Union Updates

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

Look for your Local 888 ballot in February and VOTE!

All Local 888 members in good standing should receive a ballot in the mail in early February.

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Ballots will be mailed to all members no later than February 2. The election will conclude on March 3, 2018 with the vote count at 10:00 am.

Local 888 has an Election Committee that is supervising the election. Gordan Luciano, who works at the Lottery, is chairing the committee. Other Local 888 members on the committee are Meta Jones (Boston), Lenny DiBartolomeao (Chelsea) and alternate Kathleen Porrazzo (Quincy Housing Authority). Members with questions, concerns, or protests should send them to: SEIU Local 888 Election Committee, 25 Braintree Hill Office Park Suite #306, Braintree, MA 02184 or emailed to gluciano508@verizon.net

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Scholarship winners!

scholarshipsCongratulations to five Local 888 members whose children have been awarded union scholarships. Pictured left to right are: Maya Barnes, daughter of Deitra Barnes (awarded $500), and Alyssa Towle, daughter of Carol Towle (awarded $500 scholarship), and Michael Anderson, son of Erin Anderson ($1,000 Greg King Scholarship). Not pictured: Winners Samuel Colella, son of Deborah Colella and Meriel Borowko, daughter of Debra Borowko

 

Learn more about Local 888 Scholarships here: www.seiu888.org/888members/benefits/scholarships

 

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Local 888 participates in Agawam Wreath Laying Ceremony

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Honoring Veterans: Kwesi Ablordeppey, Holyoke Soldiers Home; Jennifer Reynolds, Amherst; Lori Moran, Watertown; and Brenda Rodrigues.

Local 888 elected leaders and members participated in Wreaths Across America’s event at the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery, where Local 888 has members. Local 888 member Joshua Kusnierz who works at the Agawam cemetery had invited Local 888 to participate in the event.

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Member Tina Almeida featured in Somerville Alderman’s newsletter

hibrantina almeidaLocal 888 Crossing guard Tina Almeida was recently recognized by newly elected Somerville Alder Stephanie Hirsch who wrote “Tina brings a joyful and safe morning to kids and adults in Union Square each day. The long-time Mansfield Street resident became a crossing guard after she had been a hospice nurse. She wanted to get out in the sunshine and get moving. She loves to be around children and all her regulars who cross.”

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Members ask: “Where do my union dues go?”

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Union dues are one of the ways that workers build power—by pooling money to allow for representation, legal services, and an organization backing them up.

Visit Local 888’s website to find out more about your union dues.

At the bottom of the web page “Where do my union dues go?” click on the link to see a report on Local 888’s 2015 and 2016 revenue and expenses.

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Local 888 member needs help after devastating fire

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SEIU Local 888 member and Chelsea Soldiers’ Home employee, Christine Cyr suffered a devastating loss when her home caught fire in Lynn on January 8 leaving her homeless. Cyr lost all her belongings including her pets. Local 888 Executive Board member and Chelsea Soldiers Home union leader Rick Moffatt requested $500 support for Cyr and her family from the union’s Benevolent Fund.

Local 888 member Christine Cyr told CBS Local News that her fiancé evacuated the building so quickly that he was unable to even grab their two cats and two birds. “The whole roof caved down, the whole building. They couldn’t put the fire out for hours,” Cyr said. “I lost my babies so, kind of numb. It doesn’t seem real.”

Want to help?
Members are urged to contribute via a “Go Fund Me” web site, which can be found at this link, http://bit.ly/2mkXplz. So far $1,238 of the $2,000 goal was raised in just two days!

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Day of Action planned for “opening day” of Supreme Court Janus case

SEIU is planning a national day of action on Feb. 26, the first day of oral arguments regarding the “Janus v AFSCME” case at the Supreme Court. The Massachusetts AFL-CIO is also mobilizing its public service union affiliates to take action that day too. In Massachusetts, members will wear stickers and hold worksite events.

An AFL-CIO planning and Janus messaging meeting to prepare local leaders is planned for Jan. 23 at the MTA HQ in Quincy. Chapter leaders interested in participating will be provided with an “action toolkit,” talking points, social media graphics, stickers, placards, a press advisory template, and a press release template.

For more information contact Local 888 organizing and communication director Rand Wilson at rwilson@seiu888.org

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Earn your college associate degree or certificate online for free!

With the SEIU Free College Benefit, eligible SEIU members and their families can earn an Associate Degree or Certificate online without having to pay for tuition, fees or e-books. A new partnership with Eastern Gateway Community College, part of the University System of Ohio and regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, offers grants that fill the gap between any federal, state, or employer education grants the student receives and the cost of tuition, fees, and e-books for certain online programs:

  • Associate Degree: Accounting, Business Management, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Individualized Study, Paralegal
  • Certificate: Business Management, Patient Home Navigator

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First launched with AFSCME in 2015, thousands of students have already taken advantage of millions of dollars in scholarships. We are proud to bring this benefit to SEIU members.

  • Register at: www.seiumb.com/shopping-discounts/seiu-free-college-benefit.htm
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit any required verification. Any grant award must be applied to tuition, fees and e-book charges.
  • Agree to use any employer-provided educational assistance.
  • Verify High School or GED completion by having official transcripts sent to Eastern Gateway Community College.

Have any questions? See SEIU’s Frequently Asked Questions at this link: http://bit.ly/2FoJjbs

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Blue Hills Chapter contract victories

Blue Hills Regional School Custodians:
Blue Hills Custodians recently voted unanimously to ratify an MOA providing for almost 6% over three years (retroactive) plus a step increase of 2.5% which a majority of its membership will benefit from during the term of the new contract. An increase in the clothing allowance and paid stipends for attaining certain required certifications were also gained, along with other advantageous contract language.
Blue Hills Clerical:
Clerical workers also recently voted unanimously to ratify an MOA providing for a 6% increase over three years (retroactive) plus an increase in its longevity benefits at all levels.  Advantageous contract language was also gained, including language upholding seniority rights.

“I wanted to thank both negotiating teams,” said Local 888 Internal Organizer Larry Higgins. “Each team did a tremendous job in researching and providing relevant and impactful information that was instrumental in the negotiation process.”

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Officer & Exec. Board Elections set for Feb. 2018

electionnoticeThe date for the Local 888 election of Officers, Executive Board and Trustees has been set! Ballots will be mailed no later than Feb. 2 to all members in good standing. The election will conclude on March 3, 2018 with the vote count at 10:00.

The election is for positions of President, Secretary-Treasurer, Recording Secretary, eighteen Executive Board members and three Trustees. The Local has retained MK Election Services to print, assemble and mail ballots to all members in good standing.

The election will be overseen by a three-person Election Committee: Gordon Luciano, Chair (Lottery), Meta Jones (Boston), Lenny DiBartolomeao (Chelsea). Kathleen Porrazzo, (Quincy Housing Authority) Alternate.

Questions, concerns, or protests should be sent to: SEIU Local 888 Election Committee, 25 Braintree Hill Office Park Suite #306, Braintree, MA 02184 or e-mailed to gluciano508@verizon.net.

The Election Committee will be guided by three principles: Be fair and impartial, treat all candidates equally and avoid favoritism or even the appearance of favoritism; follow the election provisions of Local 888’s Constitution and Bylaws and any other election rules consistent with federal law; and protect the right of every member to nominate candidates, run for office, and vote by secret ballot for officers of the local.

More information including the official election notice, official nomination petition, and the election committee’s general election policies and procedures can be found at www.seiu888.org/888members/elections

Look for your Local 888 ballot in the mail in February and vote!

Local Election Timeline:

  • Nominating petitions and Candidate statements are available to be picked up at the union hall or on Local 888’s website. Petitions must be returned to the union hall by 5:00pm
    December 22, 2017
  • Ballots must be received by 9:00 am Saturday, March 3, 2018 Ballots must be returned using the postage paid envelope to be counted. The ballot count will supervised by MK Election Services at 10:00 am on March 3 at the union hall.
  • Swearing-in ceremony of new officers May 1, 2018

 

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Raise Up Mass signature collection victory!

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Raise Up Mass collected more than 271,000 signatures to put raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour and paid family and medical leave on the ballot in 2018. The coalition collected 137,000 signatures for boosting the minimum wage and 133,500 for paid leave.

Local 888 members collecting 875 signatures for raising the minimum wage and 845 for paid family medical leave. Congratulations to all who helped in this monumental effort!

Did you collect signatures? Share your story about what it was like talking to your fellow members. How did other members respond? Please contact Penelope at pjennewein@seiu888.org to share your experience.

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Emerson Staff Fight Back!

On Nov. 28, the Boston Globe ran a front-page story on Emerson College’s plan for development along the Boston Common. Emerson is planning to make a big push to grow their reputation and increase their presence in Boston.

The article did not mention that while Emerson administration is seeking to increase its influence, it is also in contract negotiations with staff. Half of Emerson workers are paid below market rate for peer institutions, while management offers new hires higher wages than veteran workers in the same title.

Untitled10Emerson’s Staff Union Bargaining Committee responded to this story with the following statement:

Reading about Emerson’s ‘big plans’ to boost its image hit a sore nerve for Emerson staff who are working for unlivable wages. Emerson’s attempt to build a civically engaged liberal arts college is tone-deaf on a good day.

After forming a union in the Spring of 2016, we are still negotiating our first contract. Management insists that it cannot raise our pay, and that it is low because we work for a non-profit. Then, in the same week, they purchase a building for $24 million!

Emerson’s own comparative compensation studies show staff is paid well below market rate. Management uses its building renovations as an excuse for why our salaries are so far behind. Real estate may be a good investment, but an investment in the employees working in these spaces who actually make the college successful is long overdue.

The staff union has had over 20 bargaining sessions over the past year. Before their last bargaining session, the Bargaining Committee hosted a “coffee hour” for staff. Over 50 Emerson staff came to greet management’s bargaining team as they walked in to the negotiations.

All Local 888 members are urged to support Emerson staff union’s fight for a good contract by signing an online petition!

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