After 10 weeks of signature gathering, Raise Up Massachusetts member organizations came together on December 5th to turn in over 270 thousand petition papers to the Secretary of State’s office to qualify Paid Family and Medical Leave and a $15 minimum wage for the November 2018 ballot.

Having Paid Family and Medical Leave in Massachusetts means that workers will not have to choose between their loved ones and the job they need to pay their bills. Paid Family and Medical Leave will allow up to 16 weeks of family leave and 26 weeks of medical leave. The leave will be job protected and include wage replacement of 90% of average weekly wages.

Many workers in Massachusetts who work full-time jobs still struggle to pay their bills and live paycheck to paycheck. Fighting for a $15 minimum wage in Massachusetts means fighting for a living wage. The ballot question proposes an increase of a dollar a year until 2022 and having the minimum wage raised at the same rate as the cost of living thereafter.

The Coalition for Social Justice met and exceeded our initial goal of 20k signatures, and our final goal of 30k signatures by collecting a total of 33,303 signatures! We were able to do so by scheduling back to back shifts every week out of Brockton, Falmouth, Fall River and New Bedford areas. Our staff and volunteers were out at super markets, soccer fields, Sunday night bingo, parades, family festivals, and college campuses collecting signatures. We could not have done it without their participation.