Union Updates

For press inquires or to share your story please contact media@seiu888.org

RSVP to reserve your seat on a free bus to the Rally for Education!

RSVP here for a free bus from Amherst, Cape Cod, Fall River, Framingham, Gloucester, Greenfield, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell (2 locations), Lynn, New Bedford, Plymouth, Raynham, Salem, Taunton, and Worcester (2 locations).general_rally_meme

RSVP to reserve your seat today! http://rallyforpubliced.com/

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SEIU member benefits gets major upgrade

Local 888 Secretary-Treasurer Brenda Rodrigues attended a special site visit to SEIU’s Member Benefits headquarters to meet its staff, review its first year’s progress and plans for the future.

SEIU Member BenefitsVisit www.seiumb.com to see how the buying power of millions of SEIU members helps the union negotiate some terrific discounts!“It’s really amazing to see what Member Benefits have put together for our members,” said Rodrigues. “I hope more members will take advantage of all of the new benefits that are on the website—everything from insurance and credit cards to discounts on travel and everyday items.”

Below are some of the great benefits available—at no cost or obligation—just for being an SEIU member!

  • Manage finances better: Get competitive rates on everything from credit cards to personal loans
  • Protect your family: Benefit from group rates on a growing portfolio of insurance products
  • Cut your cost of living: Get special discounts at thousands of stores and favorite merchants.
  • Travel for less: Enjoy specially negotiated rates and travel programs

Members who would like Brenda to visit their chapter for an informational session should call 617 241-3300 or email brodrigues@seiu888.org

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Members take action on international workers’ day

Members of Local 888 marched on May 1 in communities across Massachusetts in support of International Workers Day and in solidarity with immigrants who are under attack.

In the photo are Montachusetts Opportunity Council Head Start teachers Jonathan Dudley, Katey Komberg, Nancy Assimakopoulos, and Gloria Payton marching on May 1 with United Neighbors of Fitchburg.

In the photo are Montachusetts Opportunity Council Head Start teachers Jonathan Dudley, Katey Komberg, Nancy Assimakopoulos, and Gloria Payton marching on May 1 with United Neighbors of Fitchburg.

Enio Lopez marched in Chelsea with other Local 888 members along with airport workers, health care workers, and thousands of other concerned citizens. Lopez is also a Chelsea City Councilor

Enio Lopez marched in Chelsea with other Local 888 members along with airport workers, health care workers, and thousands of other concerned citizens. Lopez is also a Chelsea City Councilor

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Raise Up gathers allies for ambitious political agenda

Participants at the “Progress as Resistance Conference” heard inspiring speakers outline campaigns to “raise up” the standard of living for working people in Massachusetts.

Participants at the “Progress as Resistance Conference” heard inspiring speakers outline campaigns to “raise up” the standard of living for working people in Massachusetts.

Hundreds of social and economic justice activists gathered at UMass Boston on May 6 to prepare their campaign to win an ambitious agenda: a new $15 an hour minimum wage, paid family and medical leave, criminal justice reform, the Safe Communities Act and a constitutional amendment for a new Fair Share or millionaires tax.

This conference featured briefings on how activists can engage in campaigns to win: a $15 Minimum Wage, Paid Family and Medical Leave, the Fair Share Amendment, ending mass incarceration, and safe communities.

Members of Local 888 are urged to join Raise Up as a volunteer for future events and actions and consider a small contribution to support Raise Up!

The conference was attended by several Local 888 members including Damali Simmonds and David Reno pictured above with Local 888 Political Director Dan Hoffer. Jorge Vargas and Charlotte Killam also attended!

The conference was attended by several Local 888 members including Damali Simmonds and David Reno pictured above with Local 888 Political Director Dan Hoffer. Jorge Vargas and Charlotte Killam also attended!


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Public defenders testify at hearing for right to collectively bargain

For the fifth year in a row, staff at the Committee on Public Counsel Services (CPCS) went to the State House on May 9 in support of legislation for collective bargaining rights.

Left to right -- Attorneys Jennifer Coliflores, Nathan Wong and Rachel Scotch testifying before the Joint Committee on Public Service.

Left to right — Attorneys Jennifer Coliflores, Nathan Wong and Rachel Scotch testifying before the Joint Committee on Public Service.

“Despite the fact that all other agencies in the Commonwealth have the right to form unions, hundreds of public defenders and support staff who work for CPCS are denied this basic right because we were left out of the state collective bargaining law,” said Rachel Scotch, a public defender at the Malden district office, at a statehouse hearing on Senate Bill 1426 and House Bill 1426 before the Joint Committee on Public Service.  “When our clients suffer, the whole system suffers.  This isn’t just about our livelihoods, it’s about people’s lives.”

“I was hired in 2011, with 53 other public defenders, one of the largest hiring groups in CPCS.  In the Worcester Office, out of my hiring class, there only remains myself and one other attorney — and that office started off with seven attorneys,” said Nathan Wong, a Public Defender in Worcester. “At CPCS, we don’t have the expectation that we’ll receive regular pay raises. We are paid lower than workers at all other state agencies who do similar work. Working at CPCS should not be considered a stepping stone to private practice, it should be a career. Passing legislation that gives us a path to choose collective bargaining could stabilize turnover and improve our services.”

“We are passionate and dedicated. All we want is a voice at work so we can better advocate for our clients and have a say in our own future,” said Jennifer Coliflores, a public defender with the Worcester Superior Court Office who also testified at the hearing.

“The legislation, An Act relative to the collective bargaining rights for employees of the Committee for Public Counsel Services (S.1426 and H.1426) has more support this session than ever before,” said SEIU Political Director Dan Hoffer. “With 113 House co-sponsors and 28 Senate co-sponsors, this is the first session the bill has bi-partisan support with eight House republicans and two Senate Republicans signing on.”

The public defenders and staff are cautiously optimistic about gaining a vote in the legislature this year.

More information about the campaign is at www.seiu888.org/massdefenders.

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Parents, educators, students are uniting for quality public education!

Last year, we won a landslide victory in Massachusetts against the forces of privatization, defeating a dangerous ballot initiative that would have drained hundreds of millions of dollars from our public schools.

Female-Bullhorn-Silhouette-psd34864Now, the struggle continues. We must stand together to resist the plans and policies of Trump, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and Governor Charlie Baker. It is time to demand the public schools and colleges our communities deserve.

By uniting our struggles, we can build a movement for racial and economic justice and fight more effectively for a just society and future.

Saturday, May 20, 2:00 – 5:00 PM
Boston Common @ Beacon & Charles streets.

Parents, educators, and students are uniting to demand:

  • Full funding for public education, Pre-K through college
  • Debt-free public higher education
  • Less testing, more learning
  • Equitable access to quality education for all students

If you plan to attend the rally, please RSVP by emailing Rand Wilson at rwilson@seiu888.org 

The rally is sponsored by Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance (MEJA). MEJA is a coalition of parents, students, educators, and community and labor allies fighting to protect and to improve public education in Massachusetts.

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Member’s letter on paid family leave published in Boston Globe!

Boston Water & Sewer employee Damali Simmonds (pictured in article at left) was upset by a recent Boston Globe article where the city’s top management claimed that it couldn’t provide paid family leave because union collective bargaining agreements prohibited implementation.

IMG_3568With help from staff at Local 888, Simmonds wrote to the Globe pointing out that the state Attorney General’s office and the Treasury Department both negotiated paid family leave with union employees in 2016 during the middle of their collective bargaining agreements.

SEIU Local 888, has repeatedly requested a similar arrangement from the city.

“The city says, “If Mayor Walsh could wave a wand tomorrow and give paid parental leave to everybody in the world he would,” wrote Simmonds. “Let’s be clear: our unions are not standing in the way. Mayor Walsh, why don’t you wave that wand now?”

Simmonds’ letter was published on April 25.

Members are encouraged to write to their local papers about issues of concern.  If you would like assistance with editorial contacts or help refining your message, contact rwilson@seiu888.org

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Coming Attractions

National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive
Saturday, May 13
Your mailbox/front door!

calendarWorking in partnership with the AFL-CIO Labor Liaison Network, United Way and a host of other partners, members of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) get food into the cupboards of those in need. All people need to do is place a bag of unopened, non-perishable food next to their mailbox before their letter carrier delivers their mail on Saturday, May13th, and the carrier will do the rest. Once collected, the food is taken back to the postal station, sorted, and delivered by union volunteers to area food banks or pantries.

We ask you to please publicize, promote and most importantly, participate in the May 13th NALC Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.

For more info: please contact Yael Foa, National Community Engagement United Way Program Coordinator, at 202-639-6245 or yfoa@aflcio.org

SEIU Local 888 Executive Board meeting
Wed, May 17, 10am – 4pm
SEIU Local 888, 25 Braintree Hill Office Park, Braintree, MA
The Executive Board is the governing body of Local 888.  It is authorized and empowered to take all lawful action consistent with our Constitution and by-laws.

Coalition for Social Justice’s Banquet and Awards Ceremony
Thu, May 18, 6pm – 9pm
Venus de Milo, 75 Grand Army of the Republic Hwy, Swansea, MA
Please join the Coalition for Social Justice’s 22nd Annual Banquet and Awards Ceremony. We will be honoring our volunteers and reflecting on the past year’s work. Tickets: $30 (includes dinner)

Rally for Public Education
Sat, May 20, 3:00 – 5:30pm
Boston Common
Stand up for students, public schools and colleges. Fight efforts by Trump, DeVos, Baker & Peyser to gut our education system. Demand full funding, debt-free higher education and the schools are communities deserve. Sponsored by the Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance.

May 20, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Madison Park HS, 75 Malcolm X Blvd, Boston
Learn everything you need to know about Home-ownership! Free Classes! Register at bostonhomecenter.com
Classes on Homebuying 100, Strategic Money Management Plan, Financial Assistance Workshop, DIY or Hire a Home Repair Contractor?, Boston Home Repair Funding Programs, and Healthy Homes.

WILD 31st Annual Summer Institute
Women Fighting for Social, Economic and Racial Justice. June 23 – 25, 2017
Bridgewater State University, 131 Summer Street, Bridgewater, MA 02324

The Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) is a multiracial, multicultural women’s organization founded in 1986 by women labor activists and labor educators to empower women to become effective leaders in their workplaces, unions, communities and in the Massachusetts labor movement.

Local 888 has Summer Institute scholarships for members! Contact: Brenda Rodrigues 617-241-3300 or email brodrigues@seiu888.org

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On May 1, join an action for international workers’ solidarity

May 1st is International Worker’s Day, the day we join in solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the globe to demand justice for all workers!  Here in Massachusetts, there will be May Day actions in support of immigrant workers across the Commonwealth. In a time when so many workers are facing attacks from all sides, it has never been more important to take to the streets!  If you attend a rally, be sure to take a picture of yourself and other Local 888 members participating and send to rwilson@seiu888.org.

may1-englishSEIU Local 888 encourages all members to join a May Day action in support of workers’ rights.  Look for a march or rally in your own community, or join one of the one’s highlighted below:

12:00 pm Rally at steps of Massachusetts State House in support of Safe Communities Act
5:00 pm Rally at Boston Common, followed by March to Copley Square

Chelsea, Everett, East Boston
9am-3pm Cosecha Day Without Immigrants Festival (Maverick Square, East Boston)
For more information, text HUELGA to 41411.
4pm March from Everett City Hall (484 Broadway, Everett MA 02149) into Chelsea City Hall
4pm March from LoPresti Park (33 Sumner Street, East Boston MA 02128) into Chelsea City Hall
5:30pm Rally at Chelsea City Hall, 500 Broadway, Chelsea MA 02150
For more information, contact: Yessenia Alfaro, 617-889-6080, yesseniaa@chelseacollab.org

A Day Without Immigrants
May 01, 2017 • 4:00 PM
Brockton Family Center, 1367 Main St, Brockton, MA 02301
For more information, contact: Isabel Lopez, 617-306-1365, isabellopez.bic@gmail.com

No Ban, No Wall March
5:30pm March and Rally starting at Fitchburg State University, 160 Pearl Street, Fitchburg MA
For more information, contact: Eric Rodriguez, 774-573-3459, Eric_r@cleghorncenter.org
Or Local 888 member Jonathan Dudley jonedoright@yahoo.com 704-608-2204

6pm Workers’ Celebration at Town Hall, 150 Concord Street, Framingham MA
For more information, contact: Lily Huang, 617-599-6785, lily@massjwj.net

A Day Without Immigrants
Campagnone Common
10am rally; Noon – March
Cosecha Lawrence
For more information, contact: Joshua Alba, 786-290-7958, alba.joshua@gmail.com 978-902-1505

March for Immigrant and Workers’ Rights
Lynn City Hall
4pm rally and march
617-704-0019 newlynncoalition@gmail.com • 781-346-9199 info@LynnUnited.org
On Facebook: http://bit.ly/maydaylyn
For more information, contact: Isaac Hodes, 781-346-9199 isaac@lynnunited.org

May 1st Strike at Smith College
May 01, 2017 • 9:00 AM
Smith College, 10 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063

5:30pm March and Speak Out starting at 1515 Main Street, Springfield MA
For more information, contact: Rose Bookbinder, 413-320-2028 rose.bookbinder@gmail.com

May 1st Strike at Wellesley
May 01, 2017 • 12:00 PM
106 Central St, Wellesley, MA 02481

4pm Rally at Worcester City Hall, 455 Main Street, Worcester MA
For more information, contact: Kevin Ksen, 413-977-1057, WorcCommunityLaborCoalition@gmail.com

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Raise Up Mass: Progress As Resistance Conference

Is there a policy agenda that would help improve everyone’s lives in Massachusetts?

Yes there is such an agenda and SEIU Local 888 is part of a coalition: Raise Up Massachusetts that is working hard to achieve it.

That’s why we’re inviting you to join activists and organizers from across the state for the Raise Up Massachusetts Progress as Resistance Conference.

Raise Up conference

Please join Local 888 and other members of the Raise Up Massachusetts coalition to learn more about the role you can play in making progress on social, economic, racial, and immigrant justice here in Massachusetts.

This event will feature a briefing on how union members can engage in the fight for a $15 Minimum Wage, Paid Family and Medical Leave, the Fair Share Amendment, labor rights, ending mass incarceration, Jobs not Jails, protecting public education, immigrant rights, and Safe Communities.

Don’t miss this conference – click here to RSVP and join Raise Up on Saturday, May 6th, at University of Massachusetts Boston from 1:00 – 4:30PM!

If you can’t make it, sign up to join Raise Up as a volunteer for future events and actions or consider contributing to Raise Up campaigns!

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Don’t be fooled by Right to Work (for less!)

Mark DelloRusso

Mark DelloRusso

By Mark DelloRusso, President, SEIU Local 888

Republicans in Congress are pushing a national Right-to-Work bill, but it’s not what it seems: that’s why we call it a “Right-to-Work-for-less” bill.

The legislation calls for prohibiting unions from charging fees to nonmembers for the costs of representation. Similar bills have been passed at the state level in 28 states.

In states where right-to-work has already been enacted, it has driven down wages and turned more full-time union jobs into part-time jobs with no benefits.

Some good news: Workers won a major victory in New Hampshire on February 16 when lawmakers in the House rejected a right-to-work bill that was supported by Governor Sununu.

Now we have to defeat RTW at the national level. The first step is signing a petition addressed to all Members of Congress.

Studies show that wages in states with right-to-work laws are 3.2 percent lower than in states without them. That translates to more than $1,558 per year. Ask yourself, do we really want a law that could lower wages by 3.2 percent?

Politicians need to focus on making the economy work for working people, which means investing in good jobs and respecting people’s right to negotiate for fair wages, safe working conditions, retirement security and healthcare. Right-to-work does the opposite.

Nowhere is this clearer than in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Following the recession, these two neighboring states took entirely different approaches. In Wisconsin, Republican Gov. Scott Walker pushed through anti-union right-to-work laws, and his state’s economy has been, at best, sluggish. In Minnesota, with Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton’s pro-union agenda, the state has led the region in recovering from the recession and in job growth.

That’s why we need to stop Right to Work dead in its tracks at every level. A progressive coalition is gearing up to make sure right-to-work never becomes law nationwide. But we can’t win without your help.

Sign the petition right now. Let’s stop right-to-work.

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SEIU is behind major Climate Change rally 4/29

Working families disproportionately experience high pollution levels by being exposed to environmental hazards both at home and at work. The toll of environmental injustice is a reality for far too many.

pcm2017-cesarmaxit-8_5x11-dc-english-309x400 HandbillHealthy, vibrant communities cannot survive without clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. That’s why SEIU Local 888 is urging members to join the People’s Climate March on April 29, 2017.

Since Trump was elected president, there have been many inspiring acts of resistance. When working people come together and raise our voices it sends a message that we won’t tolerate going backwards.

At the 2014 climate march, Local 888 member Enio Lopez traveled to New York City and locked arms with airport workers, health care workers, and nearly 400,000 other concerned citizens for our environment. It was the largest such demonstration in our nation’s history.

With politicians scheming to kill laws that protect our air and water, it’s time to speak up and rise up again.

From the Fight for $15 to Black Lives Matter and the Women’s March, working people are becoming more united against a political system that is clearly rigged against us.

Show your support for future generations to have a healthy and safe environment in which to live and prosper. Join our growing resistance: on April 29, the 100th day of Trump’s presidency, lift your voice in the People’s Climate March in Boston.

The climate action movement is growing and getting stronger every day because working people around the nation have joined the call to demand solutions that will protect our communities for generations to come. Join the movement.

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