School’s Out, We’re In by Michael Lafferty
We have started training the members of Local 1952 on the installation of hardwood floors, and the repairing, replacing, and cutting of acoustic ceiling tiles. The members who are trained will be able to work on crews throughout the year and have the opportunity to earn some extra income.
We are also training members on replacing VCT floor tiles. The addition of this training will give our members the opportunity to complete new work, rather than that work going to non-union contractors. Non-union contractors usually get to do this work because it saves school departments money and leaves funds for other projects in the school. But workers are exploited and the jobs are not with the high-quality work that unions provide.
As we near the new school year, members are doing major summer cleaning to get schools ready to open in September. The floor refinishing crews have been out since the end of June and will refinish the wooden floors in over eighty-five school buildings this summer.
After 43 years, the West Roxbury Education Complex will be shutting it doors due to deterring conditions of the structure of the building. The city will submit a proposal to the Mass School Board Authority for reimbursement toward a new school construction project. With the Eliot Annex opening this up coming school year, we were able to place four of the seven custodians in the buildings. The other three will be placed in schools until the bid list comes out in September.
After 53 years working as a junior custodian, Chris Collins is finally giving up his keys to the building. For the last 43 years, Chris has been assigned to the second shift at Charlestown High School. Congratulations Chris on your well-deserved retirement.