The tentative agreement was approved by the membership with 80% support.
Justin Lawler and Nick Piscitello (shown above) presented a “Know Your Contract” training for UMass Lowell members to explain key provisions of their contract and how to take advantage of the on-the-job rights it provides for members.
The chapter leaders developed a special power-point presentation on their contract that could be adapted for similar use by other chapters. Request a copy from Field Services director Jen Springer at email@example.com
While every chapter and contract are different, the Grievance and Incident Report forms may be useful to stewards and other members who want to make sure that the employer follows the contract.
Click here to read and download the Grievance Form.
Click here to read and download the Incident Report Form.
Workers at the Central Mass Special Education Collaborative formed their union in 2014 because of concerns about pay equity, safety and favoritism. After nearly 24 months and dozens of tough bargaining sessions, they reached a tentative agreement with management on their first contract.
“We made significant progress on many of the priority issues, although not all of our objectives were achieved,” said Christian Lamoureux, an instructional assistant in the Thrive Program. “Without a contract spelling out our pay scale, no one knew where they stood. Now, with this agreement, we have a new wage grid that is equitable and transparent. There are 18 steps with 2.5% between each step. This is a major achievement. It allows us to know where we are headed and should cut down on turnover.”
“This agreement gives us “just cause” job protections, a grievance procedure with arbitration rights, and the fairness and respect provided by a union contract,” said Ross Lapetina, an instructional assistant at the Hartwell School. “We love our jobs and the kids we work with. But we are really underpaid for the work we do. We will be back at the negotiating table in no time, to continue making progress. I voted yes for this contract because it gives us a voice in our future.”
“I’ve worked here for 14 years, yet I was making less than some others for the same work,” said Kimberly Wellington, another instructional assistant Hartwell. “That was so unfair to me and I wasn’t the only one.”
“In the past management played favorites with our raises. With the union contract we’ve eliminated the inequities and for the first time everyone will be treated the same. I’m not going to see a huge increase in my pay, but with the union we can team up and support each other.”
Members ratified their contract 29 – 13 on Sept. 8.
SEIU Local 32BJ unites 13,000 janitors across Massachusetts and Rhode Island. On September 30, their current contract will expire. SEIU Local 32BJ janitors are fighting for adequate staffing, just wages, and benefits such as medical insurance. They need public support to win.
Four years ago, community organizations like Jobs with Justice, many elected officials and the entire labor movement rallied to help SEIU janitors win a good contract. Our commitment made a difference four years ago, and we can make a difference again.
These workers maintain office buildings in Boston including the John Hancock, Prudential Tower, Vertex and Biogen buildings. They provide services to the pharmaceutical, finance, tech, transportation and higher education industries — all key pillars of the Massachusetts economy. The mostly immigrant janitorial workforce has contributed greatly to our strong local economy.
With a commercial real estate industry enjoying low vacancies and sky-high rents, cleaners at the bargaining table are calling for a new contract that expands opportunities for full-time employment and ensures raises that keep up with the cost of living in one of the most expensive metropolitan areas in the country.
It’s time for our SEIU community to come together again to preserve and advance our hard-fought victories. Join our SEIU sisters and brothers and Local 32BJ members on Saturday, September 10th at 1:00 PM for a major mobilization to Raise Up America with Good Jobs!
Find our event on Facebook here. All Local 888 members should let your union know if you will be attending or have any questions by contacting us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chapter Chair Jennifer Reynolds reports that Amherst Town Employees settled a new 3-year contract for 68 members. Workers won 2% each year, raised their Hazmat/EMD stipend, increased the boot allowance, expanded sick time to nontraditional household members, and many more gains.
The MOU contains the following highlights:
Congratulations to the Fitchburg Registry of Deeds bargaining team for negotiating a contract that members unanimously ratified. The agreement includes a nine percent raise over three years, additional monies into the dental plan and an attendance policy related to inclement weather. Members are looking forward to upcoming Labor/ Management meetings within the next few months.
Custodians at the Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School ratified a new contract on July 15, 2014. Highlights of the new agreement include language protecting against layoffs, cost of living increases of 2% each year of the three year contract, an increase in vacation to five weeks after 17 years, and shift differential eligibility for part-time employees who fill in for full time employees for two weeks or more.