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Disability Benefits In MoCo Changed By Council

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By a 7-1 vote, the council OK'd the bill, which institutes a two-tiered system, creating full and partial incapacity categories.

"What this bill would do in addition to establishing a two-tier disability benefit that distinguishes between a bad back and paralysis, it would also say that if an employee has committed misconduct that would get them fired, they would not be eligible for disability retirement," says Council member Phil Andrews.

Andrews started pushing for the changes in 2008, but sought at first to have them implemented through collective bargaining. Tired of the foot-dragging, he started pushing for the council to bypass collective bargaining and approve the changes themselves.

The police union is particularly angered by the decision. The union is already suing the county over another contract matter. Council member Marc Elrich worries Tuesday's move will contribute to further union discord in the county.

"Employees have always said the trade-off for no job actions, no strikes, and other things has been the availability of collective bargaining and binding arbitration," Elrich says.

Elrich abstained during the vote, while Council member George Leventhal voted no. Legal action against the change seems likely, but Andrews is not concerned.

"I'm confident, that because the bill was amended the way it was to have an effective date of July 1, 2012, and to begin its application from that date on, that a legal challenge will not be successful," he says.

School employees, despite making up around two-thirds of county workforce, are not affected by the change, since they are considered state workers.

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A Glimpse Of Listeners' #NPRpoetry — From The Punny To The Profound

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WAMU 88.5

Eating Insects: The Argument For Adding Bugs To Our Diet

Some say eating insects could save the planet, as we face the potential for global food and protein shortages. It's a common practice in many parts of the world, but what would it take to make bugs more appetizing to the masses here in the U.S.? Does it even make sense to try? A look at the arguments for and against the practice known as entomophagy, and the cultural and environmental issues involved.

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A Federal Official Shakes Up Metro's Board

After another smoke incident and ongoing single tracking delays for fixes, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced a shake-up of Metro's board.

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'The Guardian' Launches New Series Examining Online Abuse

A video was released this week where female sports journalists were read abusive online comments to their face. It's an issue that reaches far beyond that group, and The Guardian is taking it on in a series called "The Web We Want." NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with series editor Becky Gardiner and writer Nesrine Malik, who receives a lot of online abuse.

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