Union Updates

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

Union candidate Paul Feeney wins Dem Primary!

IBEW Local 2222 member and Local 888 endorsed state senate candidate Paul Feeney won the primary for the Bristol & Norfolk district.

PF_OR_KulbakoLR-2988All members on in Southeastern Mass are urged to help Paul win the October 17 General Election.

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Get your “Raise Up” petitions now!

Ballot petitions are available for pick up at SEIU Local 888 in Braintree or a dozen other locations throughout Massachusetts.  If you are interested in volunteering, contact Joe Lazzerini at 617-241-3369.

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Local 888 members turn out to support Lydia Edwards

IMG_4280“Lydia Edwards really is for the people of Charlestown,” said Local 888 member and Boston Police Dept. staffer Marian Callahan. “She will fight for more affordable housing and better schools — she’s everything we need in a City Councillor.” Callahan attended a “meet and greet” with Lydia Edwards sponsored by Local 888 on August 3 at the End of the World Tavern in Charlestown.

With continued strong support from Local 888 members, Lydia Edwards will win her preliminary election on September 26!  Please vote!

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Mendon Upton ABAs and Paras win new contract

Nipmuc_Regional_High_School_circleLogoMendon Upton regional school district ABAs and Paras unanimously ratified a new three-year contract which included:

  • Lengthening the filing period for grievances from 7 to 10 days.
  • Memorializing the school work day hours at all work sites.
  • Winning paid release time for the chapter leadership to attend trainings, union meetings and conferences.
  • Improvements to the step raise system such as moving up the steps and scale faster.
  • Three-year agreement with annual increases of 2%, 2.3% and 2.5%
  • Additions to the paid bereavement coverage for aunt, uncle and first cousin.

The tentative agreement was approved by the membership with 80% support.

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U-Mass Lowell members petition the legislature to fund union contracts

Higher Education professionals who are united in SEIU Local 888 at UMass Lowell have been bargaining with management in good faith since last March. After months of negotiations, Governor Baker has not authorized reasonable cost of living increases.

Nick Piscitello headshot“We launched this petition campaign to request that our state reps urge Governor Baker to fund reasonable and fair cost of living increases for state higher education professionals,” said chapter chair Nicholas Piscitello. “Now that over 250 members have signed the petition, I’m confident that Administration and Finance will get the message.”

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Local 888 “all in” for Labor Day and the fight for $15

Public service workers who are members of SEIU Local 888 joined a national day of action on Labor Day, standing up with fast food workers and other working people fighting for a better life.

Sept 2017Following the Boston Common rally, workers marched to Copley Sq. where Jorge Vargas, an HVAC supervisor with the Boston Public Schools and a leader of Local 888 spoke. “Public service workers are under attack,” said Vargas. “We’ve got to recommit our co-workers to stick together and mobilize to advance our struggles for justice and change the direction of this country.”

In addition to the rally in Boston, Local 888 had an information tent on Campagnon Common at the Bread & Roses Heritage Festival in Lawrence.

“Our members are preparing to join forces with other working people and the Fight for $15 movement for a massive voter engage-ment drive ahead of the 2018 election,” said Mark DelloRusso, president of SEIU Local 888. “We need to push our elected leaders to listen to working families, raise wages, and expand the right to form unions.”

In a video released in advance of the Labor Day strikes and protests, U.S. Sen Bernie Sanders agreed: “America needs unions,” he declared.  “Unions are the only way working people have ever gotten ahead in this country. And today unions are the only shot for workers to take back the country and fight back against corporate interests that have rigged the system against them.”

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Practical Aspects of Union Membership

Paying union dues is your ticket to having a say in what the union does. Around contract bargaining time, only dues- paying members of the union are eligible to participate in making many critical decisions:
· No membership, no say in the process.
· No membership, no right to vote on the outcome.

Together We RiseYou Send a Message. A strong, voluntary union membership gets the message across to the employer that the individual employees are standing behind their leaders, so that when a union official addresses the employer, it’s understood that one voice speaks for many.

Everything Costs Something. The ultimate strength of the union lies in the determination and participation of its members. But it’s also true that it takes money for an organization to translate good intentions into concrete actions. Everyone needs to pitch in financially to make the union strong.
—Adapted from, “The Union Member’s Complete Guide,” by Michael Mauer.

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Head Start member leads campaign for Fair Trade in Central Mass

Local 888 member Jonathan Dudley (above at left) organized a meeting last July in Gardner for Central Mass residents to share their experiences and learn more about how NAFTA has impacted their communities.

IMG_4099At the meeting, participants discussed how to make sure Pres. Trump replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with a deal that is good for working people and communities in all three North American countries.

NAFTA was negotiated by the Bush administration, signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1994. Some estimate that there have been 9 million NAFTA-related job losses in the US.

There is no guarantee that the Trump administration will make changes to NAFTA that actually benefit working people or communities, instead of just extending the many ways it benefits multinational corporations.

For more information contact: Jonathan Dudley 704-608-2204 or jonadudley@gmail.com

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Standing up for Charlottesville

Tom, David, JorgeLocal 888 executive board members Tom McKeever, David Reno and Jorge Vargas attended a rally in Boston to protest the horrific acts of violence perpetrated by white supremacists in Virginia last August. “We remain steadfastly committed to work for justice and peace,” said McKeever. “I was proud to stand with those that protest hate and denounce right-wing extremism.”

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“Moment of Silence” in memory of Local 888 members

spotlight_candleIf a Local 888 member (or family) passes away, and you would like to have a notice included in the Spark, please send information to Brenda Rodrigues at brodrigues@seiu888.org

Nakieka “Kiki” Taylor
Local 888 officers and staff extend our deepest sympathies to Ms. Taylor’s family, friends and co-workers. Nakieka Taylor was the victim of a stray bullet fired near her home on August 20. She worked as a life guard for BCYF.

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Coming Attractions

North Shore Labor Council Legislative Dinner
Sat, September 23, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Angelica’s Restaurant, 49 S. Main Street (Rte. 114), Middleton, MA

calendarFeaturing Keynote Speaker: Tefere Gebre, Executive Vice President of the AFL-CIO
Honoring Special Awards Recipients:

  • Celebrating Sanctuary cities
  • Jonathon Feinberg and the Guitar Center workers successful organizing drive
  • No on Question 2 Coalition
  • NSLC Women’s Committee

For more info and tickets, contact Rebecca at 781-595-2538 or northshorelaborcouncil@gmail.com

We Are All Americans Now: American Immigration Dialogue Series
Tue, September 26, 7pm – 9pm
Brockton Public Library, 304 Main St, Brockton, MA

Mayor Bill Carpenter will speak at the library on American Immigration. Mayor Carpenter will talk about the politics and the economics of immigration but also the personal and existential encounters with American immigration. (This event is being organized by Local 888 member Malice Veiga.)

 Committee on Political Action meeting
Thursday, Sept. 28, from 6:30 – 8:00 pm at SEIU State Council, 145 Tremont St, Boston (Red Line to Park).
For more information contact Local 888 Political Organizer Joe Lazzerini at 617-241-3369 or jlazzerini@seiu888.org

River HawksLocal 888 Hockey Night
Sat, October 14,
4:30pm–9:00pm
Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, 300 Arcand Dr., Lowell.

River Hawks vs. Omaha-Nebraska with a 4:50-5:50 pm private pre-game skate, followed by a special Local 888 reception at 6:00 pm with the hockey game at 7:00 pm.

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Got plans for Labor Day? Join us in Boston and Lawrence — or take action online!

Labor Day posterBoston Common

All members of SEIU Local 888 are urged to join a day of action across the country on Labor Day to stand up with working people fighting for a better life. At left is info about Labor Day actions in Boston.  There are actions on the Boston Common at 6:00 AM or 11:00 AM (followed by a march to Copley Sq).

Bread & Rose Heritage Festival

Bread and Roses Flyer 2017-ENGLISHAlso on Labor Day is the annual Bread & Rose Heritage Festival in Lawrence from 12:00 – 5:15 PM. 
This is a great event with music and food and fun for the whole family!
SEIU Local 888 will have a tent at the festival.  All members are encouraged to drop by!  (We need volunteers to help set up and staff the tent during the festival.  We will have a raffle and information about SEIU Local 888 and unions.  (Local 888 organizer Gayle McMahon will coordinate our efforts.)
Below is information about an online national action to support unions. Sign up here to RSVP for the online action.
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