Coronavirus Workers

323 petitions

Started 2 months ago

Petition to The Honorable Mike Morath, State Board of Education, State Board for Educator Certification, Governor Greg Abbott, Educator Certification, Waivers , Senator Ted Cruz, Keven Ellis, Marty Rowley, Complaints and Grievances Department

Waive the Science of Teaching Reading Exam (Texes 293) for Teacher Candidates

The State of Texas and The Texas Education Agency passed a new testing requirement for educator certification in 2019 called the Science of Teaching Reading Exam (Texes 293). As it is currently written, any future educator who does not hold a standard certificate by 12/31/2020 will be required to take a pass this new exam in order to gain licensure to teach in the certification fields below. • Early Childhood: EC – Grade 3 • Core Subjects: Early Childhood–Grade 6 • Core Subjects: Grades 4–8 • English Language Arts: Grades 4–8 • English Language Arts and Reading/Social Studies: Grades 4–8 This new testing requirement goes into effect on 1/1/2021. With all the chaos that the year 2020 has brought us, the timing of this new requirement is less than ideal and highly offensive to intern certified teachers in the state of Texas for several reasons: 1. Intern certified teachers have been working around the clock this school year. Being a first-year teacher in a normal year is challenging enough but during a pandemic when many are expected to teach in-person and online is crippling. There is simply not enough time in our overloaded schedules for an additional and unexpected exam requirement. 2. In addition to the stress of managing online and face-to-face classrooms simultaneously, many intern year educators are burdened with the anxiety of maintaining their students' health, their families' health, and their own health during this pandemic. 3. Intern certified educators are blessed to have maintained employment through the pandemic and closures from COVID-19 however, each family has its own struggles and many may have spouses that are unable to work or they or their family may have medical issues that limit their ability to work at this time. The new Science of Teaching Reading exam adds a financial burden on intern teachers and their families. This new exam costs $136. If a teacher does not pass, they are required to take it again and again paying full price each time. 4. Many school districts across the state ask that all certification exams for intern teachers be passed by March in order to renew contracts for the following year. They want to know that these educators will have their standard certification by next fall. With the new testing requirements, many teachers will not be able to show proof of standard certification by March. This will put their employment with their district in jeopardy. 5. All of the content area tests listed above have tested the same material that will be on the Science of Teaching Reading Exam. To intern teachers and anyone who has already shown mastery on their content exam, the Science of Teaching Reading Exam is redundant and unnecessary. 6. The state is still unsure of how to exactly grade the Science of Teaching reading exam. For the first three months of 2021, the test will not be scored but rather listed as pass or fail. First-year teachers and those who have shown mastery of the content should not have to waste their time taking a required exam with no scoring rubric. 7. Testing centers and spots are limited already due to social distancing practices. With many first-year teachers also still needing to take the PPR and ESL exams this will lead to more time taken away from students and school as well as some travel to get to a testing site with available spots. First-year teachers and future Texas educators who have passed their content exams are tired, nearing burnout, and are frustrated with this new requirement. Teachers teach because they love their students and want to help them grow. 2020 is challenging but we can help our students to the best of our ability. In order to give all the energy we possibly can to our students (who need us now more than ever), we are asking that if someone has 1) Earned their intern certification and/or 2) Began teaching at any point this fall they should be grandfathered in and not required to pass the STR exam in order to earn their standard certification. This will help first-year teachers to truly take care of their students' education in the way each child deserves.

Ashley Johnson
5,091 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Secretary of Transportation, Congress

Truckers are stepping up for America. Now, it's time for America to step up for truckers.

Over the past month, truckers have stepped up for America to ensure the supply chain stays intact during the 2020 COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. They have done so at great personal effort, sacrifice and risk. American citizens, including teenagers and police officers, have, in turn, responded to truckers' plight and have tried to help truckers find food on the road to keep the deliveries coming. The government could be doing so much more --from providing testing locations that accommodate big rig trucks... to distributing masks... to dealing with Mega-brokers who are exploiting independent truckers during this difficult time and causing freight rates to drastically fall. We, the undersigned Americans, support America's 3.5 million truckers. We hereby petition the Secretary of Transportation to stand down on current public policy plans to replace truckers when this crisis is over by ushering in driverless trucks. That is not the way to #ThankATrucker after all truckers have done for America. We believe this planned obsolescence will not only eliminate driver jobs but will endanger the motoring public. We contend you cannot replace human judgment on the road, which is grounded in empathy, with artificial intelligence and autonomous machines. We also call for Congress to replace the current Federal motor carrier regulatory model.  For FY 2019, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requested a $665.80 million budget from Congress, which included $284 million for Motor Carrier Safety Operations and Programs and $381.80 million for Motor Carrier Safety Grants. Over the past 20 years, this agency has been allocated over $5 billion for internal operations. Here is what American taxpayers have gotten in recent years for their money: *The 2018 Large Truck Occupant Highway Fatality Rate is at a 30-year high in the immediate aftermath of the onset of Electronic Logging Devices. Because truckers are regulated by the clock and paid by the mile Big Trucking induces truckers to speed to maximize productivity. Drivers should be paid a base salary plus performance incentives so they are not working under stress to avoid starvation. *When you do the math, 2.4 occupants of large trucks died every single day in 2018. *In 2017, 4,889 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes, a 9-percent increase from 2016 (this has now been skewed to lower the percentage to 4.9% by removing certain vehicles, which, when combined with trailers still constitute a commercial motor vehicle over 10,000 lbs).** *The number of large trucks and buses in fatal crashes has increased by 42 percent from its low of 3,432 in 2009.** *From 2016 to 2017, large truck and bus fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled by all motor vehicles increased by 6.8 percent, from 0.146 to 0.156.** *There was a 40-percent increase in the number of fatal crashes involving large trucks or buses between 2009 and 2017. ** *From 2016 to 2017, the number of fatal crashes involving large trucks or buses increased by 8 percent.**  *The number of injury crashes involving large trucks or buses increased 62% from 2009 to 2015.** *From 2016 to 2017, according to NHTSA's CRSS data, large truck and bus injury crashes increased 4 percent (from 112,000 in 2016 to 116,000 in 2017).**  *From 2016 to 2017 the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes increased 10 percent, from 4,251 to 4,657, and the large truck involvement rate (large trucks involved in fatal crashes per 100 million miles traveled by large trucks) increased 6 percent, from 1.48 to 1.56. The number of large trucks involved in injury crashes increased by 5 percent, from 102,000 to 107,000. The number of large trucks involved in property damage only crashes increased by 3 percent, from 351,000 to 363,000. The number of buses involved in fatal crashes decreased from 234 to 232, a decrease a mere 1 percent.** **SOURCE: We now call on Congress to #SaveTruckers and specifically provide an economic stimulus package to #SaveSmallBusinessTruckers who are now on the verge of going out-of-business. Without same, America's supply chain will suffer a terrible capacity crisis when manufacturing spontaneously returns to full force and there are no longer sufficient trucks to service our supply needs.  Please save America's truckers from extinction and #MakeTheRoadsSafeAgain. MEDIA CONTACT:

Small Business in Transportation Coalition
40,074 supporters
Update posted 4 months ago

Petition to Smithfield Foods, Kenneth Sullivan, Glenn Nunziata, Dhamu Thamodaran, Dennis Organ, Keira Lombardo, Joe Weber, WH Group, Renee Chen

Smithfield CEO must step down!

As of April 27th, 2020, nearly 900 workers at Smithfield’s Sioux Falls, SD plant have tested positive for COVID-19, making the plant one of the country’s largest hotspots. Two workers have died so far. Despite workers’ pleas for greater protections, the company failed to act responsibly. Now its employees—and their communities—are paying the ultimate price.  Smithfield’s leadership must be held accountable for this suffering and other injustices they have caused, starting with CEO Kenneth Sullivan.  The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted Smithfield’s refusal to protect worker and consumer health. Smithfield slaughter plant workers describe feeling pressured to come into work even when feeling ill and exhibiting symptoms. One worker in South Dakota told a reporter, “Those people don’t care about us. If you die, they’ll just replace you tomorrow.”  Smithfield’s response to the outbreak?  A spokesperson blamed the “living circumstances in certain cultures” for the mass outbreaks. Instead of taking ownership, Smithfield’s leadership used problematic rhetoric and deflection tactics to get out of protecting their workers. As a North Carolinian, I am deeply familiar with the injustices Smithfield inflicts on the most vulnerable members of society. Here, Smithfield is well known for putting profits over public health. More than 500 North Carolina residents—the vast majority of whom are people of color—have sued the company for subjecting them to the intolerable experience of living next to a mega factory farm. For decades, they’ve endured the unbearable stench of pig waste that is kept in massive, open-air pits then sprayed into the air. Scientists have even documented pig feces on and inside residents’ homes. Smithfield has the power to address these concerns, but it has done nothing. Animals, too, suffer at the hands of this exploitative company. Pigs raised for Smithfield are crammed by the thousands inside filthy factory farms and treated like unfeeling commodities, despite the fact that they are incredibly intelligent and capable of feeling pain. Smithfield claims it is moving away from gestation crates—tiny cages that trap mother pigs, preventing them from even turning around—but investigations reveal they have not kept their promise.  Under Kenneth Sullivan’s leadership, Smithfield is causing extraordinary harm to workers, communities, and animals. This company puts profit above all else and rakes in billions of dollars yearly at the expense of those who have few means to defend themselves.  It’s time we say enough is enough. It’s time for Kenneth Sullivan to step down as CEO.Photo credit: NBC News

Kelsey Joseph
4,832 supporters