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Kaiser, Extend the Law to All!

Recently Kaiser Permanente announced it will not extend the groundbreaking Portland Protected Sick Leave Ordinance to all of its employees.Instead management has instituted a dual tracking system for workers. OFNHP mailed out information on the sick leave policy on April 1. 

OFNHP has been working with the the Coalition to fight back. On April 7 the Coalition unions met with management and more meetings are scheduled. On April 10 represented employees engaged in a sticker campaign pressuring KP to "Extend the Law to ALL!"

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AFT Named "Nurse Champion of the Month" for March by the Center to Champion Nursing in America

Washington—Statement of AFT President Randi Weingarten on the AFT being named the "Nurse Champion of the Month" for March by the Center to Champion Nursing in America.

"Nurses are the heart of healthcare in this country. With sweeping reforms underway, their role is more and more important. That is why we are so honored to be named the 'Nurse Champion of the Month' for March by the Center to Champion Nursing in America. This honor speaks to the difference our 84,000 nurses make in cities, suburbs and rural communities all across America. We are especially honored that this occurred during Women's History Month, as a large majority of nurses are women. As one of the largest nurses unions, we have fought and will continue to fight for what nurses need to provide the highest quality care for their patients—from safe staffing levels, to additional pathways into the profession and opportunities for professional advancement, to advocating for resources and investments, and to ensuring nurses have a strong voice in decisions that impact patients, their families and our communities."

For more on the AFT's recognition, see http://campaignforaction.org/news/nurse-champion-american-federation-teachers-aft.

Anti-Worker Initiatives Will Not Appear on 2014 Oregon Ballot

As of March 3, chief petitioners for Initiative Petitions 1 and 9—anti-worker initiatives—as well as the chief petitioners for several revenue-raising initiatives, have formally withdrawn their proposed initiatives, keeping them off the 2014 ballot.

Since last year, the Governor has talked about wanting to keep these initiatives off the ballot so that he could continue his revenue reform efforts. Withdrawing them clears the way for his process to continue.

The best news out of this deal is that Oregon workers will not have to face a major, multi-million dollar attack from out-of-state corporate interests. While the Koch Brothers and ALEC are moving these anti-worker laws around the country, we won’t have to face that threat this year.

For the last few months, members have spent countless hours preparing to fight the anti-worker measures and the hard work has been paying off.  And while this recent news is a sigh of relief, we must continue to build on these efforts, for we will surely see similar attacks in the future.

Kaiser Retirement Rights and Responsibilities

Over the last few months, we have been learning about many member retirees who have had trouble with their retirement benefits after Kaiser switched to using Mercer as the plan administrator. We have been working closely with Kaiser, our own attorneys, and ERISA attorney Greg Hartman to work through these problems and help our members receive their full and timely retirement benefits.

Working with our attorneys, we have developed a letter that outines your key rights and responsibilities as participants in Kaiser's pension plan. We encourage you to read the letter in its entirety. It can be found by clicking this link.

Since we began working with Kaiser and the attorneys, we have seen much improvement. The system isn't fixed yet, but we're getting closer. We have seen a strong reduction in the amount of time our members have had to wait for calculations and payouts, as well as a reduction in turnaround time overall. Mercer and Kaiser are both taking this issue very seriously, and are working diligently with us to correct the problems.

If you do not have a copy of your retirement plan document, you can request one from the Kaiser Permanente Retirement Center (KPRC) at 1-866-627-2826, or online at myretirement.kp.org. Click My Pension Plan.

The above retirement website contains all of the plan information, a calculator, and contact information. If you have any questions or a dispute about your calculations, please raise them and let Mercer know. Double-check your plan documents and be sure you are receiving the proper amounts.

To real the full letter outlining your rights and responsibilities, click here.

Apply now for the Prize for Solution-Driven Unionism

The AFT, in partnership with the Albert Shanker Institute and the AFT Innovation Fund, is accepting applications for the second annual $25,000 Prize for Solution-Driven Unionism, which honors the most innovative, inspiring examples of collaborative work by our state and local affiliates.

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A hand up is not a handout

In her latest column appearing in the New York Times, AFT President Randi Weingarten urges lawmakers to strengthen the rungs on America's ladder of opportunity.

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