2 GREAT DAYS FOR THE IRISH


Meanwhile, Denis P. Kelleher, a well-known community activist from Todt Hill was officially installed as the grand marshal of this year's St. Patrick's Day Parade in Manhattan.
Haynes, 52, was chosen to lead the Island parade during a meeting of the Richmond County St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee in January, Charles McLean, the parade chairman, said yesterday. "I'm very ecstatic," said Haynes, who was born in Tompkinsville. "I'm honored that my peers would choose me."
"He has a long and steep tradition of community service," said McLean.
A graduate of Curtis High School, Haynes is a past president of Division IV of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
Haynes works for the U.S. Coast Guard on Staten Island as a boiler plant equipment mechanic, and is president of Local 2747 of the American Federation of Government Employees. He is a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, including two years of active duty with the Seabees.
Among his numerous community activities, Haynes is vice president of the Columcille Cultural Center, and is a recipient of the Commodore John Barry Award, an Irish heritage award named in honor of the founder of the Navy.
Haynes is also treasurer of the borough Catholic War Veterans, and is a deputy grand knight of the Richmond Council Knights of Columbus.
He and his wife of 32 years, Christine, have two sons, James IV and Christopher.
"It will be a great honor and privilege to lead my fellow Staten Islanders down the avenue," said Haynes.
The Island parade will be held on March 6, and steps off at the corner of Hart Boulevard and Forest Avenue at 12:30 p.m.
McLean said the parade committee will hold a fund raiser on Feb. 12 from 1 to 6 p.m. in Sacred Heart R.C. Church, West Brighton. Singer and instrumentalist Willie Lynch will perform traditional Irish songs.
Last week in the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan, Kelleher was formally installed as grand marshal of the city St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Kelleher, a native of Ireland who is founder and CEO of Wall Street Access, a money management firm, received his ceremonial parade sash during a ceremony that was attended by Cardinal Edward Egan, among others.
"I'm still kind of on a high that I was chosen," Kelleher, 65, said last night. "It's the nicest thing that has ever happened to me."
The Rev. Vincent Bartley, pastor of St. Paul's R.C. Church, New Brighton, who is Kelleher's Richmond County parade aide, could not attend the ceremony.
Singer Connie Doolan performed during the ceremOn Feb. 27, Kelleher and the parade aides, 13 in all, will be feted during a reception at Antun's of Queens Village restaurant.
There will also be a dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan on March 16.
The parade is March 17.
"We're looking forward to a fabulous day," said Kelleher.
Tom Wrobleski covers politics for the Advance. He may be reached at wrobleski@siadvance.com.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A64751-2005Feb4.html

Planned Military Raise to Top Civilians'
By Stephen Barr and Christopher Lee
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, February 5, 2005; Page A07
President Bush will propose a 3.1 percent pay raise for members of the armed forces and a 2.3 percent increase for civilian federal employees under the fiscal 2006 budget plan the White House will release on Monday.
The proposal marks the third consecutive year that Bush has sought a bigger increase for the military than for civilian workers, ignoring repeated bipartisan calls in Congress for equivalent raises for both groups.
The new proposed raises would go to more than 2.3 million military members and about 1.8 million civilian workers.
White House budget officials declined to comment on the pay proposals yesterday. But administration officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the president's recommendation has not yet been formally released, disclosed the proposed raises.
In his budget, the president followed a formula set by Congress for the military pay hike. His civil service raise was pegged to the administration's estimate of the inflation rate and designed to protect the purchasing power of federal employees, one Bush official said.
The official also noted that the 2.3 percent proposal is in line with administration's forecasts for private-sector wage growth of about 2.6 percent. When bonuses and performance raises are added, many federal employees will see raises comparable to those given in industry, the official said.
"At a more basic level," the official added, "this entire proposal is set up to achieve the goal of recruiting, retaining and motivating quality people."
But Washington area lawmakers say many government employees' pay is not competitive with the private sector. On Tuesday, bipartisan groups in Congress introduced resolutions that call for upholding a two-decade-old tradition and passing equivalent raises for military and civil service employees.
"I am very pleased that the president recognized our military employees' hard work and sacrifice by proposing a fair pay adjustment," said House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.). "But his desire to shortchange civilian employees -- hundreds of thousands of whom work side-by-side with the military -- will damage recruitment and retention efforts, which are key to government serving taxpayers effectively."
Hoyer and others, including Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Reps. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) and Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.), have said that many civil service workers -- from scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to CIA operatives to Border Patrol agents -- play important roles in homeland security.
"Congress has repeatedly spoken on this issue and, again, we intend to make pay parity a reality for federal employees," said Davis, noting that 299 House members voted for equal raises last year.
Federal union leaders say providing smaller raises to civilians sends a message that their contributions are of lesser value.
"I am not surprised, but I am disappointed," said Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union.
John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, said, "Throughout this administration, I think that civilians have been relegated to second-class citizens."
This past year, lawmakers settled on a 3.5 percent raise for everyone after Bush proposed a 3.5 percent raise for the military and 1.5 percent increase for civilian employees.
White House officials have maintained in the past that the armed forces deserve higher increases in light of combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the continuing struggle against terrorism. The administration also dislikes the current pay system, which officials believe rewards longevity in a job rather than performance.
Union leaders said they believe they can again persuade Congress to uphold the tradition of "pay parity," but they concede that the fight could be tougher this year because of rising federal deficits and tight agency budgets.
"There will be a lot of pressure from the administration on those that are supporting us," Kelley said.

http://www.macon.com/mld/macon/news/local/states/georgia/counties/houston_peach/10834959.htm

Posted on Mon, Feb. 07, 2005





End of Robins newspaper squabble might be near

By Gene Rector
Telegraph Staff Writer
ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE - The dispute about distribution of a former union publication on Robins Air Force Base may be closer to resolution following changes directed by the installation commander.
A base spokeswoman said Friday that the Robins Review is no longer being carried directly to work areas across the base, a change that American Federation of Government Employees Local 987 officials had requested. Local 987 is the bargaining unit for most civilian employees at Robins.
"It was distributed on Thursday via mail to base housing residents and included as an insert to the Houston Home Journal," said Capt. Tisha Wright from the base public affairs office. "So, yes, it was distributed on base, but the distribution did not violate what the base commander had directed." The Review is published by Perry businessman Danny Evans, who also owns and publishes the Journal.
For some 30 years, the Review consisted primarily of Local 987 news and was identified as the union newspaper. That relationship ended last summer, although Evans continued to produce and circulate the weekly publication on base. Union officials protested in January when they began their own weekly, The Union Advocate.
"It's really not a personality clash," said Gary Schechterle, Advocate editor. "But we're starting from scratch. He (Evans) has the advantage of something that's familiar. People pick it up thinking it's the union paper and it's not."
Schechterle said both the Review and Advocate were being carried directly to the workplace, although only the Advocate should have that privilege. "When both are thrown into the workplace, which one are the workers going to think is the union paper?" he asked.
The union official said distribution directly to the work areas is a special privilege. "Our paper is the way we communicate with bargaining unit employees. Mr. Evans has nobody he's supporting," said Schechterle. "Every periodical out there would love to have their paper carried right to the work force. The only reason the Review had that privilege was because it was the union paper."
Union officials were not available late Friday to comment on the distribution changes directed by the base commander, although direct mail and insertion in a paper that must be purchased may resolve the dispute. "What we're talking about is not a box that you have to put 50 cents in," said Schechterle earlier Friday. "He (Evans) can put that out. We're talking about something that's carried to every workplace on base."
Evans said Friday that he was communicating with the base and did not see a problem. "I can't divulge where we are right now," he said. "Hopefully, everything will be finalized in the next few days."
Col. Greg Patterson, the Robins base commander, issued a Jan. 21 letter to Evans saying that "since (the Review) is no longer the official newspaper of the union, it is no longer authorized to be distributed on this base." The lead article Thursday in The Union Advocate called for Evans "to do the honorable thing and obey a direct order."
However, Evans said Robins was re-evaluating its Jan. 21 decision based on clearances from previous commanders. "I think they're taking a little different look than what their original letter says," he added. "What the union does and what I do are two separate things."
Evans said his paper focuses on news about Robins, the Museum of Aviation and the 21st Century Partnership - items of interest to civilian workers. "We don't want to be the union paper and we have no claims to be," he said. "I have nothing against the union, but they need to tend to their business and not worry about me."


http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2005/0207/mgt-dhsrules-02-07-05.asp

Personnel rules to focus on results
In administration's proposal, seniority is out, performance is in
BY Judi Hasson and David Perera
Published on Feb. 7, 2005

More Related Links
President Bush plans to use sweeping workforce changes at the Homeland Security Department that give workers raises based on job performance, not seniority, as a model for the entire federal government.
"We think that the same opportunities to better manage our agencies exist" governmentwide, said Clay Johnson, the Office of Management and Budget's deputy director for management. Johnson spoke to reporters Jan. 26.
Office of Personnel Management officials are drafting legislation that Bush will forward to Congress after he submits his federal budget proposal Feb. 7, Johnson said.
The bill's language will generally conform to DHS' workforce flexibility regulations and similar regulations soon to be implemented at the Defense Department, he said. Officials at both departments plan to link performance to pay and make it easier to fire or transfer workers.
The new system should be applied consistently for all civil servants, federal officials say. The danger is that two federal government systems will emerge: "One with modern flexibilities, [and] one with not-so-modern flexibilities," Johnson said. Departments using the system — DHS and soon DOD — "are more attractive to potential employees," he added. But union officials reject that notion.
The system "will drive away the best and brightest, not attract them," said John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees. Union leaders have already filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to prevent DHS officials from implementing some provisions that govern collective bargaining.
Meanwhile, lawmakers say the Bush administration should not act hastily.
"The personnel systems at DOD and DHS are experiments," said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), chairwoman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over government reform. "I think it is prudent to see how these systems fare before deciding whether to expand the reforms to other federal agencies."
Under the DHS plan, employees will be grouped into eight to 12 clusters based on occupation, and workers will be assigned to one of four salary ranges or pay bands based on skills and experience. Moving up in pay will depend on receiving a satisfactory performance rating from a supervisor.
Departing OPM Director Kay Coles James said the new DHS plan will replace an "outmoded and unresponsive personnel system." The system will be launched in the fall, with pay and classification changes implemented the following year for some groups.
Employees' pay and benefits would not be reduced as a result of the new rules, and employees would retain their ability to organize and bargain collectively, DHS officials said.

http://www.ilcaonline.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=1681&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0

Upholding Social Security: Labor targets Schwab

Social Security: What Crisis? / From People's Weekly World
Posted by terriealbano on Feb 05, 2005 - 11:08 AM
________________________________________
Upholding Social Security: Labor targets Schwab
By Marilyn Bechtel, People's Weekly World Newspaper, ILCA Associate Member

SAN FRANCISCO — The labor movement and community organizations took on the financial institutions backing Social Security privatization as they held noontime demonstrations Jan. 26 in San Francisco and Boston to protest Charles Schwab and Co.’s leading role in trying to open up the system to Wall Street. Demonstrators in the two cities carried signs saying, “Don’t Pick Our Pockets to Line Yours!”


They handed out fliers calling Schwab’s backing for the privatization scheme a conflict of interest, and urged people to send Schwab a message on the AFL-CIO website, www.aflcio.org.

Some 100 Boston participants braved freezing weather and a ferocious snowstorm to protest in front of Schwab’s headquarters before and again after visiting the office to deliver a letter addressed to Charles Schwab, demanding the discount brokerage giant drop its support for privatizing Social Security. Demonstrators were joined by Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin.

In a statement circulated in San Francisco as well as Boston, Galvin called the administration’s plan to introduce personal investment accounts in place of Social Security “a dangerous experiment with our nation’s safety net for working men and women.” Observing that, as secretary of state, he has brought actions against financial services firms for having one set of rules for insiders and another set for others, Galvin added, “Pushing our citizens to trade their future financial security for the risks of the marketplace and the fees that come with it is a great injustice. We need to fix Social Security, not destroy it.”

Among other speakers were Rich Rogers, head of the Greater Boston Labor Council, and Kathleen Casavant, secretary-treasurer of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. In a telephone interview, Casavant said the Massachusetts labor federation would continue to work with the national AFL-CIO around targeting financial institutions in the Boston area. Also involved, she said, are the AARP, Massachusetts Senior Citizens Council, Older Women’s League and others.

In San Francisco, among speakers were California Labor Federation Campaign Director Susan Sachen, San Francisco Labor Council Executive Director Tim Paulson, Howard Wallace of Senior Action Network, and Howard Cassini of the Gray Panthers.

Schwab is one of the world’s biggest discount brokers and managers of 401(k) retirement accounts. Its profits dropped 64 percent in the last quarter of 2004, and financial commentators have noted that the firm could be bailed out by fees it would derive from privatization of Social Security.

In a related development, the AFL-CIO said last week that two Social Security Administration workers told a Senate committee the Bush administration has instructed SSA employees to tell people Social Security is in crisis and that private investment accounts are the solution.

“Previously, our employees had shared information with the public about Social Security’s financial condition but had never been encouraged to support any particular ‘reform proposal,’” said Steve Kofahl, president of AFGE Local 3937 and regional vice president of the National Social Security Council, an AFGE affiliate which represents workers at SSA.

Debbie Fredericksen, executive vice president of the National Social Security Council, said using SSA resources to advocate political positions is wrong and compromises the integrity and credibility of the Social Security Administration. “The credibility problem becomes even more acute when SSA employees are directed to make political statements that are untrue or exaggerated,” she added.


http://www.ilcaonline.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=1732&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0
UNION LEADERS PAN BUSH SOCIAL SECURITY PLAN

Social Security: What Crisis? / From Press Associates Inc.
Posted by DavidSwanson on Feb 06, 2005 - 01:21 PM
________________________________________
UNION LEADERS PAN BUSH SOCIAL SECURITY PLAN
By PAI, ILCA Associate Member

WASHINGTON (PAI)--Union presidents panned President Bush's scheme to partially privatize Social Security, a centerpiece of the GOP chief execuutive's Feb. 2 State of the Union address.



And they made it clear they would carry their campaign to protect the nation's retirement system to the country, the unionists added that Bush's plan would hurt virtually everyone.

And AFGE said Bush's fix isn't needed because Bush's economic projections are faulty. They're too conservative, union President John Gage noted.

Gage said Bush used data projecting virtually no economic growth over the next 75 years, so Bush's claim of "bankruptcy" for Social Security is "a reckless play upon" public fears.

Other unionists discussed defending Social Security against Bush's privatization push, which the president launched with a 5-state swing the day after his address. The Communications Workers warned voters against being duped by such electioneering.

"Bush, his Republican allies and corporate chiefs are on an ideological trophy hunt to destroy Social Security--the most important family security effort in America's history," CWA said.

Privatization "replaces guaranteed benefits with risky private accounts" and "would fatally undermine Social Security, cut benefits drastically, most likely raise workers' retirement age--and saddle our children with $2 trillion in debt," it added.

"There is no way we're going to yield an inch on Social Security. No way, no how. To defend Social Security, we need to show...that millions of Americans reject Social Security privatization and its benefit cuts," CWA declared. The union said it has already launched pro-Social Security petitions.

"Bush did what he does best--pretend nothing is wrong, while working families struggle to make ends meet," commented AFSCME President Gerald McEntee. "Innstead of addressing the real problems that face our nation, Bush is trying to privatize Social Security and cheat hard-working people out of the guaranteed benefits they have earned."

The Teachers hit Bush's "sound bites, platitudes and scare tactics" on privatization. AFT said his plan would cut benefits to future retirees--today's young workers--by 26 to 45 percent.

"Social Security is not headed for disaster, but modest steps should be taken to maintain the integrity of this program. The financial strain privatization would impose upon Social Security would pose serious and long-lasting perils" to its stability, AFT warned.

AFT said privatization would cost $2 trillion, which Bush would add to his "already runaway federal deficit." Privatiza-tion "will do nothing" for Social Security’s solvency, it said. "In fact, in order to restore solvency to a privatized Social Security program, younger workers’ benefits would have to be cut by 26-45 percent--a prospect that is totally unacceptable."

"Younger workers will get hit twice" by privatization, AFT explained: "Once with a reduction in benefits and again with the burden to pay off the grossly expanding federal debt. Popular assumptions that Social Security will "run out" before younger workers can collect the benefits they have earned are not supported by reality.

Labor allies were also wary of Bush's privatization plan.

"Those who want to privatize Social Security portend their reform solutions are safe and secure. Seniors need to know that privatization is neither. There is nothing safe and secure about Wall Street investments. Stock investments are subject to risk, timing and luck and that's not how young people should plan for their retirement," warned Ed Coyle, executive director of the labor-backed Alliance for Retired Americans.

"Seniors owe it to their children and grandchildren to fight for a strengthened Social Security system that ensures benefits earned and deserved are paid in full. Seniors also owe it to future generations to fight against any Wall Street scheme that involves massive borrowing and increased debt," he added.

National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy said "Bush's Chicken Little predictions are designed to convince workers we should start taking apart this country's only guaranteed family security and retirement insurance."

Social Security is particularly important for women since a large share of retired women depend on it as their primary--or sole--income source.

Gandy, too, warned people to be wary of Bush's pro-privatization publicity drive. Bush and his allies' "'ownership society'...is little more than a public relations phrase to cover up their scheme to redirect our money...into the greedy hands of their Wall Street cronies--not to mention dramatically increase the deficit to pay the costs," she said.


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