Union Updates

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

Lowell Office Hours

Sue ChaseLocal 888 Field Rep. Sue Chase will be in the Lowell office and available to meet with members every Wednesday from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM.  Sue is the union rep for the Lowell area including UML.

All Local 888 members are welcome to stop by to discuss questions or concerns they may have.

Merrimack Valley Office, 104 University Ave. Lowell, MA 01854

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Convention 2014: When We Fight, We Win

Over 75 SEIU Local 888 members gathered for the bi-annual membership convention to listen to inspirational speakers, vote on three policy resolutions, and consider other union business.

Local 888 President Mark DelloRusso addresses the members at the 2014 convention.

Local 888 President Mark DelloRusso addresses
the members at the 2014 convention.

The meeting was held on Saturday, October 4 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Westborough, Mass.

President Mark DelloRusso and Secretary-Treasurer Brenda Rodrigues made presentations on the state of the union followed by reports from the heads of each union department.

“This convention was mainly a celebration of what we have accomplished together over the last two years,” said DelloRusso. “With a united executive board, strong finances and growing membership participation in the union, Local 888 is on very solid footing. Now we must build on the momentum from the convention to continue winning better contracts and providing stronger representation.”

Members passed a resolution urging all members to commit to finding ways to make employers pay a minimum of $15 per hour through collective bargaining, community pressure campaigns, or city and state legislation.

Christine Oberhelman from the Lowell Day Nursery told members about a campaign there to win raises and respect.

Christine Oberhelman from the Lowell Day Nursery told members about a campaign there to win raises and respect.

A second resolution, adopted unanimously, endorsed “Yes on Question 4” to provide an earned sick time benefit to almost one million workers in Massachusetts who don’t currently receive it. The resolution urged all Local 888 members to volunteer to do canvassing, phone banks, Election Poll work, etc. to win the ballot initiative.

The final resolution committed Local 888 to organizing a grassroots campaign to significantly increase Local Aid in the FY’16 Massachusetts state budget. Since passage of Proposition 2½, municipalities have increasingly relied on Local Aid from the state to fund municipal services. As a result of the recession, Local Aid has been slashed 36 percent from 2008 levels. While state tax collections have increased more than five percent to $1 billion this year, Local Aid is currently just half of what it was in 2001.

Copies of the three resolutions adopted at the convention are available on the Local 888 website at www.seiu888.org.

After the convention, members were entertained by the  "Crazy 8’s"

After the convention, members were entertained by the “Crazy 8’s”

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For Enio Lopez, Climate Activism Starts at Home

When the community organization that Enio Lopez volunteers for offered him the chance to attend the recent People’s Climate March in New York City, Lopez seized the opportunity. “I learned about it from the Chelsea Collaborative and decided to go,” says Lopez, who has worked as a chauffeur for the Chelsea Soldiers Home for twenty years and is a founding member of Local 888’s Latino Caucus. “I’m so glad I did. All of those thousands and thousands of people—it was the biggest march I’ve ever been part of.”

Enio Lopez, a Local 888 member and environmental activist in Chelsea, poses with “Mother Earth” at the recent People’s Climate March in New York City. The march, which was endorsed by SEIU and Local 888, drew an estimated 300,000 people from across the country.

Enio Lopez, a Local 888 member and environmental activist in Chelsea, poses with “Mother Earth” at the recent People’s Climate March in New York City. The march, which was endorsed by SEIU and Local 888, drew an estimated 300,000 people from across the country.

The event, which drew an estimated 200,000 people from across the country, all of whom converged on the streets of New York City to warn against the devastating effects of climate change, was endorsed by SEIU Local 888. Lopez says that he was thrilled to see so many fellow union members in the crowd, including members of SEIU 32BJ, which represents janitorial workers in New York. “There were union members from as far away as Los Angeles and Miami,” says Lopez. “I gave them high-fives.”

Lopez’s interest in environmental activism may have taken him on the road, but its origins lie closer to home: in Chelsea. “There was a group of us who were very upset about all of the trash in the streets,” recalls Lopez. The Community Enhancement Team, started by Lopez and eight other Chelsea residents, first set out to document the local trash problem. “We showed just how much trash was in the streets and how much recyclable material was going right into the trash,” says Lopez.

The group also came up with an action plan to address the problem. Working with the city manager, Lopez and his fellow activists were able to get recycling bins. They then went door to door asking people if they wanted to sign up for the recycling effort. Since the project started, says Lopez, the percentage of households in Chelsea that recycle has risen from 3% to 63%.

Lopez says that he hopes that other union members will get active in their own communities, if they aren’t already. “If we all do a little volunteer work where we live it can make such a huge difference.” And if you have a chance to participate in an event like the People’s Climate March, Lopez hopes you’ll take it. “The march was unbelievable and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to experience it.”

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Massport Dispatchers Unite in Local 888

When Massport Dispatchers found that they had no meaningful input regarding their workloads and they weren’t treated as well as union workers at the airport, they did the logical thing: they reached out to Local 888 for help.

New union members: Nina Alicea, Steven Morales, Gracie Adorno.

New union members: Nina Alicea, Steven Morales,
Gracie Adorno.

“We formed our union here at Massport because we need protection, like a security blanket,” said Gracie Adorno, a 24 year Senior Dispatcher from Randolph who spearheaded the effort. “We chose Local 888 because of its proven track record representing dispatchers throughout the state of Massachusetts including the State Police and the cities of Boston and Somerville.”

State law allows workers to win recognition once a majority of employees sign a petition to join a union. The Massport group was certified on June 23.

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Nov. 4 Election Recommendations

Candidate for Mass Governor, Martha CoakThe SEIU Massachusetts State Council that unites Locals 32BJ, 509, 888, 1199 and the Council of Interns and Residents (CIR) has endorsed Martha Coakley for Governor, Steve Kerrigan for Lt. Governor, Maura Healey for Attorney General and Deb Goldberg for Treasurer.

Raise Up Mass logoThe State Council and Local 888 have also made winning Earned Sick Time for nearly one million workers who currently don’t have that benefit a top priority. More info about the Yes on Question 4 campaign is here: http://yeson4ma.org/

Oct. 15 is the last day to register to vote. Information about registering is here: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/
ele/eleifv/howreg.htm

More information about Local 888 endorsements is here: http://www.seiu888.org/2014-endorsedcandidates/

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Congratulations to Local 888 Scholarship Winners

Local 888 recently awarded scholarships to the dependents of three members. Nicholas Ellard, whose father Robert Ellard works at the Massachusetts Lottery, received $1000 Greg King Memorial Scholarship. Congratulations go out to Erik Anders graduation-cap-diplomaHenningson, a $500 scholarship winner whose mother Nina Henningson is employed by the Grafton Public Schools Clerks & Aides. Brandon Watkins, whose mother Shari Duncan is a Local 888 member at the Steamship Authority, was also awarded $500.

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Local 888 Annual Report Now Available

Annual Report 2013 - 2014 When We Fight We WinEver wonder “what does my union do?”

The 2014 Local 888 annual report provides an overview of union activity during the past year, including income and expenses, organizing, political activities and the responsibilities that each union department has in assisting chapters.

Download, read and distribute copies of the new annual report here or visit: www. seiu888.org/annualreport.

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Evaluate Your Manager!

Perhaps you, or someone you work with, is regularly subjected to written evaluations by their manager. Most likely the manager
Evaluate Your Managerrelies on a stock method of appraising job performance provided by expensive human resource consultants.

What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander!  Download the form by clicking on the link below to grade your manager. Turn it into your steward or chapter chair and be sure to send a copy to the union hall.

Download the Management appraisal form here! 

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Local 888 Health & Safety Initiative Finds First Municipal Partner

The City of Marlboro is the first town to agree to partner with Local 888 on our new municipal health and safety initiative. Hopefully more cities and towns will come on board in the coming months.Graphics

The goal of the partnerships are for labor and management to work together to build effective health and safety committees and provide peer-to-peer training and support for achieving strong health & safety standards in the workplace. Local 888 is working with MassCOSH and AFSCME on the initiative with funding from the Dept. of Industrial Health.

This year, the legislature passed a new law that provides state workers in the Executive Branch with standards similar to OSHA. Our goal is to get a similar bill passed covering municipal workers. Towards that goal, Local 888 is looking for someone who would like to help make a short video with stories from members’ about the on-the-job hazards they face in the workplace and some of the “near misses” they have experienced.

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Local 888 Executive Board member honored for service

Local 888 State Lottery steward and executive board member Mike Kelly was recognized for his 40 years of service to the Lottery at a picnic in August. With Mike is Lottery Director Beth Bresnahan and State Treasurer Steve Grossman.

Lottery Director Beth Bresnahan, Mike Kelly, and State Treasurer Steve Grossman.

Lottery Director Beth Bresnahan, Mike Kelly, and State Treasurer Steve Grossman.

 

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Coming Attractions

Annual Meeting of the Somerville Labor Coalition
When: Friday, October 17, 5PM
Where: Somerville City Club, Innerbelt Road, Somerville, MA

calendarInvisible No More: Domestic Workers Organizing in Massachusetts and Beyond
When: Friday October 17, 8:30AM
Where: SEIU 1199, 150 Mt. Vernon St., Dorchester

Book event: “Social Insecurity: 401(k)s and the Retirement Crisis”
When: Tuesday, October 21, 7PM
Where: Porter Square Books, 25 White Street, Cambridge MA

Building a Stronger Health & Safety Committee
When: October 29, 10AM– 2PM
Where: Harwich Community Center, 100 Oak Street, Harwich, MA 02645
For more information email or call Lisa Field at: lfield@seiu888.org or (617) 435-8837

Election Day
Tuesday, Nov 4, 2014
Polling stations, Your city of town www.wheredoivotema.com/

SEIU Local 888 Executive Board meeting
When: Wednesday, November 19, 10AM-5pm
Where: 52 Roland Street, Charlestown

Celebrating MassCOSH – 38 years!
When: Wednesday, December 3, 6PM–8pm
Where: 1199 SEIU, 150 Mt. Vernon St., Dorchester
MassCOSH will recognize the allies who are changing our workplaces for the better. Celebrate with Awardees: Senator Daniel Wolf and Representative Thomas Conroy, Co-chairs, Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Representative Development Jamie Tessler and Local 888’s Field Director, Lisa Field!

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Early childhood educators at Lowell Day Nursery launch social media campaign to win better contract

Sixteen early childhood educators and staff at the Lowell Day Nursery (LDN) have not received raises to keep up with the cost of living or the increase in their health insurance in years.  Staff members’ health insurance premiums have risen from about $30 a week in 2008 to more than $55 in 2014.  Meanwhile, the only raises staff have received averaged .27 cents in 2008 and .32 cents in 2012.  In other words, pay for these hard working and highly qualified educators has actually been reduced!

Local 888 members are pictured on Facebook holding signs with short statements about why they teach at LDN.

Local 888 members are pictured on Facebook holding signs with short statements about why they teach at LDN.

Local 888 member Scott Larmand set up a Facebook page for the group that features his co-workers holding signs with short statements about why they teach at LDN.  In just two weeks, the page got more than 150 “likes” and some very supportive comments from parents of children who attend LDN.

Now the group has launched an online petition to LDN’s board of directors saying, “It’s time for respect and a real raise!”

Local 888 member and UMass Professional Darcie Boyer made a little flyer for the teachers that says "Super Sid supports his teachers at LDN."

Local 888 member and UMass Professional Darcie Boyer made a little flyer for the teachers that says “Super Sid supports his teachers at LDN.”

Darcie Boyer, a Center Manager at UMass Lowell whose son Sidney attends LDN posted a picture of him in a superhero costume, with a purple cape that said “Super Heroes for Fair Pay.”  Boyer made little flyer for the teachers that says “Super Sid supports his teachers at LDN.”  Boyer said, “Cute kids, and acts of solidarity, do get people’s attention. I was hoping that the teachers could use his picture to help the cause!

Local 888 members can support the LDN campaign by ‘liking’ their Facebook page at  and signing their online petition to the board of directors.  

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