UNITED BY … FUN TIMES: Members from the Brockton Library, UMass Lowell, Woburn cafeteria and at least 10 other chapters went to the Canobie Lake amusement park for an outing organized by Local 888. About 200 people participated!
Monomoy school custodians have a new contract that cuts the 15-step salary schedule to 10 steps. Doing so front-loads the money — meaning that cost-of-living increases will have a larger impact. In addition, the night shift differential goes up $.85 per hour (from $.75). And two new holidays: Christmas Eve day and New Year’s Eve day.
The maximum number of sick days that can be carried over from year-to-year increased from 138 days to 180 days. And reimbursement of sick leave between five and 10 years of service increased from 35 percent to 50 percent of the maximum 180 days.
Contract language regarding uniforms was also adjusted to include T-shirts, monogrammed clothing and rain gear. The Cape Cod chapter covers about 15 members.
The Woburn town employees chapter is joining SEIU Local 888’s dental and vision plans as part of a new contract. The city has agreed to administer the payments.
The three-year contract includes 2 percent raises each year, plus an extra half a percent when employees have served the town for 10 years. There is also updated anti-discrimination language.
In addition, new employees get time off for a one-hour orientation in which union leaders can meet with them
Athol town employees unanimously approved a new contract that includes 2.5 percent raises for each of the three years. Also, members won an additional step increase in the second year of the contract.
Benefits that improved include an increased clothing allowance, night-shift differential, longevity payments, and cellphone reimbursements.
Members won a commitment from management to further develop policies against bullying and harassment during the life of the contract. Respect and dignity language was also added to the agreement
The custodian and maintenance workers in the Lexington school system have inked a new contract that includes raises and retroactive pay. The contract, which covers 53 members, runs to July 2021.
Across-the-board wage increases for all positions came in at 2 percent annually — kicking in on July 1, 2018, 2019 and 2020. There are also increases of $100 to longevity pay, effective this July.
The new rates are:
Also, the sick-pay incentive will be increased to $400 (from $250). This will be paid at the end of the year to those who use four or fewer sick days. And taking two hours off to go to a doctor’s appointment, for example, will no longer be considered a full sick day. It will just count as two hours of sick time.
In addition, a new shift differential will now be included in the calculation of vacation, sick, personal time for those employees who get it.
The Norwell town employees have ratified a new contract, covering about 35 members, that included improvements regarding seniority, overtime and longevity pay. Local 888 dental and vision plans will now be available as well.
Cost-of-living raises will be 2 percent for each year of three-year contract that expires in 2022. Also, Steps 3, 5 and 7 of the June 30, 2020 salary schedule will be increased by 1 percent. There were significant increases in longevity pay, including for part-timers.
The following “exempt” positions now receive overtime: assistant town clerk, assistant town accountant, assistant treasurer/collector, assistant assessor/appraiser and the conservation agent.
In addition, the contract changes the language for job posting and bidding: Higher-grade jobs shall be filled by promoting the most qualified applicant within the bargaining unit as outlined in the job description. If an employee is bidding on a lateral or lower-graded position, seniority shall prevail. If multiple candidates have equal qualifications, the most senior person shall be chosen.
The new collective bargaining agreement also improved benefits. New employees shall receive one week of vacation after their probationary period.
Employees are now allowed to sell back up to two weeks of vacation each year at the rate of pay in the salary schedule of the fiscal year the employee submits notification.
In addition, an increase in sick leave for immediate family illnesses from five to 10 days. Domestic violence leave shall be paid up to five days, with additional days being approved by the HR Director or Town Administrator.
The following language was included in wages:
All current and new employees may, at the discretion of the hiring authority, start at a rate above the beginning rate for any classification, up to step four (4), if the qualifications and salary history of the employee so warrant. If a newly hired employee starts at a rate higher than the beginning rate, they shall not be eligible for an advance in step until the first anniversary of their employment.
LABOR DAY BREAKFAST: Western Mass. Area Labor Federation hosts at 8:30 a.m., Fri., Sept. 6, Castle of Knights, 1599 Memorial Dr., Chicopee. $25 per person; no tickets sold at the door. More info: https://www.massaflcio.org/calendar/western-ma-area-labor-federations-labor-day-breakfast.
FOOD SERVICE WORKERS RECOGNITION WEEK: Oct. 14-18. Local 888 will honor Massachusetts food service workers for their dedication to the health and well-being of the people they serve.