Union Updates

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

Members urged to turnout for Boston Women’s March

Womens march Banner-1-to-2-ratio-1000x500On the day after the Inauguration (January 21), thousands of union members will march in solidarity with communities most affected by the hate, intolerance and acts of violence being perpetrated especially in communities of women, immigrants, people of color, people who identify as LGBT and people with disabilities.

“Local 888 and the other SEIU locals in Mass-achusetts are ‘Community Partners’ to help energize and strengthen the march with our vision and people power,” said Mari Cooney, a field rep who is spearheading Local 888’s participation. “We are one of hundreds of organizations in Massachusetts that are educating our members and seeking meaningful change.”

The march is a unique opportunity for Local 888 members to connect with thousands of other energized activists interested in working for equality, decency and justice for all.

The Boston Women’s March for America is one of over 100 happening nationwide and internationally inspired by the Women’s March on Washington.

“We stand for religious freedom, human rights, climate justice, racial justice, economic justice and reproductive justice,” said Local 888 President Mark DelloRusso. “Together, we will send a message to our leaders and the world, that the United States stands for values of human decency, equal rights and freedom from discrimination.”

Click here to download the Local 888 Boston Women’s March for America flyer to boost turnout from your coworkers, friends and family.

Register for the march at Eventbrite: http://tinyurl.com/zw7tk4p

Womens’ March RideShare Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/155205758297373

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Raise Up Mass plans ambitious agenda

Local 888 is a member of the Raise Up Massachusetts, a coalition committed to building an economy that works for all of us.

Raise Up won a significant increase in the minimum wage in June 2014 — raising it from $8 to $11 over three years. Raise Up then led the campaign to ensure access to earned sick time for all workers by passing Question 4 in November 2014.

In 2015 and 2016, Raise Up passed a paid family and medical leave bill in the state Senate, fought to win a $15 wage for working people as part of the national Fight for $15 movement, and won the first of two votes by the full state Legislature needed to advance a new Fair Share Amendment to the 2018 ballot.

RaiseUpMA_LogoNext Steps
This year, Raise Up is focusing on winning three issues of critical importance to working families in Massachusetts:

  • Paid Family and Medical Leave to ensure that workers in Mass. are not forced to choose between work and their own health needs or the well-being of their family members.
  • A $15 Minimum Wage to make sure workers can earn a living wage so they can make ends meet and support their families.
  • The Fair Share Amendment that creates an additional tax of four percentage points on annual income above one million dollars for investments in quality public schools, affordable higher education, improved transportation, and high-quality early childhood education.

New fact sheets to help educate your coworkers, friends, and family about these three campaigns are available from Local 888. Email rwilson@seiu888.org

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Scholarship Winners!

Kaitlyn Vail and Karen Vail

Kaitlyn Vail and Karen Vail

Congratulations to three Local 888 members whose children have been awarded $500 union scholarships. The winners are: Nicholas Ferris whose mother Kerry Ferris works for the Hopkinton School paras; Tingwa Tam whose mother Qiaoyan Tam works for BPHC; and, Kaitlyn Vail whose mother Karen Vail works for the Hopkinton School cafeteria.

Nicholas and Kerry Ferris

Nicholas and Kerry Ferris

Tingwa Tam and Qiaoyan Tam

Tingwa Tam and Qiaoyan Tam

Local 888 offers college scholarships for members and their families to attend any post-secondary school of their choosing. For information about the next opportunity to apply, visit: http://tinyurl.com/j2dtver

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Brockton Cafeteria workers win big raises

Brockton Cafeteria workers won a new three-year agreement which included a $1 an hour increase in the first year and 2 percent raises in the second and third years.  The $1 across the board increase means members will get between 5 and 10 percent increases in the first year!

Brockton Cafeteria workers held a large membership meeting last year before contract negotiations to affirm their support for winning a new contract and to hear from State Rep. Michelle DuBois (standing in photo above) who strongly supported the workers.

Brockton Cafeteria workers held a large membership meeting last year before contract negotiations to affirm their support for winning a new contract and to hear from State Rep. Michelle DuBois (standing in photo above) who strongly supported the workers.

Other highlights: Members with over five years of service will receive a $300 longevity increase.  Four assistant managers were upgraded to managers, and the lead satellite position at the Huntington School was upgraded to Assistant Manager.

If a state of emergency results in a school closing, employees will be paid for up to two days per school year.  There were many other improvements, including higher pay and more security for caterers and an increase in the sick leave payout.

The agreement was ratified with 85 percent approval. 

Brockton High School Production manager Linda Machnig is the chapter chair and has worked at the Brockton schools for 26 years. She said, “We got ourselves together and really worked hard for almost a year on this agreement.  We got great help from the Local 888 and support from the community.  I’d really like to thank our Reps from Local 888, Maureen Medeiros and Larry Higgins.”

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Member Spotlight: “Quiet Heroes Among Us”

Local 888 member Peter Cavicchi wrote this month’s Member Spotlight column about two of his coworkers at the Boston Public Health Commission.

Counselors Phazon Martin and Mike Parkinson returned from working the Outreach Team at the Southampton St. Shelter. Mike and Phazon both stand six feet tall with strong muscles and keen minds.

Their actions kept five homeless people from overdosing on Boston’s tough streets. Mike described working from August to November, his hands squeezing the Narcan syringe in the nose of a near-death person.

 Pictured above is just one of the many holiday displays that custodian Doug Bowen creates every year for the Weymouth Schools.  Bowen says, "I enjoy building the displays and I try to come up with new ways to outdo myself. Of course I want to give the kids a 'wow' factor, but for me it's really all about the 'smile' factor!  Their smiles make it all worthwhile."  Bowen is the Weymouth Local 888 chapter chair. 


Pictured above is just one of the many holiday displays that custodian Doug Bowen creates every year for the Weymouth Schools.  Bowen says, “I enjoy building the displays and I try to come up with new ways to outdo myself. Of course I want to give the kids a ‘wow’ factor, but for me it’s really all about the ‘smile’ factor!  Their smiles make it all worthwhile.”  Bowen is the Weymouth Local 888 chapter chair.

Phazon has been with the Commission for 9 months full time and Mike has been working the last year full time. They receive satisfaction in helping other people, the drug dependent and homeless. They have empathy for them and their difficult circumstances. Mike and Phazon volunteered for the outreach positions. They broke the ground for this new program.

Mike and Phazon walk into a neighborhood to meet with homeless people hanging out and living outside.  They develop positive, nonjudgmental relationships with the goal of keeping people safe and helping to ensure they can get access to drug and alcohol treatment. They deal with overdoses and medical emergencies.

The BPHC Outreach Program was developed as a pilot program. Mike and Phazon’s successful work enabled the Outreach Team to become a permanent program for the City of Boston. Mike and Phazon recently returned to work as Counselors at the 450-bed Southampton Street Shelter.

Mike and Phazon really demonstrate the highest attributes for Counselors – and union members — at the Boston Public Health Commission.

A special shout out to our Local 888 staff rep, Mari Cooney!

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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For Weymouth custodian’s chapter chair: “It’s really all about the ‘smile’ factor!”

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Pictured above is just one of the many holiday displays that custodian Doug Bowen creates every year for the Weymouth Schools. Bowen says, “I enjoy building the displays and I try to come up with new ways to outdo myself. Of course I want to give the kids a ‘wow’ factor, but for me it’s really all about the ‘smile’ factor! Their smiles make it all worthwhile.” Bowen is the Weymouth Local 888 chapter chair.

 

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A well deserved retirement party!

Congratulations to Sharon Quint (in blue vest and hat), children’s director at the Brockton Public Library for 37 years! She celebrated her retirement with many of her fellow Local 888 members on January 5. (Photo Marc Vasconcellos, Brockton Enterprise)

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Fullscreen capture 192017 45728 PM.bmp

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Chapter Reports

group-of-people-protesting

Brewster School Custodians
Brewster School Custodians negotiated a new three- year contract with a salary increase of 6 percent over three years!  Deleting the first step and adding a new Step 14 at 2 percent helps senior members who are maxed out of steps. Also, a $25 across-the-board increase in longevity! The School Committee has agreed to help decrease out-of-pocket expenses by working with members to provide winter clothing and rain gear outside of their clothing allowance.

Monomoy Regional School Custodians
What a difference a contract makes!  The first contract with the Monomoy Regional School District was a battle that went into mediation. In December, a three-year contract was easily ratified with a revision to the salary schedule, dropping three steps and adding two steps from the eighteen-step salary schedule for the custodians. The contract includes a 10 percent increase for the custodians and a 12 percent increase for the lead custodians!  Double time on Sundays, an increase in outside function pay to forty dollars per hour, and an additional step in longevity after completing 24 years in the amount of $1,500 boosted pay to dedicated employees who have maxed out!  Longevity was increased across the board by $100 in the third year of the contract!  The biggest win was deleting language that redlined a member, giving him the opportunity for a 10 percent increase over the life of this contract, as well as all future salary increases!

Nauset School Custodians
Nauset School Custodians unanimously ratified a new three-year contract that includes a 2 percent increase each year, deletion of the first step and addition of a 14th step at 3 percent, a slight increase on the night differential and grounds person’s differential, a $25 increase on each step of longevity, and an increase in the limit of sick days from 160 to 180!  The School Committee agreed to provide winter clothing and rain gear, putting out of pocket expenses back in the members’ pockets, as well as disease control equipment and clothing!

SEIU Field Rep. Joan Caruso assisted with all of the above contract settlements.

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Coming Attractions

calendarSEIU 888 Executive Board meeting
Wed, Jan. 18, 10:00am at SEIU Local 888, 25 Braintree Hill Office Park, Braintree

COPA monthly meeting
Thurs, Jan 19, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
SEIU Local 888, 25 Braintree Hill Office Park, Braintree, MA. For more info contact: Joe Lazzerini jlazzerini@seiu888.org

Boston Education Justice Alliance town hall meeting
Thurs, Jan 19, 4pm – 8pm
Madison Park H.S., 75 Malcolm X Blvd, Boston
The Alliance to Reclaim Our School’s National Day of Action is on January 19th.  As part of this day of action, the Boston Education Justice Alliance is hosting a town hall meeting. For more info: bostonedjustice@gmail.com

Womens march Banner-1-to-2-ratio-1000x500Boston Women’s March for America
Sat, Jan 21, 11am
Gather on the Boston Common at the corner of Beacon and Charles Streets. Register for the March at Eventbrite http://tinyurl.com/zw7tk4p

Speak Up for Affordable Care
Wed. Jan. 25, National Call in Day
Rather than keeping what works and fixing what doesn’t in the Affordable Care Act, some members of Congress are rushing to repeal the healthcare law without a plan to replace it. On Jan. 25. call 866-426-2631 to tell Congress: “Show us your plan to lower healthcare costs and make improvements before taking vital healthcare and Medicaid away from millions of Americans, our children and aging parents.”  Download a flyer to promote the call-in with your coworkers, friends, and family here: http://tinyurl.com/jjlho3w

Popular Education Training of Trainers for Women
Mon, Feb 6, 9:30am – 4:00pm
MTA, 48 Sword St, Auburn, MA 01501
Popular Education (Basic and Advanced) Training of Trainers for Women. Sponsored by WILD
Cost – $25 for breakfast, lunch and all materials (Free to WILD women volunteers and facilitators)

For more information contact Susan Winning at 978-934-3127. Learn more at: http://wildlabor.org

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Fight for $15 in the streets and at the statehouse

On Nov. 29 thousands of workers from across the United States took to the streets in a movement for fairness and justice.

SEIU Local 888 Political Director Dan Hoffer was arrested at the McDonald's in Cambridge along with 33 other fast food and labor leaders.

SEIU Local 888 Political Director Dan Hoffer was arrested at the McDonald’s in Cambridge along with 33 other fast food and labor leaders.

Please consider joining this historic campaign for a $15 statewide minimum wage by taking a pledge to stand with underpaid workers fighting for basic rights. In Massachusetts, Local 888 members and staff took the streets with fast food workers in front of McDonalds to demand that corporations stop paying poverty wages. Thirty-four workers; community, faith, and labor leaders; and elected officials including State Senator Jamie Eldridge committed civil disobedience and were arrested. Hundreds rallied outside of Logan Airport to demand $15 an hour and union rights for airport workers. In the afternoon, we gathered at the State House to announce that Raise Up Massachusetts will be launching a legislative campaign for a $15 statewide minimum wage.

SEIU Local 888 is part of an ambitious campaign to raise the wages for the thousands of hard-working underpaid workers across the Commonwealth, who make up a third of the state’s workforce. If you agree, pledge your support and join the campaign today.

Check out Local 888’s Facebook page to see photos from the day of action! Read more about the Day of Action here.

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Serious threats to health care emerge

Working families value the safety and security of their health coverage more than ever. Yet despite broad support, congressional Republicans are moving to try and rush through a plan that would take away health care from more than 22 million Americans – with no plan to replace it.

Congress needs to work together to fix what’s broken in the Affordable Care Act to make it work better for everyone, not simply tear the whole thing down.

Repealing the Affordable Care Act without any replacement would result in all sorts of unintended consequences that will harm seniors, children and working families.

The drive to repeal the Affordable Care Act is just the first step in Republican plans to cut Medicaid and turn Medicare into a voucher system. This would plunge our entire health care system and American households into a crisis at a time when we can least afford it.

  • Republicans want to take away health care from 22 million people.
  • Many seniors, children and people with disabilities who get their healthcare through Medicaid would be left to fend for themselves.
  • Anyone with a preexisting condition will go back to being at the mercy of insurance companies.
  • Their actions would destroy Medicare and increase seniors’ drug costs.

For a detailed briefing paper on “Threats to health care in 2017 and beyond,” email rwilson@seiu888.org or call 617 241-3300.

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Member Spotlight on Jonathan Dudley

Jonathan Dudley, a Gardner Head Start teacher with the Montachusetts Opportunity Council, wanted to show that when workers in North Central Mass. take a stand, they do not stand alone.  After learning about a lock-out at the hardware chain Aubuchon, Dudley launched an online fundraiser. Within a week, more than $1500 in donations from across the country flooded in.

Jonathan Dudley (at right), congratulates a locked-out Aubuchon Hardware warehouse worker just prior to giving him a Thanksgiving turkey.

Jonathan Dudley (at right), congratulates a locked-out Aubuchon Hardware warehouse worker just prior to giving him a Thanksgiving turkey.

“I was really proud that workers at Aubuchon were standing up to outsourcing, but found it heart breaking that they were locked out just a few weeks before the Thanksgiving Holiday and with winter on the way,” explained Dudley. “I believe in solidarity, and that means showing up for each other when it counts.”

Dudley works with members of Teamsters Local 170 who drive the buses that transport children to the preschool where he is a teacher.  He reached out to the Teamsters and his own union to support his idea to have an online fundraiser to buy Thanksgiving turkeys for each of the locked-out warehouse workers. The locked-out Teamsters added the fundraiser to their Facebook page, and word about the effort spread.

The lock-out began because union members rejected new contract language that would have facilitated out sourcing. On Nov. 18, Teamsters Local 170 and Aubuchon reached an agreement to end the twelve-day lock-out. Workers now have a three-year contact that offers ample protections for good local jobs. Dudley hopes the community support represented by the turkey fundraiser helped encourage Aubuchon to settle with the union.

Jonathan Dudley (at far right) was joined by Teamster Local 170 leaders and Winchester labor activist Ken Marian at the Thanksgiving turkey distribution.

Jonathan Dudley (at far right) was joined by Teamster Local 170 leaders and Winchester labor activist Ken Marian at the Thanksgiving turkey distribution.

“Nobody wanted to see the Aubuchon workers eating Thanksgiving dinner on the picket-line or consumers refusing to shop at Aubuchon stores on Black Friday,” says Dudley. “I wanted the locked-out Teamsters members to know that the community had their back.”

SEIU Local 888 which unites area child care and Head Start workers; Gardner Department of Public Works employees made an organizational contribution, as did a Communication Workers local from upstate New York.  Head Start employees from Athol to Fitchburg took up a collection at work, and so did workers at the Verizon call center in Gardner.  The call center workers are veterans of the seven-week long Verizon strike that ended last June.

“It made me so hopeful to hear that the IBEW members at Verizon were taking up a collection,” says Dudley. “They took a stand against outsourcing and won, now they’re supporting local warehouse workers to do the same. This Thanksgiving I’m thankful for solidarity!”

News articles about the turkey distribution appeared in the Sentinel & Enterprise and the Gardner News.

More photos of Local 888’s Jonathan Dudley and Teamsters Local 170 leaders handing out turkeys are posted online here.

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