Aug 06, 2015

NAGE Leaders Support Healthy Workplace, Pay Equity Bills at Hearing

Leaders from NAGE testified at a State House hearing in support of several bills that would help working people across Massachusetts—and both bills have been reported favorably by the committee for further legislative action.
 
Bobbi Kaplan, executive vice president of Unit 6 Local 207, testified before the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development on July 21 in support of H. 1733 and S. 983, bills aimed at addressing the wage gap that affects working women. In Massachusetts, working women earn 80 cents to every dollar men earn—slightly better than the national average of 78 cents, but still an unfair economic burden to women and their families. The bills would strengthen the Commonwealth’s current pay equity laws by creating a definition for “comparable work” for the first time, permitting employees to discuss wages with one another, and requiring employers to post minimum pay in want ads and prohibiting them from paying less than advertised.
 
You can see Kaplan’s testimony to the committee in this video.
 
Another bill under consider consideration that day was H. 1771, the Healthy Workplace Bill. This is the third legislative session the bill has come under consideration, but the first in which more than fifty lawmakers have signed on as cosponsors.
 
NAGE Unit 6 Local 282 President Greg Sorozan, a leader in the national anti-workplace-bullying movement, testified alongside Prof. David Yamada of Suffolk Law School, the author of the bill’s language, and Torii Bottomley, a local teacher who was the victim of workplace bullying.
 
You can see their testimony in this video.
 
On July 30, 2015, both the pay equity and healthy workplace bills received favorable reports from the Labor and Workforce Development Committee. Those favorable reports mean that the bills are now eligible for debate before the full House of Representatives when the House reconvenes after its August recess. 

Where trade unions are most firmly organized, there are the rights of the people most respected. - Samuel Gompers
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