Category Archives: The Other Washington

All Things Washington State

Washington State News Info and Political Action

Best way to celebrate an anniversary is to look to the future ~ Working Washington


We are Working Washington

 

It’s been exactly a year since workers won secure scheduling in Seattle!

Tens of thousands of Seattle coffee, food, and retail workers are covered by the law, which went into effect this July. Under the new law, workers get two weeks’ notice of their schedules, the right to rest between shifts, and more. In short, it means that workers get to plan their work around their lives, instead of the other way around.

The best way to celebrate an anniversary like this is to look to the future. So answer a couple quick questions about what YOUR schedule is like, and let us know if anything has changed for you & what changes you’d like to see.

Already, we’re hearing from workers who are seeing more predictable hours, more notice, and more stability when it comes to planning their lives.

And it’s not just Seattle — the movement is spreading fast! Since last September, workers have won scheduling laws like Seattle’s in Oregon and NYC, several corporations have announced improved policies, and more cities and states across the country are considering their own scheduling laws.

So…what’s YOUR work schedule like?

Thanks!
Working Washington

Source: Seattle City Council approves worker-scheduling law, Seattle Times

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SeaTac workers win nearly $2 million in backpay!


We are Working Washington

 

SeaTac workers helped ignite a national movement back in 2013, when they took $15/hour to the ballot — and won.

Then came nearly four years of lawsuits and appeals by employers and lobby groups that seemed to be willing to try just about anything to avoid paying workers their $15.

 Victory: On Sept 6/2017, workers at Hertz and Thrifty Car Rental in SeaTac have won a huge settlement of nearly $2 million in backpay and interest! These workers are finally getting their $15/hour, for all the time the employers tied up the law in court instead of paying a living wage. Some workers could see as much as $30,000.

Thumbs upClick here to give a thumbs-up to the SeaTac workers who led the way and are finally going to see the $15 they deserve.

Winning $15 on Election Day is huge. Defending $15 in court is critical. But seeing $15 in your paycheck is where it really matters.

So good to see that’s finally happening.

Cheers,

Working Washington

Source: Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, 9/6/2017

A message from Governor Jay Inslee


Jay Inslee

 

Once again we find ourselves confronting an emboldened, racist minority. And once again we all have a responsibility to act.

When we see hatred, we must speak up. When bigots march in our communities, we must stand united in opposition. When racism is stoked for political gain, it’s on all of us to denounce and decry the hate.

I hope history won’t remember the cowards with torches this weekend, but instead shines with the light of those who joined together for freedom, peace, and justice — people like Heather Heyer.

Our lowest common denominator will not prevail, not in the United States of America. This must be a moment where we reaffirm a core commitment: We will never ignore an attack on our people. We will not tolerate hate in any form from Charlottesville to Seattle, and we will not allow white nationalists to feel emboldened by the administration in D.C. Instead we’ll make our common progressive values — inclusion, justice, and compassion — ring from sea to sea.

We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. And we’ll do it together.

Very truly yours,

Jay Inslee

ACLU makes Privacy Demands ~Smart Meter V Safe Technology


 SUMA-NW

Safe Utility Meters Alliance Northwest (educating people about so called ‘smart’ meters)

 

The ACLU of Washington is raising significant concerns about the lack of protections for privacy, as well as lack of transparency, in the implementation of Seattle City Light’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure.  The project involves installation of smart meters which gather data that can reveal intimate details about what is going on inside a person’s home.  Yet there are no clear and explicit checks and balances to restrict the government or third parties from using or selling smart meter data for purposes unrelated to the provision of electricity, and the City’s Privacy Impact Assessment for the project is unclear and inadequate.

“The new smart meters collect much more detailed data and do so more frequently than City Light’s previous electrical meters.  But the project fails to comply with the principles of the Seattle’s Privacy Program, and there is no meaningful opportunity for the individuals to offer informed consent,” said Shankar Narayan, ACLU of Washington Technology and Liberty Director.

In a letter to the Seattle City Council, the ACLU urged the City to adopt clear and binding guidelines around what data smart meters collect, who accesses the data, what the data can and cannot be used for, and what informed consent must be given before the meters are deployed. The ACLU points out that the option to opt-out offered by the City currently is inadequate, meaningless, and expensive. Under the City’s plan, third parties will be accessing this sensitive data, and those third parties should be bound not to sell the data or use it for unrelated purposes.

Opting out will cost an individual $124.43 as a one-time “administrative fee,” plus $15.87 per billing cycle. “Exercising one’s right to opt out shouldn’t mean opting in to excessively costly fees,” said Shankar Narayan.

ACLU-WA website

http://www.safemeters.org

Seattle: SmartMeters … get informed


POSTED 9:57 PM, MAY 11, 2017, BY ,

SEATTLE – Seattle City Light’s advanced meters will soon be coming to neighborhoods near you. Often referred to as Smart Meters, the wireless meters can keep track of customers’ electricity usage in real time and without the need for a reader to come to your home or business.

City Light said it will add accuracy and efficiency, but a small group in Seattle is fighting back against the meters, saying they are not safe or secure.

Jordan Van Voast put a sign up on the outside of his home near his meters that says “Do Not Install a Smart Meter.” He said he knows it won’t hold legal weight, but it does make him feel better.

“This is actually a bedroom on the other side of this wall,” said Van Voast, pointing at the outside wall his meter is mounted on.

Van Voast’s meter is soon to be replaced by a wireless meter, which he said is not safe. “There are adverse biological effects from radio frequency radiation,” he said.

Van Voast said he also has concerns about the security of the meter as well.

“There’s a big difference between what they’ll upload and what the meter is capturing,” said Van Voast.

Dubbed Smart Meters or Advanced Meters, Seattle City Light will be one of more than 500 utility districts across the country in the past decade to make the switch. In King County, they’ll be second to Puget Sound Energy.

“We are convinced that this is a safe technology to put into the field for our customers,” said Scott Thomsen, spokesman for Seattle City Light. Thomsen said the benefits will be captured immediately, once the two-year rollout is complete. Wattage information will be uploaded six times a day, providing more accurate bills. Immediate power outage notification and the eventual ability for homeowners to monitor their own usage will help save time and money, he said.

“Currently if we show up and a gate is locked, a dog is in the yard or a meter reader is sick and we can’t make it to your home, we have to estimate your electricity usage in order to generate a bill,” said Thomsen. “Sometimes we’re a little high, sometimes we’re a little low and then we catch up the next time we get a read.”

Thomsen said the technology is safe. “Much like what’s in your cell phone, only it’s less powerful than what is in your cell phone and other common household devices like baby monitors, even cordless phones,” he said.

Although Van Voast said he has security concerns, Thomsen said the data collected and transmitted is benign.

“The data that’s being transmitted is really simple. You get a meter number and you get kilowatt hours of data consumption, that’s it,” he said. “There’s no customer data about addresses, names, credit card info, Social Security, no customer information is shared across this. It’s only a meter number and the energy consumption of your entire building, whether that’s your home or your business.”

“There’s really no way of fact-checking that information,” said Van Voast.

He said his group is educating Seattle City Light customers about their concerns through the website www.safemeters.org. He said he’s hoping more customers will opt out after learning about the meters.

Seattle City Light reports less than 100 customers have opted out of the advanced meters, which comes at a cost. There is a $124.43 charge upfront, then customers will be charged an additional $15.87 on each billing cycle to pay for the meter reader coming to your home.

The last Pubic hearing is on Aug. 8 at 9:30 a.m, scheduled to be at Seattle City Hall. Hearings can also be watched on the Seattle Channel.