BOSTON, MA— Two bills were filed this session with support from SEIU Local 615: “An Act Relative to Economic Stability for Displaced Workers” (SD611 and HD2206) sponsored by Senator Chang-Diaz (D-Boston) and Representative Marjorie Decker (D-Cambridge) and “An Act Relative to State Contracting” (SD 1023 and HD2645) sponsored by Sen. Kenneth Donnelly (D-Arlington) and Rep. Carl Sciortino (D-Medford).
The “Displaced Workers” bill would protect thousands of contracted property and aviation service workers from being immediately dismissed when building owners (in both private and public buildings) decide to change contractors. If passed, the legislation mandates a 90-day transition period in which janitorial, security, aviation and maintenance workers would be offered their current jobs by the new company. Similar legislation has been a success across the country including Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Providence and the state of California.
“The Displaced Workers bill is desperately needed because nobody should go into work after years of dedicated service and, without any notice, be told they no longer have a job,” said Rocio Saenz, president of SEIU Local 615. Adding, “This bill promotes stability for both employee and employer.”
The “State Contracting” bill would advance workers’ rights to good jobs in the Commonwealth’s public buildings by ensuring that janitorial and security contractors are selected through a competitive bidding process that takes into account more than just the lowest bidder. Other criteria – such as whether contractors have recent safety or labor violations or whether they offer health insurance that meets MA minimum credible coverage and wages that at least meet the prevailing wage standard – would need to be considered.
The goal is to encourage fair competition and actively seek bids from responsible contractors, not just the cheapest contractors. Passing the State Contracting bill would ensure that contractors who are hired by the Commonwealth or its municipalities (and financed by taxpayers!) uphold community standards and livable wages.
SEIU Local 615 will be hosting an Advocacy Day for members to visit their representatives at the State House on Wednesday January 30, beginning at 9:30 am in Room 222.