On March 1,2015 longtime Staff Representative and current Assistant District Director Al Polk announced his retirement from the USW. While Al served the USW since the days it was referred to as the USWA and since our inception, he was more of a "friend" to our local. So it was with mixed emotions that we greeted this announcement. But on behalf of the entire membership, we wish Al a long, happy and healthy retirement.
I am pleased to inform all SENA members that at the membership meeting of March 13, all Officers and Stewards were nominated for election and went without opposition. This achievement is recognition of the commitment and dedication these men and women have shown to the membership over the past three years. They have provided all with a means of communication and to fulfill my promise that all SENA members would be provided the best representation of any union. On behalf of all Officers and Stewards we look forward to assisting you over the next three years. In addition, USW staff representative Joe Carlson attended the meeting in lieu of long serving staff representative and Assistant USW District Director Al Polk who announced his retirement.
In conjunction with the 2024 Committee, SENA 9158 will begin providing our members, particularly those residing in our City neighborhoods with information pertaining to upcoming meetings. While acknowledging the Olympics are still years away, infrastructure topics like logistics and transportation will begin to be discussed. As we have see over the past month any assistance that can be provided to improve transportation in and out of Boston should be open for discussion. In addition these meeting provide a forum as to what impact it may have in our daily lives.
For those of us who have worked decades for the City you may remember when Mayor Kevin White sponsored "The Great Cities of The World" back in 1978. At that time it was in conjunction with Boston's 350th birthday and a time when Mayor's from across the world came to Boston to celebrate our history. It will be interesting to see whether 50 years later if Boston is the Olympics host City.
December 25, 2014
Dear SENA Member
In conjunction with the Walsh Administration I am pleased to announce that all public sector employee unions within the City of Boston have unanimously agreed to a new health care plan. This successor agreement becomes effective on July 1, 2015 and remains in effect until June 30, 2020.
In part, the agreement calls for a one-time $5.00 increase in co-payments in FY2015, and 0.5% premium increase in FY 15, 16, & 17 with no further increases in 2018 & 2019. Whereas most city and towns within the Commonwealth are on the GIC or where throughout the Country premium splits are nearing 50-50 with high deductibles, we will be paying less than 20% at the conclusion of this agreement for our health care benefit with no new deductibles.
As Mayor Walsh indicated at our recent retirement banquet, health care is a critical benefit provided to city workers and their families and that he would work to ensure that costs remain low. While the negotiations for a successor agreement were long, it never reached the threatening point. It showed how sitting at the table and negotiating in good faith goes a long way in eliminating frustration and confrontation.
Those having spouses and friends working in other cities and towns in the Commonwealth know the full impact the GIC has on them and their families. This coupled with the fact that State legislation established GIC benchmarks, and allowed cities and towns to basically forego negotiations to enter the GIC makes this agreement one to be proud of. The next step is awaiting submission by health care providers of the new RFP's.
In closing while health care benefits are set until FY21, we now turn our attention to any retirement & pension language changes that may be introduced next year in Congress. As always we will keep our membership informed.
On behalf of our Executive Board along with our Officers and Stewards we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Safe New Year.
Season's Greetings & Happy Holiday's
John Zuccaro Jr., President