Discover more from Worcester Sucks and I Love It
The St. Vincent decertification vote starts today
If it goes through, we all lose
Hello my lovelies! Leaving you with a short one today because I’ve been busy whoring myself out to other outlets teehee that’s right—yesterday, I wrote about the decertification vote at St Vincent for The Intercept. It’s great exposure for the issue to have it in such a widely read national outlet and it’s a huge step for me personally in my writing career. The Intercept’s no freakin joke!
Striking nurses at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts, ratified their new contract last month, winning added patient and staff protections after 301 days on the picket line. The four-year agreement, which represents roughly 700 nurses, promises pay increases, added workplace safety measures, and reduced staffing ratios, limiting the number of patients that can be assigned to a nurse at a given time. Out of almost 500 nurses who voted, only nine opposed the contract. The longest nurses’ strike in state history was over.
But while the union and management prepared to ratify, a new proposal appeared before the nurses: a decertification petition, which asked them to cast off the union that led them through the strike. Garnering 254 total signatures, the petition successfully triggered a vote, starting Friday, before the National Labor Relations Board. If the nurses vote in favor, the Massachusetts Nurses Association, or MNA, will no longer represent the union; the contract they fought so long to win will become null and void; and the nurses will face at least a year without any union protection at all.
“This seems bizarre to me,” said Steve Striffler, director of the Labor Resource Center at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. “Historically, of course, there are legitimate decertification attempts, you know, when workers are unhappy with their union and they want a different one and they go through this process. But this clearly isn’t.”
I’m only allowed to share the first three paragraphs so you’ll have to read the rest over there:
If it looks like you’re getting paywalled, you’re not. You just have to enter an email address. There’s no financial obligation, but you can donate if you want.
The Intercept has been one of the most aggressive, solidly leftist outlets in the country for years now. It’s entirely antagonistic of corporate power in an admirable way, and I’m really, really happy they wanted to take on the story. Thanks the most to Maia Hibbett, the editor there who worked with me on this story and made me realize how rusty I was writing like a real journalist. Woof! Got my ass kicked a little bit gotta say.
So yeah anyway read the freakin’ story. I worked super hard on it and I hope it shines a light on the way corporate interests in America are hell bent on destroying the power of workers even further than they already have and just because they can at this point.
The decertification vote starts today and goes until the 25th. We’ll know on the 28th how the vote turns out and you bet your sweet little behind I’ll be reporting on it.
In a world where I’m not more-or-less living off this newsletter as a full-time job, I’m probably not getting articles placed in The Intercept. Please consider a paid subscription so I can keep covering Worcester my full-time job :-)
In other Worcester news the council meeting was predictably a shitshow. The council voted 6-5 against a petition which would put a moratorium on new gas station construction. The moratorium would be good for the city’s climate goals (we gotta stop using gas eventually) and its urban design (we have enough gas stations and any real estate in our city is better suited toward any other use). However it was too smart for this City Council. Callers from the public seemed to think it was a ban on all gas stations. Moe Bergman willfully misrepresented the intent of the petition and motioned to file it. George Russell muddied the process with his own failure to comprehend it. He filed for an amendment that made so little sense he needed someone else to describe it. It was embarrassing. The proposal got the expected five votes against from the five conservatives on the council. Then Mayor Joe Petty voted against it, a move which seemed to shock the clerk, who read the votes back to him basically asking him “are you sure you said what you meant?” But he didn't fix his vote he stood by it. Hell of a way to start a state senate run, Joe! The deciding vote against a piece of climate legislation.
I have an episode recorded for W.G.B.H. but I need to edit it. We recorded it late Wednesday night, after a few beers.
In that episode however we cover the fact that the city finally lost its lawsuit with the city over withholding police misconduct records.
The city acted in bad faith by illegally withholding police records from the Telegram & Gazette in 2018 and making misrepresentations in court during the three-year lawsuit that followed, a judge has ruled.
“Counsel may not misrepresent to the court what cases and other materials stand for,” Worcester Superior Court Judge Janet Kenton-Walker wrote in an opinion released Thursday.
Kenton-Walker ruled that the city “cherry picked” language, presented it “out of context” and appeared to have “ignored” language that refuted its position. She ordered the city to pay $5,000 in punitive damages and 20 times that amount in legal fees.
The $5,000 award appears to be the first punitive penalty ever assessed under a 2016 legislative reform to the Public Records Law.
I’ll be dropping that episode over the weekend barring any complications. It’s super fun!
In other other news I’ve basically been camping out all week at the Machines With Magnets recording studio down in Pawtucket, where my pals in High Command are recording their second LP for Southern Lord Records. I demo’d the record out for them and I’m going to play a few interlude parts next week. I just love being in a recording studio and talking about tones and mics and all that good stuff.
I’ve been listening to the new TrueAnon series on Tiny Telephones on my way there and back. Super, super good, genuine look at a historic recording studio.
Ok that’s all for now bye bye