Union Updates

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

How you can help workers on strike at Verizon

Nearly 40,000 Verizon and Verizon Wireless workers are on strike for good jobs with quality health and retiree benefits.  Below are some ways that SEIU members can show their support.  An injury to one is an injury to all!

1) Get some union members together and take a photo showing your solidarity with the strikers.

SEIU Members say we support Verizon workersPrint out this message of solidarity, SEIU Members say we support Verizon workers or make your own sign for the picture.  Send your photos to rwilson@seiu888org. Local 888 will forward them to the appropriate people.

2) Contribute to the strike fund for Verizon Wireless workers set up by CWA members at AT&T Mobility.

Verizon Wireless store workers are striking for the first time ever at six stores in Brooklyn, NY and one in Everett, MA. They’re still without a first contract, two years after they voted to join CWA. They make significantly less than their wireline counterparts and thus have less to fall back on during the strike.  Anything that can be done to support them and strengthen their morale and resolve in this fight is very helpful for them as workers and for the entire struggle with Verizon, since the company would love nothing more than to prevent unions from getting a foothold on the Wireless side.

3) Visit the Stand Up to Verizon website (http://standuptoverizon.com/) and sign-up for updates there and on their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/standuptoverizon/).

That’s where you can find the latest info on picket line locations, updates on the strike from the union, etc.
You can also circulate the petition supporting the strike to members and allies: http://standuptoverizon.com/petition/
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Local 888 supports the Fight for $15!

More than a thousand people demonstrated in favor of a $15 minimum wage at the statehouse on April 14. The rally was part of a day of action in dozens of cities around the world. See additional picture and more info on page 2.

More than a thousand people demonstrated in favor of a $15 minimum wage at the statehouse on April 14. The rally was part of a day of action in dozens of cities around the world. See additional picture and more info on page 2.

Local 888 leaders and staff at the April 14 "Fight for $15" rally. Left to right: Jen Springer, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Joe Lazzerini, Mike Kelly, Peter Bala, Mark DelloRusso, Steve D'Amico, Gayle McMahon, Dan Hoffer, Ian Adelman, and DJ Cronin.

Local 888 leaders and staff at the April 14 “Fight for $15” rally. Left to right: Jen Springer, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Joe Lazzerini, Mike Kelly, Peter Bala, Mark DelloRusso, Steve D’Amico, Gayle McMahon, Dan Hoffer, Ian Adelman, and DJ Cronin.

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Show your support for striking workers at Verizon!

As a result of the strike, Local 888’s FAX machine is down. 

Verizon workers are on strike to create a better workplace for themselves and future employees. They are standing together to make sure the needs of working families are met, instead of standing by as a handful of corporate executives get richer and richer.

fightingforourfutureThey are standing together because Verizon has fired, threatened, and intimidated working people at Verizon Wireless who are trying to create a better future for themselves and their families.

They are standing together because they want to earn a living in their own communities instead of moving away from our homes and their families for months at a time. They want good jobs to stay in the United States, not be sent overseas.

Now is the time for all of us to stand together to make sure that working people at Verizon can not only make a good living, but also have a good life.

Visit www.cwa-union.org to sign a petition to Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam to support the striking workers

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Stand with striking Verizon workers by adding your name to petition to CEO McAdam

This morning, working people at Verizon went on strike. It’s never good when working families have to take this step, but Verizon workers felt they had no choice.

fightingforourfutureThey’re fighting to create a better workplace for themselves and those who come after them. They aren’t going to give up until Verizon ends its push to send jobs overseas, stops intimidating Verizon Wireless workers trying to create a better future for themselves and their families, and drops its demands to cut retirement benefits, gut job security and make workers move away from their homes and families for months at a time just to keep their jobs.

Click here to immediately sign and share our petition to tell Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam, “Enough is enough. Settle a fair contract with working people at Verizon and Verizon Wireless now.”

These demands from Verizon executives are absurd. Verizon workers helped the company make $39 billion in profits over the last three years—and $1.8 billion a month in profits over the first three months of 2016. But that’s not enough for Verizon.

The company’s greed knows no bounds. While the company continues to demand working people give back more and more, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam made $18 million last year. That’s more than 200 times the compensation of the average Verizon employee!

It’s time for Verizon to acknowledge that working families also have a right to do well in America. It’s time for a contract that’s fair to Verizon’s working people and the customers they serve.

Click here to immediately sign and share our petition telling Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam you’ve got the back of striking workers and want him to settle a fair contract now.

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Friends of Libraries: House Ways & Means budget will be released today

The House Committee on Ways and Means will release its FY 2017 budget recommendation on Wednesday, April 13th at noon.

What you can do:
As soon as the budget is announced, the Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Legislative Committee will contact you and other library supporters with the names of amendment sponsors. At that time, you will be asked to contact your legislators in the House immediately and urge them to sign on as co-sponsors to the library amendments and vote to make state funding for libraries a priority.

You need to act fast:
House Members will have until 5pm on Friday, April 15th to file and sign on to co-sponsor amendments. MBLC Commissioners are working with legislators to get amendments filed as soon as possible, hopefully that afternoon. The sooner an amendment is filed, the more time it leaves for other legislators to sign on as co-sponsors. The timing is very tight.

Your advocacy will be the deciding factor as to whether or not we are successful in generating enough support to increase funding for the library budget lines. Watch for an email on April 13th!

Numbers make a difference. Let’s set a goal of getting at least 10 people from each community to contact their legislators!
Thank you for your help. More to info to come tomorrow!

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Emerson staff vote “Union YES!”

An overwhelming majority of Emerson clerical, technical and professional employees in the academic affairs unit voted to form a union with SEIU Local 888 on April 7. The vote was supervised by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Emerson staff celebrate their union election victory.

Emerson staff celebrate their union election victory.

Employees at the college formed a committee of their co-workers to educate one another about the advantages of collective bargaining and build a strong internal network of supporters. The committee also reached out to other campus unions and to students for support during the organizing process. Other higher education unions at colleges and universities throughout the metropolitan area also expressed their solidarity.

“I’m proud to be part of this great group of people who worked so hard to achieve this victory together – 59 to 7 is a resounding affirmation!” said Estelle Ticktin, an administrative assistant in the Communication Sciences and Disorders department.

“We met with President Pelton and the senior leadership team before the election to discuss our shared values and our desire to make Emerson a great school and an even better place to work,” said John-Albert Moseley, a program coordinator in the Visual and Media Arts department. “We hope to move quickly into negotiations with management for our first contract.”

Emerson staff celebrate their union election victory.

Emerson staff celebrate their union election victory.

Emerson staff will now democratically choose a committee of their co-workers to participate on a bargaining committee, who along with professional staff from SEIU Local 888, will meet with management to negotiate their first agreement.

“We’re thrilled with this victory and we are excited about the prospect of our other colleagues joining with us in the near future,” said Shaylin Hogan, a senior administrative associate in Writing, Literature and Publishing.

The workers will be joining hundreds of similar employees at UMass Lowell, Boston University, and Brandeis University who are already united in Local 888.

“Local 888 unites workers in both public and private colleges and universities in Massachusetts,” said Mark DelloRusso, president of Local 888. “It’s exciting to be part of an upsurge of workers in higher education who are demanding a voice in making their schools the best that they can be.”

To learn more about the Emerson staff union, visit www.ouremerson.rocks.

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Join the Fight for $15 in 2016!

RSVP here!
Thursday, April 14th, 3:30PM
MA State House

image-56f5a1f25c7b5-defaultOn April 14th, low-wage workers and allies will join together nationwide for a historic movement to Fight for $15. You won’t want to miss it.

For every hard working underpaid worker who dreams of a better future for their family – and for every person who believes that’s a dream worth fighting for, this is it. This is the day to be louder, stronger, and more united than we’ve ever been.

Together we’re turning the tide in favor of working people and our families. And we’ll need everyone’s help — including members of Local 888 — to make this a reality.

Are you fed up with working families being forced to survive on poverty wages, while being exploited by companies raking in billions of dollars of profit? On April 14th, 2016, SEIU members are taking to the streets to do something about it.

Will you be there to stand up for $15/hour?   RSVP here!

Come for the Rally stay for a Drink!

All SEIU Local 888 members who attend the rally on April 14 at 6pm will receive a drink ticket and an invitation to meet up with other members at Scholars Bistro (25 School Street, Boston) for a member social directly after the State House Action and march.

Click here to take a take a look at the list of busses coming to Boston from across the State and RSVP.

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Don’t Raise Health Insurance Costs for State Workers

The FY 2017 budget proposal put forward by Governor Baker asks the legislature to raise the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) premium contribution rates for active state workers hired prior to July 1, 2003 and retired workers who leave the workforce after June 30, 2016 from 20 percent to 25 percent. State workers would face a substantial financial impact as a result of this change.

health care costsEven without changes to premium contributions, workers who receive their health insurance from the GIC have been facing growing out-of-pocket costs for their care. Plan design changes implemented by the Group Insurance Commission that have raised co-pays and deductibles have resulted in a significant shifting of costs from employer to employee over the past decade. A review of GIC total plan cost data shows that from 2007 – 2016, the true share of GIC health care costs paid by employees (premium contributions plus cost-sharing) now averages 37%, up from a rate of 28% in 2007.1 An additional 25% increase to the premium share would result in cost increases of over $1,300 in FY 2017 for many families in premium costs alone.2

In a budget proposal that does not raise taxes or fees elsewhere, the Governor’s proposal stands out as a notable exception. State workers and retirees face the same fiscal constraints as all other working families in this Commonwealth, and in fact have sacrificed especially greatly over the past decade as a result of the fiscal crisis and years of budget cuts. It is simply not fair to place an undue financial burden on this specific group of workers in an effort to balance the state budget.

All Local 888 members are urged to contact their State Reps. to tell them to reject the Governor’s proposal which seeks to balance the budget on the backs of hard-working families.

[1] Based on analysis of Tufts HealthPlan Navigator and the Unicare State Indemnity Plan Basic, plan designs effective July 1, 2006 and July 1, 2015.
[2] Based on FY 2016 premium rates for UniCare State Indemnity Family Plan

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SEIU Unstoppable!

SEIU President Mary Kay Henry was in Boston in early April to meet with leaders of the Massachusetts SEIU locals about the agenda for the union’s 2016 convention.

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Local 888 President DelloRusso with SEIU President Mary Kay Henry at pre-convention meeting in Boston.

Local 888 officers Mark DelloRusso and Brenda Rodrigues along with Field Service Director Jen Springer attended the meeting.

The pre-convention meeting was an opportunity to discuss the present moment, the purpose of the SEIU convention and hear President Henry’s remarks on how SEIU is “strong, resilient and unstoppable.”

Participants then discussed what it will take to win future victories and the core concepts that have emerged from the union’s Racial Justice Task Force:

  • There can be only be economic justice if there is racial justice;
  • Ending anti-Black racism is all of our self-interest;
  • Together, we can take this on to achieve racial justice.

The meeting wrapped up with an overview of the convention and discussion about the Fight for $15.

SEIU members are united by the belief that when we come together we can meet any challenge we face.  At the SEIU 2012 convention, delegates adopted SEIU’s Vision for a Just Society: where all workers are valued and all people are respected; where all families and communities thrive; and where we leave a better and more equal world for generations to come.”

Even with all of success that SEIU members have achieved, there is much more to do to ensure families can realize this vision for a just society.

The SEIU convention will be held in Detroit from May 19 through May 21. 

SEIU Unstoppable convention graphic

 

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Local 888 members politically active in 7th Congressional District

Local 888 Executive Board member David Reno (Boston Police Dept) and staffer Rand Wilson both ran for delegate to represent the 7th Congressional District at the Democratic National convention in July.  At the caucus meeting, they were joined by SEIU State Council Director Harris Gruman, David’s wife Anna Thal-Reno, Rosa Matias (Chelsea City Hall), former Local 509 president Mike Grunko and Executive Board member Jorge Vargas (P&E at Boston Public Schools).  Also attending the D7 meeting was Lidia Calvo, Colleen Fitzpatrick and DJ Cronin.  Wilson was elected a delegate after three ballots.

7th CD caucus

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Coming Attractions

Next Generation Rising: A conference for young workers
Saturday, April 23, 2016 * 9:30am-6:30pm
UMass Boston, McCormick Bldg, 3rd Floor (Ryan Lounge)

calendarCalling all young members of Local 888! Join the Mass AFL-CIO for a day-long conference for young workers 35 and under. Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • build relationships with other young union members
  • participate in workshops to build their skills
  • learn about key issues in the labor movement
  • strategize about building the labor movement for the next generation

Please register online at www.massaflcio.org/nextgen and make sure to select ‘Union Registration’ under Registration Type.  Checks can be made payable to the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, 389 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148  Questions? Contact Kevin: kbrousseau@massaflcio.org * 781.324.8230.

Public Speaking for Social Change
In this public speaking workshop, you’ll learn techniques and gain practice in communicating your message more efficiently in groups large and small in this interactive workshop.
When: Saturday April 23, 2016 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM EDT
Where: SEIU 1199, 150 Mt. Vernon St. 2nd Floor, Dorchester, MA 02125
Contact: Kathy Casavant, Women’s Institute for Leadership Development, 617-825-0520, kathy@wildlabor.org
Register here

Boston Home ExpoThe Boston Home Center’s 20th Anniversary Housing Expo!
Saturday, May 7, 2016
Northeastern University, Curry Student Center

Learn everything you need to know about homeownership! Meet lenders, realtors and other Home Center partners who will be available to assist you with all your homebuying and homeownership needs. While you are there, you can take a free class in homebuying or home repair. Join us!!!
The Boston Home Center
Phone: 617.635.HOME
E-mail: HomeCenter.DND@cityofboston.gov

SEIU Local 888 Executive Board meeting
When: Wed, May 11, 10am – 4pm
Where: 52 Roland St, Charlestown, MA 02129

Local 888’s Executive Board is the union’s governing body and is empowered to take action consistent with the local’s Constitution and Bylaws.

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Boston Fuel Assistance Program extended through April 30, 2016

Fuel Assistance Extension:

The Housing Trust Fund is pleased to announce that the Fuel Assistance Program has been extended through April 30, 2016. Applications will now be accepted up to April 30, 2016.

Gass-Bill-1160-x-400For further details, contact the Housing Trust Fund at 617-241-3380 or speak with your field representative.  Applications are available on the SEIU 888 website at www.seiu888.org/htf.

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