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Yarmouth’s Fogarty talks up union power at member event

November 15, 2021

Longtime Yarmouth chapter leader speaks on the advantages of having a union — and the importance of being an active member.

Having a union has been central to securing raises in pay and other perks for town of Yarmouth workers, said Local 888 Executive Board member Jayne Fogarty. For example, the chapter’s new contract includes a 12th paid holiday, Juneteenth, which commemorates the emancipation of slaves in the U.S.
Fogarty gave a talk on her union activism at a pair of Member Welcome Orientations organized by Local 888 and attended by 29 members. The Zoom workshop is a staple for the union, and takes all of 45 minutes (To register for a future workshop, see events at
Fogarty said she cut her teeth on union activism when she became a shop steward in 1986. Then, in 2010, she was elected chapter president.
“I’m not a real rah-rah union person,” she said, commenting on her style. “But over the years, I’ve seen how nonunion Yarmouth employees have lost out — in terms of lower wages, reductions in benefits and even the loss of positions.”
And, she added, “if an employee is looking to change or upgrade their position, and management hires someone else — if you’re not in a union you have no recourse.”
“Without a union, if a manager hires his brother, or his niece or his nephew — at a higher rate than you — you’re out of luck,” said Corey Bombredi, an organizer who works with Local 888 chapters. A union contract can set out fair ways for hiring new employees and promoting them.
“To have a strong union, members have to be active participants, added Fogarty. “So, don’t be a Monday morning quarterback, step up and get involved!”
And if there are some problems or issues that you believe are not being addressed? Fogarty, a longtime president of her Yarmouth chapter, had some advice: “If you want change, then be the change.”
Over time, the Yarmouth chapter has won perks that include:
• Up to six weeks of vacation time,
• Four personal days per year,
• Up to 15 sick days,
• And 12 holidays, the last one, Juneteenth, was added this year.
Fogarty was hired by the town 36 years ago and went on to serve as a police dispatcher for nearly 30 years. Numerous Local 888 members work as dispatchers.
She then moved over to work for the town’s Division of Natural Resources, which deals with the enforcement of environmental laws and management of conservation areas and trails. This covers such issues as the protection of shellfish, animal control and use of waterways.
For more on Local 888 orientations, see For more on union protections for members, see