By Doug Porter
Physicians at all 10 University of California student health centers will hold a one-day unfair labor practices strike on Tuesday.
They gave notice to the UC system on Friday, following the failure of 41 bargaining sessions over a year’s time to gain an initial contract for The Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD). Over 90% of the student health doctors voted in favor of striking in meetings during December.
The union has filed Unfair Labor Practice charges with the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) saying the universities are failing to negotiate in good faith. In one instance cited, the UC administration increased pension contributions without negotiating over the issue.
A “strike is the only way to compel UC to follow the laws that govern bargaining,” said UAPD President Dr. Stuart Bussey. “Unfortunately, UC has a history of disrespecting workers during negotiations, and we’re no exception to that.”
At UCSD, picketing is scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. on the Library Walk near the Geisel Library.
Meron said UC officials are making preparations to have medical personnel at the student health clinics, though some routine, non-emergency appointments might have to be rescheduled.
The Menace of Un-Vaccinated Children in California Schools
Kindergarten-age children residing in well-to-do neighborhoods or attending private or charter schools throughout the San Diego are more likely to lack the basic immunizations required by the State of California.
A spreadsheet released by the State Department of Public Health recently details immunization levels throughout California. Over 800 schools statewide, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis, indicate that the levels of immunization are not high enough (92%) for what’s called herd immunity to be in place. When 8% or more of a population is not immunized, conditions are ripe for an outbreak, experts say.
The Santa Fe Montessori school in Del Mar reported only one child out of the eleven attending kindergarten was immunized. The Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Mountain Unified District charter school in El Cajon reported less than a third of their kindergartners to be up date with their immunizations for the 2014-2015 school year.
Those two are by far the most outrageous examples. Most of the schools on the lower end of the immunization rate appear to be in well-to-do areas, private or charters. Crown Point Elementary, a public school in the Mission Bay area, has a 71% immunization rate.
The Health Department report says there are over 170 schools out of 550+ in the San Diego area failing to meet the 92% immunization standard. Sixty or so (there are duplications on the list) of those schools fall at or below an 80% immunization rate.
Not all private, charter or schools in well to do areas have poor ratings. But the pattern is undeniable.
Parents in those areas appear to be suffering from the same sort of challenged reality afflicting climate deniers.
From a Washington Post article:
California requires kids to get vaccinations for measles, mumps and rubella, but state law provides a loophole — parents can get a “personal belief waiver” if they think there’s a link between vaccines and autism and other harmful effects. That’s even though studies have continuously found vaccines to be safe.
Seth Mnookin, a journalist who’s chronicled the anti-vaccination movement, observed a few years ago that you only had to go visit a Whole Foods to find anti-vaxxers.
Now, it doesn’t seem that anyone’s actually done the science on that one, but Mnookin’s point here is obvious — the anti-vaccination movement is fueled by an over-privileged group of rich people grouped together who swear they won’t put any chemicals in their kids (food or vaccines or whatever else), either because it’s trendy to be all-natural or they don’t understand or accept the science of vaccinations.
The good news is that a California law enacted last year making it harder for parents to opt out of vaccinating their children is working, according to the Associated Press.
The issue has taken new prominence as California deals with an outbreak of measles that originated at Disneyland last month, sickening 78 people. Most of the infections are in California and most of those who got sick were unvaccinated. Measles has also been confirmed in six other states — Utah, Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Nebraska and Arizona — and Mexico.
The rate of personal-belief exemptions for kindergartners fell from 3.1 percent in 2013 to 2.5 percent last year, according to data collected by the California Department of Public Health. It’s the first drop after years of record number of parents seeking waivers to avoid school immunization requirements.
The GOP Takes its 2016 Clown Car for a Spin
There are 17 candidates who are reportedly interested in running for President in 2016:
John Bolton, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump, and Scott Walker.
From the NPR Morning Line:
A slew of Republican hopefuls spoke at Rep. Steve King’s Iowa Freedom Summit Saturday, and then, on Sunday, some also made their way to an event in Palm Springs, Calif., organized by the Koch Brothers. The Koch event included a closing panel in front of 450 potential donors with Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio.
Physician Ben Carson got the first standing ovation of the event with a speech blasting ObamaCare.
“Even if it worked, I would oppose it,” Carson said of Obamacare. “It doesn’t.”
“I don’t believe in taking the most important thing a person has, which is their health and their health care, and putting it in the hands of the government,” he later added, a potential reference also to Medicare and Medicaid. The ACA, Carson said, “fundamentally changes” the U.S. and puts it on the road to putting government in charge of Americans’ personal lives.
Former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin let it be known she was seriously considering a run at the top job.
From Huffington Post:
Speaking at the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines on Saturday, the former Alaska governor and one-time vice presidential candidate delivered a speech that John Fund of the National Review described as “meandering and often bizarre…”
…In response to the speech, Democratic National Committee communications director Mo Elleithee issued a two-word statement:
The New York Daily News reports that Palin’s teleprompter froze, forcing her to ad-lib some of her remarks.
Oh, the irony. At the Conservative Action Political Conference in 2013 (and on other occasions) the former Alaska Governor criticized the President for using a teleprompter.
The big winner in Iowa, if the pundit class is to be believed, was Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
From the New York Times:
Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, previously a dark horse, was widely seen as benefiting the most from his appearance before the 1,000-plus grass-roots activists in Des Moines, a gathering that the radio host Hugh Hewitt called “the Twitter primary.”
“Walker was relatable, humorous, substantive and more fiery than the crowd expected,” said Matt Strawn, a former chairman of the Iowa Republican Party.
The Boston-based Celtic punk band Dropkick Murphys took to twitter to admonish Scott Walker for using their music for his introduction at the event:
— Dropkick Murphys (@DropkickMurphys) January 25, 2015
The Dropkick Murphys are also known for their assertive pro-working class politics. Walker’s biggest claim to fame has been his union busting activities in Wisconsin.
Dark horse Carly Fiorina, failed candidate for US Senate in California in 2010, got some ink when she zinged Hillary Clinton, comparing their accomplishments.
“Like Hillary Clinton, I too have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles around the globe. But unlike her, I have actually accomplished something.”
As one who was a big fan of her demonic sheep ad in the California primary contest, I can’t hope but see her have some more appearances.
Three Blind Mice, Two Kochs and a Room Full of White Guys
Meanwhile, at Kochstock in Palm Springs it’s now apparently fashionable for moderate GOP candidates to tell billionaires about their concern for inequality–because the income gap which started growing back in 1980 is Obama fault.
From the Washington Post:
Three of the likely Republican presidential contenders decried the nation’s income gap and argued that President Obama deserves little credit for the improving economy in a forum Sunday night that offered a preview of the themes expected to dominate the 2016 election.
Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida took part in a lively and at times wonkish discussion that ranged from economic policy to U.S. policy toward Iran to the role of wealth in politics. Their 80-minute conversation marked the first time that a crop of potential White House contenders shared a stage in the 2016 season, a session that exposed some of the fault lines that will separate the crowded GOP field.
The panel, moderated by ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl, took place at a private meeting of wealthy donors hosted by Freedom Partners, a tax-exempt group that serves as the hub of a political network supported by Charles and David Koch and other conservative financiers. In a first, the organization shared a live Web stream of the event with news organizations.
On This Day: 1802 – The Congress passed an act calling for a library to be established within the Capitol. 1897 – The Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of North America is chartered by the American Federation of Labor to organize “every wage earner from the man who takes the bullock at the house until it goes into the hands of the consumer.” 1970 – John Lennon wrote and recorded “Instant Karma.”
Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to “The Starting Line” and get an email every time a new article in this series is posted!
I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas to DougPorter@SanDiegoFreePress.Org Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.