Union Updates

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

For Snow Plow Drivers, These are Busy Days

Local 888 member Josh Clancy, who plows roads for the town of Tyngsborough, with three-year-old Lydia.

Local 888 member Josh Clancy, who plows roads for the town of Tyngsborough, with three-year-old Lydia.

When blizzards occur (like the two that we just experienced in late January and early February), snowplow drivers have to leave their families and travel in some terrible conditions. We count on state DOT and local DPW workers to clear over 36,000 miles of roads in Massachusetts. On a single day, there can be up to 5 million vehicles traveling over 150 million miles on the Commonwealth’s roads.

While snowplow drivers – most of whom are members of Local 888 or other public service unions like AFSCME and the Teamsters – often go unheralded, they deserve a huge “thank you” from all of us for their work during these two back-to-back blizzards.

Let’s face it, if they didn’t do their job, people wouldn’t get out of their driveways.

Josh Clancy has been with the Town of Tyngsborough’s DPW for six years. He and eight other Local 888 members plow over 100 miles of town roads. The Spark asked Clancy to tell us a little about the work so we can better appreciate what all snow plow drivers do…

“The public has no idea what we do or the sacrifices we make to keep the roads clear,” said Clancy. “My guys and I just wrapped up roughly 100 hours each. We aren’t subject to the hours of service rules. So in snow storms we often work for 30 hours straight.

“If you’ve ever worked a double shift, imagine doing that three or four times over. We’re not just sitting in a truck…you’re living on the end of that plow. One slip up in that huge truck and you could really wreck something.

“We aren’t just plowing. Our old trucks often break down in these extreme temperatures — then you’re lying in a snow bank to make repairs.

“Our families have to accept the fact that when winter comes, everything stops. You can’t plan anything, including weekends or holidays. None of us can go because if you miss your shift, you’re screwing the other guys.

“A lot of times I’ll go home after work, take a shower, eat something and laydown to catch some sleep. Then just when I finally fall asleep, bingo — I get called back. It can be a bit heartbreaking.

“I’m proud to work for the town and also to be a Local 888 steward. When I’m working, the security of the union and our benefits is always in the back of my head.”

Have a story to submit? Send it to rwilson@seiu888.org.

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City of Boston members benefit from Housing Trust Fund, you could too!

“With the cost of housing so high I was struggling to pay for my home improvements. If it wasn’t for the Housing Trust I would not have been able to make much needed repairs,” said Dominic DiMare, a steward at the Boston Police Department.

Dominic DiMare Boston Police Dept.

Dominic DiMare
Boston Police Dept.

“I’d suggest that if you are experiencing problems, before you do anything, make your first call to the Housing Trust.  It’s a shame that more members don’t take advantage of it.  There’s no catch to it.  You’ve earned it by working for the City.”

The Housing Trust
SEIU Local 888 members who work for the City of Boston Admin Guild, BCYF, BPD, BPHC, DND, Elderly or P&E are eligible to receive benefits from the City of Boston – SEIU Local 888 Housing Trust.  The Housing Trust was negotiated through collective bargaining to assist SEIU Local 888 members with the cost of housing in Boston by providing them with grants and interest free loans.

The assistance programs have been updated and some new benefits have been added.  Most grant amounts have been substantially increased to $2,500 (except for the home ownership benefit which has been increased to $15,000).

The Housing Trust provides eligible members with grants and loans to make it more affordable for city employees.  Check out these five programs:

  • Fuel Assistance: The City of Boston-SEIU Local 888 Housing Trust will provide 100 members who’s yearly income is less than or equal to $47,450 with a grant of $750 to help alleviate heating costs during the months of November 1, 2014 – March 31, 2015.
  • Emergency Assistance: Aids members for up to $5,000 for a housing-related emergency such as loss of income because of unemployment of a spouse/partner, illness, death of a spouse/partner wage earner, or an unanticipated home repair.
  • Rental Assistance: Alleviates the cost of maintaining residence for up to $5,000 within the City of Boston.
  • Home Improvement: Pays for housing related home improvements up to $7,500.
  • Homeownership Benefit: Supports members with $15,000 to purchase a home within the City of Boston.

If you have a need for the program, please apply using our more user friendly website.  Check it out at www.seiu888.org/htf

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Local 888 officer election coming up soon

The Local 888 members will elect a President, Secretary-Treasurer, Recording Secretary, eighteen Executive Board Members and Election noticethree Trustees this year.  Ballots will be mailed March 16 and are due back April 14, 2015.

Nominating petitions and candidate statements must be received at the union hall by February 20, 2015.

A three person Election Committee will oversee the election.  Click here for more info.

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Local 888 Hockey Night

More than 300 members at UMass Lowell and throughout the Merrimack Valley turned out for the River Hawks hockey game with Merrimack College on January 31. There was a pre-game reception at the Tsongas Center followed by the game.

Local 888 Hockey NightUMass Lowell leaders Janet King and Penny Donoghue (pictured upper left) worked hard on all of the details to make the evening
a big success. More pictures from Hockey Night are below.

Mark DelloRusso, Janet King, Kelly Shay

Mark DelloRusso, Janet King, Kelly Shay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Penny Donoghue and young friend

Penny Donoghue and young friend

Score board show's Local 888's message: "Stronger Together"

Score board show’s Local 888’s message: “Stronger Together”

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Vote McGoldrick for State Retirement Board

Vote for Theresa McGoldrick

 

Attention State Workers: Please vote for Theresa McGoldrick, President of SEIU/NAGE Unit 6, Local 207 and attorney for the Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement Division. “I am running for reelection to the State Retirement Board to continue being “your” representative on the board. I have fought to protect your pension by working to defeat pension reform legislation filed to destroy our pension benefits. I recently worked to defeat House Bill 59 that would have added 10 years to vest and increased the age to retire. I ask for your vote to continue to be “your” voice and to fight to protect your pension.”

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Your Union, Your Voice

Local 888 members vote for a resolution in support of the the “Fight for $15 and a Union” at the 2014 convention. See more pictures from the 2014 Members’ Convention by clicking here.

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Do you want to be a better steward? 

Get “The Stewards Manual!” This 78 page illustrated manual covers: “Your Role as a Steward,” “Problem Solving 101,” “Dealing Stewards manual coverwith Management,” and many other important topics.

Want a copy? Send an email requesting it with your home mailing address to: myunion<at> seiu888.org.

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Scholarship winners

graduation-cap-diplomaThe winners for Local 888’s 2015 scholarship awards are: member: Dana Drury, UMass Lowell for applicant: Emily Drury; member: Laurie Rocco, Unit 2 DAR for applicant: Angelica Rocco; and member: Maryanne Carty, Westwood Town Hall for applicant: Patrick Scannell.

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Coming Attractions

Labor, Racism & Justice in the 21st Century

When: Thursday, Feb. 19, 4-6PM
Where: Harvard Law School, Ames Court, Austin Hall
Rev. James M. Lawson Jr. Pastor Emeritus, Holman United Methodist Church, Los Angeles, CA

calendarRev. James Lawson played a crucial role in the U.S. civil rights movement and waging labor struggles including during the fateful Memphis sanitation strike in which Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Today Lawson continues to lecture on principles of nonviolence, while giving support to the peace movement and campaigns for a living wage.

AFRAM Black History Celebration

When: Saturday, February 21at 7:00pm
Where: Kays Oasis, 1125 Blue Hill Avenue, Boston

Dancing, refreshments, a little bit of history and a whole lot of fun! Dress to impress! Note: Adults only event.  Tickets: $8 for AFRAM members, $10 for non-members and general public, $12 at the door for everyone. Buy tickets from AFRAM members or stop by 1199’s Boston office. For more information, contact Teia at 617-284- 1121.

Organizing Our Future 2015 Conference

10923613_336312633229579_3782704674092469025_nWhen: Saturday, February 28,10AM – 2PM.
Where: 1199 SEIU, 150 Mt. Vernon St., Dorchester

The annual Greater Boston Labor Council’s ‘Organizing our Future’ conference brings together young workers to look at lessons they can learn from our labor move­ment’s history, discuss the future of our labor movement, and learn more about your rights at work. Note: there is no cost to attend. For more information, contact Lindsay McCluskey at lmccluskey@gblc.us or 617-723-2370.

Western Mass JWJ Educational, Organizing & Membership Conference
Step It Up. We Won’t Back Down!

client_logoWhen: Saturday, February 28, 2015. 10AM-4:15PM (in­cludes lunch)
Where: Trinity United Methodist Church, 361 Sumner Avenue, Springfield MA

Sliding scale donation of $5 to $25 to cover costs. No one will be turned away for lack of a donation. Keynote Speaker: Sarita Gupta, Executive Director, Jobs with Jus­tice. Music by Ben Grosscup & Roxanne Langevine.

 *Labor Guild Spring ‘15 Term starts March 9 — Registration opens February 14.*

 

 

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Could Reviving the Strike, Revive the Labor Movement?

Reviving the StrikeFind out next Tuesday at a book & author event with Joe Burns author of:
• Reviving the Strike: How Working People Can Regain Power and Transform America
AND
• Strike Back: Using the Militant Tactics of Labor’s Past to Reignite Public Sector Unionism Today
Joe Burns is a veteran union negotiator and labor lawyer, and a former local union president.
Tuesday, February 10, 7:00 – 9:00 pm 
SEIU Local 888, 52 Roland Street, Charlestown, MA
Four minute walk from Sullivan Sq. Orange Line T
Sponsored by: Harvard Trade Union Program, Mass AFL-CIO, AFSCME Local 1526, CWA Local 1400, IBEW Local 2222, IBEW Local 2321, Jobs with Justice, The Labor Guild, SEIU State Council, SEIU Local 888, United Electrical Workers, Northeast Region, UFCW Local 1445, Work Rights Press.

Please RSVP by email rwilson@seiu888.org or call 617 398-7102.  You can also RSVP on Facebook.  

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Union Plus Scholarship Deadline is January 31st: Have you applied?

money-for-collegeWith the deadline to apply for a Union Plus Scholarship quickly approaching, now is the time to complete your application online. It could add up to $4,000 to your college fund.
Eligibility
Current and retired members of unions participating in any Union Plus program, their spouses and their dependent children (as defined by IRS regulations) are eligible to apply for this scholarship. Get more details about eligibility.
Scholarship Amounts
Union Plus Scholarships are awarded in amounts of $500 to $4,000. These are one-time cash awards for study beginning in the fall of 2015. This money can be used for tuition and fees, books, room and board, and for other education-related expenses. Students may re-apply each year.
Essays and Reference Letter
Be sure to start your application today so you have plenty of time to complete these important sections before the deadline:
Letter of Reference — from a teacher or other adult familiar with your achievements and abilities.
Two Essays — each approximately 350 words, for the essay questions below.
  • Essay 1. Describe the strategies you have used, or plan to use, to cut the costs of your college education.  How do you intend to finance your education while trying to minimize your debt?
  • Essay 2. Describe your relationship with the union and the labor movement.  In what ways has it personally affected your life and your family’s life?  Explain why you believe you are a good choice for this union scholarship.
Program Sponsorship
This scholarship program is offered through the Union Plus Education Foundation sponsored by Union Privilege. The Union Plus Education Foundation is funded in part by donations from Capital One N.A., provider of the Union Plus Credit Card. You do not need to be a Union Plus Credit Card holder to apply for this scholarship.
2014 Scholarship Winners
Take a look at this list of impressive 2014 Union Plus Scholarship winners. In 2014, 116 union members and family members were awarded a total of $150,000 in scholarship money as part of this 22-year old program.
Apply now. Deadline is January 31st, 2015, at noon EST.
Scholarship recipients will be notified by postal mail during the first week of June 2015. All applicants will be sent email notification.
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UMass Lowell River Hawks hockey game (sponsored by SEIU Local 888) January 31!

UMASS 2NDARY LOGO-UMLRHAll Local 888 members are invited to a special union-sponsored UMass Lowell hockey game on Saturday, January 31.

Tickets to the game are free for members and their immediate family (limited to four per member).  All members are also invited to a pre-game reception at the Tsongas Center, 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Lowell (map) from 4:45-5:45 PM

Pick up game tickets at Arena 5:45-6:15 PM

Doors open for the game at 6:00 PM, with the game set to start at 7:00 PM.

For game tickets, please RSVP with your name, workplace, number of tickets requested, if you are attending reception and contact info to myunion@seiu888.org or call (617) 241-3300.  Deadline Friday 1/16/2015.

Local 888 members who work at UMass Lowell can also RSVP and get tickets at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SEIU888_HockeyNight2015

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