Jul 08, 2015

Results of the NAGE Online Poll 2015

More than 3,000 NAGE members in Massachusetts responded to our recent online poll, sharing their opinions about a variety of subjects—including the performance of the union and several politicians.
Here are some of the highlights:
Members appreciate what NAGE does for state employees. It was clear that an overwhelming majority of NAGE state members know and like what the union does for state workers.
When asked if they supported the NAGE proposal to level the state worker health insurance premium share payment at 20% for all state employees, instead of the current 20% for longtime workers and 25% for those hired after 2003, nearly eight out of ten said yes:
                Yes (support)                     79.1%
                No (do not support)       10.7%
                Undecided                          10.2%
“We put a video of President Holway speaking to hundreds of union members from across Massachusetts and across organized labor on the lobby day at the State House and it was one of our most viewed web pages ever. I think that letting people see and hear what it was like to be there in the middle of the fight for their families helped people appreciate the importance of that fight and the kind of leadership role NAGE led in it.”
When asked how happy they were with the latest contract for state employees, with a total of 9% in pay increases over the life of the contract, the numbers were similar:
                Happy:                  77.6%
                Not happy:         11.0%
                Undecided:        11.4%
“To get more than three-quarters of your members saying they’re happy with the last contract is quite an achievement. The fact that NAGE set the standard for pay raises and language is having a tangible impact on people’s lives and it showed in the numbers.” Said NAGE Senior Communications Specialist, Lisa Smith.
Mayor Martin Walsh: The politician with the highest favorability rating among NAGE members in Massachusetts was the mayor of Boston, with 81.6% of respondents giving him a favorable rating. That’s particularly impressive when you consider that only 15.9% of members who participated in the poll live in Suffolk County, and that some Suffolk County residents live outside Boston city limits.
Following on Walsh’s heels, popularity-wise, were Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin with 78.8%; U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III with 76.5%; and Governor Charlie Baker with 76.3%.
“I think Mayor Walsh has unique appeal to voters. He has a strong connection to old-time lunch-pail Democratic values and labor, but he also demonstrates an appreciation for younger voters with things like his support for the arts and the city’s social life. People are drawn to his personal story, too, and how candid he is about the obstacles he’s had to overcome.” Said NAGE Political Director, Ray McGrath.
Mixed signals for the governor. While Gov. Baker has a high favorability rating, the answers to several follow-up questions about his performance suggest that NAGE members have doubts about their futures under his leadership.
When asked how they would rate Gov. Baker’s job performance, respondents ranked him as follows:
Excellent              20.3%
Good                     40.1%
Fair                         25.1%
Poor                        6.1%
Undecided            8.4%
On the surface, it appears that a large majority of NAGE members in Massachusetts are at least minimally satisfied with the governor’s job performance in his first several months in office. But look at the next questions.
When asked how they felt about their own job security now compared to four years ago, respondents answered:
                More secure      28.0%
                Less secure         39.0%
                Undecided          33.1%
Nearly four out of ten poll respondents say they’re less secure about their jobs now than they were ten years ago, under Governor Mitt Romney. Three out of ten aren’t sure if they feel more or less secure about their jobs than they did under Romney’s administration.
“Governor Baker comes across as a kind, gentle business leader but a huge margin of NAGE members who answered the poll are uneasy about their futures under Baker’s leadership during turbulent economic times.” Said NAGE Political Director, Ray McGrath.
Another question asked NAGE members if they believe Gov. Baker is doing a good job protecting the rights of public employees. The answers:
        Excellent              10.4%
        Good                     23.5%
        Fair                         24.2%
        Poor                      15.1%
        Undecided          25.9%
Nearly a quarter of those members responding to the poll think Gov. Baker is doing a good job protecting their rights. Another quarter considers his performance protecting their rights as fair. But slightly more than a quarter of respondents are undecided.
“This question is more specific than the job security question, but it also suggests a significant sense of insecurity among NAGE members about the governor’s leadership. If your workers aren’t sure you’ll protect their rights, you’ve got a problem and it’s probably bigger than a PR issue. They’re picking up on what their managers and their managers’ managers are getting from the corner office. Actions will speak louder than words here.” Said NAGE Political Director, Ray McGrath.
Members don’t want the Olympics in their own backyards. NAGE members may love Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, but they’re not in love with his signature project, the proposal to bring the 2024 Summer Olympics to Boston. When asked if they support bringing the games to Boston, the NAGE members who responded to the survey said:
                Yes:                        25.7%
                No:                         55.7%
                Undecided:        18.5%

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
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Quincy, MA 02169
Main Phone: (617)376-0220
Main Fax: (617)984-5695
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