In Newsletter: Fall '23

Seasons change but the goals remain the same here at District Council 35. Jobs, jobs, jobs continue to be the driving force of your Leadership Team here at DC 35 and improving work opportunities improved work opportunities remain at the forefront.

Construction and overall work development have continued to be abundant here in the Northeast, especially Boston and the surrounding cities and towns. The economy is still strong, and rising interest rates have finally stabilized.

Make no mistake, there are still many projects set to move forward and many in the planning stages as well. Our activism as a Union is paramount to seeing these projects head down the right path – the Union path where trade workers are treated with respect and dignity in the workplace. Area-standard wages and benefits afford families the ability to grow and succeed within the community. Help when and where you can – the next job that goes Union could be your next job and remember to support political leaders that have your job at heart and forget about bogus baloney.

Activities and events here at your District Council have continued at a torrid pace. Innovative ideas, programs, and policies continue to be at every turn as BM/ST Chris Brennan not only has reviewed existing programs but has also shed light on many new opportunities to help and protect our membership.

During the month of September, we visited all the Local Unions of the District Council at Special Call Meetings for the purpose of relieving any ambiguity from two sections of our DC 35 Bylaws, at the request of our International. We also voted on the question of establishing a DC 35 Vacation Fund for our Members working under the terms of our construction agreement. I am pleased to report that our members showed overwhelming support for all the questions. The Bylaw amendments were approved. Congratulations to our members who will now have a vacation fund. I would like to thank all the Local Unions for their hospitality during the meetings. It was a pleasure to see so many friends at these local meetings.

We recently held another successful Scholarship Fund Golf Outing. A packed and well-supported event has put us in position to award several substantial scholarships for next year. I congratulate the $5,000 scholarship award winners of this year!

Our 27th Annual STAR Program was second to none across the country. Seven trucks and countless prizes were awarded to those lucky winners. Every member in attendance that qualified for the event was a winner as well. A new pair of boots, Union swag, and a Leatherman was awarded to everyone who showed up after taking the required courses.

This all started at a Joint Trades Board meeting where we produced the idea of raffling off a flat screen TV some 28 years ago. I know because I was there.

We have been tireless in our efforts to secure new collective bargaining agreements for our members working in industries or services outside of our traditional construction agreements. As previously mentioned, we reopened many agreements throughout our District Councils jurisdiction. I am pleased to report and congratulate our members who are now working with a new agreement: Kittery Maine School District, Malden Facilities, Merck Pharmaceuticals, Northampton Housing, Boston Convention Center, and the City of Cambridge Inspectional Services Department.

The efforts of both Labor and Management have finally come together with the soon-to-be introduced retiree Medicare supplemental programs. Both former BM/ST Sullivan and I have been advocates and spokespersons for the implementation of a retiree Medicare program. Our BM/ST Chris Brennan put the finishing touches on the programs and brought it to fruition. Credit to both the Labor and Management Trustees for spending the time on research and selection. We have partnered with Labor First Retiree Benefit Programs, and we look forward to working with them. More to come on this for a January 1, 2024, implementation.

I would like to congratulate Brother Dan O’Brien on his recent retirement. Dan, in addition to installing and servicing billboards for over forty years with Lamar Outdoor in Western Mass, has also served as our Union Steward for over thirty years. I have had the liberty to have Dan on every negotiating committee since 1990. All the best to Dan O’Brien on his retirement and thank you for your dedicated service to our industry and this Union! Dan will join Mike and Paul O’Brien as a retiree from the same company and our Union.

In closing, I would like to wish all our members, officers, and staff a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year to all. Remember, don’t count the days, make the days count!






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