasites, Part I,” click here.
RUSSELL LIBRARY AWARDED 2011 JOHN SESSIONS MEMORIAL AWARD – The Russell Library in Middletown, CT, is the 2011 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) John Sessions Memorial Award. The Award recognizes Russell Library’s Business and Career Programs.
DPE sponsors the John Sessions Memorial Award. The award highlights a library or library system that made a significant effort to work with the labor community and thus brought recognition from the broader community of how the labor movement contributed to developing this country. The RUSA Award Reception at the ALA Annual Meeting in New Orleans, where the Russell Library will receive the award, is scheduled for Sunday, June 26, 2011, from 5 – 6:30 pm.
The AFL-CIO/ALA Joint Committee on Library Service to Labor Groups, co-chaired by DPE Researcher and Representative Jennifer Dorning, organized a program, “Libraries Fight Back,” for the ALA Annual Conference. Jason Neely, who leads the Russell Library’s Business and Career Programs, will be one of three panelists. The program will be held in New Orleans on Monday, June 27, 2011, from 10:30 am to 12 noon.
For more information about the John Sessions Memorial Award or the AFL-CIO/ALA Joint Committee on Library Service to Labor Groups, contact DPE Researcher and Representative Jennifer Dorning, 202-638-0320 extension 114, firstname.lastname@example.org.