Local 888’s 2021 strategic plan sets high goals

READY TO LEAD: Justin Lawler, from the UMass Lowell chapter, takes the oath of office at a recent executive board meeting on Zoom.

READY TO LEAD: Justin Lawler, from the UMass Lowell chapter, takes the oath of office at a recent executive board meeting on Zoom.

Local 888’s strategic plan for 2021 calls for leaders, staff and members to commit themselves to upping their game from this year’s efforts. In addition, it calls for the union to win standards-setting contracts in Local 888’s six industry sectors, create model contract language for those sectors and help build a broader movement by bargaining for “the common good.”

The plan, approved by the Local 888 Executive

Board says that, in 2021, the union will “set standards with contract campaigns.” To make that possible, the union will:

  • “Invest in research, provide communications support, and strengthen chapter internal organization” wherever necessary to win.
  • “Continue to coordinate a campaign with the 12 bargaining teams in the city of Boston where contracts expired in 2020.”
  • Bring leaders together and support the union’s negotiators for the state’s Unit 2 — which includes both Holyoke and Chelsea Soldiers’ Homes, the Massachusetts State Lottery and the University of Massachusetts Lowell, which will be negotiating their contracts in 2021.

The 2021 strategic plan calls for convening chapter leaders in each industry sector to compare contracts and arrive at model contract language. This would cover such issues as union orientation for new hires, and strengthening health and safety committees.

In addition, the strategic plan urges chapters to “Bargain for the Common Good.” This means linking chapters’ bargaining goals with improving the quality and dependability of the services members provide. It also means aggressively opposing “austerity” moves that result in cuts in essential public services and the good jobs of those who provide them.

All told, Local 888 has 8,500 members united in 200 collective bargaining agreements.

In 2021, 43 of Local 888’s contracts will expire. Due to the disruption from the COVID-19 virus, another 24 contracts will also need to be completed that were extended for one year or postponed from 2020.

Local 888’s membership falls into six key industry sectors: schools, early education and  higher ed along with municipal, state and public authorities workers. In turn, the union has 12 key occupational job titles that make up the vast majority of its membership: cafeteria, clerical, library, transportation and parking, maintenance, engineering and DPW workers along with paraprofessionals, custodians, dispatchers, managers and professionals.

For more on new member orientation, see http://www.seiu888.org/2020/10/07/taking-on-a-new-way-for-member-orientation/.

For more on Local 888’s new chapter for retirees, Forever Union, see http://www.seiu888.org/2020/09/16/retirees-chapter-set-for-takeoff/.

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