The conservative political climate now endangers teachers' unions, which face attack from both federal and state governments. New measures, threaten to limit teachers' abilities to strike, raise money, and bargain. The measures also limit tenure and a unions' abilities to negotiate issues such as privatization of schools. A new Michigan law, for example, which teachers are now fighting in the courts, allows teachers to be fined if they strike and Republican Wisconsin Governor Tommy G. Thompson proposes allowing school boards to decide on merit-pay plans without agreement from teachers' unions. For the first time, Indiana's State Teachers' Association will not have the ability to bargain for "fair share" agreements, which allow the Union to assess fees to nonmember teachers. This law came about after a Republican Congress overruled the Democratic Governor's, Evan Bayh, veto. Republican leaders have targeted the National Education Association, which, with 2.2 million members, is America's largest Union. They have also targeted the American Federation of Teachers, which maintains 875,000 members.
5/5/2015 Sen. Reid Promises to Filibuster "Fast Track" for the TransPacific Partnership - Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid has promised to delay efforts to push through the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal until the Senate first deals with two stalled bills that may soon expire.
Reid says that the two measures, an infrastructure bill on highway funding, and reforms to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), are "very complicated issues," that require the Senate's attention "before we even deal with [the Trans-Pacific Partnership]."
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive free trade agreement currently being promoted by the Obama Administration, has been heavily criticized by humanitarian groups, environmental groups, and medical groups. . . .
5/1/2015 House Reverses DC Law Banning Reproductive Health Discrimination by Employers - The US House of Representatives voted Thursday night to overturn a Washington, DC, law that makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who use their insurance to cover procedures like in-vitro fertilization or abortion and contraception like birth control pills and IUDs for themselves, their spouses, or their children.
The District's council passed the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act last year. . . .