2013 Legislative Priorities

Get involved!  With increased membership participation, Local 888 can pass new laws to increase our members’ pension benefits, grow our union, expand existing health and safety protections for state workers, hold non-profit institutions more accountable, and raise new revenues to fund our jobs.

To help win these improvements, get in touch with Local 888 Political Director Dan Hoffer at dhoffer@seiu888.org or call 617 642 3588.

2013 Legislative Priorities

1. An Act Relative to the Collective Bargaining Rights for Employees of the Committee on Public Counsel Services – filed by Rep. Mike Moran (D-Brighton) H.2389
Joint Committee On Public Service

Purpose: When the Committee for Public Council Services (CPCS) was created 30 years ago, the employees were denied their basic rights to organize. To fix this, public defenders need to define CPCS as their employer in Chapter 150e, section 1 & 7. In addition, public defenders are chronically underfunded and their wages lag behind those of other attorneys who work for the state. Allowing them to form a union would afford them the chance
to bargain directly with CPCS for their wages. Collective bargaining rights will help to level the playing field and introduce a measure of fairness that is currently lacking.

Background: The CPCS employees have been working for the state without collective bargaining rights for many years. Although they receive many of the benefits that other state employees get, they do not currently have the right to collectively bargain or have the protections of a union contract.

For more info visit https://malegislature.gov/Bills/188/House/H2389

2. Earned Sick Time Act, Filed by Sen. Dan Wolf and Rep. Kay Khan, S.900/H.1739
Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development

Purpose: We can protect jobs and boost the economy by allowing private sector employees to earn sick time for hours worked. This will increase productivity, job satisfaction and lessen turnover, while helping to improve public health.

Background: Nearly 1 million hard working people in Massachusetts—almost onethird of our workers— are at risk of losing their jobs and the wages their families need if they have to stay home to care for themselves or a sick child. When working families don’t have financial security, our whole economy suffers.

For more info visit https://malegislature.gov/Bills/188/House/H1739

3. Act to Provide Safe Workspace for Employees of the Commonwealth Executive Order and Legislation. Filed by Martin J. Walsh (D-Dorchester) H.2460
Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development

Purpose: Employees of the Commonwealth repair our roads, maintain our state parks, care for our disabled and provide many other essential services for the public. Their work exposes many state workers to serious occupational safety and health hazards. Yet the health and well being of the more than 150,000 state employees is less valued than those who work in the private sector. OSHA standards limit the amount of hazardous chemicals workers can be exposed to, mandate the use of certain safety practices, equipment and training, and require employers to monitor hazards and maintain records of workplace injuries and illnesses. When OSHA was passed in 1970, the law made it an option — but did not require — states to provide OSHA protections to public employees. But if a state adopted OSHA guidelines, the federal government would pick up 50% of the cost. More than 20 states provide public service workers with equal protections. The same should be true in Massachusetts.

The bill requires the state’s Division of Labor Standards (DLS) to apply federal occupational and health standards to state employees. It gives the DLS the authority to conduct investigations and the power to establish regulations and issue corrective orders where it has found a violation.

For more info visit https://malegislature.gov/Bills/188/House/H2460

4. An Act relative to the retirement benefits of State Police Dispatchers Filed by Rep. Kocot (D-Northampton) H.2370
Joint Committee On Public Service

Purpose: This bill would move State Police Dispatchers who currently are unclassified by the state petition system and reside in Group 1 to Group 4 with other law enforcement personnel. Given their contributions to the public safety of the Commonwealth, the forced overtime, long hours and secondary trauma, police dispatchers believe this is a more appropriate recognition of their contributions.

Background: Currently, most State Police Dispatchers have to work into their late sixties in order to get 80% of their pension benefit. This bill would enable these first responders to retire with dignity. This bill would affect 188 State Police Dispatchers in groups SPD 1, 2 and 3.

For more info visit https://malegislature.gov/Bills/188/House/H2370
5. An Act to establish tax transparency and strengthen the reporting requirements of public charities and to establish reporting requirements for the trustees and directors of public charities. – Filed by Rep. Mike Moran, Senator lead sponsor Patricia Jehlen, H.2678
Joint Committee On Revenue

Purpose: This legislation will put vital information in the hands of legislators and concerned citizens. Private colleges are awarded valuable tax-exempt status that represents an enormous public investment in private higher education. This bill is an important first step in holding private colleges accountable for their stewardship of that significant public investment and honoring their public mission. Heavy financial losses, possible conflict of interest on governing boards, and rising pay packages for senior employees indicate that it’s time for more transparency and accountability in the financial operations of private colleges and universities in our Commonwealth.

Background: Private colleges contribute a great deal to our economy. They provide jobs, boost local businesses, contribute PILOTs and support community programs. But in recent years, private colleges have pursued questionable financial and business strategies driven by a need to make money at all costs. Those strategies have resulted in a loss of Massachusetts jobs and lost revenues for our communities.

For more info visit https://malegislature.gov/Bills/188/House/H2678
6. An act relative to determining the cost of a service based retirement option for Group 1 and Group 2 career employees. Filed by Michael Brady, (D-Brockton) H.2224
Joint Committee On Public Service

Background: This bill would create new retirement incentives that would save money and benefit long-term employees. The bill would also revitalize the state’s workforce. An estimated 7,000 state employees out of about 85,000 would be eligible for the incentive under this bill. And of those 7,000 workers, approximately 1,000 are already eligible for full retirement benefits.

House Bill 2224 would be cost effective because it allows any employee taking the incentive to fund their remaining pension obligation by using the dollar value of their banked sick and vacation time to reach their full pension benefit of 80%.

For more info visit https://malegislature.gov/Bills/188/House/H2224.

To help win these improvements, get in touch with Local 888 Political Director Dan Hoffer at dhoffer@seiu888.org or call 617 642 3588.

Comments are closed.