Washington, DC – SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement in response to an increase in premium rates from insurance companies for some plans offered through healthcare.gov:
“The fact that insurance companies are increasing healthcare premiums is not news to working people, but it is a warning bell for the next Congress. For six years and more than 60 repeal votes, opponents of the healthcare law have refused to share a serious, comprehensive plan to strengthen and improve it. Today, we are seeing a direct result of their inaction.
“As Americans are getting ready to choose a healthcare plan starting November 1, they should know that higher tax credits will be available for plans with the greatest increases. In fact, more than 8 in 10 people shopping on healthcare.gov last year received tax credits to help pay for their insurance and this year 75 percent of people will still be able to find a plan for less than $75 a month.
“The law is here to stay, but as the nation’s largest union of healthcare workers, we know it must be strengthened. Americans are beyond frustrated by a Congress that has put politics before their health and by healthcare headlines that are their daily reality, whether it’s drug company CEO’s making millions from life-saving cancer drugs, or the lack of transparency when it comes to what a doctor visit or procedure actually costs.
“The nurses, doctors and healthcare workers of SEIU know that Hillary Clinton will be a president who will come to the table with new ideas and new solutions to lower healthcare costs, and improve a law that is covering more Americans than ever before in our history. Every member of Congress should be prepared to do the same.”
El alza a las primas de seguros indica que el próximo Congreso debe tomar en serio el costo de atención médica
WASHINGTON, D.C.— La presidenta del sindicato SEIU internacional, Mary Kay Henry, hizo la siguiente declaración en torno al aumento al costo de las primas por parte de las compañías aseguradoras para algunos planes que se ofrecen a través del portal cuidadodesalud.gov:
“El hecho de que las compañías aseguradoras estén aumentando las primas de atención médica no es noticia para los trabajadores, pero es una advertencia para el próximo Congreso. Durante 6 años y más de 60 votos para revocarla, los opositores a la ley de atención médica se han negado a compartir un plan serio integral para fortalecerla y mejorarla. Hoy en día, estamos viendo el resultado directo de su inacción.
“Mientras que los norteamericanos se preparan para elegir un plan médico a partir del 1º de noviembre, deben saber que habrá un incremento de créditos de impuestos para los planes con los mayores aumentos. De hecho, más de 8 de cada 10 personas que compraron en el portal, cuidadodesalud.gov el año pasado recibieron créditos fiscales para ayudarles a pagar su seguro, y este año, el 75% de las personas todavía podrá encontrar un plan por menos de $75 al mes.
“La ley llegó para quedarse, pero nosotros, como el sindicato más grande de trabajadores del sector de salud, sabemos que debe ser fortalecida. Los norteamericanos están más que frustrados con un Congreso que ha puesto la política por encima de su salud y con titulares de prensa sobre atención médica que son su realidad diaria: ya sea que los ejecutivos de las compañías farmacéuticas están ganando millones con medicinas contra el cáncer para salvar vidas, o bien la falta de transparencia cuando se trata del costo real de una consulta al doctor o de un procedimiento.
“Las enfermeras, los doctores y los trabajadores del sector de salud de SEIU saben que Hillary Clinton será una presidenta que acudirá a la mesa de negociaciones con nuevas ideas y nuevas soluciones para bajar los costos de la atención médica y para mejorar una ley que está cubriendo a más estadounidenses que nunca antes en nuestra historia. Todo miembro del Congreso debería estar preparado para hacer lo mismo.”
Believe it or not, Election Day is just around the corner — and we only have a few weeks left to make a difference as we elect a new President, send legislators to represent us on Beacon Hill, and fight to preserve public education in Massachusetts.
As part of our effort to ensure the voices of human service workers and educators are heard on November 8th, SEIU 509 members will have the opportunity to participate in our fall Political Action Program. As in previous years, we plan to do all we can to elect state and local elected leaders who understand the issues that matter most to SEIU members and the communities we serve. We’ll also fight to protect funding for our public schools by defeating Question 2 — in addition to campaigning in New Hampshire to help defeat Donald Trump’s destructive agenda.
Our push for fairer workplaces and stronger communities doesn’t stop with the fall elections. We’ll need to work hard to support the allies we elect as they pursue a progressive legislative agenda in 2017 and beyond. From the fight for a $15/hour minimum wage, to making millionaires pay their fair share in taxes, to comprehensive immigration reform, to paid family and medical leave, we’ll need all hands on deck. Sign up here to get involved in any or all of these important issues.
The SEIU Political Action Program will launch on Thursday, October 13 and run through Election Day. So whether you’re interested in volunteering on a local campaign, getting involved in a ballot initiative, taking a trip to a presidential battleground state like New Hampshire or just staying informed of future opportunities, be sure to sign up using the online form. We’ll have updates soon on a host of events, from our upcoming member political action training to celebratory Election Night events.
This is an important political season for human service workers and educators throughout the Commonwealth and across the country. Even if you only have an hour or two to spare in the coming weeks, I hope you’ll get involved.
Thank you for all you do!
Susan Tousignant, President
El día de elección ya está por venir — solo tenemos un par de semanas en asegurarnos que hagamos las diferencia en lo que elijamos el nuevo presidente, los legislativos estatales quienes nos van a servir en Beacon Hill, y vamos a batallar para asegurar que preservemos la educación pública en Massachusetts.
Como parte de nuestros esfuerzos y en asegurarnos que las voces de trabajadores sociales y de educadores sea escuchada vamos a tener un Programa Político Comenzando el 8 de noviembre. Como en años anteriores estamos planificando en hacer todo lo que podamos hacer para elegir un nuevo liderazgo. También vamos a batallar para proteger los fondos de pregunta dos y batallar contra Trump.
Nuestros esfuerzos por trabajos justos y comunidades fuertes no para con la elección del otoño. Vamos tener que seguir trabajando para apoyar los que nos apoyando a nosotros mientras ellos persiguen una agenda progresiva para el año 2017. Desde nuestra batalla para un pago mínimo de $15 dólares la hora, hacer que los millonarios paguen su parte justa en impuestos, aun plan comprehensivo inmigratorio, y al tiempo pago de familia de atención médica, vamos a necesitar a todos ustedes. Inscríbase aquí para que se involucren en una de estas oportunidades.
El programa político de SEIU va a comenzar el 13 de octubre y va a continuar durante el día de elecciones. Si estas interesada en ser voluntario quieres ser parte de una campaña local y desea quedarse al día con las elecciones por favor inscríbase hoy en esta lista.
Esta etapa electoral es sumamente importante para los trabajadores de servicios humanos y para educadores en nuestro estado. Si tienes una hora o dos por favor yo espero que ustedes se involucren.
Gracias por todo lo que hacen.
Susan Tousignant, Presidenta
Human service workers and educators have long been at the forefront of the fight to raise wages and improve working conditions across Massachusetts. With the support of faith leaders and community allies, we’ve won major increases in the minimum wage, secured earned sick time for more than a million working families, and set new standards in compensation and job security on college campuses and in family child care settings from Boston to the Berkshires.
This fall, nearly 15,000 janitors across New England will come together to negotiate new contracts that build on the progress made over many years to raise standards in the industry. Their struggle for fair wages comes amidst our own bargaining sessions in Higher Education and Early Childhood Education — and may set the stage for upcoming contract negotiations covering thousands of State Employees and Private Sector Human Service workers throughout the Commonwealth.
On Saturday, September 10, human service workers and educators will join janitors and service staff represented by SEIU 32BJ for a rally to ‘Raise America’. Join us at the Boston Common bandstand at 1:00pm as we bring the ‘Fight for $15’ to new heights!
‘RAISE AMERICA’ RALLY WITH SEIU 32BJ
Saturday, September 10
Gathering at 1:00opm
Boston Common – Parkman Band Stand
(underground parking in the Common Garage – 0 Charles Street, Boston)
BOSTON, MA – Unionized faculty throughout Greater Boston hailed today’s historic Columbia decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) – a landmark ruling that asserts the rights and protections of graduate employees nationwide under the National Labor Relations Act. Educators at local private colleges and universities celebrated the prospect of graduate assistant colleagues joining the robust movement to improve teaching and learning conditions in higher education.
“Today marks an important milestone in a greater union movement that is fighting back against the corporatized reality of modern higher education,” stated Max White, an English lecturer and FacultyForward/SEIU member from Northeastern University. “We know first-hand how precarious the graduate employee situation can be, and we welcome all who choose to join us in the fight to steer higher education to invest more in the classroom.”
At Boston University, Writing Program lecturer Marie McDonough expressed enthusiasm for the decision: “We are excited to start off the school year knowing that graduate students who teach and do research in our universities now have a right to a join us in the fight to improve the learning environment for our students.”
Non-tenure-track faculty at Boston-area universities form the backbone of a robust, nationwide campaign to address the crisis in higher education – winning a series of impressive victories that have improved compensation and teaching conditions through unionization. Nearly 4,000 educators have now joined in the shared effort to raise standards and improve the overall quality of higher education through SEIU Local 509’s Faculty Forward initiative. Contingent faculty broke new ground earlier this year with strong first contracts at Bentley, Boston University and Northeastern, following landmark agreements at Tufts and Lesley in 2015. Negotiations are underway among non-tenure-track faculty at Brandeis University. Full-time lecturers and instructors have also entered the fray in recent months, netting landslide union victories at Tufts, BU and Lesley.
“We are thrilled to welcome graduate students into our movement for equitable wages and benefits, as well as course stability and security,” said, Tufts University Senior Lecturer and SEIU 509 member Elizabeth Lemons. “Graduate students with teaching and research assistantships likewise deserve fair treatment and respect for the crucial work that they do with students and as researchers. We look forward to their help building a hospitable academic community—one that values the contributions of all university workers. A respectful community with equitable working conditions is the best environment for student learning.”
The educator-led movement to improve teaching and learning conditions has resonated nationally as well. Just days ago, faculty from around the country convened with other underpaid workers in Richmond, Virginia at the first-ever Fight for $15 convention. Together, the delegation raised calls for better pay and union rights for all workers.
“Any opportunity for fellow instructors to have a say in shaping their working conditions is great news,” said Melissa Wolter-Gustafson, a lecturer from Northeastern’s English Department. “These new voices will strengthen our collective call for universities to begin reinvesting in teaching and in the learning conditions of their students.”
Graduate workers interested in the fight to raise standards in higher education can visit the Faculty Forward website to learn more and get involved.
**For interviews with faculty standing in solidarity with graduate employee colleagues, contact Gabriela Camargo Martins at (774) 326-0535 or firstname.lastname@example.org.**
SEIU Local 509 represents more than 20,000 human service workers and educators throughout the commonwealth, including nearly 4,000 part- and full-time faculty in the Greater Boston area. SEIU 509 members provide a variety of social services to elders, at-risk children and people with mental illnesses or developmental disabilities — as well as educational opportunities from early learning to higher education. Local 509 is part of the Service Employees International Union, the fastest-growing labor union in the United States. For more information, visit http://seiu509.org.
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You should have already received your copy of the 509News in the mail, but you can also access and download here. Read more about some of our recent victories, the upcoming 509 Leadership elections and how to obtain new member benefits.
Many colleges and universities rely on the labor of graduate student workers to educate undergraduates, support research projects and further the work of tenured and tenure-track faculty, all of which contribute to making an exceptional academic experience, improve student outcomes and increase college ratings. However, graduate student assistants’ work is often under-rewarded and under-appreciated. We teach and research without an adequate voice in pay and university fees when the cost of living keeps going up. We often lack flexibility in healthcare coverage and basic protections that would prevent workplace harassment and discrimination and prevent sudden changes to our contracts and work conditions. Too many of us are completing programs with crushing debt loads and less than rosy prospects for permanent, full time work in their chosen field of study.
Colleges are acting more and more like big corporations and leaving graduate students with impossible choices — choosing between their future degree and field, their students, and their families. You can be a part of the growing movement to tackle the crisis in higher education.
Rousing speeches by Michelle Obama, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders drove home messages of unity and of putting families first on the Democratic National Convention’s first day. Former President Bill Clinton speaks Tuesday night, as do the “mothers of the movement”—including the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice.
Panel explores public demand for child care reform:
SEIU along with The Hill, Make It Work Action, American Women, and the Domestic Workers Legacy Fund hosted a panel discussion on affordable and quality child care, paid leave and equal pay. They were joined by former Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) and others.
Panelists mentioned that these issues affect the economic security of all families, not just women. They went on to discuss the public demand for affordable, quality child care policies that also pay a living wage and the need for public investment now.
Tonia McMillian, SEIU Local 99 Executive Board member, joined the panel and expressed one of the many reasons why she is fighting for child care reform:
“Like the parents of the children we care for, child care providers need at least $15 an hour so we can keep our doors open and make ends meet. We’re talking to our friends, family and neighbors to make sure we elect candidates who will raise wages for child care providers and make child care affordable.”
Local 509 members work hard each day serving Western Mass families — so it’s about time we have some fun together as a union family! Join us August 7 for a ‘purple picnic’ filled with good food, great conversation and beautiful surroundings at DAR State Forest in Goshen.
The ‘Purple Picnic’ is a totally free, family-friendly event. We’ll provide the food and cover parking costs (identify yourself as part of the SEIU509 group), but feel free to bring a cooler, a dish to pass, games, musical instruments or anything else to make the day great. There’s also a great beach, so bring your swimsuit!
SEIU LOCAL 509 PURPLE PICNIC
for all union members and their families
Sunday, August 7
Set-up at 10:00AM
Gather and grill at 11:00AM
We’ll stick around until 5:00PM
(food will be provided but feel free to bring a cooler or dish to pass)
DAR State Forest
78 Cape Street — off Route 112
Goshen, MA 01032
(directions available here)
Please share this invitation with co-workers, retired 509 members and other friends and allies — the greater our numbers, the more fun we’re bound to have.
Hope to see you August 7!
Treasurer, SEIU Local 509
P.S. Have questions or ideas? Need additional information? Feel free to contact Union Representative Jerry Levinsky at email@example.com or call (413) 336-3334. We look forward to hearing from you!
BOSTON – Full-time and salaried faculty at Boston University voted “Union Yes” by a 4-to-1 margin today, casting their ballots to join Faculty Forward – a division of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 509. The vote marks the tenth straight union victory for Boston-area faculty, with more than 3,500 educators now joined in a shared effort to improve their profession and the overall quality of higher education through unionization.
“This is tremendous day for faculty, our students and the entire Boston University community,” said Bill Marx, a Senior Lecturer in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Writing Program. “Today’s vote gives full-time and salaried lecturers and instructors the proactive voice we need to improve the teaching and learning conditions on campus.”
With today’s 135 to 36 vote, more than 275 salaried lecturers and instructors join 800 unionized adjunct colleagues at Boston University – along with faculty on the Northeastern, Tufts, Lesley, Bentley and Brandeis campuses. Part-time lecturers at Tufts signed their first union contract in 2014, followed by a landmark agreement at Lesley University last year. In January, adjuncts at Northeastern University reached a three-year agreement that made significant gains around compensation, working conditions and educators’ role in decision-making.
“Through a strong union contract, faculty will have real seat at the table to push for investments in classroom education, professional development and research,” said Katherine Lakin-Schultz, a lecturer in the Department of Romance Studies. “By standing together, we can make real progress in addressing the challenges faculty and students face at BU.”
Greater Boston’s contingent faculty form the core of a robust, nationwide movement to address the crisis in higher education – where the role of educators is increasingly low-wage and marginalized, despite tuition increases and growing endowments. The groundbreaking effort seeks to reinvest in the classroom, raise standards and improve stability through the Faculty Forward initiative.
The Boston University full-time faculty union vote was conducted by mail, with ballots tabulated at the National Labor Relations Board regional office in Boston.
SEIU Local 509 represents more than 19,000 human service workers and educators throughout the commonwealth, including 3,800 part- and full-time faculty in the Greater Boston area. SEIU 509 members provide a variety of social services to elders, at-risk children and people with mental illnesses or developmental disabilities — as well as educational opportunities from early learning to higher education. Local 509 is part of the Service Employees International Union, the fastest-growing labor union in the United States. For more information, visit http://seiu509.org.
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