Local 338 is an amalgamated union representing four separate bargaining units: Kaiser Aluminum - production/maintenance and clerical/technical workers, Kaiser Alutek workers, and LB Foster pre-cast/railroad ties division workers. We number more than 1000 private sector members who work primarily in manufacturing industries in North Eastern Washington.

 

 
left picture left picture

Idaho Legislation & Education
Dale Broadsword

Idaho L & E Report


HCR 036:  National apprenticeship week, recognized    
The bill passed unanimously on the House floor and it's headed to the Senate Commerce and Human Resource Committee.  It is scheduled to be heard on Thursday the 25th.

 

https://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2016/HCR036Bookmark.htm

 

HB 452: Education - Amends existing law regarding the transfer of accrued sick leave by employees of a state educational agency; and to revise provisions regarding accrued unused sick leave.

This bill allows teachers to transfer accrued sick leave from job to job.  This is a good bill and so far it's moving through the house without much friction.

 

HB 463: Minimum wage-preemption
This bill is designed to strip citizens of their right to determine the minimum wage in their city or county.  Proponents of the bill argue that we need a uniform minimum wage in Idaho because businesses will struggle with complicated regulations depending on which city they wish to conduct business in.  Opponents argue that every city in Idaho is unique and should have the right to determine how best to address workforce issues.  The Idaho AFL-CIO is advocating for the protection of citizens rights to pass local initiatives on minimum wage.

 

HB 485: Employment security act/benefits         
This legislation amends provisions of the Employment Security Law. Section 1 changes the minimum and maximum base tax rates by rounding the existing tax rates to their nearest tenth of a percent. Section 2 would stabilize the benefit amount at 55% of the state average weekly wage paid by covered employers. This legislation also would create a sliding scale for the maximum weeks of entitlement to benefits by indexing the maximum number of weeks to the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate. Currently the maximum duration for unemployment benefits is 26 weeks. The new maximum would range from 20 to 26 weeks.

 

Working with the Building Trades, we have determined that this bill should have minimal impact on workers.  The Idaho Department of Labor regularly adjusts their calculations and budgets based on the rate of unemployment in the State.  We are currently experiencing low unemployment and they are responding accordingly.  When we are in a period of high unemployment historically, the unemployment insurance budgets are increased to meet the demand.

 

S 1204: Medicaid, eligibility expansion

 

S 1205: Medical assist/eligibility standard
The Idaho AFL-CIO is partnering with the "Close the Gap" coalition to advocate for Medicaid expansion.  This week the Health and Welfare committee decided that the proposed Primary Care Access Plan has problems with funding and were unwilling to even give it a hearing.  This is good news!  The Healthy Idaho plan is modeled after Medicaid expansion and clearly offers the best option for Idaho.  Right now, there is a lot of political wrangling going on so now is the time to contact your legislator and ask them to support Senate bill 1205!

Presumptive Illness:

Still no action yet on the Firefighters presumptive illness bill.  To be continued...


In Solidarity,
Aaron White