Workers Unite in the Valley

Workers at Keene State College are organizing a union. In related news, on June 30 in Boston, health care workers from around Massachusetts held a rally at the statehouse to celebrate a major victory.

Kim Schmidl-Gagne works at Keene State. “We are asking our co-workers to join the union,” she told the Valley Post on July 1. So far, more than 20 percent of the approximately 320 non-union workers at the college have signed cards to join the www.nea.org union, Schmidl-Gagne said. Professors at Keene State already belong to that union. “Pay, benefits, and the grievance process are our key issues,” she said. “New Hampshire is in last place among the 50 states in funding for higher education. We want a voice to advocate to change that.”

Under the Massachusetts deal, about 35,000 “personal care assistants” will get raises. A photo of the health care workers celebrating their victory is at:

https://www.facebook.com/1199SEIU.mass/photos/a.10150662022055736.377031...

Photos of their march earlier this year are at:

http://valleypost.org/2015/04/18/thousands-march

On average, workers in the USA make about 25 percent higher wages when they join a union. That's according to www.bls.gov.

Most union contracts say workers can only be fired for "just cause." Non-union workers can be fired at any time for no reason.

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