The Negotiating Team and the Leadership of OPEIU Local 6 are pleased to report that the members of our Union voted to ratify a new three-year contract with the Trial Court. The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for both the Professional and Clerical contracts along with a request for appropriation to fund the contracts will be sent to the Governor within the next week. The Governor has forty-five days to send the MOAs to the legislature for appropriation. We will keep informed during this process.
Each year, the Pioneer Valley Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO awards at least six $500 college scholarships to high school seniors who are children of members of unions like ours that are affiliated with the Central Labor Council. For Local 6 union members who are continuing their education; there are two $500 scholarships available. Check out the scholarship instructions and applications below!
The General Membership meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 13th has been cancelled due to inclement weather.
The 2018 OPEIU Scholarships applications are now available. OPEIU Scholarships are another great benefit for OPEIU members and their families. Also just announced is the Greater Southeastern Massachusetts Labor Council 2018 Scholarships.
Sisters & Brothers:
The Greater Boston Labor Council’s (GBLC) Futures Committee has scheduled its 7th Annual Young Worker Conference. It will be held at the SEIU1199 union hall, 108 Myrtle St. Quincy from 10 AM to 4 PM on Saturday, December 2, 2017.
The GBLC Futures Committee is comprised of young workers (35 and under) who believe that they have a right to determine the future of their work, their city and their lives. Their mission is to build a young worker movement for social and economic justice.
Sisters and Brothers,
Your Bargaining Team continues to work hard to negotiate for a fair and just contract. We must stay strong and united as OPEIU Local 6 members. Please know that we are not alone in this struggle. We are also working with our sisters and brothers at other public-sector local unions to present a united front to the Baker Administration who controls the economic parameters at the bargaining table for all of us.
That’s why I enthusiastically signed on to a letter to Governor Baker urging him to reconsider his unacceptable economic proposal. Joining me on the letter are union leaders representing over 30,000 state employees here in the Commonwealth. Some of you may have read stories in the Salem News and other news outlets reporting on the letter given to the Governor.
In spite of budget cuts and severe under staffing, OPEIU Local 6 members have continued to provide high quality services for citizens across the Commonwealth who use the court system. We hope that the Trial Court and the Baker Administration share our goal of continuing to ensure that everyone who seeks justice in the Massachusetts Trial Court System receive the service that they deserve.
Yet if our contract does not keep up with the cost of living, staff turnover will only worsen, which will ultimately hurt all who use the Courts. The cost of living and cost of health insurance continue to rise, and the administration’s current proposal of two raises of 0.5% each in FY18 does not keep pace.
The letter was hand-delivered to Governor Baker’s office, and you have my word that we will continue to make sure he knows where we stand. We have bargaining sessions scheduled for early November. Stay tuned and stand strong.
The Officers and Staff of OPEIU Local 6 wish you and your families a happy and safe Labor Day. While many view Labor Day as a holiday to celebrate the end of summer, get a year-end deal on a car or to finish back to school shopping, we know this holiday commemorates our continuing struggle as a labor movement to stand together in union to strive for better standards of living, to have a good life and to create a better workplace.
As we enjoy our holiday weekend, please remember our sisters and brothers in Texas who desperately need our help. Hurricane Harvey is probably the largest natural disaster ever faced in Texas. The resulting downpours have caused untold damage in Houston, Galveston Island, Corpus Christi, Beaumont-Port Arthur, parts of central Texas and many areas in between. Even though the rains have subsided, conditions continue to deteriorate for them.
We are heartened by the courage and tenacity shown by the Texans who are enduring this terrible tragedy and by the compassion and generosity displayed by the people of our great nation to help them in their hour of need.
Many of our OPEIU sisters and brothers in Texas need our help. If you can make a small contribution to the OPEIU Relief Fund, we know that your generosity will be appreciated by our sisters and brothers. Please be as generous as you can.
OPEIU Local 6 is pleased to report that we have reached an agreement with the Trial Court to pay down part of our members’ current accrued comp time. All OPEIU Local 6 members who have accrued more than 75 hours of comp time as of the pay period ending May 27, 2017 are eligible to be paid for 25% of that accrued comp time.
For example, if an OPEIU Local 6 member has 100 comp hours, that member will receive compensation for 25% of that 100 hours- 25 hours pay. We hope that this comp time payout will help out our eligible members who could use the extra money during the vacation season.
This is a strictly voluntary program. If you DO NOT WANT TO PARTICIPATE in the comp time pay down, please email Business Manager George Noel by July 15, 2017.
OPEIU is pleased to introduce the newest union benefit for all OPEIU members – the OPEIU Free College Benefit. Just as the name implies, OPEIU members and their families can now earn an associate degree completely free of charge.
With all the expenses working families have to deal with these days, it’s good to know that meeting the costs of rising tuition and textbooks doesn’t have to be one of them. If you have children graduating from high school and planning to attend college or you are looking for a way to advance your own career, the OPEIU Free College Benefit is here to help. Beginning this summer, every member or retired member, as well as spouses, children, grandchildren and dependents of OPEIU members, can earn a two-year degree online for free. You read that right – free college just for being an OPEIU member in good standing.
The leadership of the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 6 are proud of our members who serve as Official Court Reporters (OCR) in the criminal courtrooms in the Massachusetts Superior Court. Their responsibility in that courtroom is to assure that every motion or trial is being preserved in the most reliable way possible. They have been memorializing the spoken word in our courts since 1888.
Almost two years ago, the Court Reporters were informed that they were no longer needed by the Trial Court and were to be replaced by machines no later than June 30, 2016. Under our contract and Massachusetts labor laws, the Trial Court was obligated to bargain over the impact of these changes.