When Monica Stonier first started working full time as a teacher in 2001, she was more focused on learning her students’ names than about her union, the Washington Education Association. But now Stonier, who has since been elected as a Democratic state representative for Vancouver, gives more thought to the future of organized labor.Stonier said that somehow the Freedom Foundation, an Olympia-based conservative think tank, found her home address. Like thousands of other public employees, she receives a letter each year reminding her that she can limit her financial support for her union.In recent years, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on a series of cases that right-to-work advocates hope will further the decline of organized labor (particularly among public-sector employees).The Freedom Foundation has actively sought to reduce the power of public-sector unions using these rulings. Last legislative session, Stonier, and other like-minded lawmakers, passed legislation intended to minimize the impact of court rulings unfriendly to unions. This legislation could soon be put to the test.In June, the court is expected to rule on Janus v. AFSCME. The case is centered on an Illinois state employee who is arguing that being forced to pay fees to a union for representation violates his civil rights. A ruling in favor of Janus would overturn a decades-old precedent and could significantly peel back support for politically influential public-sector unions.
Gousto awards share options to staff to mark anniversaryGousto awards share options to staff to mark anniversary
Recipe box organisation Gousto is offering its 200 UK-based employees one-off share options to mark its fifth anniversary.The share options are available to employees of all levels across the organisation’s London and Spalding offices and factory. Employees must have at least six-months’ service prior to January 2017 to be eligible for the share options.The share option award aims to recognise employees’ contribution to the organisation ahead of its fifth birthday on 12 April 2017. The initiative also aims to encourage a culture of employee ownership within the organisation, and to engage staff with Gousto’s future growth and business goals.The share options are being offered alongside the organisation’s existing benefits programme. This includes enhanced paternity and maternity pay, flexible-working arrangements, free coffee, tea, ice cream and fruit every day, paid leave and funding for external training courses, allowing staff to use 10% of their working day to pursue personal projects and interests related to the technology sector, and testing opportunities and discounts for Gousto’s own recipe boxes.Timo Boldt (pictured), chief executive officer and founder at Gousto, said: “Our birthday next month is an important milestone and a natural time to reflect on the achievements of the past five years. We are hugely proud of our triumphs and believe it’s important to take the time to reward the people who have helped bring them to fruition.“We can only build the best brand and proposition with the best people, which is why this decision to reward our employees with exceptional benefits is important.“By awarding our employees share options, we are reinforcing our guiding ownership principles of dream, deliver and care by enabling a large proportion of team members to have ownership in Gousto.”