May 5, 2014


Postal workers resist privatization plans. . . As seen in the simultaneous demonstrations in 27 states last week, as well as the postal employees’ presence at International Workers’ Day rallies on Thursday, several decisions by Donahoe have only heightened fears among America’s postal workers. The most visible sign of union angst is the movement to thwart Donahoe’s aim of putting full-service USPS counters in 1,500 Staples stores, to be staffed with the office supply chain’s own, lower-paid employees. Yet that’s just the latest in a string of changes that seem geared toward outsourcing various postal jobs, which include efforts to consolidate processing plants and contract out the trucking of mail from plants to post offices.  Al Jazeera America

LA: Federal officials deny state’s public-private partnership with LSU hospitals. It is a decision that impacts the future of several hospitals in the metro area and a decision Gov. Bobby Jindal plans to fight. The federal government recently shot down Jindal’s plan to privatize six state-owned hospitals, including the LSU Interim Hospital and the new University Medical Center under construction now. . . .The reason? Any payments made to the state by a private company, in order to manage a state hospital, is considered a provider donation. If a private entity sends dollars to the state, it can not gain in any way from the dollars it would send to the state,” says Heitmeier. WWL

NY: Teachers picket in the North Country. Despite the rain, a group from New York State United Teachers, also known as NYSUT, gathered in Lake Placid.  They protested what they call efforts to privatize public education, expansion of standardized testing and the common core, and test-based teacher evaluations. Demonstrators are also calling for more teachers to be included in decision making for public education in New York. The group picketed outside a meeting organized by Education Reform Now. WPTZ

NJ: Privatization deals / Oversight needed – Editorial. Democratic leaders in the state Senate are pushing a bill that would increase oversight of deals privatizing government services. The bill will never become law – not as long as Chris Christie, or any other privatization-loving Republican, is governor. . . But all that aside, the measure (S770) is sound. Indeed, for the most part, it isn’t increasing oversight of privatization deals as much as it is establishing oversight for the first time. . . . But if privatization is such a good deal, there is no reason why proponents should not be willing to have these arrangements scrutinized, as the measure being pushed by Senate Democrats would do. Press of Atlantic City

MI: Michigan could soon see more toll roads. Michigan has three toll roads–all around major bridge crossings. But the National Motorists Association warns that could soon change. A bill in the Michigan legislature looks to increase road funding by $500 million, and would also give the legislature the authority to come up with new revenue streams.  This could give M-DOT and the Transportation Commission the ability to create a toll road. WWMT-TV