Union Updates

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New Contracts at Registry of Deeds and Bay Path Regional

Registry of Deeds members unanimously ratify new contract

Pictured above are Gerald Fleming, Labor Liaison for the Sec. of State, Registry of Deeds SEIU bargaining team member Marcia Boudreau, Sec. of State Atty Michael Pagones, Sec. of State General Council Laurie Flynn and Registry of Deeds SEIU bargaining team member Donna Regan.

Pictured above are Gerald Fleming, Labor Liaison for the Sec. of State, Registry of Deeds SEIU bargaining team member Marcia Boudreau, Sec. of State Atty Michael Pagones, Sec. of State General Council Laurie Flynn and Registry of Deeds SEIU bargaining team member Donna Regan.

Congratulations to the Fitchburg Registry of Deeds bargaining team for negotiating a contract that members unanimously ratified. The agreement includes a nine percent raise over three years, additional monies into the dental plan and an attendance policy related to inclement weather. Members are looking forward to upcoming Labor/ Management meetings within the next few months.

New Contract for Baypath Custodians

Custodians at the Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School ratified a new contract on July 15, 2014. Highlights of the new agreement include language protecting against layoffs, cost of living increases of 2% each year of the three year contract, an increase in vacation to five weeks after 17 years, and shift differential eligibility for part-time employees who fill in for full time employees for two weeks or more.

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Lottery workers wrap up new contract

Local 888 members at the Massachusetts Lottery overwhelming ratified a new contract in August and held a “signing ceremony” with Treasurer Steven Grossman, Lottery Executive Director Beth Bresnahan and Local 888 President Mark DelloRusso on September 3.

Local 888 Lottery steward team gathers with Treasurer Steven Grossman, Lottery Executive Director Beth Bresnahan and Local 888 President Mark DelloRusso to sign the new three year agreement on September 3.

Local 888 Lottery steward team gathers with Treasurer Steven Grossman, Lottery Executive Director Beth Bresnahan and Local 888 President Mark DelloRusso to sign the new three year agreement on September 3.

Gordon Luciano led the Lottery steward team through the negotiations with assistance from Local 888 attorney Maureen Medeiros.

Treasurer Grossman could barely contain his excitement about concluding a timely agreement with a minimum of acrimony or disagreements.

“I’ve embraced unions and collective bargaining my whole life [in the private sector] and I’ve never been prouder than I am now of the two strong teams that came together to get to ‘yes’ with this contract,” said Grossman. “It’s a win – win that comes with the mutual respect we’ve established here at the Lottery.”

DelloRusso praised all the stewards for getting the contract done in a timely fashion and particularly thanked those who travelled long distances from the regional offices for the long negotiations with management.

Reflecting back on the bargaining process, Luciano said, “We wanted to focus on some of the ambiguities in the contract and strengthen some of our language.  Our bargaining team felt it was especially important to have additional protections for our job security.”

“As result we won new language that is clearer on employee protections such as bumping rights and leave time,” Luciano concluded.

The contract has wage increases of 1.5 % every six months for 3 years.

The ratification vote the highest in recent memory with members voting 234 to 5 to accept the contract.

The Local 888 negotiation team.

The Local 888 negotiation team.

DelloRusso thanked Gordy Luciano and the rest of the Local 888 team: Greg Barry, Jim Harrington, Mike Kelly, Joe Poppalardo, Joseph Ravino, Rob Stephen, Kevin Wilder, and Chris Willis.

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Apply for Local 888 Scholarships Before Sept. 13

SEIU Local 888 Education Scholarships!

Graduation cap diploma andSEIU Local 888 offers post-secondary educational scholarships for members and their immediate families.

Local 888 will award one Greg King Memorial Scholarship of $1,000 (by lottery) and two $500 scholarships (by lottery) to enable members (or family) to attend any post-secondary school of their choosing.

Local 888 will also award scholarships of up to $500 for approved labor study programs or courses (information on a few Labor Studies programs is below).

Completed applications are due by Sept. 13, 2014 for Fall scholarship awards.  Applications will be screened by the Scholarship Committee and the lottery will be held at the Sept. 17 Executive Board meeting.  Scholarship winners are expected to attend the Oct. 4 membership convention to receive their award.

Scholarships applications are available at the Local 888 union hall or by clicking here:

Labor study programsLabor Guild logoLabor Guild Classes

The course listing for the Fall 2014 Guild School
http://laborguild.com/product/fall-2014-school-labor-management-relations

Fall Location: SEIU-1199, 150 Mt. Vernon St. Dorchester, MA 02125
Classes start Monday, September 15 through graduation November 10, 2014

Local 888 Communications and Policy Director, Rand Wilson will be teaching a Labor Guild class: “Crisis in the Labor Movement: Which Way Forward for Workers and Their Unions?

Learn more and register online at www.laborguild.com, or call 781-340-7887.

UMassUMass Labor Studies Programs:

Amherst           www.umass.edu/lrrc
Boston              www.umb.edu/lrc/labor_studies
Dartmouth       www.umassd.edu/labored
Lowell              www.uml.edu/FAHSS/WLS/default.aspx

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Local 888 stands in Solidarity with Market Basket workers

Local 888 and the Massachusetts labor movement are standing with and supporting Market Basket workers.  Local 888 Communications & Policy director Rand Wilson was interviewed on WGBH’s Greater Boston news program about the dispute at Market Basket and about the final settlement.

Wilson also had a letter about Market Basket printed in the Boston Globe.

Local 888 President Mark DelloRusso was also interviewed for a WGBH radio story on Market Basket.

Somerville Market Basket workers picketing on Sunday Aug. 10, 2014.  These part timers received layoff notices on Monday.

Somerville Market Basket workers picketing on Sunday Aug. 10, 2014. These part timers received layoff notices on Monday.

Somerville Police Dispatcher and Local 888 chapter chair Terri Maderios was part of a letter from the Somerville Labor Coalition in support of the Market Basket workers.

Visit Jobs with Justice and UFCW Local 1445 to learn more about supporting the workers at Market Basket.  Take action to support the workers here.

 

Usually this parking lot is jammed to capacity on a Sunday!

Usually this parking lot is jammed to capacity on a Sunday!

Sign says it all!

Sign says it all!

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Massachusetts SEIU Endorses Sept. 20-21 People’s Climate March

Citing a long history of support for the environmental movement, delegates to the SEIU Massachusetts State Council voted unanimously to support the upcoming People’s Climate March in New York City on September 20-21, 2014.

People's Climate MarchHeads of state will be in New York that weekend for a historic United Nations summit on climate change.

“With our children’s future on the line, we urge all union members and their families to take a weekend in New York and use it to help bend the course of history,” said Cliff Cohn, of Local 509 who serves as president of the state council.  With leaders from around the world there, as well as the attention of global media, the anticipated march and rally in New York City is expected to be to be unprecedented.

“We’re proud to join with hundreds of other union, community and environmental groups to demand long overdue action to create a world with an economy that works for people and the planet – now,” said Cohn. “We want a world safe from the ravages of climate change.  It’s time to organize, to build power, to confront the power of fossil fuels, and to shift power to a just, safe, peaceful world.”

More info about the People’s Climate March is at: peoplesclimate.org

Uniting nearly 85,000 health care and human service workers, educators, municipal and state employees, security officers, janitors and others across the Bay State, the SEIU Massachusetts State Council is a representative body of leaders who have been democratically elected by the membership to represent their local and workers in their respective industries. The council includes SEIU Locals 1199, 32BJ, 509, 888, Chapter 3FO and the Committee of Interns & Residents.

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Minimum Wage Victory—Next Up: “Earned Sick Time”

The Raise Up coalition that sought an increase in the state’s minimum wage ended its bid to put a question on the November ballot after the state legislature approved a bill increasing the $8-per-hour minimum wage to $11 by 2017.

Raise Up collected enough signatures to qualify a ballot question calling for a minimum wage hike to $10.50 per hour within two years and to tie future increases to inflation.  In response, the state legislature passed the Minimum Wage bill and it was signed by Governor Deval Patrick on June 26.

“This is a big victory for hard-working low-wage earners,” said Mark DelloRusso, President of Local 888.  “Over 600,000 low-wage earners in Massachusetts will get wage increases totaling over $1.1 billion. That increase will not only help these workers, it will also be a boost to many of our members and the state’s economy.”

Governor Deval Patrick signs a minimum wage bill that passed largely as a result of the work of grassroots activists including many Local 888 members.

Governor Deval Patrick signs a minimum wage bill that passed largely as a result of the work of grassroots activists including many Local 888 members.

At $11 an hour, Massachusetts will have the high­est state minimum wage law in the country. The only reason it passed was because thousands of grassroots activists from hundreds of congregations, community organizations and labor unions worked together to collect over 360,000 signatures to qualify raising the minimum wage (and earned sick time) for the ballot. House Speaker DeLeo and Senate President Mur­ray publicly stated that they had to take up the issue because Raise Up had the signatures to place it on the ballot.

“Now we have to turn our attention to winning the ballot initiative for earned sick time,” said Lew Fin­fer, one of the co-chairs of Raise UP Massachusetts.

Over one million workers in Massachusetts are unable to earn paid sick time at their jobs. As a result, they are often forced to go to work sick in order to keep their job, or risk their financial stability to tend to an illness. The Earned Sick Time ballot initiative will ensure that all workers in Massachusetts can earn time to take care of themselves, the health of their children and close family members without losing critical wages or their job.

For more details about how the law would work visit http://raiseupma.org/earned-sick-time.

 

 

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Legislature Extends Safety Protections to State Employees, New H&S Interns at Local 888

The passage of a bill to increase the minimum wage also gave a big boost to the safety of the state’s workforce. The bill included a measure that will extend Occupational Safety and Health Administra­tion (OSHA) protections to executive branch employ­ees.

“This is a huge step forward for the Common­wealth,” said Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, Executive Director of the workplace safety group, the Massachusetts Co­alition for Occupational Safety & Health (MassCOSH).  “By instituting health and safety measures that are known to prevent injury and death, we will protect the well-being of our state’s employees and save the taxpayers costly workers compensation costs.”

To learn more about the new safety provisions for state employees, visit www.masscosh.org.

Kim Sawyer and Rossmary Marquez

Kim Sawyer and Rossmary Marquez

HEALTH AND SAFETY INTERNS ON THE CASE
Kim Sawyer and Rossmary Marquez are summer interns from the National Occupational Health Internship Pro­gram (OHIP) working with SEIU Local 888 on a study of the health and safety conditions of Massachusetts mu­nicipal workers. The study will help Local 888 develop member education and training about health and safety and to build a new Safety Council within Local 888. The interns will be here until mid-August. If you have a health and safety concern, contact your union rep.

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Local 888 Members get WILD in the Summer

Eight members of Local 888 attended the 28th Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) Summer Institute on June 20, 21 and 22 on the campus of UMass Dartmouth. WILD is an inspirational educational program that provides women with the leadership vision, confidence and skills to become more effective leaders and organizers in the Massachusetts labor movement. There were sessions on leadership development, understanding racism and a variety of skills-building workshops.

“At the WILD weekend, we were all UNITED sisters reflecting on matters that are holding us back, dragging us down, and preventing us from moving forward,” said Local 888 member Florence Brice.  “With the group discussions and exercises we were able to see the frustration and feel the pain of one another. We cried, laughed, and worked together in unity. To me that was a beautiful and powerful example that we all can and should bring to our families, friends, and community.”

“The wild weekend was very powerful and informative,” said Local 888 member Carlene Roberts.

The Local 888 participants also had op­portunities to network with other union sisters and have a lot of fun! For more information about WILD visit www.wildlabor.org/

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(From left) Carlene Roberts, Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), Susan Winning, UMASS Low-ell; Nathalie Bezil, BPHC; Florence Brice BPHC; Christina Villafranca, Local 888 staff; Bianca Pierre, BPHC; Rosa Matias, Chelsea Soldiers Home. Not pictured: Charlotte Killam, Boston Water and Sewer .

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Stickered up to say, “Low pay is not OK!”

Local 888 members “stickered-up” on June 12 for a Low Wage Worker Day of Action.  Watch a short video from the June 12 Day of Action here.

Chelsea Soldiers Home members Alex Zelaya and Rosa Matias.

Chelsea Soldiers Home members Alex Zelaya and Rosa Matias wearing their “Low Pay is Not OK” stickers.

Head Start teachers from Fitchburg’s Hosmer School. (Left to right) Maribell Crespo, Sheena Palmi, Mary Hernandez, Stephanie Harris, and Debbie Lammi wearing their “Low Pay is Not OK” stickers.

Head Start teachers from Fitchburg’s Hosmer School. (Left to right) Maribell Crespo, Sheena Palmi, Mary Hernandez, Stephanie Harris, and Debbie Lammi wearing their “Low Pay is Not OK” stickers.

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Hero’s Triathlon

Teri Lambert and Karol Grato, both Local 888 members from the Mashpee Police Department, completed the Hero Triathlon on June 22 in Mashpee, taking second place in the female relay. Even more impressive: the duo, with friend Laura Robinson, competed while wearing Local 888 union colors.

From left: Terri Lambert, Laura Robinson and Karol Grato.

From left: Terri Lambert, Laura Robinson and Karol Grato.

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Coming Attractions

calendarCity of Boston Office Hours
Office hours to meet with your union representative for the City of Boston are held every other Thursday from 11:30AM to 2:00PM at Boston City Hall, Room 624A.  The next scheduled date: Thursday July 24th.

Office hours for the Boston Police Department are on the third Tuesday of the month in the 3rd floor hearing room. The next scheduled date is Tuesday, July 15th from 2:30AM to 4:00PM. Any questions, please contact Field Representative Mari Cooney at 617-410-8880 or 617-241-3365.

Women’s Committee/Latino Caucus Joint Potluck
When: Wednesday, July 16, 6PM
Where: Local 888 Union Hall, 52 Roland Street, Boston.

COPA Committee Meetings
Local 888’s COPA committee met in Worcester on June 24 to consider endorsements of a number of candidates running in state elections. The next COPA meetings are:
Central MA COPA Caucus – candidate interviews
Wed, July 16, 6:30PM–7:30PM
Where: Local 888 Central MA Office, 330 Southwest Cutoff, Worcester, MA
July COPA Committee meeting
Thu, July 17, 6:30PM–7:30PM
Local 888 Union Hall

Read about Local 888 endorsed candidates here

Bread & RosesLawrence Bread & Rose Heritage festival
When: Labor Day, September 1, noon-5PM
Where: Lawrence Common, Lawrence, MA

Local 888 staffer Christina Villafranca will be coordinating our union’s participation in events at the Bread & Roses festival. Local 888 will have a tent with info about unions and the labor movement. To get involved or learn more about it, contact Christina at 617 398-0254 or cvillafranca@seiu888.org

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New Contract for Malden Cafeteria Workers

Malden Cafeteria workers overwhelmingly ratified a new four year contract. Many members got significant pay upgrades and everyone will get an additional personal day. Food service workers will receive 1 percent across the board increases on July 1, 2015, again on January 1, 2016 followed by a 2 percent raise on July 1, 2016. Utility workers will get 2 percent on January 1, 2014, 2 percent on July 1, 2014, 1 percent on July 1, 2015, again on January 1, 2016 and a 2 percent raise on July 1, 2016.
Malden cafeteria members met to review and vote on their new contract.

Malden cafeteria members met to review and vote on their new contract.

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