Union Updates

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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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April 4 action in Boston supports the fight for $15

IMG_3213Over 100 fast food, airport and other low wage workers turned out for an April 4 march to the State House to support the fight for $15. A bill in the legislature would raise the minimum wage to $15 and end the exemption for tipped wage workers.

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Local 888 convention speaker breaks new ground

By David Reno, Boston Police Dept.

DSC_0279David Cay Johnston, who spoke at Local 888’s September 2016 convention, has a new newsletter, DCReport.org.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist has a plan to arm you, the average American, with the information you need about what your government is up to, what your fellow citizens think and — most importantly — what you can do about it.

Johnston recently was first to publish President Trump’s 2016 Income Tax returns.

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Thank You to Gail Silva!

Gail Silva from Westborough is stepping down from the Local 888 Executive Board. Gail served on the board for many years and helped with several committees and conventions. “Gail did so much behind the scenes for our union,” said Local 888 President Mark DelloRusso.

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Chapter Reports

Tyngsboro Admin AssistantsTyngsborough Administrative Assistants

Tyngsborough Administrative Assistants ratified a new contract. “The best part of the contract was getting three vacation days,” said Cheryl Santos, a steward. “I think a lot of us are pleased with the Professional Development incentives program, to increase our salary base by accumulating CPE’s. It was a pleasure working with Tia and Neal. We felt deflated at times, but it was nice having both supporting us.”

SEIU Field Reps Tia Finley and Neal O’Brien assisted with the contract settlements.

20170119_175117City of Boston

City of Boston members held a City Hall chapter meeting with Mark DelloRusso. Chapter Chair, Keturah Trusty and stewards, Larry Louis, Sonia Singh and Jocelyn Choate attended the meeting.

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Check out new ‘Union Plus’ home financing benefits

Union Plus Mortgage program ad

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Local 888 calls on Governor Baker for comprehensive criminal justice reform

Local 888 President Mark DelloRusso joined the SEIU Massachusetts State Council on a letter to Gov. Baker and other top lawmakers calling for reforms that “go beyond the recommendations of the study on criminal justice reform released by the Council of State Government.”

The letter called for an end to mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenses, an increase in the threshold for felony larceny from $250 to $2500, and sealing CORI laws for seven years for felonies and three years for misdemeanors.

Copies of the SEIU State Council letter are available from rwilson@seiu888.org.

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Coming Attractions

CPCS Lobby Day
Wed, Apr 19, All Day
Massachusetts State House

calendarMeetings with your Representatives and Senators to support union rights for public defenders. Lobby Day keeps the pressure on our legislators and builds support. Click here to RSVP: http://888.seiu.org/page/s/mass-defenders-lobby-day-

Jobs with Justice Annual Dinner
Thu, April 20, 6pm – 11pm
1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East Metro-Boston, 4, 108 Myrtle St, Quincy, MA

An evening of celebration, food, and fun with the whole Jobs with Justice family! Save the date – more info coming soon!
https://massjwj.net/2017/01/31/april-20-2017-jobs-with-justice-annual-dinner/

March for jobs, justice and the climate
Saturday, Apr 29, 2017, Washington, DC

WE RESIST. WE BUILD. WE RISE. Join the People’s Climate Movement on April 29 in Washington, D.C. and across the country to stand up for our communities and climate. Sponsored by SEIU, this march will be a powerful mobilization to unite all of our movements. Learn more at: https://peoplesclimate.org/

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

Working 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
To Be Announced

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.

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Member Spotlight: BCYF Streetworker commended by Mayor in State of the City speech!

Francisco MelgerCongratulations to BCYF Streetworker Francisco Melger who was mentioned by Mayor Marty Walsh in his annual State of the City address as a dedicated city worker who is “making a difference.”

Do you know a member who is making a difference in your union or community? Contact rwilson@seiu888.org to be featured in a future Local 888 Member Spotlight.

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Suffolk Univ. Staff Union Vote Inconclusive

The National Labor Relations Board conducted an election on March 2 to determine if a majority of staff at Suffolk University wanted the right to collective bargaining with management.

Suffolk employees have worked for months to build majority support for forming a union to, “Give us a voice and a contract to create stability and predictability,” said Michelle Archer da Silva, a staff assistant in the Law School.

Aggressive management interference has stymied Suffolk University workers’ drive for their collective bargaining rights.

Aggressive management interference has stymied Suffolk University workers’ drive for their collective bargaining rights.

After the workers petitioned the NLRB for an election, management began using the infamous Chicago union-busting law firm Seyfarth Shaw (their average hourly pay rate is over $610 an hour!).

With Seyfarth’s help, management cut the originally proposed bargaining unit in half, excluding many of the union’s strongest supporters. Then management used anti-union tactics like holding intimidating “one-on-one” meetings with workers, disparaging Local 888, and suggesting that by forming a union, workers could actually end up worse off.

When workers went to vote, management challenged the eligibility of 49 workers, many of whom were members of the organizing committee! Four workers were challenged by NLRB and three by Local 888.

The vote for SEIU Local 888 was 71 to 80 for no union. However, because the 56 uncounted ballots could determine the outcome of the election, the challenges must be resolved before workers will know the final result.

“I’m confident that a majority of the uncounted ballots were cast by folks who support forming a union at Suffolk,” said Liz McGovern, an office coordinator for the Strategy and International Business program. “The challenged ballots included members of the organizing committee and many staff members openly supportive of the union.”

While Suffolk is a private university, it survives because of the enormous support it receives from tax subsidies, government financing for tuition and other public support.

If Suffolk management continues with its expensive obstruction, the results of the election could take months to sort out.

However, regardless of the result, workers at Suffolk are determined to move forward. They are designing a survey that will allow everyone an opportunity to provide input on their bargaining priorities once all the votes are counted and their union is certified.

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Majority of Senators & Reps co-sponsor bill for public defenders’ organizing rights

The SEIU Local 888-backed bill to win union rights for staff at the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) is off to a strong start in this legislative session. Bipartisan support now includes 139 members of the legislature (113 out of 160 members in the House, and 26 out of 40 in the Senate).

Mass-Defenders-LogoWith so many co-sponsors, the organizing rights bill is in a strong position to pass. However, winning will require a strong showing for the MassDefender’s lobby day. All Local 888 members, public defenders, investigators, and administrative staff are invited to the State House to have face-to-face conversations with their elected representatives in support of the bill.

The lobby day is Wednesday, April 19 from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM at the Massachusetts State House. Whether you’re available in the morning or the afternoon, we will be meeting with Representatives and Senators all day.

Our lobby day is crucial to keeping the pressure on our legislators and winning more support. Click here to RSVP.

Save the Date for the Next Lobby Day, April 19th at the State House.

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