NEWS - January 2022

New Agreement on Current Vaccine and Testing Policy

While the Trial Court continues to debate internally on the value of a mandatory vaccine policy, the parties have continued on-going dialogue regarding the current vaccine/testing policy.

The attached MOU provides important enhanced benefits for members, including comp time for booster shots and telework capabilities.

While the CDC has yet to define "fully vaccinated" as requiring a booster, we know an overwhelming number of our members have received the booster shot or plan on getting the booster. This MOU provides for four (4) hours of comp time for any member that has already received the booster, or four (4) hours of comp time for any member wishing to get the booster shot in the future.

Also, the agreement clarifies and clears the path for any fully vaccinated member who tests positive, or is a close contact to someone that tested positive, to be permitted to work remotely.

Any questions, feel free to contact your local president.

Trial Court MOU 1.19.2022

NEWS - January 2022
Trial Court Vaccine Mandate

As you are aware, the Trial Court Administration communicated to the Union last week that they intend to issue a vaccine mandate for all Trial Court employees. While the Union supports vaccination for the health and safety of our members, we do not support the unilateral implementation of a mandate. 

The Massachusetts State Police (SPAM) and MOCUFO (DOC) Unions have challenged this in a court of law, but without success. A copy of both these cases can be found HERE. NAGE is currently involved in on-going conversations with the Trial Court regarding this pending mandate, and we are committed to advocating on behalf of our members.

We will keep you updated as this matter progresses. 

NEWS - January 2022
Enhanced Telework MOU for Probation

Over the past several months, the Union and the Trial Court have been negotiating a telework policy for greater use for our Probation Officers. Attached is the recently executed agreement.

Any questions, please contact your Local President.

Wishing you a healthy and safe New Year!

Enhanced Telework MOU for Probation - December 2021
 
NEWS
Union and Trial Court Agree on Enhanced Vacation MOU
 
Attached please see the MOU entered into between the Trial Court and NAGE which significantly enhances our members vacation accrual and carryover benefit.

Any questions or concerns feel free to contact your Local President.
 
Wishing you all a safe and healthy holiday!

MOU: Vacation Accrual and Carryover 

 
NEWS
Response to Letter on Telework, Additional Hazard Pay

Earlier this week, NAGE President Holway sent a letter to Administrator Bello and Chief Justice Carey, asking for the Trial Court to take action due to the rise in COVID-19 cases. Attached is the Trial Court's response to President Holway’s letter. While we appreciate the assurances stated by Chief Justice Carey and Court Administrator Bello, we believe more must be done!
 
“Highly encouraging telework” in the midst of this tidal wave of COVID is not enough. There is no reason why Chief Probation Officers cannot schedule our PO’s to do more work remotely. Remote work during the shutdown was extremely effective, and we cannot fathom a reason what so ever as to why it’s not being utilized more now. We MUST lower the amount of staff in our courthouses throughout the state.
 
Re-instituting entry and lockup protocols must be discussed with the Union before being implemented.
 
While the letter mentions court leadership is “considering” a mandatory vaccine policy, the Union has yet to see a policy or proposal from the Trial Court and we’ll aggressively defend our members rights within the contract.
 
The Union has informally mentioned shutting some courts down during this extraordinary spike, and we strongly believe a much more aggressive plan must be put in place right now. Cancelling a few jury trials will not suffice. 
 
We pledge to keep you updated as these issues evolve.

We hope you all stay safe and healthy, and wish you and your families Happy Holidays! 


Response letter from Chief Justice Carey and Administrator Bello
NEWS
Union to Bello: Return to Telework, Additional Hazard pay

Dear NAGE Trial Court member,

Due to the rapid increase of COVID-19 cases in the Commonwealth, NAGE has urged Administrator Bello to return all eligible Trial Court employees to teleworking. NAGE is also advocating for an additional round of Hazard Pay for those who are not able to perform their job functions remotely.  We are urging Administrator Bello to act swiftly in the best interest of the health & safety of our Trial Court members. 

You will find both the letter to Administrator Bello and NAGE's press release on the matter linked below. Both are also available on the NAGE website. We will continue to update you as any additional information becomes available.

Letter to Administrator Bello

 
January 4, 2021
Local Executive Board Vacancies


NAGE/Trial Court Local 229 is now accepting interest forms for those who are interested in filling either of the open positions on the Board. The two open positions are:
  • Secretary
  • Master of Arms
 
Anyone who is interested should fill out the form linked below and submit to Local President Liz Chabot at echabot@nage.org or Local Vice President Kristin Pepin at kristin.pepin@jud.state.ma.us.
Forms will be accepted until 12noon on Friday, January 14, 2022. 

Local 229 Executive Board Interest Form
December 2021
Local Executive Board Election Results

 
Thank you to all of our members who participated in the Local 229 Executive Board Election! The results are in, and the new Local Executive Board is listed below:

  • President: Elizabeth Chabot
  • Executive Vice President: Kristin Pepin
  • Executive Secretary: Graham Bengen
  • Treasurer: Jason Abraham
  • Master of Arms: Jay Fielding
  • Probate & Family Court Representative: David DeCosta
  • Superior Court Representative: Michelle Rogers
  • District Court Representative: Brad Dufries
  • Juvenile Court Representative: Steven Mendoza
  • Associate Probation Officer Representative: Debbie Franey 
  • Probation Officer at Large: Marcia Davis-Garrison
I would like to take a moment to express my deepest gratitude to all of the Local 229 members who have supported myself, this Board and the mission of NAGE. Though these past few moths have been difficult, we have all persevered against the odds. The individuals above are committed to continuing our work for our fellow members!

In solidarity,

Elizabeth Chabot

 
Nov 23, 2021
UNION SIGNS MOU FOR COVID-19 HAZARDOUS DUTY STIPENDS
 
The Union and the Trial Court have executed a Memorandum of Understanding allowing for one-time bonus payments of either $2,000 or $1,000 for services performed during the recent statewide pandemic. You will find a copy of the MOU linked below, and on your local website.

As the MOU states, full time employees who worked November 2, 2020 thru May 29, 2021 and did not utilize SKE or TEL are eligible to receive a one-time bonus of $2,000.

Employees who worked a part-time or hybrid work schedule during that same time frame shall receive a one-time bonus of $1,000.

We are hopeful these bonus payments will be made this January 2022, right after our pay raise, retro pay and 1.5% bonus stipends are paid to all members.

MOU - Services Rendered During The COVID-19 Emergency

Thank you,

David Bernard
Public Safety Director
 

Nov 23, 2021
Local 229 Election Ballot Count Zoom Link
 
If you wish to view the Local 229 Ballot Count on November 30th, please use the Zoom link below. The count will start at approximately 9:15AM.
________________________________________
NAGE is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Local 229 Ballot Count
Time: Nov 30, 2021 09:15 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86416117080?pwd=Ry81TmhUZGxDWFF3L1Y4TEJ2a0p2Zz09 

Meeting ID: 864 1611 7080
Passcode: 229
 
 
 
Nov 9, 2021
Updated Trial Court Salary Charts Now Available

Linked below you will find the updated salary charts for Trial Court members. The salary charts are also available on your local website. 

As you know, we expect the following rollout for the raises, retro and bonus payments:The 2021 raises will be in your paycheck dated 11/26/2021
Retroactive payments will be in your paycheck dated12/10/21
The 1.5% COVID Recognition Payment will be in your paycheck dated 12/24/21

Trial Court Salary Charts 2020 - 2023
 
Nov 1, 2021
Local 229 Executive Board Election - Ballots Mailed Out

By now, most of you should have received your ballot for the Local 229 Executive Board Election in the mail. 
 
The voting period will be open until Tuesday, November 30, 2021.
 
If you have not received your ballot in the mail, please contact Kelly Warner at kwarner@nage.org to confirm your mailing address. 
 
Questions about the election itself can be directed to Election Officer Tom Flynn at tflynn@nage.org
 
Oct 15, 2021
MA Legislature Authorizes State Contracts
 
The State legislature has voted to authorize the recently ratified contract between NAGE and the Trial Court. Because the Trial Court was late in transmitting the contract documents, the supplemental budget needed to be amended in order to add the Trial Courts authorization. NAGE was successful in lobbying the Senate to amend the budget and the House to concur with the Senate Amendment. 

The authorization is now included in the FY21 Closeout Supplemental Budget that has been transmitted to the Governor’s desk for signature. Governor Baker now has 10 days to review the bill. Once the legislation is signed by the Governor, the state can begin implementing the economic provisions contained in the agreements.  We will provide the expected implementation timeline once Governor Baker has signed the bill into law.

We would like to thank and congratulate all of the leaders and members who worked hard in the midst of difficult circumstances made more challenging by a global pandemic, to deliver a strong contract that honors the work that our members do every day to keep the Commonwealth running! 

Stay tuned for more information over the next week.
 
NEWS
Trial Court Contract Ratification Results

First, we would like to thank all of our members who participated in the Contract Ratification. We received an outstanding turnout and are proud to have such high member involvement. 

Second, congratulations!

With a staggering 95% of the ballots voting to Approve the Proposed Successor Agreement, you have voted to ratify your next contract! This contract was hard fought, and we would not have been able to attain the parameters we did without the leadership of the Bargaining Team or the advocacy our members put forth for themselves.

The successor agreement MOU highlights are as follows:
  • The successor agreement MOU highlights are as follows:
  • 2.5% - including retro, to first payroll period in July 2020
  • 1.5% one-time COVID Recognition Bonus upon signing the contract with a minimum payment of $1,000*
  • 2% -  retroactive to the first payroll period in July 2021 (calculated after the 2.5% increase above has been applied) 
  • 2% - first payroll period in July 2022

The next step of the contract process is for the Trial Court to submit the contract for legislative approval. We will keep you updated as any new information becomes available. 
 
NEWS

Trial Court Contract Ratification - Election Notice + MOU

The contract ratification vote for the Trial Court is set to begin on Monday, September 20, 2021, via electronic ballot. Voting will run until Wednesday, September 29th at 5:00PM EST. 

We would like to thank the NAGE representatives who put forth an incredible effort to get this contract offer. NAGE's advocacy, and our members advocacy for themselves, allowed us to push the Trial Court administration to the offer that is detailed below. 

In order to give you ample time to read over the successor agreement and weight the pros and cons, we have provided it here for you.

Trial Court Proposed Successor Agreement 


The successor agreement MOU highlights are as follows:
  • 2.5% - including retro, to first payroll period in July 2020
  • 1.5% one-time COVID Recognition Bonus upon signing the contract with a minimum payment of $1,000*
  • 2% -  retroactive to the first payroll period in July 2021 (calculated after the 2.5% increase above has been applied) 
  • 2% - first payroll period in July 2022

If you have any questions on the MOU, please contact Local President Liz Chabot at echabot@nage.org. 

We will continue to keep you updated on Hazard Pay, as it is being bargained separately from the contract. 
 
Oct 4, 2021

Local 229 Executive Board Nominations 

The Local 229 Executive Board nomination period is now open.

Nominations can be made using the form that is linked below, and submitted to the Election Officer no later than October 15, 2021 at 4:30PM EST. Nominations submitted after that period will be considered a nullity.
 
Local 229 Nomination/Nomination Acceptance Form
 
Questions about the nomination and election process can be directed to Elections Officer Tom Flynn at tflynn@nage.org.  
 
Sept 9, 2021

Contract Negotiations Update - Tentative Agreement Reached 


We would like to update you on the status of contract negotiations. After much advocacy from our NAGE representatives on behalf of our members, we have reached a tentative agreement with the Trial Court. We would like to thank our negotiations team and our members who have been strong advocates for themselves. Without your hard work and dedication to your fellow members, we would have never reached an increased economic offer. 

With your strong support we held the Governor and the Trial Court Administration accountable for their inaction, using a media campaign strategy and persistent legislative advocacy. As a result, NAGE Trial Court members moved the needle and got the Administration to increase their offer to significantly benefit our members, from 0% over three years with no retro or signing bonus, to 6.5% with 2.5% retro to first payroll period in July 2020 and a 1.5% signing bonus. 

The tentative agreement includes the following:
  • 2.5% - including retro, to first payroll period in July 2020
  • 1.5% one-time COVID Recognition Bonus upon signing the contract with a minimum payment of $1,000*
  • 2% -  retroactive to the first payroll period in July 2021 (calculated after the 2.5% increase above has been applied) 
  • 2% - first payroll period in July 2022

NAGE will commence bargaining over Hazard Pay immediately after this contract is ratified. We will continue to update you on this issue as it is being bargained separately from the contract. 

NAGE leaders have given serious consideration to this offer before presenting it to our membership. We recommend that our members vote to approve this agreement.
 
August 17, 2021

Union Files Charge Against Trial Court

NAGE has filed a charge at the Massachusetts Department of Labor Relations over the Trial Courts’ unilateral action to impose a vaccine requirement upon our members or be tested weekly.

Massachusetts General Law Chapter 150E is clear and express; the Employer has a statutory obligation to bargain in good faith before the implementation of policies that affect terms and conditions of employment. Plain and simple, the Trial Court has violated the Law!!

One would expect that the Judicial Branch of government, at a minimum, adhere to the collective bargaining laws of the Commonwealth!

NAGE’s position will remain firm and clear; the policy sent by the Trial Court last week was not bargained in good faith with the Union, and therefore is not enforceable!

We are committed to keeping you updated as this issue evolves.


Updated Seniority List Available 

APO Seniority List as of 7-28-20

ACPO, 1stACPO, PO Seniority List as of 7-28-20
 
 May 6, 2021

We are writing to keep you updated on the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board decision of March 31, 2021, effecting Executive Branch employees in the Commonwealth. You may recall, the Trial Court management and NAGE agreed to abide by the results of the Executive Branch case and we will update you more specifically as soon as we are able.


As we reported recently, the Commonwealth appealed and moved to stay the Order by the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board (CERB), which ordered the Administration to pay Commonwealth employees an estimated $30 million due to unlawful tax deductions. If the stay is granted, not only will the Commonwealth not have to return the illegally collected funds, but they will continue taxing you throughout the lengthy appeals process. 

NAGE is outraged that the Commonwealth continues to deduct the illegal tax from our paychecks. Not only is NAGE opposing the motion to stay, but we are asking the CERB to effectuate its Order by instituting enforcement proceedings. The full-text of NAGE's opposition is can be found here

As always, we will keep you informed of the outcome of our pending litigation.
Apr 26, 2021

NAGE Members Deserve More Than Baker Is Offering



                                  
Dear NAGE Member,

Each year like clockwork, Governor Baker writes a letter to the state workforce thanking everyone for their dedicated service. This letter will look back over the sacrifices you have all made over the past year as public employees to keep the Commonwealth running efficiently during incredibly difficult times – perhaps a “thank you” has never been more in order or deserved. Governor Baker and his Budget Chief Mike Heffernan like to say, “thank you,” but they never like to show their appreciation in a real, tangible way. Stunningly, this year seems no different.

It has been nearly a year since our contracts expired, and the economic parameters that have been offered by Governor Baker are insulting. The Governor has formally set the following parameters: 1.5% bonus in year one (July 1, 2020), followed by 2% raise in year two, and a 2% raise in year three. Whether working from home or continuing to show up in a public-facing role, you have been on the front lines of this pandemic, working to keep the Commonwealth running for more than a year. Time and again, NAGE members have answered the call to continue serving the public, sometimes at great risk to yourself and your family. Governor Bakers offer is an insult to your service.

Governor Baker’s “nice guy” routine managed to captivate a majority of voters in the past. However, as the years have gone on, the polished veneer has begun to fade, and we can begin to see just how empty the fancy suit and central casting smile are. Governor Baker bills himself as a manager. It is becoming increasingly clear that he is an awful one. An administration that cannot make a decision without paying millions of dollars in fees to an outside consulting firm, only to consistently screw up one project after another - from the Registry of Motor Vehicles to the vaccine rollout. This is not the sign of an effective manager; it is the mark of an incompetent failure.

One year ago, the economic condition of the Commonwealth was admittedly tenuous. Today, growing economic evidence, supported by strong data, suggests that Massachusetts has weathered the fiscal storm and will emerge from the pandemic in a strong position to meet the challenges of tomorrow. To date, tax revenues are nearly $1.4 billion above the original benchmark. Additionally, the state is earmarked to receive $4.55 billion in federal aid alone from the American Rescue Plan. This is on top of more than $3 billion for Massachusetts cities and towns, also in the American Rescue Plan.

After leading us to believe a serious offer was forthcoming since late February, the parameters offered by the Governor are a joke.  You and your family deserve better. You deserve a boss who will have your back. I’m writing to tell you that Governor Baker does not have your back and he doesn’t care what you think about that. The recent PFML decision illustrates the Governors disregard for his workforce. Even in the face of his legal obligation to bargain, he chose to violate the law and was unanimously rebuked by his own appointees. As household income in Massachusetts rises, Governor Baker is leaving his workers behind. You deserve better, and I promise you that we will not sit silently by as the Governor offers more empty praise and continues to turn a blind eye to the needs of our members and their families.

I thank you for you service and truly appreciate everything that you have done, and continue to do every day, to make our Commonwealth strong and resilient. We will not rest until we get a contract that we can all be proud of, a contract that actually reflects the gratitude written in Governor Bakers empty letters.

In Solidarity,
 
Liz Chabot
President, Trial Court Local 229
 
 
March 17, 2021
 
We are thrilled to notify you that, per Governor Baker's announcement, all Trial Court Employees are eligible to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine as of March 22, 2021!

NAGE has been advocating for Trial Court vaccine eligibility since the vaccines were approved for distribution. We are pleased that the Administration has finally heeded recommendations and added all our Trial Court members to the distribution plan.

We encourage all members to preregister for the vaccine through mass.gov. Appointments through sites outside of MassVax are available this coming Monday. 
 
March 3, 2021

Dear Trial Court Member,

We are writing to update you on our fight to obtain a fair contract that contains well-deserved pay adjustments for our members.

As you know, contract negotiations were suspended a year ago due to the pandemic.  Today we sent a letter, found below, to Court Administrator John Bello asking Court Leadership to work to correct the inequity. Obtaining a fair and just cost of living adjustment and a new Contract are our #1 priorities for our members. We will continue to fight on your behalf until we’re able to secure what is fair and just!
 
We will keep you updated on any response we receive.

Thank you,


Mike Sorrenti
President Local 458
 

Liz Chabot
President Local 229 

Janice Boyle
President Local 118


February 19, 2021

Dear Trial Court Local 229 members, 
 
As we come up on a year since the pandemic hit, we'd like to take a moment to recognize all that our members have faced.  Your commitment to your work does not go unnoticed and unappreciated, we value your hard work and dedication. 
 
The rollout for the COVID-19 vaccine has been frustrating. Many of us are facing issues at home with child care, schooling, isolation and so many other things. Please take the time to care for yourself, however that looks. We are all looking forward to the day when we are safely on the other side of this crisis. 

Thank you and stay safe!


Liz Chabot
President, Local 229


 





















 
November 5, 2020
 

Dear Fellow NAGE Member:
 
Our bylaws require an annual meeting and, for obvious reasons, this cannot happen in shared physical space.
 
Therefore, we will have our annual meeting via Zoom on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 5:00PM.  
 
Due to the amount of participants in this meeting, we are not able to engage in back-and-forth dialogue. If you have any questions, or topics you wish to be discussed at the meeting, please submit them to me no later than 5:00PM on Friday, November 13, 2020.
 
Here is the Zoom info for November 18th:
 

You are invited to a Zoom webinar. 
When: Nov 18, 2020 05:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) 
Topic: Local 229 Annual Membership Meeting

Register in advance for this webinar:
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_K-A0bGqsSbaHmCRQ4PNQJA 


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
 
August 13, 2020
Notice: Illegal Travel Directive 
 
If any member is asked to illegally notify their supervisor of travel to a low-risk state, please notify the Union immediately!! 

Dear NAGE Trial Court Members,

It has come to our attention that there have been emails from Probation Managers stating, "Employees must notify their immediate supervisor for ANY AND ALL TRAVEL PLANS, including the destination, dates of travel and anticipated plan to conform to state guidelines." 

This directive is illegal, and the Union has contacted the administration to cease immediately.  

The following email was send to the administration, outlining the agreed upon directive of employees notifying supervisors ONLY of travel to high-risk areas. The full-text MOA can also be found below and on your local website. 

We will keep you updated if there are any changes to this matter. 

Email to Trial Court Adinistrators re: illegal directive

Full-text MOU on travel 

 
June 15, 2020
REMINDER: Have you submitted for your Child Care/Elder Care Reimbursement?! 

All claims for Child Care/Elder Care Reimbursement must be postmarked no later than July 31, 2020 to be eligible for reimbursement.
 
  • Do you have Child Care/Elder Care expenses incurred between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020?  You could be eligible for up to $750.00 reimbursement, have you submitted your claim?  All claims must be received by July 31, 2020 to be eligible for reimbursement.
  • If you have submitted a Child Care/Elder Care claim for $500.00 or less and have additional paid receipts for Child Care/Elder Care services received July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020, you must submit your claim by July 31, 2020 to receive additional reimbursement.
  • If you have already submitted your paid receipts for $750.00 or more for July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020 services, the NAGE Fund Office will automatically process your additional reimbursement.  You do not have to submit additional receipts.
 
Once all eligible members have received their $500.00 for the plan year, any remaining eligible claims will be processed for an additional reimbursement up to a maximum of $250.00, payable in August 2020, if the total eligible expenses submitted to the Fund by all members have not exceeded $225,000.00.  Depending on the amount of the claims received, the remaining eligible expenses for reimbursement may be proportionately reduced.
 
Contact the NAGE Fund Office at 1-800-641-0700 or 617-773-8947 or email fundoffice@nage.org to request a claim form, or if you need additional information.

May 21, 2020
Update to 229 Members 

On Thursday, the Trial Court informed the Union that it did not have the necessary funds to adhere to the collectively bargained agreement to “pay all Trial Court members down to 75 comp time hours by June 30, 2020.” Please know that the Union will pursue EVERY legal channel at its disposal to see that our members receive every dime due to them based on the contract signed by both parties!

At this time, what we know is that there will definitely be a comp time pay down by June 30, 2020, we just don’t how much. Once we receive that information we will update everyone.

Please know the Union will be in daily contact with the Trial Court to work on a solution to this issue that will guarantee our members are made whole. We will not agree to anything less!

On another note, we expect to be drawn to the table in the near future to deal with the state’s massive budget shortfall. This may lead to discussions on reduction in force, furloughs and possibly early retirement incentives. Please be assured the Union has a seat at that table whenever discussions of this magnitude take place and we will ALWAYS inform and do what is in the best interest of our membership.

Please do not hesitate to email any questions you may have to us.

Thank you and please be safe!
 

Elizabeth Chabot
President
NAGE/Trial Court Local 229
echabot@nage.org 


David Bernard
Public Safety Director
New England  
dbernard@nage.org 
 
April 27, 2020
 
PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT
John Adams Courthouse
One Pemberton Square
Boston, Massachusetts 02108
 

CONTACT:  
Jennifer Donahue/Erika Gully-Santiago                                 
(617) 557-1114
Jennifer.Donahue@jud.state.ma.us

 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2020
 
Supreme Judicial Court Issues Updated Order
Regarding State Court Operations During The Pandemic
 
BOSTON, MA – The Supreme Judicial Court today issued an updated order, which will be effective May 4, 2020, regarding the operation of Massachusetts State courts and courthouses during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
Under the new order, until at least June 1, 2020, all courts of the Commonwealth will continue to be open to conduct court business, but courthouses will continue to be closed to the general public, except where entry is required to address emergency matters that cannot be addressed virtually (by telephone, videoconference, email, or comparable means, or through the electronic filing system).
 
Jury trials in both criminal and civil cases in state courts are postponed to a date no earlier than July 1, 2020. All bench trials, in both criminal and civil cases are postponed to a date no earlier than June 1, unless they may be conducted virtually by agreement of the parties and of the court. The new order also extends various deadlines. 
 
Today’s SJC order also directs Trial Court departments to identify categories of non-emergency matters that they will attempt to address virtually, where it is practicable to do so, and to provide clear guidance to the public and members of the bar regarding what those categories will be by posting periodic notices to the judiciary’s COVID-19 webpage. The Supreme Judicial Court and Appeals Court will continue to conduct oral arguments virtually in non-emergency matters.
 
All court clerks', registers', and recorder's offices shall continue to conduct court business -- to accept the filing of pleadings and other documents in emergency and identified non-emergency matters, to schedule and facilitate hearings, to issue orders, to answer questions from attorneys, litigants, and the general public, and to conduct other necessary business of the respective court. All such business will be conducted virtually, except when the filing of pleadings and other documents in emergency matters cannot be accomplished virtually.
 
All orders, standing orders, guidelines, and notices issued by any court department or appellate court in response to the pandemic, as well as all amendments, modifications, and supplements are posted upon issuance on the judiciary's COVID-19 webpage, found here: https://www.mass.gov/guides/court-system-response-to-covid-19
 
April 14, 2020
NAGE Receives Response on Court Cleanings
 
Late yesterday, NAGE received a response to to the email request regarding Court cleaning.  

“Employees have already been trained, but continue to be trained on this specific process as the CDC adds to their recommendations. Facilities have shared they have a multi-tiered approach for ensuring quality in the cleaning of a building. Each time a court is assigned to do a deep clean, a supervisor accompanies them. That supervisor then reports to a Regional that the cleaning has been accomplished who in turn reports it to Director Almeida. Depending on the schedule of the Regional, he may then chose to do a spot check of that courthouse.”

Also included with the response was the “Hazardous/Infectious Cleanup and Disinfecting” document.  

We thank the Trial Court for its timely response.

We urge our members to be diligent and aware of the cleanliness of your building and if/when those standards do not meet the requirements contained herein, please let your Chief/Union know.

Thank you, stay safe.

David Bernard
 
April 13, 2020
NAGE Proud to Announce Agreement for Trial Court Members 'First Responder' COVID-19 Testing
 
Over the past week, the Union has been working with the Trial Court and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) to include our members in the First Responder COVID-19 testing currently being administered at Gillette Stadium and the Big E in Springfield. We were successful in negotiating this for our members, and you are now eligible for free testing at both locations.

Instructions can be found HERE for scheduling testing, should the need arise.

We thank the Trial Court and EOPSS for their support in reaching this agreement.

In Solidarity,
 
David Bernard
Public Safety Director
dbernard@nage.org


NAGE Member Action Center
617-376-7227 

 
April 13, 2020
NAGE Demands Answers on Courthouse "Deep Cleaning" Protocols
 
Earlier today, Public Safety Director David Bernard reached out to the Trial Court Administration, demanding answers on Courthouse cleaning protocols.  You can find his email to the Administration below.  We will keep you updated on any response we receive. 

Thank you and stay safe.  
 
 
April 3, 2020

Dear NAGE/Trial Court Members:

As you may have heard, over the next couple days the Trial Court is rolling out a temporary court closing plan designed to shrink the number of courts remaining open during this pandemic. Please know the Union has been involved in these discussions from Day 1, voicing your concerns and ensuring that the sanctity of our contract is upheld.

It’s also important you know that throughout our discussions with the Trial Court, your health and safety has been our primary concern which is why the idea of temporarily closing courts at this time is so important. We have been consistently driving home the message that the safest place for our members right now is HOME!! This is why the merits of this plan are so important. Designing temporary work schedules, and promoting our members to work remotely (800 iPhones have been secured for POs and SCCPOs) is a winning strategy in navigating our way through this pandemic.  We thank the Trial Court for their continued collaboration. 

Together we know there are challenging times ahead, but please know we remain committed to protecting your rights and securing a safe and healthy work environment for you to do your job.

Thank you and stay safe.
 
March 27, 2020

Dear members of Probation,

The Union has been in daily (and hourly) communication with the Trial Court on a number of issues affecting our Probation members. Top on that list of concerns has been securing an adequate number of gloves and masks for you to perform the essential functions of your job.

As a result of our efforts, the Union has just been informed that OCP has secured approximately 500 masks for our POs to use, primarily when you are asked to do GPS hook ups. While we are thankful, we know 500 masks will not be enough for a every PO. We’ve been told OCP will continue, on a daily basis, to secure additional masks.

Every day we witness our country’s health care community hemorrhaging and running out of these critical supplies. These are unprecedented times that call for unprecedented measures, so if you can personally secure a mask or have the ability to make one at home, please consider that option.

One of our own, a local ACPO, has taken it upon himself to construct a “shield” which separates the PO from the probationer and minimizes the exposure a PO may deal with when doing a hook up. OCP has agreed to construct these “shields“ and have one delivered to every court in the Commonwealth by this Wednesday. The Union understands that this measure will not resolve all issues, but we are grateful for the protection it will provide in preventing a PO from coming in contact with another persons clothing. We realize it’s not perfect but we truly appreciate the “outside of the box “ thinking of our Probation member and OCP’s willingness to provide these shields in our courts.

Let me finish by thanking each and every one of you for you professionalism, commitment to service, and loyalty as we collectively navigate our way through this worldwide pandemic.

Please know the Union hears you and will NEVER stop in it’s fight to protect and serve you.

Thank you!

Thank you,
Dave Bernard
Public Safety Director
 
Dear NAGE/Trial Court Member:
 
As you know, NAGE has been actively advocating for the Administration to provide health and safety measures for our NAGE members in the workplace to combat the spread of COVID-19.  Please click HERE to view all NAGE is working on to protect our members at this time.   We have been successful in getting the administration to reduce hundreds of employees to a skeletal crew to minimize their exposure and contact with the public.  
 
However, some NAGE members remain in the offices who have been deemed essential personnel.  The RMV, DPH, DUA, and many other agencies are continuing most operations and our members are on the “Front Line” in the response to COVID-19.  NAGE is committed to getting our FRONT LINE members the most protections we can and will fight for a benefit for their sacrifices made in risking their health to serve the citizens. 
 
If you are still working in an office and do not believe you are doing essential personnel work, please know that NAGE is challenging whether these folks are really essential personnel.  Essential personnel duties are NOT day-to-day business, it is essential functions of the agency that cannot be performed outside the office.
 
I am asking that you send me an email if you have any members or departments in your agencies working in the office that have been deemed essential personnel that should NOT be.  We are seeing a few agencies keeping almost full staff and deeming day to day work essential personnel duties because of a lack of equipment.  Additionally, they are not reducing hours to limit exposure.  Please advise me ASAP if this is the case for anyone in your workplace or any department. 

We have written to Governor Baker, expressing our concerns that many agencies are not following his directives to reduce the in-person workforce to comply with social distancing, and have failed to evaluate true core functions that are necessary during this pandemic.  You can find the letter HERE.  
 
Lastly, and most importantly, here is a video message from NAGE National President David J. Holway to all NAGE members.

Thank you for all you do, please stay safe!

Liz Chabot
echabot@nage.org
617-376-7222
Cell 774-275-7623
 
March 23, 2020

In accordance with Governor Baker’s restrictions on public gatherings, GIC's nine Benefit Fair events scheduled between Friday, April 10 and Monday, April 27 are canceled.
 
Please note that GIC will extend the deadline for Annual Enrollment from Friday, May 1 to Monday, June 1, 2020 in order to alleviate some of the processing limitations that may arise from staffing capacity.
 
Open Enrollment materials will be shared with you as they become available.
 
In the meantime, please visit GIC’s website to view all the available resources the GIC has to offer members and public employees in response to COVID-19:
 
https://www.mass.gov/info-details/what-you-should-know-about-gic-health-benefits-and-the-covid-19-outbreak
 
March 17, 2020

Dear NAGE/Trial Court Member:

 
NAGE would like to thank the Trial Court Administration for working proactively to address NAGE's concerns for our Trial Court members during the COVID-19 health crisis.  Please see the Supreme Judicial Court order and press release issued today regarding trial court business. 
 
We will keep you posted on any further updates.

Press Release on SJC Order

SJC Order: limit in-person appearance 


Thank you,

Dave Bernard
Public Safety Director


Mike Sorrenti
Local 458 President 


Liz Chabot
Local 229 Director


Kim Gruenberg
Local 118 Director 

 
March 15, 2020

Dear NAGE/Trial Court Members, 

 
The Trial Court has put out the following memo:
 
Emergency Notice to Employees
 
This evening Governor Baker directed that all non-emergency state employees working in Executive Branch agencies should not report to their workplace on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17. However, employees who are designated by their managers as emergency for the purposes of coronavirus planning were directed to report to work.

In light of the Governor’s declaration, all trial courts in the Massachusetts Trial Court will be closed on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17.

Chief Justice Carey has directed that all Trial Court employees, except First Justices, Regional Administrative Justices, Clerks, Clerk Magistrates, Registers, the Recorder, Chief Housing Specialists, Chief Probation Officers, ELMO employees, and Chief Court Officers, and any employees that they deem essential, are designated as essential employees in order to effectuate emergency business of the court and prepare for the implementation of the Trial Court departments’ Standing Orders, which take effect on Wednesday, March 18.  On March 16 and March 17, Judges will be available in each court by telephone conference to review bail determinations for any person held in custody for an arrest that occurred over the weekend and on Monday, respectively.  
 
All other emergency matters should be directed to a judge through the Judicial Response System.  The Judicial Response System handles requests for abuse prevention orders (c. 209A), harassment prevention orders, extreme risk protection orders, search warrants, mental health emergencies under c. 123, s. 18 (a), and medical emergencies.
 
Any matters that are due to expire on March 16 and March 17 remain in effect until the matter has been rescheduled.  Except for bail review determinations, all other matters are continued until the court has reopened for regular business.
 
Court leaders will continue to closely monitor the situation and will inform employees whether the courts will reopen for limited business on Wednesday, March 18 as set forth in the Supreme Judicial Court’s Order Regarding Departmental Standing Orders that were issued on Friday, March 13.

 
We would like to thank the Trial Court for working closely with NAGE, and taking precautions to ensure health and safety throughout the courts in MA.  We will keep you updated as any additional information becomes available.  

Thank you,

Dave Bernard
Public Safety Director

Mike Sorrenti
Local 458 President 

Liz Chabot
Local 229 Director

Kim Gruneberg
Local 118 Director 
 
March 12, 2020



Dear NAGE Local 229 members,

During these stressful times, your Local President and Representatives for Local 229 are committed to ensuring your physical and emotional well-being, in both the workplace and the community we proudly serve. 

To that end, the Union has been working collaboratively with Trial Court leaders to develop a course of action to address the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  We are mindful of your essential role in the many courthouses in the Commonwealth, and understand that each brings unique challenges and opportunities in combating the virus.  We ask for your patience and continued hard work in this challenging environment as we develop a plan of action.  Rest assured that we are doing everything we can to ensure the health and safety of all court employees, and the public utilizing the courts. 

We will be in contact as soon as there is any additional information.


In solidarity, 

NAGE/Trial Court Local 229
 
Mar 3, 2020GIC Healthcare FY21 Premiums AnnouncedOn February 27, 2020, the GIC Commissioners voted to approve the FY21 Health Insurance Premium Rates. Bobbi Kaplan, Executive Vice-President of Local 207 and Vice Chair of the Group Insurance Commission strongly advocated against the rise in premiums. She argued the unfairness of raising premiums more than twice what our members receive annually in salary increases but was unable to succeed in changing the minds of her fellow commissioners. The motion to increase premiums was approved by a majority of the commissioners who do not represent labor interests, though Kaplan maintained her strong vote against. 

Kaplan said “The increase is just another pay cut for our members who are left further and further behind every year. We intend to fight for raises at the bargaining table that are equal to the value our members bring to the citizens of the Commonwealth every day.”
 
Please review the increases which become effective July 1, 2020 and attend the Health Fairs to ask questions of your current carriers. If you wish to change carriers, you must make that decision during open enrollment April 6th – May 1st.  Please find all documents and link to the Health Fair schedule below.  

FY21 Health Insurance Premium Rates

FY21 Full Cost Monthly Premiums and Percent Increases 

GIC Health Fair Schedule 2020

 
Mar 02, 2020

NAGE Offers Admin Williams coronavirus prevention assistance

NAGE has written to Governor Baker, offering any assistance possible in light of coronavirus worries in Massachusetts.  The letter can be found below or HERE.  Members should refer to any of the following sites for tips in preventing the spread of illness.

Mass.gov
Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization


 



Employee Assistance Program Available at No Cost

Trial Court members are reminded that the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to all Trial Court employees and their families at no cost. While this program is not new, we remind you that it’s a valuable resource if you or a colleague or family member is experiencing difficulties in your work or home life. The program is completely confidential and is described in the brochure that is linked to below.

If you or any member has a question about the program, please contact Roger Albrecht, Benefits Manager for the Trial Court at (617) 878-0373, who is managing this benefit.

Employee Assistance Program brochure



 


EXECUTIVE BOARD
Elizabeth Chabot
President
Worcester Probate & 
Family Probation

echabot@nage.org
617-376-7222(office)
 
Kristin Pepin
Executive Vice President
Middlesex Juvenile Court
 
 
Executive Secretary
 
Jason Abraham
Treasurer
Dudley District Probation
 
Master of Arms
 

David DeCosta
Probate & Family Court Representative
Plymouth Probate & Family

 

Michelle Rogers
Superior Court Representative
Hampden Superior Court 
 
Brad Dufries
District Court Representative
East Brookfield Dictrict Court

 
Steven Mendoza
Juvenile Court Representative
Worcester Juvenile Court

 
Debbie Franey
Associate Probation
Officer Representative

Brockton District Court 
 
Probation Officer
at-Large

 
 
 

 
Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile. - Albert Einstein
NAGE HEADQUARTERS 159 Burgin Parkway
Quincy, MA 02169
Main Phone: (617)376-0220
Main Fax: (617) 472-7566
Union Local Tax Issues Federal law now requires that every local union file an annual information return—Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-N—with the IRS. If your local fails to file under this new requirement.. Read more