Northampton Nurses to Rally

Nurses are asking the public to attend a rally for justice in Northampton on November 30 from 10 a.m. until noon. The nurses work for the ServiceNet Corporation. They take care of patients in the patients´ homes. In 2011, the nurses voted to form a union. Since then they have met with the company´s representatives repeatedly but the company has refused to sign a union contract. Between 15 and 20 nurses would be covered by the contract.

Brattleboro Unions Fighting, Winning

About 800 workers at a mental hospital in Brattleboro will benefit from a new union contract. About 160 workers at a grocery store in Brattleboro have been negotiating their union contract. “Negotiations recently broke down. We're getting ready to make some noise,” Joe Crompton told the Valley Post. He has worked as a meat cutter at the Brattleboro Food Co-op for 25 years.

Crompton is running for a seat on the co-op board. Ballots are available now. The deadline to vote is 5 p.m. on November 17.

209 Greenfield Nurses Give Their Elected Leaders Power to Call a Strike

The 209 nurses at the Greenfield hospital voted October 15 to authorize a strike. That means their elected representatives in the union have the power to call a strike. The nurses went on strike last year (see photo, below).

Immigrant Rights Rally Is September 21

Bliss Requa-Trautz is a community organizer in Springfield with Jobs With Justice. “I am reaching out to the community to join us at a rally September 21 at noon at All Souls Church at 449 Plainfield Street in Springfield,” she said. “We will call on legislators and local politicians to support The Safe Driving Act and the Trust Act.” More information about those immigrant rights bills is at:

https://malegislature.gov/Bills/BillHtml/127602?generalCourtId=11

and

https://malegislature.gov/Bills/188/Senate/S1135

Workers, Northampton Food Co-op Settle First Contract

About 85 workers at the food co-op in Northampton organized a union last year. Recently they signed their first union contract with the manager of the River Valley Market. That's according to John Cevasco, a long-time employee of the food co-op in nearby Greenfield and member of the same union that the Northampton co-op workers joined. The union has a web site: www.ufcw1459.com. The Valley Post will request interviews with workers at the Northampton store via the union, and will update this article if and when the interviews happen.

7,000 Vermont Workers to Vote on Union

About 7,000 workers in Vermont will vote on whether to form a union. The so-called “homecare” workers take care of patients who are too sick or too elderly to take care of themselves. They work in the patients’ homes, rather than at nursing homes or other institutions. They are paid by the government. The workers will vote by mail between September 9 and 27.

Northampton City Council Picks a Fight With Firefighters

The Northampton city council is refusing to approve a union contract for the city’s firefighters. The contract has the support of the mayor and a state mediator. The firefighters are asking the public to contact the city council and urge them to approve the contract. The public is invited to learn more at a rally on August 5 from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the Florence Civic Center, 90 Park Street in Florence, Massachusetts. Details are at www.NorthamptonFirefighters.org.

New Group Aims to Reduce Vermont Prison Population

Suzi Wizowaty, an elected member of the Vermont legislature, recently started an organization whose primary mission is to reduce the number of people in the state’s prisons. “We’re trying to create a movement,” she told the Valley Post on July 25. The new group’s web site is www.VermontersForCriminalJusticeReform.org.

More than 10 percent of the people in Vermont prisons are African American. Just 1 percent of people in Vermont are black.

For Forest Near Keene, Against Holyoke Wal-Mart

Logging is underway in the biggest state park in New Hampshire. Pisgah state park is near Keene and Brattleboro. It includes more than 13,000 acres. Kathy Thatcher is president of Friends of Pisgah www.FriendsOfPisgah.org an environmental group. On June 27, she said that, in 1968, the state asked the federal government for money to buy the land that is now Pisgah state park. The request was approved. The written plan was “to build a state park specifically for outdoor recreation... The request also stated [there would be]: ‘an emphasis on wilderness experience for the user.

Local Immigrant News

On June 24 at 10 a.m. in Springfield, immigrant rights activists will rally at the office of congressman Richard Neal. The event is being organized by the Massachusetts chapter of a group called Not One More Deportation, which is an affiliate of www.ndlon.org. For more information contact Bliss Requa-Trautz at bliss.requatrautz@gmail.com or by phone at (774) 722-1511.