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We Are Sandra

We Are Sandra

Thursday, 06 August 2015

On July 22nd, 9:17pm, I was driving back home from a girlfriend’s house in Brockton, we were both sharing our views on Sandra's death. Obviously, like many we were angry; infuriated by the lack of justice people of color are receiving. Anger was the tone throughout the days following Sandra's death, but what made this night different, was how I felt being seconds away from my home.
Fairhaven woman and local advocates work for paid family leave

Fairhaven woman and local advocates work for paid family leave

Sunday, 14 June 2015

NEW BEDFORD — One October evening, 17 years ago, Christine Lavault returned to her Collette Street home after working as a calibration technician. Inside, she screamed. Her husband, Gerard Lavault, had Stage 4 lung cancer and she couldn’t be there for him, Christine said. “When he got so bad, I had to work. They wouldn’t give me time off. I couldn’t be there when he was sick and dying,” Lavault said. “I wish I had family leave. I could have stayed and taken care of him.” Her husband died the next day on Oct. 24, 1998.
State treasurer's office latest to give employees paid parental leave

State treasurer's office latest to give employees paid parental leave

Thursday, 04 June 2015

Another state office has announced a policy offering paid parental leave, with State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg announcing up to 12 weeks of paid leave for 175 eligible employees. The new policy, which is immediately in effect, will apply to men and women who have been employed for at least six months and have a baby, adopt a child or raise foster children. “By instituting paid parental leave in the Treasurer’s Office, we are creating a culture that treats families with the dignity and respect they deserve,” said Treasurer Goldberg. “These are critical steps to building a more committed and more productive workforce, and I hope government agencies and private employers across the state will consider doing the same.” http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/blog/health-care/2015/06/state-treasurers-office-latest-to-give-employees.html
How A Thirteen Year Old Girl Inspired Me To Support Paid Family Medical Leave

How A Thirteen Year Old Girl Inspired Me To Support Paid Family Medical Leave

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

I was ten years old when my thirteen year old cousin Ashley, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma cancer in her wrist. I didn’t understand what cancer was back then, but I knew that it wasn’t good. I watched her lose her hair, weight and in the space where a thirteen year old’s eyes light up, she carried dark bags symbolizing the amount of chemotherapy and surgeries she had in the past month alone. I was confused and scared for her- I assumed she was too, but she never showed it.

2014: At A Glance

Monday, 12 January 2015

Earned sick time good for families, businesses

Monday, 27 October 2014

THINK ABOUT THE people you know who don’t have earned sick time. Maybe it’s your sister. Maybe it’s your neighbor. Maybe it’s the man who bags groceries for you every week, or the woman who keeps your office building clean. Nearly 1 million Massachusetts workers cannot take a single day of paid sick time to visit the doctor, take care of a sick child, or help an elderly parent. We can guarantee access to earned sick time for all workers by voting “yes” on Question 4 in November.

Yes on 4 arguement: Legislature route too slow, yielded no results

Sunday, 26 October 2014

FALL RIVER — They tried the legislative route for years, Deb Fastino said. They told their elected officials the horror stories they had heard — of mothers sending sick children to school, of men an women reporting to work while nursing pneumonia or broken bones. Eight years of work convinced advocates that local legislators did not have the courage needed to pass a law mandating paid sick time. “The local legislators are all afraid of their local businesses going crazy on them,” said Fastino, the executive director for the Coalition for Social Justice. “They are afraid to upset the local businesses. At the same time, they agree this is good policy.
Politi-Beat Sunday Roundup: Paid sick time advocates have roots in Fall River

Politi-Beat Sunday Roundup: Paid sick time advocates have roots in Fall River

Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Coalition for Social Justice, an organization based in Fall River, has been working for the past eight years to get legislation passed that would make earned sick time a state law. With that effort failing to gain much traction, CSJ Executive Director Deb Fastino, in coordination with other social advocacy groups in the state formed Raise Up Massachusetts. Focusing on a two-pronged attack aimed at making the law possible through legislation or referendum.
Yes on Question 4: Earned sick time for all

Yes on Question 4: Earned sick time for all

Saturday, 25 October 2014

QUESTION 4 on the November ballot is a sweeping measure that would provide all Massachusetts workers the chance to earn sick leave — in many cases, with pay. If passed, the referendum would put Massachusetts in line with a handful of forward-thinking cities and just two other states, California and Connecticut. The measure is a welcome opportunity for the Commonwealth to lead, and voters should approve it. The ballot measure, promoted by labor unions and endorsed by some business groups, hospitals, and economists, would allow workers to earn up to 40 hours per year of sick leave — an hour of leave for every 30 hours they work. This leave could also be used to care for a sick child, spouse, or parent. Workers for companies with 10 or fewer employees would earn unpaid leave; workers for companies with 11 or more employees would be paid for their time off. The measure would apply to part-time workers as well, and would affect nearly one-third of Massachusetts workers — about 900,000 people, many of them in low-wage jobs. It would allow home health care workers to receive the benefit, as well, by classifying them as state employees for the purposes of the law.
All workers deserve paid sick time

All workers deserve paid sick time

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Today in Massachusetts, almost one million workers can't take a single day of paid sick time to visit the doctor, take care of a sick child, or help an elderly parent. This represents about one in three workers and over half of workers earning under $35,000 a year.
Bishops support paid sick time ballot question

Bishops support paid sick time ballot question

Thursday, 16 October 2014

BRAINTREE, Mass. —Four Roman Catholic bishops in Massachusetts said Thursday that their support of a ballot question that, if approved, would require companies to provide paid sick time for employees was driven by a desire to maintain the "dignity" of every worker. The bishops, in an open letter, urged Massachusetts citizens to vote "yes" on Ballot Question 4 on Nov. 4. If approved by voters, the proposal would allow workers to accrue up to 40 hours of paid sick time in a given year, earning one hour for every 30 hours worked. Companies with 10 or fewer employees would be exempt.
Making Them Choose: Life Without Paid Sick Leave In Massachusetts

Making Them Choose: Life Without Paid Sick Leave In Massachusetts

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

"…in a state that recently passed legislation that will give it the highest minimum wage in the country by 2017, it’s still possible to be fired for being sick or for caring for a sick loved one."

Push by Workers for Paid Sick Days Gathers Steam

Saturday, 04 October 2014

BOSTON (AP) — For a majority of Americans, a sick day is just that — a day to stay home, rest up and get better before returning to work. But supporters of a Massachusetts ballot question say for many low-income workers, getting sick means losing pay and perhaps even their jobs. If approved by voters, the proposal would allow workers to accrue up to 40 hours of paid sick time in a given year, earning one hour for every 30 hours they put in. Companies with ten or fewer employees would be exempted, as would those with equally or more generous sick leave policies in place. While sponsors say it would be the nation’s strongest sick time law, business groups view it as a short-sighted, one-size-fits-all approach that ignores economic realities facing many employers. Workers could take time off to care for themselves or a sick family member, though employers could demand a doctor’s note for absences longer than three days. Gabrielle Monteiro, 23, of New Bedford, said she once felt pressured by a supervisor to go to her job at a Laundromat just hours after being treated for a lung infection in a hospital emergency room.
Sick leave measure divides workers, businesses

Sick leave measure divides workers, businesses

Monday, 22 September 2014

FALL RIVER — Timothy Chouinard, 39, was sitting on his porch having a drink and listening to music when two members of the Coalition for Social Justice started up the steps of the three-decker. “I knew you guys were going to stop,” he said, before Joe DiMauro started his well-rehearsed spiel. “Earned sick time is going to be on the ballot this coming November, Question No. 4. For every 30 hours a worker works, they earn an hour of sick time,” DiMauro began, as his vote canvassing partner, Maria Fortes, looked on. “That would be . . . important, right?” he asked. “Absolutely,” Chouinard said. “I work in a factory . . . right here in Fall River. I’m the typical person that you guys are working for right here.”
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