Government Job Losses are Piling Up, and It Could get Worse

first_imgRelated: What Keeps EMS Managers Up at Night? But union officials warn that the cuts could become deeper and permanent as budgets are ironed out. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said his state alone could lose 200,000 government jobs. “It’s going to make it very, very difficult to reopen schools in the fall because you need more money, not less money to reopen,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. Jobs with state and city governments are usually a source of stability in the U.S. economy, but the financial devastation wrought by the coronavirus pandemic has forced cuts that will reduce public services – from schools to trash pickup. She said many who rely most on libraries are lower-income people and immigrants who can’t afford computers and use them to search for work, among other tasks. “Very often the first people who will go will be all the administrative staff, the public works department and custodial staff and many, many people who are low paid, who are women, who are black and brown,” said Hetty Rosenstein, New Jersey director of Communications Workers of America, the largest union of state government employees there. Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association, said the impact will be biggest in lower-income areas. “A 30% cut in a poor school district’s budget means you just lost your arts program, you just lost your sports program,” she said. “We are going to have to lay off one teacher in each grade.” The layoffs and furloughs are coming amid calls for governments and school districts to do more to respond to the outbreak – from hiring workers to find those who had contact with people infected with the coronavirus to additional janitors needed to sanitize schools and make them safe for students and teachers to return. The federal numbers do not provide precise breakdowns, but many of those out of government jobs so far have been temporarily furloughed. And some of the first to go were those whose absence would not be felt deeply when stay-at-home orders were in effect. So at 58, Jacobsen is working on her resume for the first time in 21 years. She said the students at Robinson Elementary will be affected by not having her there to help them when school resumes next fall. For instance, the Pittsburgh Parking Authority furloughed its three dozen enforcement officers and meter technicians. In Michigan, nearly two-thirds of state government workers have been furloughed through July. And in North Carolina, more than 9,000 state Department of Transportation employees have been told to take unpaid time off by June 26. FILE – In this March 15, 2018, file photo, a dispatcher works at a desk station with a variety of screens used by those who take 911 emergency calls. Jobs with state and city governments are usually a source of stability in the U.S. economy, but the financial devastation wrought by the coronavirus pandemic has forced cuts that will reduce public services, from schools to trash pickup. In some areas, 911 calls are taking a longer time to be answered. (AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane, File) But there are worries about permanent layoffs. Sims, who’s president of the library workers union, said she may consider a voluntary layoff to save the jobs of some of her coworkers. Even as the U.S. added some jobs in May, the number of people employed by federal, state and local governments dropped by 585,000. The overall job losses among public workers have reached more than 1.5 million since March, according to seasonally adjusted federal jobs data released Friday. The number of government employees is now the lowest it’s been since 2001, and most of the cuts are at the local level. “When they go back, they’re looking for the familiar,” Jacobsen said. “I could tell you that I had 280 kids in my building, and I knew their names.” For Ashley Sims, a library assistant in Louisville, Kentucky, being furloughed when libraries were closed did not cause a financial strain. With a $600 weekly boost in unemployment benefits as part of a federal response to the crisis, she said her pay has been higher than when she was working. And the first workers to be cut also could be the most vulnerable. Tax revenue from businesses walloped by coronavirus restrictions has plummeted, forcing cuts by cities and states that rely on that money. It’s likely to get worse in the coming months unless Congress delivers additional aid to states and cities. Several states are projecting tax revenue will be down 20% or more for the fiscal year starting next month, and governments are facing rising costs resulting from the virus and the police and National Guard response to protests over racial injustice and police brutality. “With that comes a decline in essential public services,” Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said on a conference call with reporters this week. For instance, “911 calls are taking a long time to be answered.” She may be on the leading edge of permanent layoffs for government employees. In the Chicago suburbs, Lyons School District No. 103 laid off health aides at its six schools. One of them, Maureen Jacobsen, said she was told the workers, who give students medicine and first aid for minor injuries, were being laid off in anticipation of a new requirement that each school has a nurse. A district official did not return a call Friday. Some permanent cuts already have been made or proposed. Last week, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Authority voted to lay off 500 toll collectors as part of a move to make the road system cashless. And California Gov. Gavin Newsom is calling for 10% salary cuts for many state government employees. “It would be an incredible loss,” Sims said. “Libraries are the lifeblood of communities.” Unions and bipartisan groups are pushing Congress to send state and local governments more help quickly. Following a $2.2 trillion coronavirus aid package in March, the Democratic-led House last month approved an additional $3 trillion bill, which includes $1 trillion for governments. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said his chamber will not agree to such as large amount – or anything quickly – as the economy reopens. Clean drinking water and trash pickups also are being affected in some places, he said.last_img read more

Judges receive anti-bias training

first_img February 15, 2016 Regular News Judges receive anti-bias training J udges receive anti-bias training More than 20 state court judges recently attended a training session to learn how implicit biases can result in explicit behavior that may effect fairness in the courts. Judge Dawn P. Fields, diversity coordinator for the Seventh Circuit, hosted the CJE Fairness & Diversity Conference at the Beach Safety Headquarters in Daytona Beach. Thirteenth Circuit Judge Claudia R. Isom and 10th Circuit Judge Peter Estrada from the Supreme Court Standing Committee on Fairness and Diversity assisted in preparing and presenting the program. Other faculty included retired Seventh Circuit Judge Hubert Grimes, Assistant State Attorney David Cromartie, attorney Kelly Chanfrau, Assistant Public Defender George Burden, and attorney Alicia Washington. Curriculum included a presentation by County Court Judge Chris Kelly, who presented a section titled “The Level Playing Field — Jury Selection and Jury Instructions,” and Arnell Bryant-Willis, diversity initiatives manager for The Florida Bar, conducted a “Privilege Walk” exercise. Judges completed the “One Day in Three Years” educational requirement for state court judges, who are required to attend a day-long session on fairness and diversity within their first three years on the bench.last_img read more

Wende demolishes viaduct

first_imgWende Erdbau has carried out the demolition of the 35 m (114 ft) high Langenschwartz Viaduct running between Kassel and Würzburg in Germany.Built in 1947 and currently being replaced due to increasing traffic loads, the 326 m (1,069 ft) long section of motorway was brought down by Wende’s 70-person demolition team.Sebastian Wess, Wende managing director, said: “The high art of demolishing a bridge structure is all based on proceeding rationally. We’re breaking new ground with this demolition project and have equipped ourselves specifically to this end.”The first phase of the project involved the complete demolition of the structure’s western section, including pylons, foundations and abutments.Wende used both a 30 t excavator and long-front excavators with Genesis GDT 290 demolition shears to crush the structure’s box girder and sort the materials. Genesis GXT 225 R scrap shears were used to cut the rebars and a 35 t long-front excavator took down the bridge’s exposed pylon.A 40 t excavator was then used to demolish the lowest part of the bridge’s pylons.Sebastian said: “The equipment possesses a heavy-duty and high-quality while very slim design. It allows the wearing parts to be replaced quickly. These shears enable us to make rapid progress while maintaining high operational safety and low wearing costs.”last_img read more

INSIDE AFCON 2019: South Africa Defeat Hosts Egypt in Unexpected Turnaround

first_imgEgypt were left stunned as Thembinkosi Lorch’s late strike silenced the home fans to send South Africa to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals. A daunting task awaited Bafana Bafana on Saturday night as they took to the field in front of a packed Cairo International Stadium.Coming up against the hosts Egypt in the Round of 16, Bafana were clear underdogs on paper, having snuck into the knockout rounds as one of the four best third-placed teams, while the Pharaohs were among the tournament favourites – boasting a 100% win record thus far in the competition.Their chances were given an even further boost with the news that talisman Mohamed Salah had shrugged off illness ahead of kick-off and was raring to go.This could have instilled fear into Bafana coach Stuart Baxter as he made two changes, bringing in Dean Furman, who returned from injury and 2018/19 Premier Soccer League (PSL) Footballer of the Year Lorch, who made his first appearance at the continental showpiece and was set for a night to remember. Lorch’s introduction instilled new life into a Bafana attack, which failed to register a single shot on target in two of their group games and scored just one goal, but Salah’s threat was an ever-present headache for his opponents.The 27-year-old perhaps should have done better with his first effort, as he lashed the ball wide from inside the Bafana box, giving an early warning to the opposition for what was potentially to come.The clash was the third meeting between the two sides at an Afcon, and Bafana were determined to get their very first win over the African giants.Percy Tau, who has had a rather quiet tournament despite being the top scorer in qualifying, looked a real threat as he stung the palms of Mohamed El-Shenawy early on.Tau was putting on a scintillating display and kept the Egypt keeper busy and curled a freekick brilliantly saved with just over 20 minutes played.Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter undoubtedly tinkered with his game plan as Bafana were a lot more positive.However, throwing bodies upfront meant they were always exposed to the break and had Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’ Hassan made better contact with his strike following a quick counter-attack, the scoreline could have been different.It was a lively first-half with Bafana arguably looking the better of the two teams, but Egypt showed just why they were yet to be breached in this year’s tournament as they were resolute at the back and kept the 1996 champions at bay.On their return for the second-half, the Egyptian technical team were the first to react as Marwan Mohsen was withdrawn for Ahmed Ali in an attempt to up the ante in search of the opener.Egypt looked a lot more determined in the opening minutes of the second-half as Mohamed Elneny rifled a shot just over Ronwen Williams’ goal.Meanwhile, the partnership of Salah and Trezeguet was keeping Bafana on their toes, but the latter was lacking the end product and just before the hour mark, he squandered another opportunity.After being played through on goal thanks to a phenomenal defence-splitting pass by Salah, the 24-year-old sent his tame effort into the grateful arms of Williams.With the game headed into its final quarter, Egypt were yet to find the back of the net and frustration slowly begin to creep into their game as the pressure mounted.Bafana’s best chance of the half came with 20 minutes to go when Thulani Hlatshwayo rose highest, but he could not direct his header on target, to the relief of the capacity crowd in attendance.Baxter’s men were growing in confidence once again and were producing exciting football with Lorch coming more into the game, although he would squander a golden opportunity to find the back of the net.But with the match looking destined for a further 30 minutes, a well-worked move saw Bafana finally break the deadlock when Lorch showed great composure to deliver what proved to be the killer blow, stunning the Egypt fans into complete silence and justifying calls for his selection after being snubbed during the Group Stage. Try as Egypt did Bafana never looked like surrendering their lead, as they showed warrior-like attributes with the final whistle sounding.Their celebrations showed just what the win meant for Bafana and perhaps even an entire nation as the focus now turns to Nigeria in the final eight. Relatedlast_img read more

Nine Kenyans qualify for 2019 Kenya Open

first_img0Shares0000Kenyan Pros who have qualified for this year’s Magical Kenya Open pose for a photo at the end of the Windsor leg of the Safari Tour Golf Series.NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 20 – Nine Kenyan players, who have qualified to play at this year’s Magical Kenya Open Golf Championship, have been named following the conclusion of the 2018/2019 Safari Tour Golf series today at the Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club. Two players tied for eighth spot – the Safari Tour Golf Series qualifying cut-off for the Kenya Open – pushing the number of players qualifying to nine. Muthaiga Golf Club’s Greg Snow leads the team of nine professional player having accrued a total of 113.5 points across the six Safari Tour golf series.Greg has been dominant, taking maximum points in four of the six Safari Tour events, to take top spot on the Road to Kneya Open ranking. He has featured at the Kenya Open 11 times with his best finish coming in 2014 when he finished 10th.He is joined by Mumias Golf Club’s Dismas Indiza who amassed 111 points after a consistent performance across the Safari Tour to finish second.  Indiza has featured at the Kenya Open 19 times; with his best finish being tenth in the 2008 edition.Riz Charania poses with the Safari Tour Golf Series trophy after emerging winner of the Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club leg of the Safari Tour seriesWindsor’s Rizwan Charania booked third spot on the Road to Kenya Open ranking having amassed a total of 79 points; with his win of the Windsor leg of the tour cementing third spot. He has played at the Kenya Open 14 times; his best finish coming in 2017.David Wakhu, who won the Nyali Golf and Country Club leg of the Sadfari Tour Golf Series, finished fourth on the Road to the Kenya Open ranking, with a total of 72 points; while the Professional Golfers of Kenya Captain, John Wangai, finished fifth with 68.5 points. He has featured at the Kenya Open on six occasions.Thika Golf Club’s, Simon Ngige, finished sixth with 66.5 points and shall now take part at his 13th Kenya Open tournament; while Golf Park’s Tony Omuli will be taking part at his seventh Kenya Open event having finished in seventh place on the Road to Kenya Open ranking with 53.5 points.Meanwhile, Vet Lab Sports Club’s Nelson Simwa and Windsor’s David Opati tied for eighth with 51 points apiece to complete the list of nine Kenyan players at this year’s tournament.The Safari Tour Golf Series, which was launched in August last year, formed the qualification tournament for Kenyan players taking part this year’s Kenya Open.The nine pros join six amateur players who have already qualified to play at this year’s Magical Kenya Open Championship; these are Daniel Nduva, Samuel Njoroge, Mike Kisia, Edwin Mudanyi, Bradley Mogire and Mutahi Kibugu.0Shares0000(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more