Monday, October 27, 2008

I think Keith Olbermann is my newest crush...

Okay, while I don't agree with everything he says, I agree with enough of his rant -- and he does give good rant -- that I think I might swoon. I have tried to bite my tongue about politics on this site, although most people who talk to me on a semi-regular basis know who I'm rooting for and why. Keith just says it better than I do...

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Today is World Organ Donations Day. Why don't you celebrate by signing the back of your Driver's License and encouraging others to do the same? After all, once you're done using them, it doesn't mean others can't. I mean, aren't we all striving for immortality? Well, here's your chance!

Celebrate the gift of life. Pass it on!

(P.S. Miss you Mom!)

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Taking Names Too!

For M.

It made me think of you...

Because if anybody is gonna kick cancer's ass, it's gonna be you!

Found today on PostSecret.

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Union Jacked?

Cheating I know, but I find this article very timely and interesting. Namely, because it affects Barry and his employment status.

I implore you, if you read the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, please discontinue doing so. Not only are they trying to break the unions within the newspaper industry, but if that isn't something that sways you one way or another, keep in mind that they are outsourcing jobs to India.

I would love to get into some of the specifics, but I don't want to jeopardize anything. So read, ask me whatever you like, and I'll be happy to answer as much as Barry feels comfortable with me responding. Until then, feel free to read between the lines.

The St. Louis Newspaper Guild filed a grievance Thursday, Oct. 2, on behalf of four Post-Dispatch newsroom employees laid off by the company in violation of seniority provisions of the contract. We hope all of you understand how important it is that we win our fight to uphold contractual rights.

Under our contract, layoffs must be made in inverse order of seniority, within the affected job classification within the affected department (Article XIV, Sec. 2). In the layoffs Sept. 26, the affected job classifications were “Reporter” and “Copy Editor.” The department involved was the Editorial/News Department. (Job classifications are listed in the contract in Article V, Sec. 6. A job classification is not necessarily the same as a job title. Departments are listed in the Preamble of the contract.) In its illegal action, the Post bypassed eight reporters with less seniority than the two reporters laid off, and one or more copy editors with less seniority than the two copy editors laid off.

In defending the four layoffs, Astrid Garcia, vice president of human resources at the Post, has cited an exception in Article XIV, Sec. 2 (paragraph 2) , which says employees on salary schedule A “whose services are individually of major importance” to the Post shall not be dismissed because of low seniority. Garcia contends that this exception allowed the Post to leapfrog over reporters and copy editors with lower seniority becaused the bypassed employees had special skils or expertise. For example, she claims that the Post is allowed to bypass business reporters with low seniority because they know how to read and analyze earnings reports. Among employees skipped over were a political reporter as well as enviiromental and science writers.

The exception Garcia cites was in no way intended to allow the company to bypass employees who have low seniority simply because those employees have experience in an area that the editors deem to be of importance. Competent reporters who have been covering one beat well can learn how to develop sources and acquire the knowledge to cover another beat well. Cometent copy editors who are needed to perform a certain page design or editing task can be trained in that new task.

In her misreading of the contract, Garcia ignored the intent of of the seniority exception, which has the very narrow aim of protecting writers with a name and a following - for instance, high-visibility columnists with a wide readership. Under labor law, the intent of contract language has as much weight as the actual language and Garcia’s decision to ignore the intent is illegal. We have informed her of her error, but she is ignoring us. If her decision stands, Guild members — even those with 20 or 30 years experience — have no meaningful seniority protection under our contract.

The Guild is in the unenviable position of demanding that the company uphold the contract knowing that our success would mean four other people are laid off instead. The Guild doesn’t want anyone laid off and our bargaining team fourght hard during the recent negotiations to prevent payoffs. We weren’t able to do that. Now, we have to insist that seniority be folowed, or else the contract means nothing. Seniority rights are an impartial way to protect employees from the biases of current and future bosses. And those rights are clearly in our contract; if the Post is allowed to ignore them, there’s nothing to stop Garcia from conveniently deciding there are loopholes in other contract provisions - and before you know it, our salaries are cut or someone’s fired without cause.

We will be calling on you for support as we push to have our grievance sustained and our four employees brought back to work. Please stand ready to join with us in the effort to restore and protect our rights. With our contract under assault, unity is needed now more than ever.
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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Swept Away

Alright. So it seems that my father's 'connections' in the afterlife fell through. The poor Cubbies are just that yet again -- the poor Cubs. Swept by the Dodgers, the lovable losers were sent packing.

Yet again, fans will be saying to one another, "There's always next year!"

And so another chapter is closed, indeed dashing the hopes of the whole north side of Chicago. Who ya just gotta feel a little bad for. I mean, they ain't Red Sox fans. C'mon!

My Dad had a shirt that said "If It Takes Forever."

At this rate, it just might.

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