Somerville Dispatchers unanimously ratified a new contract on Nov. 24. Key components of the Dispatchers’ agreement include:
“We are the “first” first responders, taking calls in emergencies and backing up our uniformed officers,” said Terri Medeiros, a dispatcher with 19 years of experience speaking on behalf of the union negotiating team. “After researching what other cities were paying for similar jobs, we were determined to win a pay scale that reflected the value of our service.”
“Now residents of Somerville can sleep better knowing that the city has stepped up to respect our department’s important contribution to public safety,” Medeiros continued.
With ratification, members agreed to give up the “Evergreen Clause” that keeps the terms of an expiring contract in force without change until a new contract is negotiated. Most other unions in the city have already done the same.
Fourteen dispatchers are members of SEIU Local 888 which also unites dispatchers who work for the State Police, Mass Port, the City of Boston, and the towns of Amherst, Athol, Framingham, Mashpee, Scituate, Uxbridge, Watertown, Webster, and Yarmouth.
Local 888 is a member of the Somerville Labor Coalition that unites public service unions in the community and supports its member unions.
SEIU Local 888 unites more than 8,000 public service, higher education and not-for-profit workers in Massachusetts for the good jobs and quality services our communities need. Learn more at: www.seiu888.org.
Justin Pelletier, Joe Aiello, and John Perino are three of the eight Watertown DPW supervisors given an award for: “Grateful appreciation of your selfless acts and dedication to the Watertown Community.”
Below are Phil D’Agostino and Brock Kennedy, two Watertown dispatchers who received ribbons on Veteran’s Day for “Exceptional Duty” (the two not in police uniforms).
Tim Costello Library Dedication
Join Local 888 staff and members to inaugurate the Tim Costello Memorial Library and Education Center in honor of Tim Costello, labor organizer and author. A reception will follow.
When: Friday, Dec. 5, 5PM
Where: 52 Roland Street, Charlestown
State Employee Lunchtime Workplace Safety and Health Phone Briefing
When: Friday, December 12, noon
Discuss the new law extending OSHA protections to executive branch employees.
Email: email@example.com to sign up.
SEIU Local 888 Executive Board meeting
When: Wednesday, December 17, 10AM-5PM
Where: 52 Roland Street, Charlestown
Celebrate the Holidays with Local 888 COPA
When: Friday, December19, 6PM
Bell in Hand, 45 Union Street, Boston
RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Organizers must be prepared to:
Organizers must have the ability to communicate effectively, be able to make short and long term organizing plans and work in a team. Applicants must be willing and able to work nights, weekends and irregular hours as required, as well as to conduct house calls and site visits.
Computer literacy, research skills, working knowledge of the Massachusetts Department of Labor Relations and National Labor Relations Act, database proficiency, charting workplaces and excellent communication skills are required.
The position involves working throughout the state of Massachusetts but may include out of state travel assignments. A cell phone, car and valid driver’s license are required.
Contact Local 888 Organizing Director Karen (Rudy) Renaud (email@example.com) with résumé and contact information. No phone calls please.
Despite a tough night with many close races, the key takeaway from Election Day was the progress made on earned sick time and the continuing importance of good jobs and the economy to voters.
Local 888 members — librarians, DPW workers, state workers, school custodians, early childhood teachers, and many, many others — want to see real progress on the issues they care about by electing leaders who will maintain services and improve our communities.
That’s why members are investing in political work like never before. Over 140 new members have joined the over 400 existing members who voluntarily contribute to the Committee on Political Action (COPA) fund just this year.
COPA funds Local 888’s political and electoral operations. Our efforts included an eight week field canvass in Brockton with six member political organizers talking to members and voters about their choices in the election. The canvass knocked on over 9,000 doors to educate voters on our agenda and motivate them to vote. The SEIU Massachusetts State Council knocked on over 162,000 doors statewide.
At the doors, on the phones, online and in the mail, Local 888 connected with members to inform them of the issues and candidates who support quality services and our communities.
While it was a hard fought race on both sides, Charlie Baker will be our next governor. Has the balance of power shifted to the Republicans? Not really. While the Massachusetts GOP did take several new House seats and some Senate seats, they don’t have enough votes in either chamber to sustain a veto for Baker. Baker will have to work closely with the legislature to pass the state budget and any new legislation.
Public employees be forewarned: One of Baker’s top priorities will likely be to cut retiree health care benefits.
The ballot question to provide earned sick time for all Massachusetts workers passed 60 – 40. Many members and staff spent countless hours gathering signatures, knocking doors and making phone calls to help ensure this victory. Read more about the victory for Earned Sick Time here.
Martha Coakley for Governor Loss
Steve Kerrigan for Lt. Governor Loss
Maura Healey for Attorney General Win
Suzanne Bump for Auditor Win
Deborah Goldberg for Treasurer Win
In addition to re-electing many of our allies in the House and Senate, Local 888 helped elect a few additional candidates who will be strong allies for the labor movement. Michelle Dubois, a former Local 888 member, was one of our top election priorities. Local 888 members were heavily involved in her GOTV effort on Election Day and she defeated her opponent by just 445 votes! In addition, Local 888 won six of seven races picked by the Committee on Political Action as our top priorities, including Steve Ultrino who helped save 28 school custodians jobs in Malden this year.
The full list of COPA endorsements and the outcomes are below. To see in-depth results, please visit: http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/11/massachusetts_election_results_2014.html#governor
Michelle Dubois for State Representative, District: 10th Plymouth
Steve Ultrino for State Representative, District: 33rd Middlesex
Barbara L’Italian for State Senate, District: 2nd Essex & Middlesex
Mike Day for State Representative, District: 31st Middlesex, Stoneham and Winchester
Jason Lewis for State Senator, District: 5th Middlesex
Mary Keefe for State Representative, District: 15th Worcester
Frank Smizik for State Representative, District: 15th Norfolk
Tim Toomey for State Representative, District: 26th Middlesex
Marjori Decker for State Representative, District: 25th Middlesex
James Miceli for State Representative, District: 19th Middlesex
Dan Donahue for State Representative, District: 16th Worcester
Ken Gordon for State Representative, District: 21st Middlesex
Marcos Devers for State Representative, District: 16th Essex
Dan Cullinane for State Representative, District: 12th Suffolk
Dan Ryan for State Representative, District: 2nd Suffolk
Stephen Kulik for State Representative, District: 1st Franklin
Evandro Carvalho for State Representative, District: Fifth Suffolk
Matt Patrick for State Senate, District: Plymouth & Barnstable
Doug Belanger for State Representative, District: 17th Worcester
Denise Andrews for State Representative, District: 2nd Franklin
Joe Pacheco for State Representative, District: 8th Plymouth
Dear Bummed: Happy to be of service. Speaking of bones, that’s what I reach for whenever I’m feeling down—works like a charm! If that’s not an option for you, why don’t you take a gander at the cover story, about how Local 888 members helped deliver a big win for workers in Massachusetts who had no sick time. In fact, there are similar stories all over the country.
You might not know it from the headlines, but virtually everytime voters had the opportunity to raise wages for the kind of people who don’t pal around with billionaires, they did. In fact, even voters in states that are as red as a fire hydrant (tee hee!), like South Dakota and Arkansas, gave a big paws up to raising wages. Here in Massachusetts, 1 million workers now have access to earned sick time thanks to voters who approved the strongest requirement in the country.
So enjoy that bone, then go for a long walk and take a nap. You’ll feel better in no time.
State Contracts Settled
The long wait for approval of the state contracts is over. Governor Patrick signed the FY2014 Supplemental
Budget on Oct. 31. Local 888’s Unit 2 state contracts were approved which includes UMass Lowell, the Soldiers Homes, State Police Dispatchers, and other agencies under the Alliance, the Lottery, the Registries of Deeds and the MassDOT.
As most members know, the contracts lingered in the legislature for several months due to differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget. While the disputes between the House and Senate were unrelated to our contracts, the budget was the only vehicle for the approval of the contracts.
“Thanks to intense pressure from our union and other public sector unions, we were finally able to get these contracts done for our members,” said Lisa Field, Director of Field Operations “It was a long and often frustrating process.”
Got questions? Email Lisa at lfield<at>seiu888.org.
Orange Maintenance Members Ratify New Contract
Orange Maintenance unit recently reached a four-year agreement after going through mediation with a one year extension for 2013. “It was quite a battle for a while going back and forth,” said Chapter Chair Dick Matthews.
“Management wanted concessions on longevity, while we felt that longer service members should be rewarded. We eventually compromised with no longevity for new hires.”
The contract also establishes new joint Labor-Management committee as well as a process for requesting a flexible work schedule in hardship situations. Members will receive wage increases equal to 5% over three years.
Boston School Dept. ULP
Last year the Boston School Dept. transferred Clerk Typist bargaining unit work from Local 888 members to a manger. The union filed an unfair labor practice charge with the Department of Labor Relations saying that management had a obligation to give the union notice and bargain over the decision and its impact.
In August, the DLR ruled in favor of Local 888 (see DLR posting at right). Now management must return the position to the bargaining unit and properly post the job which will be filled by a union member!
Custodians’ ratify new agreement with Malden School Committee that will improve school cleanliness and preserve local jobs
After several months of negotiations, custodians voted 18 to 3 on Oct. 25 to ratify a new agreement with the Malden School Committee. The hard-fought agreement comes after a high profile campaign by the custodians and their union to stop the city from outsourcing their jobs and to address persistent concerns about school cleanliness.
Last April, the Mayor and the School Committee proposed outsourcing the custodian’s jobs to a private cleaning company where employees would have lower pay and no job rights.
Faced with the prospect of losing their jobs, the custodians reached out to the community and to their elected officials to stop the plan. As a result, the City Council voted last June to provide an additional $2,226,293 to the School Dept. to keep all 28 custodians working at the Malden Schools. The funding also provided for hiring a much needed custodial supervisor to ensure improvement in school cleanliness.
The new contract requires more accountability from both employer and employees regarding evaluations of the custodians work and features an entirely new “performance evaluation” form. The custodians also agreed to some alterations in the provisions that allow management to discipline workers for poor performance.
Union members will receive 2% pay increases each year of the two year contract.
“I think we found the right balance to improve school cleanliness and keeping local jobs in Malden,” said Rich Cutone, a school custodian for 27 years and union vice-president. “We are glad it’s finally come to a conclusion and we’re moving forward. We deeply appreciate the support we received from so many parents, students and elected officials.”
The Malden School Committee still needs to approve the contract before it can be implemented.