Union Updates

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Steamship clerks tie up a win

FULL SPEED AHEAD: A fast-moving Massachusetts Steamship Authority ferry is part of the fleet that services Nantucket and the Vineyard. The authority’s Local 888 clerks have ratified a new contract.

FULL SPEED AHEAD: A fast-moving Massachusetts Steamship Authority ferry is part of the fleet that services Nantucket and the Vineyard. The authority’s Local 888 clerks have ratified a new contract.

Local 888 members at the Massachusetts Steamship Authority were all “steamed up” over management’s proposed terms for a contract. But a new contract with bigger raises sailed through on a recent vote.

Members will receive average raises of 12 percent over the course of the three-year contract. Also, members will get several months’ worth of raises retroactively.

The October wind storms may have turned the tide in the chapter’s favor, said John Magner, Local 888 staff attorney. “Our guys did a good job handling all the trip cancelations,” said Magner. “It helped with negotiations.”

Wind gusts up to 58 mph were registered on Martha’s Vineyard during the October storms.

The chapter’s 25 members are reservation clerks for passenger and commercial vehicles for the ferries, which service the Vineyard and Nantucket. Most clerks are located on the mainland, but several work on the pricey islands.

Contract talks had dragged from last year into fall of this year.

The new agreement calls for management to continue to pay 80 percent of members’ health insurance, which is an SEIU Local 888 affiliated plan.

If you or your co-workers are interested in learning about the SEIU Local 888 Affiliated Funds — which include health, dental and vision plans — call Linda DeLuca at 617-241-3367 or email ldeluca.funds@seiu888.org.

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Winchester talks ‘successful’

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“Very successful contract negotiations” will mean major improvements for Winchester DPW workers, said Tony Donlon, the Local 888 chapter president. Overall, the town estimates there will be a 27 percent increase in payroll under the three-year contract.

“We had a great negotiating team, with members who complemented each other well,” said Donlon. He praised Josh Clancy, Local 888 internal organizer, for leading the team and advocating for making changes to the salary scale.

Right off the bat, the 35 members will get a $1 per hour increase to their base pay in the first year and a similar half dollar increase the second year. In addition, the agreement includes cost-of-living increases of 1.5 percent annually.

The addition of step raises at the top of the pay scale “went over really well with our members,” said Donlon. Most of the DPW workers had, after five years, hit the top of the pay scale.

In its first year, the new contract drops the two lowest pay steps, while adding five steps at the top. In addition, workers can earn yearly stipends for getting several additional licenses, such as one for operating backhoes. Existing stipends will also be increased.

“These stipends are a win-win arrangement for the town and our members,” said Donlon. Workers are rewarded for training for, and maintaining their licenses. In turn, the town has employees who can perform a variety of functions. The Department of Public Works members do everything from maintaining and repairing equipment, to plowing and repairing roads to keeping the water and sewer running.

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Medford chapter hammers away to get new pact

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The Local 888 carpenters chapter in the Medford Public Schools presented a detailed itinerary of what they do every day — and how members save the district money.

In turn, the superintendent of schools listened, and made the case to the school board.

The result? Members got a bump in their base pay of $5,000. On top of that, they will receive 7 percent in raises over the life of the three-year contract.

While the job title is carpenter, “these guys can troubleshoot almost anything,” said Neal O’Brien, Local 888 internal organizer. “And they know when to call in an outside vendor and when they can do the job themselves.”

“This makes these guys very valuable to the city — since calling in a vendor costs $75 to $100 just to have them show up,” said O’Brien.

In addition to carpentry work, the Local 888 members have HVAC licenses, so they can go up on the roof to identify heating and ventilation issues. They also do a good deal of painting and take care of basic plumbing issues.

If they determine that an outside contractor is truly needed, only then do they call one in.

The Medford school department has seven buildings and more than 4,500 students.

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UMass Lowell Hockey Night

SKATING INTO FUN: Local 888 members teamed up for an entertaining Hockey Night. This popular outing featured UMass Lowell’s River Hawks, a top-ranked team. The River Hawks fell to the Providence College Friars, 4-1.

SKATING INTO FUN: Local 888 members teamed up for an entertaining Hockey Night. This popular outing featured UMass Lowell’s River Hawks, a top-ranked team. The River Hawks fell to the Providence College Friars, 4-1.

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Coming Up

Coming up

LOCAL 888 LEADERS MEET: The SEIU Local 888 Executive Board meets Wed, Dec. 11, 10:00 a.m. at the union’s conference room at 25 Braintree Hill Office Park, in Braintree. The Executive Board is the governing body of Local 888. It is authorized and empowered to take all lawful action consistent with our Constitution and by-laws. Meetings are open to all members.

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Holiday schedule for SEIU Local 888 office

happy-thanksgivingLocal 888 will be closed for Thanksgiving on November 28 and 29.

Golden-Christmas-bells-with-Holly-berries-tinsel-and-red-bow-Local 888 will be closed for the Christmas holiday on December 24 and 25.

 

Local 888 will be closed on New Years Day, January 1, 2020.

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Boston Home Center has programs that can help working families

PrintBoston Home Center has some great programs that can help working families in Boston!
1) Senior Saves
2) Senior Home Repair/ Home Repair(for all)
3) Financial Assistance
4) Education and Counseling for home buyers & home owners
The Home Center has resources for folks to get their credit on track, budgeting and great home lottery opportunities! Lots of great listings and links here:
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Local 888 bylaw reforms up for vote

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The Local 888 Executive Board encourages a yes vote on the proposed bylaw changes that members will be receiving in the mail. These reforms are designed to make the union more democratic and ensure a safe and fair work environment.

The proposed changes would:

  • Allow for electronic voting.
  • Create a chapter for Local 888 retirees.
  • Call on the local’s elected officers to lead and work together collaboratively.
  • Welcome associate members into the fold.

For a full description of proposed changes, see: http://www.seiu888.org/bylaws/

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Local 888 at Unions for All Summit

TOGETHER WE RISE: Local 888 leaders were on hand with SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, third from right, for the international’s Unions for All Summit in Los Angeles. From left are Local 888 Executive Board members Emmanuel Marsh, Teresa Riordan, Kevin Nascimento, President Brenda Rodrigues and LaToya Weaver. For summit highlights, see video: https://youtu.be/Mq6yq4_tTw8.

TOGETHER WE RISE: Local 888 leaders were on hand with SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, third from right, for the international’s Unions for All Summit in Los Angeles. From left are Local 888 Executive Board members Emmanuel Marsh, Teresa Riordan, Kevin Nascimento, President Brenda Rodrigues and LaToya Weaver. For summit highlights, see video: https://youtu.be/Mq6yq4_tTw8.

Several Local 888 Executive Board members and President Brenda Rodrigues were among the 1,000 SEIU members — and workers fighting for a union — who joined together in Los Angeles for the Unions for All Summit. Many of the top 2020 candidates for president addressed the conference.

Rodrigues said the goal of the summit was “to inspire attendees to work together and turn this country around. All people should have the opportunity to join in union, no matter where they are from, what color they are, or where they work.”

SEIU President Mary Kay Henry called on presidential candidates to support the Unions for All agenda. To download or print a copy of SEIU’s “Unions For All: Building Power To Win” booklet, in English or in Spanish, click here.

The “Unions For All” theme promotes:

  • The right to join a union as the best way to raise wages, improve working conditions, and begin to fix our rigged economy.
  • Guaranteed access to quality, affordable health care and long-term care.
  • A welcoming and safe America for immigrant families.
  • Bold action on climate change that holds corporations accountable for greenhouse gas pollution and creates good, union jobs with a just transition to a green economy.
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State senator talks of union roots

LABOR BACKGROUND: State Sen. Paul Feeney (D-Foxboro) thanked Local 888 for its support, at the 2019 Leadership Conference.

LABOR BACKGROUND: At Local 888’s 2019 Leadership Conference, state Sen. Paul Feeney (D-Foxboro) thanked the union for its support.

State Sen. Paul Feeney (D-Foxboro) thanked Local 888 for its support, adding that union backing was crucial to his special election win two years ago.

Before his election to the state Senate, Feeney worked as a central office technician at Verizon and legislative director of IBEW Local 2222. He credits the labor movement not only for his election, but for his successes in life in general.

“In 1989, when I was just a little guy, 11 years old, I watched my dad go out on strike,” said Feeney. He said that he couldn’t understand what his dad was doing, at the time.

The cost of health insurance was the top issue then, as almost 60,000 telephone workers went on strike for 15 weeks — and won.

Feeney said it was not until years later — when he worked at the telephone company himself — that he fully understood the reason for the strike. When his young family needed health insurance, it was there for them.

“The excellent medical insurance wasn’t there because the company gave us anything. It was there because folks like my dad went on strike for it and made sacrifices for it,” said Feeney.

The state senator said he keeps his union card with his pass for getting into the Massachusetts Capitol — to help remind himself of his roots. His goal: “To make sure working-class people have a voice in the Massachusetts Senate.”

Feeney was the keynote speaker at Local 888’s 2019 Leadership Conference. The local also endorsed Feeney for his re-election campaign last year. For more on 2018 endorsements, see: http://www.seiu888.org/2019/09/09/local-888-looks-to-election-as-leaders-gear-up-for-races/

More pictures from the Local 888 conference are posted here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/9M1HMxap6xW1KHcZ9

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Massachusetts SEIU sponsors U.S. Senate forum

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Local 888 co-sponsored an SEIU candidates forum with the U.S. Senate rivals.

“We need labor-friendly advocates in the Senate who are willing to fight for our issues,” said Local 888 Secretary-Treasurer Tom McKeever, commenting on the need for a forum.

The candidates in the 2020 Democratic U.S. Senate Primary: U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy and attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan.

The forum featured a round-robin setup. SEIU members — and the three candidates — were split up into separate rooms, allowing for more informal questioning.

The candidates in the 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary:

  • U.S. Sen Ed Markey, who served as the U.S. representative for Massachusetts’ 7th Congressional District before winning the special election vote to the Senate in 2013.
  • U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy, who served as a Massachusetts assistant district attorney before his election victory in the state’s 4th Congressional District in 2012.
  • Shannon Liss-Riordan, a lawyer who has won class-action suits for workers against major companies, including ride-hailing giant Uber.
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Coming Attractions

Coming up

UMASS LOWELL HOCKEY GAME NIGHT: Set for Sat., Dec. 7, 6 to 9 p.m. See the university’s River Hawks play in this popular Local 888 outing. Be on the lookout for more info on the event at the “Member Portal,” http://www.seiu888.org/.

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