Feb 07, 2019

NAGE Legislative Update

Dear NAGE members,

We are writing today to give you an update on our latest legislative involvement.  We also want you to know how you can help us push legislation forward that will benefit yourself and your fellow members.  Please read through the following legislative updates.  
NAGE and Union Coalition Demand Information
from GIC Regarding Surplus Funds
GIC Commissioners got a first look at the layout of plan design in FY20 at their January 17th meeting.  While we do not anticipate any major changes at this point, NAGE has been leading the charge with several other public-sector unions and the Mass Retirees Association to push for comprehensive legislative reforms at the GIC.  As part of our ongoing legislative advocacy efforts, we submitted a joint information request to the GIC prior to the January 17, meeting requesting information related to the expected GIC surplus as well as current balances in the GIC Trust Fund.

As the new legislative session gets underway, NAGE’s GIC legislative agenda includes:Increasing Labors Voice (House Docket 3115, Representative Peter Capano)– adding two labor commissioners in seats currently held by members of the general public
Cost shift containment (Senate Docket 1299, Senator Paul Feeney) – advocating for statutory caps on out of pocket costs at $2,500 for an individual and $5,000 for a family, and earmarking surplus GIC funds to be transferred into the GIC trust fund to be used to pay cap overages.
Procurement (Senate Docket 1298, Senator Paul Feeney)– we have consistently heard from GIC administrators that one of the main reasons for the lack of bargaining clout with insurance companies is the state procurement process.  We are calling for a change in the states procurement law to allow for greater competition in the bidding process for greater cost containment year to year.As the new session gets underway, NAGE has begun the process of meeting with legislative leadership as well as rank and file members to advocate for this ambitious agenda. Please check back for updates and information on how you can help move our GIC legislative agenda forward.
 Legislation to Cap State Employee Sick Time
Governor Baker is once again pushing legislation to cap state employee sick time at 1000 hours.  The initiative is part of the Governors FY20 budget proposal that is currently before the state legislature.  NAGE National President David Holway once again sent letters to the Speaker and Senate President yesterday morning, opposing any legislative change to our sick time.
Sick time has always been a subject of Collective Bargaining and that’s where it should stay!  Please take a moment to contact your State Representative and State Senator and ask them to reject the Governors sick time proposal as well as any attempt to weaken or change the sick leave statute.
The budget debate moves to the House first and is expected to be debated sometime in April with the Senate following in May.  To learn who your State Rep and Senator are, please click here: www.wheredoivotema.com 
The main number for the State House is (617) 722-2000. 

Help Stop Bullying in the Workplace!

Senator Paul Feeney has taken up the reigns to sponsor the Healthy Workplace Bill this session. Commonly known as the “Anti-Bullying Bill,” this legislation would add a new chapter (c. 151G) to the general laws whose purpose would be to provide legal relief for employees who have been deliberately subjected to abusive work environments.

The main goal of this legislation is not to be punitive but to provide much need education, awareness and incentives for employers to prevent such abusive treatment of employees in the workplace, much like existing discrimination laws. Workplace bullying has a net negative effect on individuals morale and productivity and the time for Massachusetts to lead on this important issue is now. 

Please take a moment to contact your State Representative and State Senator and encourage them to co-sponsor Senator Feeney’s bill which is Senate Docket 1355.
 To learn who your State Rep and Senator are, please click here: www.wheredoivotema.com 
The main number for the State House is (617) 722-2000. 

We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few; but we can't have both. - Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis
NAGE HEADQUARTERS 159 Burgin Parkway
Quincy, MA 02169
Main Phone: (617)376-0220
Main Fax: (617)984-5695
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