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IBEW Local 1430 Political Action Committee

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Presentation on theme: "IBEW Local 1430 Political Action Committee"— Presentation transcript:

1 IBEW Local 1430 Political Action Committee

2 Mission Statement Working people’s issues don’t end at the workplace, economic security cannot be achieved by better working conditions alone. The IBEW Local 1430 Political Action Committee is committed to educate our members on the issues that affect us working people and support the candidates that share our values.

3 Table of Contents Taking Action
Who we are / Who we aren’t.……………………………………………………… Taking Action…………………………………………………………………………… Political Involvement…………………………………………………………………… Issues ………………………………………………………………………… Economic Development…………………………………………………………………..8-9 Retirement……………………………………………………………..…………… Health Care…………………………………………………………………………………14-19 Immigration…………………………………………………………………………………20-23 Education…………………………………………………………………………………….24-26 Work and Life…………………………………………………………………………… Workplace Safety…………………………………………………………………………29-30 Fair Trade..………………………………………………………………………………….31-33 Conclusion

4 Who we are and who we aren’t
We are a Committee that will get involved with our communities and local politicians. We are a Committee made up of volunteers interested in making a difference in the issues that affect us and our workplace. We are a discussion based Committee; we welcome different views and opinions. We will not use Union money to fund Committee action. We will not take a position on social issues (ie: Gay marriage, gun control, abortion, etc.). We will not mandate involvement or require contribution from those who do not wish to be involved with the Committee.

5 Taking Action Build PAC: Membership Education:
Seek out politically active members Secure 15 committee members Membership Education: Monthly meetings Invite experts to speak on our Issues Encourage Participation: Communicate the message to others Distribute literature Initiate community involvement Voter registration Raise Money: Hold (2) fund raisers per year Raise $10,000. Employer involvement Exercise Our Voice: Get out and vote Support local candidates that support our views

6 Resources Central Labor Council (“CLC”) IBEW AFL-CIO Local politicians
Attend monthly meetings IBEW Utilize services available Get involved in events AFL-CIO Utilize educational material Local politicians Initiate contact with politicians that support our views Offer service to those we support

7 Issues of the working people
Economic Development Protecting Retirement Health care reform Immigration Education Balancing work and life Work Place Safety Fair Trade

8 Issue 1: Economic Development
We must create jobs to help restore America’s middle class and challenge policies that stand in the way of giving America the opportunity to go back to work.

9 Economic Development Background
I. Issue: Understanding the economic crisis. Three decades of Wall Street and corporate-dominated economic policies drove our economy into the ground, and we are still paying a high price for these policy failures. Unemployment and underemployment are projected to remain at crisis levels for years; our trade deficit is growing; the housing market continues its downward slide; millions of Americans are facing foreclosure; and real wages are stagnant. Communities of color particularly are facing a nearly unprecedented economic crisis, with unemployment rates that are nearly double the national average and rising poverty rates. II. How to dig ourselves out of this crisis: The solutions we propose must be on the same scale as the problems we face, half measures will not put America back to work. This will require: 1. Ending currency manipulation 2. Reforming tax policy 3. Enforcing and reforming our trade policies 4. Strengthening government procurement policies 5. Increasing investment in job training 6. Rebuilding America’s schools, transportation and energy systems. 7. Reviving U.S. manufacturing and stop exporting good jobs overseas. 8. Help federal, state, and local governments avoid more layoffs and cutbacks of public services. 9. Filling the massive shortfall of consumer demand by extending unemployment benefits and keeping homeowners in their homes. 10. Reforming Wall Street so that it helps Main Street create jobs.

10 Issue 2: Protect Your Retirement
Social Security is essential for millions of retirees. We must develop a new way to provide workers with a lifetime retirement security.

11 Protect Your Retirement Background
I. Issue: Americans will not be able to retire. 50% of working Americans have no retirement plan at work. Most of those who have a retirement plan are in 401-k savings accounts where the median balances are less than $30,000. Most people’s 401-K will not cover their retirement. Most of the 76 million baby boomers will face retirement with fewer assets than previous generations had, and many will be forced to keep working in their retirement years to stay out of poverty. II. Why is this happening? Decline of Defined Benefit Pension Plans. Fewer and fewer workers are now covered by defined-benefit pension plans. 401-K risk is placed on the worker. Retirement savings have been decimated by losses in the stock market. Speculation on Wall Street has caused home equity loss. Working families have lost trillions of dollars of home equity with the collapse of the real estate bubble. Lack of savings due to low aggregate growth. Stagnant wages has made it harder for workers to save for retirement. Healthcare costs eating income. The rise of health care costs is taking a bigger and bigger bite out of retirement income.

12 Protect Your Retirement Background
Protect & build up Social Security: Social Security has a shared responsibility of employers, employees and the government; portable lifetime benefits that are paid out only at retirement; pooled assets; professional management; efficient and transparent administration; and effective oversight. How do we fix the Social Security system? Benefit levels must be increased. The Social Security benefit rate is one of the lowest of all the industrialized countries and we must compensate for the decline of traditional pensions and the loss of retirement savings. Social Security Cost Of Living Adjustments (COLA) need to take into account the higher health care costs faced by seniors. Stop employers from avoiding their mandated Social Security contributions. Tax income above the existing taxable earnings cap, and this must be part of any solution. IV. Adversaries are trying to reduce (cut) benefits: Washington, D.C. has focused almost exclusively on benefit cuts, such as an increase in the retirement age or a reduction in cost-of-living adjustments, regardless of who proposes them. A number of plans put forward in recent years have demonstrated that cutting benefits is not necessary to close Social Security’s modest long-term funding shortfall.   

13 Protect Your Retirement Background
V. Conclusion: The vast majority of Americans believe Social Security is more important than ever and that its benefits should be increased. The American people understand that Social Security is the solution, not the problem, and politicians in Washington need to follow their lead: Social Security is not in crisis. It can pay all scheduled benefits through the year 2036 and three-quarters of all scheduled benefits thereafter. If Social Security were a pension plan, it would be in the “green zone”—the healthy zone—under the Pension Protection Act. Social Security does not contribute one dime to the deficit, it is legally prohibited from borrowing or going into debt and it is not a significant driver of long-term fiscal imbalances. By offering up any cuts at all, we legitimize the false claim that Social Security benefits are unaffordable and overly generous and there is nothing more we can do about the retirement security crisis.

14 Issue 3: Protect and build on the Affordable Care Act
America must continue moving toward a more equitable and cost-effective health care system. The worst thing Legislatures could do is move backward by repealing the Affordable Care Act.

15 Healthcare Reform Background
I. Issue: Everyone deserves affordable healthcare. Support legislation that creates quality, affordable health insurance that doesn’t require employees to sacrifice their standard of living. II. What is the crisis? The root cause of this crisis is the inefficient way we deliver healthcare in this country. 1. We have to counter the growing market concentration in our health care system that enables resistance to cost-saving reforms and keeps prices unusually high. 2. We have to change the incentives that encourage the delivery inefficient care.

16 Healthcare Reform Background
III. Strive to achieve a national healthcare program: 1. “Medicare for All”; The most cost-effective and equitable way to provide quality healthcare is through the social insurance model (like “Medicare for All”). Health expenditures in the United States now account for about 16% of our economy, countries that have adopted a social insurance model have succeeded in keeping their health care costs below 11 percent of GDP. Medicare also serves as a critical tool for making the delivery of healthcare more cost-effective. Medicare payment reforms already have begun changing the incentives that encourage the delivery of expensive, wasteful and inefficient care and will make even greater progress in this direction under the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. These reforms include paying for value rather than paying for volume and promoting the use of integrated medical practices. 2. Public Option; Allowing people of all ages to buy into a public health insurance option is the functional equivalent of Medicare. The public option program would partner with Medicare in driving these reforms.

17 Healthcare Reform Background
IV. Adversaries are trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act: Cost Shifting; The alternative to making the delivery of healthcare more cost-effective is to make consumers pay more out of pocket higher deductibles, higher copays and reduce coverage. Examples of this approach include proposals to increase cost-sharing in Medicare, turn Medicare in to a voucher program and tax employer-provided health benefits.   Those that oppose the Affordable Care Act argue that people use insurance when they don’t need it just because they have it. This argument suggest that healthcare cost growth is driven by “excess insurance,” which leads to excess consumer demand for healthcare, excess utilization of health care and excess healthcare expenditures. However, the vast majority of healthcare spending is for people who genuinely need care, not people who demand care simply because their insurance covers it: Half of all healthcare spending in this country is for 5 percent of the population, and greater cost-sharing will have very little impact on this key cost driver.  Healthcare is not like other markets because consumers have to rely on providers to tell them what will make them best off, they are not in the best position to distinguish between necessary and unnecessary care.

18 Healthcare Reform Background
V. Accomplishments of the Affordable Care Act: New protections against insurance company abuses and scuttle policies that help working families afford quality coverage. Instead of covering 83 percent of our citizens, we will cover 95 percent. Large employers will be required to provide affordable health insurance.  Insurance companies won’t be able to deny or limit coverage for children with pre-existing conditions, and affordable health insurance exchange coverage will be available for adults with pre-existing conditions. Insurance companies won’t be able to retroactively cancel your insurance policy when you become sick, based on accidental inconsistencies on your initial application. Insurance companies won’t be free to impose lifetime and annual limits on your coverage.  Health insurance premiums won’t rise unchecked. Insurance companies will be subject to federal review of unreasonable premium increases. Insurance companies will face a federal requirement that they spend 80 to 85 percent of premium dollars on your health care (and not be used to increase profits or market share). Health insurance exchanges will be established to provide a regulated marketplace for people who do not have access to insurance.

19 Healthcare Reform Background
Millions of women and early retirees facing increasing premiums will have access to insurance exchanges that cannot charge more based on gender or age. In the first nine months of 2011, seniors saved $1.2 billion in drug costs as health care reform’s closure of the “donut hole” began phasing in. Medicare fraud would increase as anti-fraud efforts would be downsized. VI. Conclusion: The Affordable Care Act paved a path to expand healthcare coverage, improve care and begin to get a handle on out-of-control health care costs. However, America’s broken health care system can’t be fixed without more fundamental changes, building on the achievements of the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid. Our country must keep moving forward toward a more equitable and cost-effective healthcare system and never go backward.

20 Issue 4: Immigration We must support a comprehensive, worker-centered approach as part of a common-sense immigration process.

21 Immigration Background
Issue: The current immigration system hurts American workers. The current broken immigration system hurts American workers. The system of distributing a fixed number of work visas based on arbitrary quotas that are unresponsive to fluctuations in the U.S. economy’s demand for labor creates incentives for millions of people to immigrate into the United States without legal authorization to do so. As a result, today there are between 10 and 12 million undocumented workers within the United States. Many employers take advantage of their undocumented status in order to avoid paying them prevailing wages or fulfilling basic health and safety standards. The exploitation of undocumented workers drives down standards and wages for native-born workers as well. The labor movement is strongest when we are open to all workers, regardless of where they come from.   Immigrants are both workers and consumers. Their presence in the United States increases demand for products and services within the United States, creating new jobs and boosting wages.

22 Immigration Background
III. Solutions: To have full and complete access to the protection of labor, health and safety and other laws we must fully protect U.S. workers, reduce the exploitation of immigrant workers and reduce employers’ incentive to hire undocumented workers rather than U.S. workers. This approach will ensure that immigration does not depress wages and working conditions or encourage marginal low-wage industries that depend heavily on substandard wages, benefits and working conditions. In order to accomplish this we must accomplish the following: 1. Organize an independent commission to assess and manage future flows, based on labor market shortages that are determined on the basis of actual need. 2. Create a secure and effective worker authorization process. 3. Enforce rational operational control of the border. 4. Adjust the status for the current undocumented population. 4. Improve, not expand, temporary worker programs, limited to temporary or seasonal, not permanent, jobs.

23 Immigration Background
IV. Create opportunities for undocumented children: Every year, thousands of students graduate from high school and are barred from serving in the military or attending college – solely because of their immigration status.   Immigration laws provide no avenue for these students to become legal residents. These children will be forced into a job where they will have to either lie about their status, or work off the books. The Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, would allow undocumented students who have lived in the United States for at least five years and have graduated from high school or received a graduate equivalency diploma (GED) to legalize their immigration status through pursuing a college education or serving in the U.S. military.

24 Issue 5: Education Every child deserves access to a high-quality education; from the outset all the way through receiving assistance to pay for higher education opportunities.

25 Education Background Issue: We must out-educate the competition.
To secure prosperity for all Americans, we have to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world. A higher education is not just a pathway to opportunity -- it is a prerequisite. Over the next decade, nearly eight in ten new job openings in the U.S. will require some workforce training or postsecondary education. And fourteen of the thirty fastest growing occupations in America require at least a four-year college degree. Rising levels of education are critical to creating shared economic growth. II. Ensure our children receive a strong foundation: For schools to work educators must have the support and resources they need to succeed and school buildings must be well-equipped and well-maintained. Our schools must serve all children, and comprehensive services and supports must be in place for students with the greatest needs. Our students and teachers deserve high quality evaluation systems that provide the tools teachers need to continuously tailor instruction, enhance practice and advance student learning.  Such systems must be developed and implemented with teachers and their representatives, either through collective bargaining where available, or in partnership with the affiliate representing teachers at the state and local level. 

26 Education Background III. Making College affordable for all:
In 2010, the President signed the Heath Care and Education Reconciliation Act (HCERA) to help address college affordability, access, and success, and to regain America’s standing as a world leader in higher education by the end of the next decade. To achieve this goal Legislation has been passed to: 1. Issue a tax credit worth up to $10,000 and making Pell Grant awards larger and more widely available. 2. Call on Congress to make that tax credit permanent and prevent the interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans from doubling in July of 2012.   3. Reform the student loan system, ending government subsidies for banks and using the savings to help more Americans afford their loan payments. 4. Shift the nation’s student aid system to the Direct Loans program, the HCERA put an end to wasteful subsidies to banks and used much of the more than $40 billion in savings to strengthen college access for America’s Pell Grant recipients.  5. Ensure that Americans can better manage their student loan payments, the HCERA provides student borrowers new choices in how they repay their loans, including an income based repayment option to cap monthly repayments at 10 percent of income for borrowers after 2014, and to have loans forgiven after 20 years.  6. The HCERA includes a $2 billion investment to help America’s community colleges develop, improve, and expand education and career training to workers. IV. Conclusion: Few issues strike home for working families as much as education for their children. To be equipped for life, every child needs and deserves high-quality education that is available to all—from early childhood through college. A strong, universal system of public education is the foundation of the American middle class, and is vital to the survival of the United States as a broadly middle class society in the global economy.

27 Issue 6: Balancing Work and Life
No one should be forced to put their career before their family. The daily pressures of balancing our work lives with that of our family only gets more complicated as life just continues to “happen.”

28 Balancing Work and Life Background
I. Issue: The juggling act of balancing work and life. The recession and job recovery have further complicated life for working families, when having to leave work for a family emergency could lead to long-term unemployment. One-third of workers don’t have access to paid sick leave, and only 42 percent have paid personal leave. 1. What’s the impact on public health when working people can’t afford to take sick days during a flu epidemic? 2. Who takes care of a sick child? 3. Who is home to fix dinner and help with homework? 4. Who can dedicate time to a sick elderly parent? II. Solutions: 1. Collective Bargaining: Provides working people the opportunity to make their workplaces work for their families. 2. Paid Sick Day Legislation: Would require businesses to provide leave when workers or their children are ill, has been introduced each year since 2005 in both the Senate and the House of Representatives: 3. Build on programs like FMLA: FMLA only applies to businesses with 50 or more employees. The majority of working Americans are employed by businesses that do not employ more than 50 employees.

29 Issue 7: Workplace Safety
In order to keep up with new technology and foreign competition our safety is often secondary. Workplace safety is essential and a human right. Legislatures must impose stricter penalties on employers that don’t comply.

30 Workplace Safety Background
Issue: Where OSHA falls short. 1. Following passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, safety and health conditions in our nation's workplaces have improved. Workers' lives have been saved and injury and illness rates have dropped in many industry sectors of the economy. 2. However, too many employers continue to cut corners and violate the law, putting workers in serious danger and costing lives. 3. Last year the median penalty for worker fatalities was a paltry $5,000.  The penalty for harassing a wild burro on federal land is greater than killing a worker.  4. Currently employers that contest OSHA citations and penalties are under no obligation to correct hazards while the challenge is pending, leaving workers at risk.  5. Many hazards remain unregulated. The job safety law needs to be updated to provide protection for all workers who lack coverage and to strengthen enforcement and workers’ rights. New Legislation aims to pick up the slack: 1. (H.R. 5663) has been introduced and is now moving through Congress to strengthen the Mine Safety and Health Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Act. 2. This new legislation will give government stronger enforcement tools to protect workers’ rights. 3. Criminal penalties under the Mine Act for violations that put workers in danger would be made a felony, instead of a misdemeanor.  4. The new legislation would require that employers fix serious violations if they contest OSHA citations to make sure that workers are protected during investigations. 5. Workers would have a right to pursue their cases on their own if OSHA failed to act, and OSHA could order a worker put back to work based on a preliminary investigation.

31 Issue 8: Fair Trade Our Trade and Investment policies have favored corporate America, have failed to protect the rights of workers and have fueled a race to the bottom in living standards. We must work to bring industry back to the U.S.

32 Fair Trade Background I. Issue: How Trade Agreements hurt American workers. The global corporate agenda has dominated trade policy with its demands for deregulation, privatization, tax breaks and other financial advantages for Big Business, with little concern on the impacts it would have on labor conditions. NAFTAS Trade policies have contributed to the decline in our economy and the loss of more than 55,000 U.S. manufacturing plants since The U.S. trade deficit has grown from a little more than $70 billion in 1993, the year before NAFTA went into effect, to nearly $540 billion today. Three pending Bush-era free trade agreements (FTAs) with Korea, Colombia, and Panama do not take us in the right direction: The South Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement could displace about 159, 000 U.S.-based jobs—mostly in manufacturing—within seven years of taking effect. In Columbia More than 2,850 trade unionists have been murdered since records were first collected systematically in 1986, yet no one has been held responsible in 94 percent of these murder cases. The Panama FTA is not expected to produce any more job growth in the United States than the trade deals with Korea or Colombia.

33 Fair Trade Background II. How do we adjust outdated Trade policy?
What’s needed are “highroad” industrial development policies—increased access to capital investment, technical assistance and workforce training incentives—that modernize and expand the nation’s manufacturing industries, while preserving and creating good manufacturing jobs. Key measures include: 1. Fair trade policies that reduce the U.S. trade deficit, protect U.S. trade laws and require inclusion of enforceable workers’ rights and environmental standards. 2. Revised tax laws that eliminate incentives for corporations to move production overseas and punish those that do. 3. Replacing the Foreign Sales Corporation (FSC) with tax incentives that help American manufacturers create U.S. jobs. 4. Legislation that penalizes companies that incorporate overseas geographies to avoid taxes and deny government contracts to these companies. 5. Strengthening the manufacturing base for national defense and homeland security through procurement reform, enhanced “Buy American” requirements, an updated assessment of critical defense manufacturing capabilities and limits to “offsets” that drain critical technology and good jobs.

34 Conclusion Who: You, your co-workers, your family, your friends, your community. What: Join the I.B.E.W. Local Political Action Committee. Where: Your community, your city, your state. When: Right NOW. Why: If you don’t get involved how can you expect anyone else to.

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