Posts tagged Massachusetts

    Push in states for $20 minimum wage as inflation persists

    March 30, 2023 // Cindy Lee, the owner of a bowling alley in Endicott, New York, said she’s struggling to pay off loans taken out during the pandemic that kept her business afloat. “All this cost all at once is just going to kill us. I definitely will have to cut corners somewhere with employees if wages are raised,” said Lee, adding that she’d also have to increase prices on bowling, food and liquor. The federal minimum wage in the United States has stayed at $7.25 per hour since 2009, but states and some localities are free to set higher amounts. Thirty states have chosen to do so.

    Chipotle will pay a $240,000 penalty — roughly 1% of its daily revenue— for shutting down a store that tried to unionize

    March 28, 2023 // The employees filed a petition to form a union last June — the first time Chipotle employees had taken that step. The following month, Chipotle said it would close the location, citing problems recruiting enough employees to run the location, CNBC reported. According to the Kennebec Journal, the National Labor Relations Board later found that the closure violated labor laws. The payment will be split among the former location's employees, who will receive between $5,800 and $21,000 each based on their seniority, pay rate, and other factors, per the Journal.

    NY legislative staffers aren’t the only ones fighting to unionize

    March 22, 2023 // New York legislative staff have a similar problem. The Taylor Law, or the Public Employees’ Fair Employment Act, compels state and local public employers to recognize unions, wrote Ken Girardin of the watchdog think tank the Empire Center. But under the Taylor Law, public employee unions within New York state cannot legally strike. Girardin also argued in a report for the Empire Center that NYSLWU would not be covered under the Taylor Law either way, writing that it “would raise numerous practical and constitutional issues.”

    State gaming agents at Mass. Gaming Commission unionize with SEIU Local 888

    February 17, 2023 // It is the first time a union has been certified to represent employees at the gaming agency. The unionization push comes as the commission prepares to launch mobile sports betting later this spring; finds itself weeks into the start of in-person sports betting at Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield and Plainridge Park Casino; and continues to regulate casino gambling.

    Secret ballot vital in union elections

    February 17, 2023 // Consider one example from the public sector. In 2018, the US Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees that public employees can’t be forced to join unions or pay union dues. The Commonwealth responded by passing legislation that allows public employee unions to agree to different terms for union members and non-members, giving unions the sole right to negotiate lesser pay and reduced benefits on behalf of the non-members. The law also promotes tried and true intimidation tactics by giving unions access to employees’ personal information, including home addresses; work, home, and personal cellphone numbers; along with work and personal email addresses. Anyone in Massachusetts public policy circles knows the Commonwealth’s unions aren’t interested in using that information to augment their holiday card lists.

    Harvard Undergraduate Employees Launch Unionization Effort

    February 14, 2023 // The University’s graduate student union represents graduate student employees and undergraduates who work as teaching fellows, teaching assistants, and course assistants, but other undergraduate employees are currently without union representation. HUWU’s start also coincides with the launch of Harvard Academic Workers-United Automobile Workers, which started a card drive to form a non-tenure-track faculty union Monday. ADVERTISEMENT Workers who want to form a union can sign authorization cards to prompt either a union election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board or voluntary union recognition by Harvard.

    The Largest Teachers Union Embezzlements of All Time

    February 8, 2023 // Denise Inez Owens was the treasurer of the Worcester County Teachers Association when she stole more than $433,000 of state and national dues money to feed her gambling addiction. The Maryland State Education Association discovered the theft in March 2009, but did not report it to authorities. Instead the union persuaded Owens to sign a confession and agree to a restitution plan. Owens then resigned her union position and returned to work as a middle school teacher without notifying the school district or union members of her crime. A newspaper discovered the incident three years later when the state union filed an insurance claim for its losses, and stated the theft was “not reported because of potential impact on membership and loss of members.”

    Marty Walsh to depart from Biden cabinet for job atop hockey players’ union

    February 7, 2023 // By taking the players’ association gig, Walsh is now in line for a massive pay bump. Walsh makes a little over $200,000 as labor secretary. The current NHLPA executive director reportedly makes about $3 million. With Republicans taking over control of the House, Walsh would have faced significant congressional oversight from newly installed House Education and Workforce Chair Virginia Foxx. Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.), former Deputy Labor Secretary Seth Harris, California Labor Secretary Julie Su and AFL-CIO Chief Economist Bill Spriggs

    Woburn teachers strike for the fourth day in a row despite facing thousands of dollars in fines

    February 2, 2023 // A superior court judge ruled that the Woburn Teachers Association will have to pay daily fines beginning at $40,000. The fine amount will increase by $5,000 per-day for each day that teachers remain on strike. Woburn Teachers Association President Barbara Locke said on Wednesday that she is “not worried” about paying the fines. “We’re worried about the children,” she said. Mayor Scott Galvin said the strike has cost the city of Woburn about $120,000 so far.

    Judge orders Woburn teachers’ union to end strike, return to class

    February 1, 2023 // A Massachusetts Superior Court judge issued a preliminary injunction against the Woburn Teachers Association (WTA), ordering it to stop its strike and for teachers to return to class, but the WTA says it will continue to fight, despite the order. On Monday night, Superior Court Judge Maureen Mulligan issued a preliminary injunction against the WTA following a hearing in which members of the Woburn School Committee and WTA appeared.