Union Updates

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

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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Want to star in a short video about Local 888’s mission?

The greatest threat to Local 888 — and all unions — is that so many members don’t have any idea what makes our union strong and effective. But that’s not the fault of the members!

Lights, Camera ActionLocal 888 must do a better job explaining and educating members about what the union does and ways that members can contribute to making it better.

We are looking to make three 3-minute videos starring Local 888 members about how Local 888 has improved their lives either at work or in the community.

These videos will be used to help members understand the fundamental values that shape our union and provide them with the arguments they need to defend and spread those values.

The videos will be a resource for every member – new and old – who values having a voice at work and rights on the job.

Interested in telling your story?  Contact Local 888 Communications Director Rand Wilson at rwilson@seiu888.org or call 617 241-3300.

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Updated Public Records Law

Under the new public records law, each town must appoint a “Records Access Officer” to coordinate and manage the municipalities’ response to public records requests. These additional duties may impact some Local 888 members who are assigned additional responsibilities.

Public RecordsRead more about the new public records law here: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/pre/prenotice.htm

The new requirements went into effect the first of the year and must be fully implemented by July 2017.

As a member, have you encountered new responsibilities as a result of the law?  As a leader, are you bargaining over changes to job descriptions related to it?  Have you won members more money for the extra responsibilities?

Send reports from your workplace to Local 888 Assistant Director of Field Services Maureen Medeiros, mmedeiros@seiu888.org.

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Catalina Colon honored for service to the City of Boston

Catalina ColonAdministrative Guild member Catalina Colon (pictured above, second from left) retired after 17 years of service to the City of Boston. She was honored by her coworkers, family and SEIU Local 888 members at a luncheon. Catalina also works with members from the Boston P&E department.

Coworkers brought gifts and she received a citation from the City Council for her outstanding public service. SEIU Local 888 officers also presented a certificate of appreciation and purple carnations!

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Local 888 resolution on repairing schools anticipated COB report

A Local 888 resolution that was adopted at the 2016 membership convention on calling on the state and municipalities to “Fix Massachusetts Schools Now!,” anticipated a City of Boston report that more than half of Boston’s schools are plagued by poor or deficient air quality, which studies have linked to low student achievement and high rates of asthma.

The report’s findings, released on March 2, are based on an examination of schools’ ventilation systems or the lack of them, and other factors that can affect air quality, including the inability to open windows.

Local 888 members at the Boston Public Schools’ Planning & Engineering Dept. take great pride in their work, but are frustrated by bureaucratic and budget constraints that impede their jobs. They will be looking at creative ways to proactively bring Boston Schools into compliance with state and federal standards.

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MassCOSH 40th Anniversary Gala

Thu, April 6, 6:00pm – 8:30pm. The Lenox Hotel, 61 Exeter St, Boston, MA  Buy tickets here: www.masscoshat40.brownpapertickets.com

MassCOSH LogoJoin MassCOSH in Celebrating 40 Years of Fighting Hard for Workers. 

With Honorary Event Co-Chair Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Master of Ceremonies Senator Linda Dorcena Forry. The event honors Firefighters’ General Secretary-Treasurer Ed Kelly; State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg; Senator Marc Pacheco; Representative Jim O’Day and the family of the late Ricardo Oliveira.

For 40 years, the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH) has stood side-by-side with our fellow brothers and sisters to fight for safe and healthy working conditions. Over the decades, we have created real change – in workplaces, in our laws, and in people’s lives – with our message of safe jobs and healthy work as a right, not a privilege.

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Chapter Reports

group-of-people-protestingMalden School Clericals
Malden School Clericals negotiated a new three- year contract with a salary increase of 6 percent over three years with $150 across the board increase to longevity. Twelve member’s positions were upgraded and bereavement leave was increased from 3 to 5 days.

Winchester School Custodians
Winchester School Custodians negotiated a new three-year contract with a salary increase of 7.25 percent over three years!  Members also won paid lunch periods, an increase in longevity after 25 years, a $25 increase on sick time buyback, an increase in their clothing allowance and position upgrades.

SEIU Field Rep. David Nagle assisted with the above contract settlements.

Do you want to distribute the Spark to your coworkers?

To receive multiple copies of the Spark, indicate how many copies you would like on an online subscription form at: http://tinyurl.com/z7l3jdm or just email the information to: rwilson@seiu888.org


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Coming Attractions

calendarWILD in the Winter
Sat, March 11, 8:30am – 3:30pm
BEST training Center, 2201 Washington Street, Boston
Come to a WILD Winter Program and learn how to face the attacks on immigrants and labor. $20 registration fee. Light breakfast and lunch included.

SEIU Local 888 BCYF Party
Sat, March 11, 9:00 pm;
ZC Boston, 801 Massachusetts Ave, Boston
Refreshments, appetizers & raffles.  3hr free parking is available.
Questions? Please call or text Hajji 857-829-1550

COPA monthly meeting
Thurs, March 16, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
SEIU Local 888, 25 Braintree Hill Office Park, Braintree, MA.
For more info contact: Joe Lazzerini jlazzerini@seiu888.org

Labor Guild Classes begin
Mon, Mar. 13, 7:00 – 9:30pm 66
Labor Guild School, Brooks Drive, Braintree
Local 888 scholarships available
Info & Register online at: www.laborguild.com/school

Exploring Class and Classism
Tue, March 14, 5:30pm – 9:00pm
BEST Hospitality Training Center (Dudley Square)
2201 Washington Street, Boston
Why is class often so difficult to talk about? How do class differences impact our work, our relationships and our workplaces? What is your class story? Find out more and register here: http://www.classism.org/events/exploring-class-classism-2/  Pizza & refreshments will be served.

SEIU 888 Executive Board meeting
Wed, Mar. 15, 10:00am at SEIU Local 888,
25 Braintree Hill Office Park, Braintree

Conference on the state of labor in Boston
Saturday, Apr 1, 2017
Coffee 8:30 am. Program begins at 9:00 am through 3:15 pm. 
University of Massachusetts Boston, 100 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, MA
This conference will bring together a wide range of people who share a commitment to understanding the state of labor and working people in the Boston region.  More info at https://www.umb.edu/lrc/events.

Greater Boston Labor Council Annual Legislative Breakfast
Mon, April 10, 8:30am – 10:00am
Omni Parker House, 60 School St, Boston, MA 02108
Annual Legislative Breakfast for state lawmakers from within GBLC’s twenty-four community jurisdiction. The breakfast provides an opportunity to outline labor’s state legislative agenda to lawmakers. http://gbclc.com/legislative-breakfast

2017 Public Sector Union Health Care Forum
Tue, April 11, 8:30am – 12:30pm
One Enterprise Drive 7th Floor Quincy, MA
Are you a union member involved in public sector collective bargaining? This forum will feature a great lineup of presenters and a panel discussion with local industry experts. Topics will include: Health Care Strategies Product Pipeline (What you may see at the bargaining table), Pharmacy Strategies, Health Care Reform Update. Space is limited, so register today! To RSVP, contact Steve Dion at 617-246-7908 or Stephen.Dion@bcbsma.com.

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/

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Distribute the Spark to your coworkers!

Would you like copies of the Spark to distribute to your coworkers?

Extra Extra Read all about itTo receive multiple copies of the Spark, indicate how many copies you would like on an online subscription form at: http://tinyurl.com/z7l3jdm or just email the information to: rwilson@seiu888.org

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It’s Time to Stand Up, Show Up, Rise Up

By Mark DelloRusso, President, SEIU Local 888

Mark DelloRusso

Mark DelloRusso

Our country has been a beacon of hope for hundreds of years, yet our new president has chosen to scapegoat immigrants and refugees claiming that this will protect our jobs and national security.

Let’s be clear: immigrant families strengthen our communities and our economy by creating millions of jobs every year. Today immigrants are running almost a fifth of our small businesses, and doing much of the work our families depend on, including caring for our children, the sick and the elderly, and securing and cleaning our offices and airports.  Many immigrants are members of Local 888 or our sister SEIU locals here in Massachusetts.

In just his first few weeks in office, President Trump has launched a frontal assault on working families and our communities. But there is good news: Huge collective actions like the Boston Women’s March, the Day of Action for the Fight for $15, our campaign to protect affordable health care, and the outpouring of support at airports for our nation’s immigrants and refugees have given many Local 888 members hope and inspiration. These actions — and the millions of people coming together to demand better from our president — they represent the true spirit of America.

SEIU is encouraging all of us to Stand Up, to Show Up, and to Rise Up for an economy and a democracy that work for all us.
Here are three things you can do:

  1. Sign the petitionto say you will stand up against the attacks.
  2. Join an actionto be part of the growing movement for our families.
  3. Share on social mediato add your voice to those speaking out.

By uniting and organizing, we have overcome setbacks in the past. Together we can do it again.  Now is the time to stand up, show up, and rise up against these attacks on our families and our shared values.

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