Skip to main content


Ask Sparky

February 8, 2013

Dear Sparky: I get along really well with my boss. I think I could probably get a better deal than what’s in the contract if I negotiated with him one-on-one. I “get” why workers at the bottom of the wage scale can benefit from having a union but wouldn’t it make more sense for me to strike out on my own?

Worth More in Worcester Dear Worth More: I can answer your question with two simple words—’new boss.’ Do you “get” where I’m going? Contracts can sound complicated but at the end of the day they’re simple. They provide an enforceable set of rules, large and small, that lay out the terms of your employment. Say you were able to strike a sweet deal with your boss. But then your boss goes off to be the boss of someone else, leaving you with a new boss who doesn’t give a fig about the deal that you cut with boss number one. In other words, by going out on your own, you’re left on your own. Meanwhile your brothers and sisters have the security of knowing that the terms and conditions of their employment are spelled out in, you guessed it, that handy little contract. Capiche? And while I’ve got your attention, I’d recommend that you take a look at what’s in your contract. That’s because while having a contract is great, it’s meaningless if it’s not enforced. Want proof? Check out the chapter reports on page 4.

Do you have a question for Sparky? Send it to

Mail Bag:

Dear Mark: Thank you for your rapid response to our questions concerning Dues Equality and other issues. I was truly impressed by the concern you showed by coming here in person. I may not agree with what transpired but you convinced me that you followed the letter of the law of the charter on all fronts and you left me with an impression that as our President,you are sincere in your role in making this a better union for all.

Thank you again! Teri Lambert Mashpee Clerical/Dispatcher