Three members of Local 888 and two staffers are taking classes at the Labor Guild this semester. Classes were taught at the SEIU 1199 union hall.
"It's important for our members to find out what the union stands for and what they can do to help it," said Mike Kelly, who has worked at Lottery for 40 years, is currently a steward there and serves on the Local 888 Executive Board**.** "Educating our members is one of the most important tasks."
"What I like about the Guild is that you hear about new ideas and get to speak up for or against them," Kelly continued. "While we don't always agree, everyone is respectful without being disrespecting."
Kelly recruited Tom McKeever to also attend classes this semester. McKeever, from Hanover MA,has worked at the Lottery for 14 years and now is interested in becoming a union steward.
"By taking classes at the Guild I am hoping to be able to speak with my co-workers with more authority on union issues," said McKeever. "The teachers at the Guild are excellent and they bring real world experience to the table. This semester I took a class on being a steward and a second class on organizing. I'm probably coming back next year to take more classes."
A third student, Teresa Riordan, works at the Westwood Town Hall as an Assistant Town Clerk.
"Although I have 15 years with the town and have been in the union for seven years, I was only recently elected steward," said Riordan. "I want to be sure that I am representing my members fairly and with strong knowledge of union matters. Taking classes at the Guild has taught me how much I don't know, which makes me want to take more classes. I definitely plan to come back."
Guild classes will start up again in Spring, 2015. Classes are just $100. Local 888 has a scholarship program to assist members with tuition costs if they need it. For more information about the Labor Guild click here.