As I look back at the previous annual reports, one thing comes to mind: the more things change the more they remain the same. The MassHealth chapter has fewer members than we did at this time last year and many more clients. There is too much work and not enough workers to do it. Although the overtime we have received is welcome, it is not a solution to the problem. Management seems to believe that technology will solve all of our problems. We, as frontline workers, know that this is not the case.
During the past year, two major technological changes have occurred. The first change was the VOIP (voice over internet protocol) telephone system. The second and most drastic was the implementation of EDM (electronic document management). We have yet to see the full implications of EDM. One of the things I will be addressing is the health and safety issues that have and will result from EDM: the ramifications of sitting in front of a computer screen all day long and the ergonomics involved with that. Over the next year, I will be counting on you, the membership, to keep the Union leadership informed of any and all issues regarding EDM or anything else.
Communication is important. If the Union doesn’t know about something then we cannot take the concerns to management. Union stewards and officers play a major role in information gathering. If you see something, then say something to someone.
I would like to thank three stewards who have retired this year. Brenda Cyr, from Taunton, Joyce Harvey from CPU and Viola Tomm, from Tewksbury, all provided valuable information to the union and were not afraid to stand up for their rights and the rights of their members. Good luck in your retirement. Thank you to the Labor Management committee consisting of the two vice presidents, Carol Mellberg and Michael Vaillancourt, and the recording secretary, Erica Cormican, for your help, insight, and guidance during these meetings. Thanks to the Chapter Board members, Patrick Barry, David Cummings, Diana Hunter, Glenn Woloski and Patricia Young who have made the effort to attend and contribute to the monthly meetings. A special thanks to the stewards in every office, including the new stewards who have not been trained yet, for keeping me up to date. Mary Burke, Ahsaki Hardy, Maria Luna, Helene Marcum, Olga Nizamova, Russ Olivera, Yamilka Ramos, Antonio Rodrigues, Alicia Rodriguez, Timothy Travis, Denise Vernaglia and Rosa Volmar. Also thanks to two members who are involved in SEIU’s Fight For A Fair Economy initiative Valerie Copeland and Ester Orellana.
I am looking forward to working with and for all of you. Get involved in the Union it can be fun and rewarding.