It Was A Super Good Week For City Of Boston Employees Seeking Representation By SENA And The USW

April 06, 2024

In the first week of April 2024, the United Steelworkers and SENA, Local 9158 secured two victories from the Department of Labor Relations (DLR) and Commonwealth Employment Relations Board (CERB) paving the way for representation of employees of the City of Boston.

First, on Tuesday, April 2, Attorney Jillian Bertrand won a decision from the CERB fending off the City's challenges to holding a representation election among the employees in the City's Office of Youth Employment and Opportunity (OYEO). The Union sought an election to add these employees into its existing City-wide unit, but the City balked at these workers joining the existing unit. The CERB rebuffed the City's arguments, finding that the OYEO staff share a community of interest with other City workers and that creating a separate unit was thus unnecessary. The CERB also rejected the City's challenge to the inclusion of two employees as managerial or confidential. SENA and the USW now look forward to winning the election and getting to work for these new members.

Then, on Friday, April 5, Attorney Al Gordon O'Connell defeated all of the City's challenges to a written majority authorization petition in the City's Environment Department and Office of Historic Preservation. The Union filed for card check more than 14 months ago - in January 2023 - and was met with a number of challenges by the City to the scope of the unit. The decision got bogged down at the DLR, testing the patience and resilience of the workers, but their patience was rewarded when the DLR certified the Union as their bargaining representative on April 5. USW and SENA will now begin negotiating a contract to improve these employees' wages, benefits and other working conditions.

Congratulations to USW, SENA and all of these workers who have fought to use their collective voice to improve their working lives.

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