Weekend News and Commentary: December 21-22

Published December 22nd, 2013 -  - 12.22.131


The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and the unions representing the approximately 2,400 workers have reached a new four-year agreement that settles a dispute over paid medical leave for employees. Both parties hope that this will be the final agreement after many months of contentious negotiations.

The Associated Press reports that the teachers’ unions and state lawmakers in New Mexico want the state’s Court of Appeals to block a new teacher evaluation system. Those against the implementation of the new system argue that it violates state laws requiring school principals to conduct in-class teacher observations.

The Associated Press reports that the Machinists union is scheduled to vote on a proposed contract with Boeing that will have far-reaching implications for Boeing’s future manufacturing facilities. While the local labor leader’s in Seattle object to this directive to vote handed down by the union’s national leaders, they cannot stop the vote and are urging their members to reject the contract.

The Associated Press reports that the Department of Justice has reached a settlement in a lawsuit accusing the Reading, Pennsylvania Parking Authority of discriminating against Hispanic employees. Under the terms of the agreement, the DOJ will pay a total of $65,000 to five individuals for the harm suffered, as well as an additional $12,500 for legal fees. The parking authority has agreed to institute new policies and training to avoid future issues.

The Associated Press reports that Vermont will increase its minimum wage, effective January 1st. The increase will raise the current minimum wage by 13 cents to $8.73. Vermont is one of thirteen states increasing the minimum wage on the first of the year. 

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