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Teacher Fight Backs and Contractors Threaten ULPs Against NYC School Bus Drivers

Teachers unions and other educational service workers across the country - in New York, Seattle, and Hawaii - are fighting against further cuts in school budgets, for better quality education for their students. In New York, school bus drivers prepare to strike for job security for trained professional drivers; in Seattle, teachers vote to refuse to give standardized tests; in Hawaii teachers campaign for a penny tax increase dedicated to education.

Foes Of Kaiser (And SEIU) Unite In California

Steve Early
Huffington Post
Healthcare unions united in California. The California Nurses Association (CNA) and the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) unveil their formal affiliation this past week. Major target is Kaiser Permanente, the giant California health care chain that made $6 billion in profits since 2009 but still wants union job cuts and contract givebacks.

Coercive Wellness Programs Create New Headaches

Jane Slaughter
Labor Notes
Employer-created wellness programs are about what workers should do on their own time, not what the employer could do to stop making them sick at work...Wellness programs are growing fast. In firms with more than 200 workers, 94 percent had such programs in 2012

New York City Labor Chorus Gets Better with Age

Tina Susman
Los Angeles Times
Just how long the songs will go on is anyone's guess. One person who isn't worried is Ballard, Chorus director, who credits Occupy Wall Street with raising awareness of labor issues."Very few young people would stop and listen to us, but now they do," said Ballard, who's confident that interest will spur a new generation to sing. "They'll be the next people who carry the torch."

The Hero Teachers of Newtown - Teachers Are First Responders

Diane Ravitch and Deborah Dunton
Diane Ravitch's Blog and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
This much is clear: the teachers and staff at the Sandy Hook Elementary School reacted with astonishing courage to the unthinkable, the terrifying intrusion of a man intent on murdering them and their students. With no thought of their own safety, they defended their children. Everyone of them is a hero, those who died and those who survived....All at Sandy Hook Elementary School displayed courage. They did their jobs.

The Hero Teachers of Newtown; Teachers Are First Responders

Diane Ravitch and Deborah Dunton
Diane Ravitch's Blog and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
This much is clear: the teachers and staff at the Sandy Hook Elementary School reacted with astonishing courage to the unthinkable, the terrifying intrusion of a man intent on murdering them and their students. With no thought of their own safety, they defended their children. Everyone of them is a hero, those who died and those who survived....we were reminded that the first first responders at schools displayed courage. They did their jobs.

The NRA's Wayne LaPierre Has the Blood of Connecticut Students on His Hands

Peter Dreier
Portside
The majority of Americans favor strict gun control laws. No, let's not burden Americans with collective guilt. The problem is more narrow - and more fixable - than that...The long list of killings is due in large measure to the political influence of the NRA - and the campaign finance system that allows the gun lobby to exercise so much power.

Letter to Portside Labor Readers

Portside moderators
Portside
The tidal wave of bull dukey that accompanied this year's elections was more than matched by progressive analysis and advocacy . . . if you knew where to find it. The fact is that mass struggles impacted every aspect of life in the U.S. in 2012. We hope you found Portside a timely and reliable source of news, left analysis and advocacy not only for domestic issues by for historic events internationally.

Letter to Portside Readers

Portside moderators
Portside
The tidal wave of bull dukey that accompanied this year's elections was more than matched by progressive analysis and advocacy . . . if you knew where to find it. The fact is that mass struggles impacted every aspect of life in the U.S. in 2012. We hope you found Portside a timely and reliable source of news, left analysis and advocacy not only for domestic issues by for historic events internationally.

GOP No Longer Behaves Like a Traditional Political Party

Ed Kilgore, James Vega and J.P. Green
The Democratic Strategist
It's time to face a harsh reality: the GOP no longer behaves like a traditional American political party. It has become an extremist party. Moderates and sensible conservatives need to firmly reject and condemn this deeply disturbing and dangerous trend.

A Call for President Obama to Change Course on Education

Arthur H. Camins
Washington Post
With the election behind us, it is time for the Obama administration to step back from its education policy and access whether its foundation is sound and supported by evidence. It is a moment to summon the courage to change course.

How the Left Can Become a True Political Force to Be Reckoned With

Bill Fletcher, Jr. and Carl Davidson
AlterNet
We need to assert a new culture of organizing capable of meeting the demands it will place on us, and now is the time to begin...The 2012 elections may prove to have been a watershed in several different respects. Despite the efforts by the political Right to suppress the Democratic electorate, something very strange happened: voters, angered by the attacks on their rights, turned out in even greater force in favor of Democratic candidates.

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