The union first learned about the bed bug problem in the MITC building in Chelsea on November 16th. Since that time, SEIU/NAGE has demanded evacuation of the entire building for a full remediation of bed bugs to ensure the health and safety of our members. In addition, SEIU/NAGE has had ongoing dialogue with the Department of Public Health concerning this matter and urging chemical treatment of the entire facility after all members have been evacuated.
The Commonwealth has been cooperative and has taken steps to remediate certain areas that the Department of Public Health has deemed affected by the problem, but regretfully, the state has not agreed to our demands to evacuate all employees and remediate the entire building. As a result, some employees felt ill due to fumes and left work yesterday. SEIU/NAGE demanded that no employees be charged any of their own sick or other accrued time if they have left the MITC building due to illness. However, it is our understanding that agencies have made members use their own time. SEIU/NAGE has filed a class action grievance (see link below) on behalf of its members to reinstate their time.
In addition, we will continue to work with the Commonwealth and fight for a healthy workplace for all employees located at the MITC Building in Chelsea. If you have questions about this matter, please feel free to contact your local president: Theresa McGoldrick, Unit 6, Local 207; Leo Munroe, Unit 3; and John Mann Unit 1.