At the time of the Supreme Court's "Janus vs AFSCME" decision in late June, SEIU International Union (IU) staff questioned whether Local 888 would be able to survive in the post-Janus open shop environment.
The IU suggested Local 888 consider merging with other Massachusetts locals. Leaders of Local 888 spoke affirmatively and with one voice: "Any merger would be counter-productive and premature." Instead, Local 888's leaders and Executive Board took steps -- outlined below – and convinced the International Union that a merger was unnecessary.
The Executive Board pledged to implement Together We Rise protocols and establish seven key benchmarks for our success:
- Recruit hundreds of new rank-and-file leaders
- Ensure that all new hires receive union orientation and are asked to join
- Provide a rapid response to any member who wants to drop out of the union
- Increase the number of members using our online membership portal
- Define six Local 888 jurisdictional departments and creating new "representation teams" to staff them
- Continue to make progress on organizing new bargaining units, especially with higher ed clerical, technical and professional workers.
The Executive Board also committed to work cooperatively with other locals to improve services and achieve administrative cost savings. We are currently in discussions with Local 509 about collaborating on politics and steward trainings.
Now it is incumbent on the leaders and staff of Local 888 to implement the benchmarks and begin working cooperatively with the other locals.