More and more unions are following the lead of the SEIU and Local 888 — and endorsing proposals for a Medicare-for-All model for the U.S. Meanwhile more than 100 House Democrats are supporting just such a plan, which would make health care a basic human right in this country.
“Today in America, 30 million people are uninsured; 40 million are underinsured. We have the most expensive healthcare system in the world and yet our outcomes are the worst of all industrialized countries,” said the chief sponsor of the Medicare for All Act of 2019, U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington state.U.S. House members from Massachusetts who have endorsed the bill include Katherine Clark, William Keating, Joseph P. Kennedy, James McGovern, Ayanna Pressley and Lori Trahan.
At its 2017 convention, the Massachusetts AFL-CIO backed the Resolution in Support of Health Care as a Human Right. Delegates voted to support federal and state bills “that embody the principles of a single-payer Medicare-for-All system.”
Similarly, the national AFL-CIO passed a resolution in 2017 endorsing Medicare for All model. One goal would be to cut overall costs by eliminating the red tape and inefficiency of private health insurance.
For more information on the Medicare for All Act of 2019, see https://jayapal.house.gov/medicare-for-all/medicare-for-all-act-of-2019/?
Three Massachusetts members of Congress haven’t endorsed the act. You can reach them by going to their websites’ contact section: Stephen Lynch at https://lynch.house.gov/contact-me/email-me, Seth Moulton at https://moulton.house.gov/contact/, Richard Neal at https://neal.house.gov/contact
Veteran Local 888 leader Josh Clancy is leaving behind his marathon plowing days to become an internal organizer for the union.
Clancy had served as Local 888 chapter president over five years at the Tyngsborough Department of Public Works. He was the lead negotiator in the last round of contract talks. A key win, he said, was the addition of longevity pay — up to $3,000 annually for someone on their anniversary date after 20 years of service.
When it comes to negotiations, “you have to keep pushing — don’t take no for an answer. At the same time, you still have to find common ground.”
How do you get there?
“Small talk is important. You learn to see eye-to-eye with people like the town administrator. You pick up a lot of information that you can use later to try get the parties into alignment.”
In addition, Clancy worked to bring the town’s other unionized workers together so as to bargain from a stronger position. “My favorite part of my old job was dealing with management on behalf of my chapter members and working with the other unions.”
Clancy worked for the Tyngsborough DPW as a skilled laborer for 10 years: “I enjoyed it all,” he said, commenting on the range of duties.
Perhaps the DPW’s most prominent role is cleaning the roads of snow and ice — which could mean ridiculously long hours plowing and sanding. “Plowing and sanding during storms, there were times we worked 30-plus hours straight,” he said. Improving break times and pay for this service was an important contract victory.
He comes from a union family, with relatives belonging to various locals — including an aunt who was a chapter president for Local 888.
Clancy and his wife, Lisa, have a daughter, Lydia, 6. In his off hours, Clancy likes to take his daughter out fishing in a canoe. They live in Mason, N.H.
FAIR SHARE AMENDMENT HEARING: Thurs., April 11, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., SEIU State Council office, 145 Tremont St., Boston.
MGM SPRINGFIELD FUNDRAISER: Benefits SEIU Local 888 COPA (Committee on Political Action). Cost: $40. May 4 event includes breakfast sandwich and charter bus, which leaves at 10 a.m. from the Local 888 headquarters, 25 Braintree Hill Office Park, Braintree. Also: as much as $20 in MGM casino scrip and a $10 food credit. For more details, see http://www.seiu888.org/
PROMOTING POLITICAL PARTICIPATION: Wed., May 15, 1 to 2:30 p.m., SEIU State Council office, 145 Tremont St., Boston.
The SEIU Local 888 COPA meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 26 is POSTPONED until Tuesday, April 2. The meeting will take place at the SEIU Massachusetts State Council Office, second floor, 145 Tremont Street, Boston. The meeting will start at 6:30 PM.
Stop & Shop workers deserve respect in the workplace. These folks are at the front line of the stores every day and work hard to make sure that we are able to feed ourselves and our families — and right now they need our solidarity!
You may have heard in the news that Stop & Shop workers recently voted to approve a strike across New England. This does not mean that they will definitely go on strike — they would much rather get the dignity they deserve from their bosses without taking that drastic step. The ratification vote is the result of years of disrespect in the workplace and relentless requests to accept lower pay and worse benefits.
It’s time for customers to stand up and tell Stop & Shop we won’t accept this treatment of the workers in our community!
Here’s what you can do:
· Sign our petition in support of workers here
· Show up for Western Mass Stop & Shop workers on Wednesday, March 20 at 12 pm in Chicopee. Link to the Facebook event here
· Show up for Boston area Stop & Shop workers on Saturday, March 23 at 11 am in Somerville. Link to the Facebook event here
· Share the links in this email with your family and friends!
Starting Friday, March 15th, there will be a temporary pick up and drop off location at the Quincy Adams T Station due to garage construction. At this time, the T is not giving us a lot of information. This spot may change during the progress of the construction. We will keep you updated with any changes.