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.
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.
March 17, 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.
President Local 458
President Local 229
President Local 118
January 27, 2021
Dear Brothers and Sisters of Local 118,
It has been an honor and a privilege to represent the hard-working members of Local 118 over the last several years. As President, I have traveled to courts to meet members who were faced with challenges they never could have imagined, and was grateful to have been part of a process where each and every member was treated fairly and with respect while ensuring that the collective bargaining agreement was adhered to. At times, my role as President was just as meaningful by returning a call or an email to a member who just wanted to vent or simply seek advice. I have been proud to be a part of what makes us all Union strong, but it is time for me to take the next step in my professional career.
I have accepted the position of Chief Probation Officer at the Quincy District Court, and am tendering my resignation as President of Local 118/Executive Vice-President of Local 118 effective immediately. Any member who has a pending matter will be represented by the remaining members of our Executive Board.
Local 118 by-laws call for my position as the Executive Vice-President to be filled first. As such, any interested member should send a letter of interest, along with any relevant qualifications to David Bernard, Director of Public Safety at NAGE to email@example.com no later than Thursday, February 4, 2021. Once my vacated position of Executive Vice-President is filled, the full Executive Board will elect a new President of Local 118.
I wish you all the best in 2021, and most importantly stay safe and healthy!
August 6, 2020
Updated Seniority List Available
ACPO, 1stACPO, PO Seniority List as of 7-28-20
August 13, 2020
Notice: Illegal Travel Directive
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
August 5, 2020
Welcome New Local 118 Exective Board Members!
Local 118 is pleased to welcome our two new Executive Board members: ACPO Janice Boyle from the Plymouth District Court and ACPO John Lopes from the Wareham District Court. ACPO Boyle will be serving as Vice President, following the promotion to Chief Probation Officer of the Barnstable District Court of our former Vice President Ann MacDonald. ACPO Lopes will be serving as Treasurer, following the promotion to Chief Probation Officer of the Wrentham District Court of our former Treasurer Sandy Adams.
July 21, 2020
Dear Members of Local 118,
Due to the well-deserved promotions of two of our E-Board members, we are currently looking to fill two vacancies on the Board. The positions of Vice-President and Treasurer will be appointed until the current term for both positions expire. Members should be available to attend Labor/Management Meetings, Bargaining Sessions, Grievance Hearings and all other Union-related business. Fiscal knowledge and attention to detail is preferred for the Treasurer's position.
This is a great opportunity to be part of policy development, protecting the rights of our members and getting an close-up view of what makes us Union strong.
Members should send a letter of interest by close of business 7/31/20 to Kimberly.firstname.lastname@example.org, specifying which position you wish to be considered for.
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 email@example.com to request a claim form, or if you need additional information.
April 27, 2020
SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT
One Pemberton Square
Boston, Massachusetts 02108
Jennifer Donahue/Erika Gully-Santiago
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
“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.
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.
Public Safety Director
NAGE Member Action Center
April 13, 2020
Thank you and stay safe.
April 4, 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.
Public Safety Director
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:
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
Public Safety Director
Local 458 President
Local 229 Director
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.
Public Safety Director
Local 458 President
Local 229 Director
Local 118 Director
NAGE Offers Admin Williams coronavirus prevention assistanceHERE
ANNOUNCING DENTAL BENEFIT CHANGE
Effective January 1, 2020
The Board of Trustees of NAGE/SEIU Local 5000 Trial Court of Massachusetts Health and Welfare Fund is pleased to announce an exciting change to the Dental Program. Effective January 1, 2020, Trial Court members will be enrolled in MetLife Dental Plan.
Change from Delta Dental PPO Plus Premier to MetLife PDP Plus Network
- The level of benefits will not change from the current level provided by Delta Dental of Massachusetts. MetLife will provide full coverage for Type I Preventive and Diagnostic services, 80% coverage for Type II Restorative services and 50% coverage for Type III Prosthodontics and Major Restorative services when those services are received from MetLife PDP Plus network provider.
- As with the current Delta Dental PPO Plus Premier plan, if services are received from a dental provider that does not participate in the MetLife PDP Plus network, the percentage of coverage is lowered. Full coverage remains for Type I Preventive and Diagnostic services. MetLife will provide 65% coverage for Type II Restorative services and 40% coverage for Type III Prosthodontics and Major Restorative services.
- Orthodontic benefits will remain at 50% of the submitted charges, up to a lifetime benefit maximum of $2,500.00.
- To find out if your dentist is part of the MetLife PDP Plus Network refer to the Directory of Participating Providers available at www.metlife.com/mybenefits or call 1-800-942-0854.
- If your provider is not currently listed on the MetLife PDP Plus network, ask them about joining. They can visit the MetLife website at www.metdental.com or call 1-866-737-6895. Or you can contact the Fund Office with the name and location of your dental office. MetLife is committed to recruiting non-participating providers into the MetLife PDP Plus network.
- Dentist participating in the MetLife PDP Plus network have agreed to fees that are up to 35% less than what dentist normally charge.
- When you need dental services, you will be able to select a dentist from one of the MetLife PDP Plus network providers. You may also see a non-participating provider, though as noted above, your coverage will be lower.
A full information packet will be mailed, including new Met-Life Identification Cards and a Summary of Plan Benefits.
1-800-641-0700 Or email firstname.lastname@example.org
New Salary Chart Available
2017-2020 CONTRACT & AGREEMENT
The 2017-2020 agreement between the Court Administrator of the Trial Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the National Association of Government Employees in now available. Please use the link below to access the full text document.
Download contract and MOU's
A new Death Benefit will be added to the Plan of Benefits for the Trial Court of Massachusetts
The Board of Trustees of NAGE/SEIU Local 5000 Trial Court of Massachusetts Health and Welfare Fund is pleased to announce the implementation of a $2,000.00 Death Benefit. This benefit will be retroactive as of September 1, 2016.
The death benefit is available for each eligible employee, spouse and dependent child.
Who Is Eligible?
A Death Benefit will only be paid for members or dependents who are eligible for Trust Fund benefits at the time of death.
Filing A Claim
A completed Death Benefit Claim Form must be submitted to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts/NAGE Fund Office with a copy of the death certificate. If a copy of the Death Certificate is not included, the claim will not be processed.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact the NAGE Health and Welfare Office. They can be reached by phone at 1-800-641-0700 or via email at email@example.com.
The Board of Trustees continually strives to improve the Plan of Benefits for Trial Court members. We are proud to take this step forward, as we did last year with the implementation of the Dependent Care Benefit.
Trial Court Members Honored at 2016 Trial Court Excellence Awards
Pencils Being Used On Interview Guide Scoring Sheets
It has come to our attention that the use of pencils by panelists on the interview guide scoring sheets during the interview process has continued to randomly occur. We have brought that concern to the attention of Human Resources. They have indicated in response that a directive will be going out to all interviewer panelists that they are required to use pen during the interviews when filling out the guides. Please be aware of this requirement and if you are on an interview and observe the use of anything other than a pen, please alert the interviewer of the requirement and also contact the Union to report the protocol lapse.
Seniority Lists Available
Employee Assistance Program Available at No CostTrial 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 Vice President
Wareham District Court