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News


09/20/2018
 
Posted By: John Killoy
Danvers, MA- Dozens of AFSCME Council 93 leaders, activists, and staff gathered in Danvers, MA this past weekend for Council's 19th Biennial Legislative Conference.

The three-day event, held September 14-16, provided delegates with an opportunity to help set the Council's political and legislative goals for the next two years, featured workshops on union financial standards as well as organizing and communicating with our members in a post-Janus world, and speeches by a number of candidates for state and federal office from across Council 93's Northern New England Region.

The Conference opened with remarks from Council 93 leadership on the important work being done by our members across Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont and the continued vigilance needed to protect and promote the value of our members' contributions to their communities.

Council 93 Executive Director Frank Moroney noted that the Janus decision, which the right-wing supporters had hoped would deal a crushing blow to public sector unions, has only strengthened our resolve. "Through our AFSCME Strong campaign, we had thousands of one-on-one conversations with our members, Moroney told delegates. "We worked together to educate our members on the hidden agenda – the smoke screen – behind this court case. Through specific issue-based campaigns and contract fights, we demonstrated the power of our union. And we re-ignited our members' activist spirit, and belief in the strength of collective bargaining."

AFSCME International President Lee Saunders, Massachusetts AFL-CIO President Steve Tolman, and Senator Edward Markey from Massachusetts addressed the Conference throughout the weekend stressing the important work AFSCME members do throughout Northern New England and staying strong in the face of increased attacks on the rights of working men and women.

Democratic Candidate for Governor of Massachusetts, Jay Gonzalez assured delegates that as governor he would "not propose or support closing our state hospitals. We need more hospitals across our state right now, not less." After addressing the delegates, Gonzalez received the endorsement of AFSCME Council 93 in his bid to become the next Governor of Massachusetts.

Also receiving endorsements at the Legislative Conference were-Janet Mills for Governor of Maine, Molly Kelly for Governor of New Hampshire, and David Zuckerman for re-election to Lieutenant- Governor of Vermont Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin, Attorney General Maura Healy, State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, and State Auditor Suzanne Bump were also endorsed.

Additionally, in an effort to regain control of the US Congress and Senate and to stop and eventually reverse the anti-union, anti-working family direction the country is headed in, the delegates endorsed all Democratic candidates running for US Congress and US Senate across the four-state region. Notably receiving the AFSCME Council 93 endorsement was United States Marine Veteran Jared Golden who is running a highly-competitive campaign in Maine's 2nd Congressional District, which is crucial to Democrats re-taking control of the House of Representatives.

Delegates put forth resolutions on a wide-ranging platform of issues to improve the lives of AFSCME members and their families. The political and legislative platform proposed for the coming years includes: protecting members' personal data from anti-union organizations; supporting increased access to tuition assistance and reimbursement programs for members and their families to pursue higher education; continued fights against efforts to privatize public services; the right to strike for public employees; continue building and strengthening public-sector coalitions to support all public workers; and improving workplace safety, line-of-duty injury, and death benefits for all public employees

Workshops were offered throughout the weekend to teach delegates best practices on building strength in their locals, communicating with members and organizing in a post-Janus world, and financial responsibilities for Secretary-Treasurers. These well attended workshops gave convention goers the tools and skills necessary to make their locals stronger over the coming years.

The evening banquet was held Saturday evening and featured award presentations. During the dinner, the AFSCME Council 93 Memorial Scholarship Fund announced annual scholarship awards. Awarded in memory of all of our departed members, the scholarship is renewed for each year the recipient is enrolled in an accredited higher education program. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, the hard work of our scholarship committee, and the success of our fundraising efforts this year we are proud to announce 5 well-deserving scholarship winners. The winners were Jessica Contois who is majoring in psychology with a minor in education and social work at UMass Amherst, Breanna Franzoni who is studying Environmental Engineering at Siena College in New York, Maxwell Kane who has accepted an appointment to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy where he will focus his studies on Marine Science Environmental Protection and Biology, and Loreal Williams who is majoring in Sociology at Barnard College in New York City.

Executive Vice-President Kevin Hanley was presented with the 2018 AFSCME Council 93 Memorial Leadership Award for his years of service to Council 93 and as a long-time officer of Local 1067- Massachusetts Higher Education. In accepting the award, Hanley remarked that "the Council has always been there for me. All of you are brothers and sisters. All of you have helped me along the way. And anything I can ever do for any of you I'm here for you. Thank you."

The convention came to a close Sunday morning with the winners of the Memorial Scholarship Fund raffle prizes being announced. The Memorial Scholarship Fund raised nearly $7,000 through the sale of gift basket raffle tickets, the baskets were generously donated by a number of locals and individuals, and the ever popular 50/50 drawing.



09/04/2018
 
Posted By: Council 93
In this issue we highlight recent AFSCME Council 93 news and events:

  • Mass Legislature Overrides Gov. Baker's Veto of Council 93 Legislation
  • 43rd AFSCME International Convention Comes to Boston
  • Memorial Scholarship Golf Tournament
  • Members Step Up to Help a Fellow Member in Need in Lexington
  • AFL-CIO President Trumka Visits Council 93
  • Georgetown Firefighters Re-Instated After Unjust Firing
  • And Much More
Click HERE to read it!


08/20/2018
 
Posted By: John Killoy

Save on Back-to-School Eye Exams and Glasses

Part of school success depends on being able to see the teacher and read the lessons. If your child (or grandchild) can't see clearly, that child will be at a learning disadvantage.
Make sure all the children in your life are prepared to learn with a back-to-school eye exam or glasses!

It's easy to start saving with access to thousands of independent eye doctors and popular retailers like LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Target Optical and Sears Optical. Check out the savings — up to 35% off the retail price of frames. *

LEARN MORE HERE! https://www.unionplusvisionprogram.com/


Now is the Time to Save on Your Child's Dental Care

When school starts, kids get busy. Now's the perfect time to get their teeth cleaned before the homework starts piling up. We can help you save on your next dental bill!
Now receive a free teeth whitening pen when you sign up for an annual membership and enter the Promo Code UPPEN8.**

LEARN MORE HERE! https://www.unionplus.org/benefits/health/dental


*This program is not insurance. EyeMed Vision Care, LLC (EyeMed) is the network administrator of Union Plus Vision Discounts. In the State of Texas, EyeMed Vision Care, LLC is the Discount Health Operator offering the Union Plus Vision Discount Program. These are not insurance programs and may be discontinued at any time. These discounts cannot be combined with any other discounts, promotions, coupons or vision care plans, previous purchases, readers, contact lenses and accessories. All decisions about medications and vision care are between you and your healthcare provider. Products or services that are reimbursable by federal programs including Medicare and Medicaid are not available on a discounted or complimentary basis. Not all providers carry Transitions® lenses. Not all providers honor all discounts. This discount design is offered with the EyeMed Advantage panel of providers. Discount offers only available at participating locations.

**THIS PLAN IS NOT INSURANCE and is not intended to replace health insurance. This plan does not meet the minimum creditable coverage requirements under M.G.L. c.111M and 956 CMR 5.00. This plan is not a Qualified Health Plan under the Affordable Care Act. This is not a Medicare prescription drug plan. The range of discounts will vary depending on the type of provider and service. The plan does not pay providers directly. Plan members must pay for all services but will receive a discount from participating providers. The list of participating providers is at Union Plus Discount Dental Plan . A written list of participating providers is available upon request. You may cancel within the first 30 days after effective date or receipt of membership materials (whichever is later) and receive a full refund, less a nominal processing fee (nominal fee for MD residents is $5, AR and TN residents will be refunded processing fee). Discount Plan Organization and administrator: Careington International Corporation, 7400 Gaylord Parkway, Frisco, TX 75034; phone 800-441-0380.
This plan is not available in Vermont or Washington.






08/09/2018
 
Posted By: John Killoy

There is still plenty of summer left to take advantage of great AFSCME Membership Perks

at Six Flags and Canobie Lake Park!

Great discounts for the whole family!

Six Flags Over New England



  • Day Passes- $42.00 Save 39%
  • Season Passes- $58.99 Save 23%
  • Picnic in the Park (Pass, Parking, and meal)- $48.24

Access: www.sixflags.com/partnerlogin
Sign In: AFSCME93
Password: sixflags2

Canobie Lake Park



Any member of AFSCME Council 93 is eligible for a $7 discount per ticket at Canobie Lake Park, an amusement park and major summer attraction located just 30 minutes from Boston in Salem, New Hampshire.

Click here and use the password "AFSCME93" to buy tickets online.


07/17/2018
 
Posted By: John Killoy

Moroney Convention 201820180717113229AFSCME Council 93 Executive Director Frank Moroney's Welcome Speech to the delegates of the 43rd AFSCME International Convention in Boston, MA July 14th-20th:


"Good morning sisters and brothers. On behalf of Council 93's 45,000-plus members in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont…….

I welcome you to the great City of Boston!

Our union has been fighting for workers here in New England since the 1940s- and let me assure you we will be here fighting for many years to come. With the challenges our union faces, it's fitting that we meet here in Boston. Our city's spirit and determination are just like AFSCME's. This city is full of fighters, just like all of you.

What it means to be Boston Strong is exactly what it means to be AFSCME Strong. It means you never back down from a fight, and when times are tough, you stand tall.

You never quit!

We're proud of AFSCME's fighting spirit here in New England, and we're proud of the important work we do. Thousands of families rely on our human services workers to deliver skilled and compassionate care. AFSCME members working at 27 Massachusetts college campuses are the backbone of one of the most respected public higher education systems in the world. In Maine and Massachusetts, our corrections officers and juvenile justice workers put their lives on the line every day, guarding dangerous individuals in an unpredictable environment. AFSCME members maintain the runways at the Burlington International Airport, making sure passengers are cleared for a safe takeoff. AFSCME public works members in New Hampshire and throughout New England clear the snow and fill the potholes. Like all AFSCME members across the country, they do difficult work and they do it well. And they do it with great pride. The same pride they have in our union. And when times get tough, like they are right now, that's when we are at our best.

The right wing, the wealthy special interests they think they have us on the ropes. But I know you know. WE ALL KNOW that they're wrong.

We are not going to quit! We are going to rise up! And we are going to emerge stronger than ever! Thank you, my brothers and sisters and once again, welcome to Boston.



07/05/2018
 
Posted By: Council 93

For Active Employees and Non-Medicare Retirees

Summary

  • Effective July 1, 2018, Express Scripts, Inc. (ESI) will manage the pharmacy benefits for GIC active and non-Medicare retirees.
  • The significant cost savings achieved through a smarter use of the GIC's purchasing power largely contributed to our ability to achieve a zero aggregate premium increase in FY19.
  • By contracting with one pharmacy benefits manager, the GIC has standardized its prescription drug access for the very first time, ensuring all members have access to the same drugs, at the same prices.
  • Several Convenient Benefit Options
    • GIC members can continue to use nearly 60,000 retail pharmacies nationwide, including major drugstores like CVS, Walgreens, and Rite-Aid for a 30-day supply.
    • GIC members can also obtain a 90-day supply through mail order through ESI mail order or at retail at a CVS pharmacy.

Supporting Member Transition

  • ESI Member Outreach
    • In June, GIC members will receive a "Welcome Kit" with member ID card(s) that members will be required to use when filling their prescriptions.
    • As is the case each year with pharmacy benefits managers, there will be some changes to certain member pharmacy benefits. Members who may experience a change as part of the transition to ESI will receive personalized communications letting them know which of their medications are impacted and what their options are.
  • Prescription Drug Tier Changes
    • Some members will see their current medication change tiers, leading to a change in their copay.
    • Any member whose prescription drug will have moved to a higher cost tier will have covered alternatives on either the same copay tier that they were paying before or a lower cost tier.
  • ESI will offer a six -month grace period (until Dec. 31) for members who may be affected by the transition as follows:
    • Members who will need to obtain a Prior Authorization (PA) for a drug that they are currently on. Members who already have a PA for a particular drug will not need to obtain a new one until their current PA expires.
    • Members who are currently on a brand-name drug that has a generic equivalent. Members who choose to remain on the brand-name drug will pay the difference between the generic copay and the full cost of the drug plus the generic copay. A medical necessity appeals process will be available.
    • Members currently utilizing a prescription that will be excluded from the ESI. Members will have either a Tier 1 or Tier 2 covered alternative to their current therapy.
    • A personalized mailing will be sent to each member in these categories informing them of available alternatives. We strongly encourage members to have a discussion with their prescribers well in advance of the end of the six-month transition period.
FOR MEDICARE RETIREES ONLY

  • Effective July 1 Silverscript (owned by CVS Health) will manage pharmacy benefits for all Medicare retirees. For most members, this does not represent a change.
  • Members in the Tufts Medicare Preferred Plan or in the Fallon Senior Plan will be moving to the GIC's SilverScript EGWP (Employer Group Waiver Plan) prescription drug product for 7/1/18.
    • Members should not opt-out of the SilverScript Part D program. If they do, they will lose their GIC health, behavioral health, and prescription drug benefits and will not be able to re-enroll until next spring.
    • These members will join the rest of the GIC's Medicare members, who are already in this EGWP product.
    • Members will receive a welcome kit in mid-June which will include a copy of the formulary and ID cards.
  • Some members will see a CMS income related surcharge for Medicare Part D. This only affects members who earned more than $85,000, or filing jointly earned more than $170,000 in 2018. This surcharge ranges from $13.00 per month to $74.80 per month, depending on income.





07/03/2018
 
Posted By: John Killoy
Olde Scotland LinksWest Bridgewater, MA- The forecast for most of the weekend had called for rain and thunderstorms, but when tee time came on the morning of June 25th for the 12th Annual AFSCME Council 93 Memorial Scholarship Golf Tournament clear skies greeted the 144 golfers gathered at Olde Scotland Links in West Bridgewater. A full field of golfers- both of the avid and decidedly less so varieties- were on hand to raise money for the scholarship fund to benefit Council 93 members, their children, spouses, grandchildren, and dependents. By the end of the day just under $48,000 was raised through sponsorships, entry fees, and raffle ticket sales.

The field of golfers was made up of AFSCME Council 93 leaders, rank-and-file members, friends, supporters, and allies. All four Northern New England states were well represented, with several groups from Maine and Vermont using the tournament as an excuse to make a long weekend in Massachusetts.

The group of Council 93 President Charlie Owen, Special Assistant to the Executive Director Mark Bernard, Metro Coordinator Mike Coogan, and Larry Rice of Membership Benefits were the tournament winners with a score of 16-under par. However, no matter what the score the day was a great success for all involved.

Major sponsors included Council 93, Regan Associates, and the City of Boston Credit Union- who provided the lunch buffet for the awards ceremony and raffle drawings. A number of locals, friends, and supporters also generously donated to sponsor holes, raffle prizes, and time to make the tournament a success.

Executive Director Frank Moroney, took time to thank "the tournament coordinator Mark Bernard, the sponsors and volunteers really make this tournament such a great success. Without the help of so many wonderful people over the years we wouldn't have been able to grow this tournament into what it is today."

Golfers, volunteers, and supporters were more than happy to support a great cause, leading to brisk ticket sales for the 50/50 raffle and traditional raffle throughout the day. Through the raffles and on-course challenge contests, more than $8,000 was raised for the scholarship fund. Contributing to the strong ticket sales were the opportunities to win Red Sox tickets, 5-Star Hotel stays, flat-screen TVs, a variety of golf clubs, and various electronics.


Council 93 Executive Board Member and Scholarship Committee Chairperson, Chris "Tiger" Stockbridge, said of the turnout "it is because of all the people gathered here today that our scholarship fund is able to help three deserving students continue their education every year."

Each year, the AFSCME Council 93 Memorial Scholarship Fund provides three individual one-thousand dollar ($1,000) scholarships to students enrolled in a two-year or four-year accredited college. Awarded in memory of all of our departed members, the scholarship is renewed for each year of attendance. Over the past two decades, more than $43,000 in funding has been awarded to deserving AFSCME families. Council 93 members and their spouses, children, stepchildren, grandchildren, or legal dependent. (Proof of AFSCME membership required) Applicants must be accepted or already attending an accredited college or university, community college or recognized technical or trade school at the time of the award. Graduate students are not eligible.


06/27/2018
 
Posted By: Council 93

Boston, MA—AFSCME Council 93 Executive Director Frank Moroney issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31.

"AFSCME members provide the vital services that America depends on every day. They work quietly behind the scenes, - often with little fanfare or recognition. They serve as direct care workers in human services facilities, and in vital roles in our public works departments. They work as corrections officers in our jails and prisons, and front line staff in our juvenile justice system. They are the backbone of our public higher education system in Massachusetts, and much, much more.

"Through our union we've won good middle-class jobs and brighter futures for millions of families. We have power in numbers, and we won't let any court case stop us from advocating for excellent public services, fairness at work, and prosperity and opportunity for all working families."

###

AFSCME Council 93 is a union of 40,000 public and private sector employees in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. It is one of the largest labor unions in Northern New England.




06/06/2018
 
Posted By: John Killoy
In this issue we highlight recent AFSCME Council 93 news and events:

  • Members Rally for Respect in Manchester
  • Privatization Win for Local 30
  • Members Lobbying at the MA and VT State Houses
  • 8,000 Members to Receive Raises
  • Rangers Help to Save Life of Fellow Member
  • SUMMUP Leadership Conference
  • Summer Savings for Members
  • Some exciting upcoming events
Click HERE to read it!


06/01/2018
 
Posted By: John Killoy
On May 22nd, the Massachusetts State Legislature gave final approval to the Supplemental Budget that included funding for the Unit 2 State Contract. Both chambers passed the spending bill and within hours of being transmitted to his desk, Governor Charlie Baker signed the bill into law. The bill became law immediately, because of an emergency preamble attached to the spending package.

Over 8,000 Council 93 members across the Commonwealth will benefit from increased wages, forced overtime protections, expanded personal leave policies, better working conditions, and long-sought job protection language.

The new contract calls for up to 6% increase in wages. Starting with a 1% wage increase retroactive to July 2017. The first full pay period of July 2018 brings another 1% wage and 1% wage increases every six months until January 2020. There is guard optimism that an additional 1% wage increase, effective retroactive to the first pay period of 2017, will be realized if state tax revenues reach certain benchmarks.

The contract also includes a number of non-monetary benefits that will greatly improve members' quality of life and afford more opportunities for career advancement and growth. Under the new agreement, members gain greater flexibility in the use of personal leave time, a cap on man­dated overtime that prohibits forcing members to work more than 16 consecutive hours, and stronger protections against transfers and reassignments. In addition, they gain opportunities for career advancement through a dedicated Training and Career Ladder Development Fund.

After more than 40 years of fighting for recognition of their designation as emergency personnel, effective January 1, 2018 all such designated employees will be credited with one day of compensatory time every January to be taken within the calendar year, whether or not a state of emergen­cy is declared. This provision recognizes AFSCME mem­bers for their dedication to making it into work under any and all conditions to provide the citizens of Massachusetts with outstanding public services.

The three-year agreement was ratified in February by an 85% to 15% margin.



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AFSCME Council 93 represents more than 45,000 state, county and municipal employees in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

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