• Allow doctors' notes to remove demerit-points from employee records.
    1) We're Not Trying To Re-Create The Wheel: During one of the East side's Attendance Policy meetings just a few days ago, two different co-op employees mentioned their experiences with prior employers who, in fact, used demerit-points systems which allowed employees to clear their respective record(s) of earned sick-time demerit-points when they provided a note from a doctor. Logical. Reasonable. Cooperative. 2) Our Request Is Very Minimal: Let's not get the specific medical-related argument which I'm making here, convoluted and intertwined with the minutia of hypotheticals that could be used as rationales to avoid such a reasonable request. (Such as: Missed plane flights, car trouble, an ill-timed train, etc.) No, what we are talking about here is an incredibly specific situation whereby an hourly employee's doctor has determined that they are not well enough to be in the workplace. Nothing more, and nothing less. Logical. Reasonable. Cooperative. 3) A Demerit System: Our new attendance policy is indeed a demerit system. Using the terminology "no fault" has its value; however, in this instance it is semantics. AND HERE'S WHY: Every point we earn---every single point---ushers us closer to termination. This, in fact, is an objectively perfect example of a demerit-based system. Issuing demerits for doctor-authorized illnesses is essentially blaming employees for something that is not their fault. No one wants to be blamed and held accountable for something that isn't their fault. (If we held our new leadership accountable for the mistakes of previous leadership, that would absolutely not be logical, reasonable, or cooperative.) 4) The Doctor's Note System: In speaking with Willy Street leadership on multiple occasions, it has been alluded to that the GHC doctor's note system (currently in effect) is not reliable in certain capacities. If this is the case, let's simply create a FORM or SET OF CRITERIA which---when completed by the GHC doctor---will satiate our leadership's logistical needs, so that employees can remove demerit-points from their record when possible. This solution is certainly more logical, reasonable, and cooperative than the broadsword approach of forcing demerits onto every hourly employee---regardless of the reason---which ultimately threatens the livelihood of the hourly employee at no-fault of their own. And, once again, we're only talking about doctor-approved illnesses. Nothing more. 5) Sick Work-Force: We've all signed an agreement that said we would not come to work if we were sick. Now, we are told that we will be demerited for calling-in sick. Thus, when we employees signed that agreement, a Catch 22 was created whereby we unknowingly consented to being demerited for being sick. (This is not logical, reasonable, or cooperative.) It seems reasonable to predict that some employees will feel pressured to work when feeling sick under this new attendance policy in order to avoid receiving demerit-points. 6) Minority VS. Majority: It seems as though this specific element to the new attendance policy was created out of frustration in response to our prior lack of a policy. I would simply argue that this frustration—understandable though it is—is not a wholesome platform from which to create new policy. Rather than trying to create a policy that is determined to punitively locate and dismiss the employees who’ve sought to take advantage in the past (i.e., the vast minority), perhaps we could create a system which seeks to protect those employees who’ve served honorably and honestly (i.e. the vast majority). That said, removing the demerit-points with the properly formatted doctor’s note would do just that! WIN—WIN!
    498 of 500 Signatures
    Created by Noah Hittner Picture
  • Matchbox: Respect Your Workers Rights!
    We would like fellow restaurant professionals (front and back of house) regardless of nation of origin, status, race, gender, age, or identity to know that you are not alone. You deserve dignity and respect at work: the law is on your side. Stand together and make your voices heard. We stand with you. (Nos gustaría que los profesionales de los restaurantes (igual los de enfrente y los de la cocina) sin embargo de su nación de origen, estatus, raza, genero, edad o identidad que sepan: usted no está solo. Todos merecen dignidad y respeto en el trabajo: la ley está de su lado. Permanezcan unidos y levanten sus voces. Nosotros estamos unidos con ustedes.) The company has declined to hear us. Please read our testimonies, and sign and share our petition in support. Thank you. (La compañía se ha negado a escucharnos. Por favor lea nuestros testimonios, y firme y comparta nuestra petición en apoyo.) Testimonies (Testimonios) ---------------------------------------- Maria D. I worked for the company for two years as a busser. I was paid $5.00 per hour plus $15-$20 in tips. This was my compensation regardless of whether I worked half day or a full day. When I was four months pregnant I was asked to move heavy boxes. I spoke up to let them know that those boxes were too heavy for me that far along in my pregnancy. They responded forcing me to move them and by shortening my schedule to two hours a week. The entire time I worked there they never allowed me to have rest or food breaks. I was never granted a paid sick day. (Trabajé para la compañía durante dos años como busser. Me pagaron $5.00 por hora más $15- $20 en propinas por día. Esta fue mi compensación independientemente de si trabajé medio día o un día completo. Cuando tenía cuatro meses de embarazo, me pidieron que moviera unas cajas pesadas. Les hice saber que esas cajas eran demasiado pesadas para mí a esa altura de mi embarazo. Respondieron con obligarme a moverlas y cortaron mi horario a dos horas a la semana. Todo el tiempo que trabajé allí nunca me permitieron descanso ni tiempo de comer. Nunca me concedieron un día de enfermedad pagado.) ---------------------------------- Maria O. I experienced a lot of discrimination up to and including verbal and physical abuse. On one occasion, I was working on the line with one other coworker making pizzas. The chef joined us on the line to help us because it got busy all of the sudden. He put the pizza into the oven using the wooden pizza peel and proceeded to throw it at me. He was obviously upset, so I just moved into a corner and kept trying to work. He would refer to me as a useless. When I was pregnant and I asked for a day off they would give me an unpaid day off and then take an additional day off my schedule for the week. On another occasion I was reprimanded for something I hadn't done. Because I was pregnant my blood pressure got so high I ended up in the hospital. Not once during my entire pregnancy was I allowed a break to eat. I honestly believe that the company takes advantage of people's need to work and discriminates based on gender and nation of origin. I started earning $11.00 per hour. I worked there for six years and never saw a pay increase, nor had a paid sick day. (Experimenté mucha discriminación e incluso abuso verbal y físico. En una ocasión, estaba trabajando en la línea con otra compañera haciendo pizza y el chef ejecutivo se unió a nosotros porque se puso muy ocupado de repente. Despues de haber metido la pizza al horno él procedió a tirarme la tabla que se usa para meter la pizza al horno. Porque el estaba obviamente muy molesto yo solamente me mudé a una esquina y seguí intentando trabajar. Él rutinariamente se referiría a mí como una babosada. Cuando estaba embarazada, si pedía un día libre para una cita con el médico, me daban un día libre sin pagar. Luego tomarían un día adicional de mi horario para la semana. Lo que de hecho me dejó dos días sin trabajo y pago en una semana. En otra ocasión, fui reprendida por algo que no había hecho. Debido a que estaba embarazada, mi presión arterial se elevó tanto que terminé en el hospital. Ni una sola vez durante todo mi embarazo se me permitió tomarme un descanso. Sinceramente, creo que la empresa aprovecha la necesidad de las personas de trabajar y discrimina en función del género y la nación de origen. Empeze ganando $11.00. Trabajé allí durante seis años y nunca vi un aumento en salario, ni tuve un día de enfermedad pagado.) ------------------------------------------- Santos M. I suffer from a disease that occasionally makes my hands and feet swell and causes a lot of pain. They never understood that some days the pain and swelling was so great I could not walk or hold anything without excessive pain. Instead of allowing me the time to treat the swelling so I could work better, the chef would pressure me to work faster while insulting me for my symptoms. I worked there for five years. The last day I worked there was because the chef told me I was of no use to him because of my disease. He told me to go home and he never wanted to see me again. (Yo padezco de una enfermedad que ocasionalmente hincha las manos y los pies y causa mucho dolor. Nunca entendieron que algunos días la inflamación era tan grande que no podía caminar ni sostener nada sin un dolor excesivo. En lugar de darme el tiempo para tratar la inflamación para poder trabajar mejor, el chef me presionaría para que trabaje más rápido mientras me insultaba por mis síntomas. Trabajé allí cinco años. El último día que trabajé allí fue porque el chef me dijo que no le servía para nada debido a mi enfermedad. Me dijo que me fuera a casa y que nunca más me quería volver a ver.)
    4,972 of 5,000 Signatures
    Created by Felipe Martinez
  • Starbucks: Dads need time to bond with their babies too!
    I’ve been a barista at Starbucks for nearly 4 years in multiple states and currently work in Wilsonville, Oregon. My wife is due to give birth to our first baby in less than 2 weeks. For so many soon-to-be fathers, feeling anxious is normal, but I’m even more nervous because we don’t have access to any paid parental leave. In order to help support my wife during her pregnancy, I used up some of my vacation and sick time, which is now running short. Currently, I have a week and a half left of vacation or sick time which I expect to use after our delivery. Our benefits allowed us the family planning financial assistance necessary for infertility treatment, but now the ability to be present during the most crucial stage of my family’s development is in jeopardy. As a single income family with a new infant, we simply cannot afford to take unpaid time off. The current partner benefits system works against expecting parents, something we have unfortunately found out the hard way. The part time disability that my wife and I pay into does not allow any paid time off to care for my wife after birth, because pregnancy is considered as a preexisting condition. As our child is scheduled to arrive during the holiday season, the ability to be a part of the postpartum process is even more worrisome. I made the choice to work at Starbucks after a 17 year long career because I have received great benefits, including health insurance. I’m a partner and a shareholder in the company - but when it comes to paid family leave, it’s as if my contributions and sacrifices to Starbucks don't matter. It is incredibly frustrating to know that new fathers who work in the corporate office receive 12 weeks paid parental leave - time that would make a world of difference for my family. These rights should be offered to every partner, in every retail store, and would impress upon the company an even more supportive and fulfilling workplace. I’m sharing my story because I know that it’s not just me who needs to be able to take paid parental leave - I’ve talked to so many other men at work who are shocked to find out that we don’t receive any paid time to be there when we have children. The time of fathers and husbands to only be financial contributors has come and gone. My desire to be an equal part of the rearing of my children and caretaker seem to be a concept that Starbucks has yet to consider. For relationships like ours, that don’t have assistance from family and friends, we equally rely on each other in times of health and hardships. Currently, Starbucks employees who work in the corporate office receive 12 weeks of paid parental leave, and birthing mothers receive an additional 6 weeks (18 weeks total). For those of us who work in the stores, birthing mothers and adoptive parents receive 6 weeks paid parental leave - but dads are completely left out - we don’t receive any time at all.
    84 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Ryk and PL+US
  • PMM Companies: Reinstate Me To My Job!
    My name is Deisy Velasquez, and I am a mother of three children originally from El Salvador. I was working at PMM Companies for a year and a half, cleaning classrooms at KIPP DC's Douglass campus. I was one of only two women working in the building who have children. They were very discriminatory towards us. If we asked for permission to take a day off to take our children to a doctor’s appointment, they would make us take off for a whole week in retaliation, without pay. The supervisor, Geovany, said many times that employees with children caused too many problems - and that he was no longer interested in hearing that we could not work when we couldn’t find childcare or for a doctor’s appointment. What interested him was the work, he acted like he didn't care about our families. Over the summer, I worked from 8am to 4pm. One day, I was told that they would immediately be changing my schedule to 12pm to 9pm. I told Geovany that he had to give me time to coordinate with my babysitter. He told me that if I didn’t like it, that I shouldn’t come back the rest of the week, or the next week. I called him the next Friday, and he didn’t answer. Geovany never answered my call - he told someone else to tell me that if he needed me that he would call me, and if he didn’t call me, then he didn’t need me anymore. He never called me, so I ended up being fired. I have tried to communicate with the central office of PMM Companies, but they told me that my complaints were childish and not important enough for them to handle. I tried to set up an appointment with them, and they canceled it without explanation and without any follow-up. It was devastating to lose my job right before my children went back to school. I did not have the money to buy them back to school supplies. My son's birthday is coming up and he is sad because I don't have money to celebrate. Now we are struggling to get by. I want PMM Companies to reinstate me to my position with my full time schedule, or for them to pay me a severance of two weeks’ wages for the harmful discrimination that I have faced. I also want PMM Companies to fully comply with DC’s Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act and not make employees take off for a whole week in retaliation for taking a sick day. I don’t want anything bad for the company, I just want my job back. I’m not asking a lot, just my job back for the well-being of my children and my family. --------- Mi nombre es Deisy Velasquez, y soy madre de tres niños y originalmente soy del Salvador. Yo estuve trabajando en PMM Companies por año y medio, limpiando las aulas en la escuela KIPP DC Douglass. Era una de dos trabajadoras no más en el edificio que tengo hijos. Nos agarraron una discriminación contra nosotras. Si pidiéramos permiso para llevar a los hijos a una cita, nos mandaron a descansar una semana completa como represalia, y sin pago. Dijo el supervisor, Geovany, varias veces que las trabajadoras con niños causaron muchos problemas - que a él no le interesaba más que dijéramos que no podemos trabajar cuando no tenemos babysitting o para una cita. Lo que a él le interesaba era el trabajo, que no le importaba asuntos familiares. Durante el verano, yo trabaje de 8am a 4pm. Un día, me avisaron que iban a cambiar mi horario, de 12pm a 9pm. Yo le dije al Geovany que me tenía que decir con tiempo para hablar con mi babysitter que cuidaba los niños. De allí, el mandó a decirme que si no me gustaba, que no me preocupara en venir toda la semana, ni la semana que venia. Yo le llame el viernes, y no me contestó. A través de otra persona, Geovany me dijo que si me necesitaba que me iba a llamar, y si no que ya no me necesitaba. Nunca me llamo, asi que salí despedida. He tratado de comunicarme con la oficina central de PMM Companies, pero me han dicho que mis quejas son cosas de niñerias y no tan importantes como los asuntos que ellos atienden. Yo puse una cita con ellos y me la cancelaron sin explicación y sin darme seguimiento. Fue un desastre para mi perder mi trabajo justo antes de que los niños regresaran a la escuela. No tuve el dinero para comprarles sus materiales de la escuela. Y ahorita mi hijo va a cumplir años y no tengo para celebrarlo. Es bien tristoso para mi hijo. Ahora no tenemos para sobrevivir. Yo quiero que me devuelvan a mi trabajo con mi horario de full time, o que me paguen una indemnización igual a dos semanas de pago por la discriminación y el daño que me han hecho. Tambien quiero que PMM Companies cumpla totalmente con la Acta de Días de Enfermedad Pagadas y no tomar represalias contra los trabajadores que toman un día de enfermedad. No quiero un mal para la compañía - quiero nada más que me devuelvan al trabajo. No es mucho que pido, sino que necesito mi trabajo de vuelta para el bienestar de mis hijos y mi familia.
    145 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Julia Flores
  • Starbucks, Lack of Labor is Killing Morale
    The labor situation has gone from tight to infuriating. Labor has been cut so much in corporate stores, that one call-off (an employee calling in sick) impacts the entire day, as managers are directed to cut shifts to save on labor costs. Baristas trying to work more than 25 hours a week (myself included) find that a near impossible task. You end up taking it personally, when corporate directs your stores to understaff, and under schedule. You wonder if they realize how difficult it is to pay your bills when you work 25 hours a week? Right now, the labor allowed to stores is so dire that it’s killing morale, companywide. Let it be stated that this job isn’t a hard one. It’s demanding, but it’s easy work, if trained properly. Customers want their coffee and they want it in a timely fashion. As labor continues to be cut, it creates an atmosphere where baristas are worn to the bone without being able to take a breath. Cleanliness suffers, speed of service suffers, partners suffer. Many baristas are twenty-something college students, living at home. Many more are people like myself, artists, writers, breadwinners, who depend on their income. The tip situation has also drastically changed. Before the implementation of a Starbucks Reward program (MSR), tips were higher. Now, with a growing percentage and majority of customers using the app, and their registered cards, tips are in major decline. When you factor that in with actual take home pay, it’s a scary place to be. The way Starbucks frames itself, is that it’s a company worth investing in, worth being loyal to. Because of the health care, the benefits, the 401K, the stock, on the outside, why wouldn’t you want to invest yourself, as an employee to a great company? (and it is a great company). Realistically, investing in starbucks, as an employee, is becoming more difficult. Hours are becoming more elusive as store managers hire 10-20 employees at 20-25 hours a week, sacrificing tenured employees. At Starbucks, tenure makes no difference. These days, a 7 year employee makes as much as a new hire. Experience is given no merit. Right now, the labor climate keeps most baristas regularly underemployed, enough to qualify for benefits, but not enough to afford to pay for them. The most frustrating aspect lately is the pay, and having to commute to work for a 4.5 hour shift, while spending over an hours worth of pay to get yourself there. Labor is the real bone of contention, in addition to the drinks that corporate continues to roll out, (absent the labor to support them, as in years past), baristas also continue to struggle in their stores, with more expectation, with less support staff. These days, baristas do the work for two to three people as labor isn’t just cut to save money, it’s under cut, so stores are intentionally understaffed. I love Starbucks. As an artist, and a fan of process, it’s a job that plays into that love (and to my strengths), and a genuine connection to people and customers of all ages, races, genders, and expressions. The Starbucks culture is singular. I haven’t experienced it anywhere else. What’s happening is a slow extinction of that culture. As less and less people are staffed in stores the pressure mounts. THIS is what needs to change.
    21,076 of 25,000 Signatures
    Created by Jaime Prater Picture
  • Save Windsor Northwest School Staff Jobs
    The Bethel, Stockbridge and Rochester School Boards collected bids earlier this school year to hire private companies to run the food service programs and buses next year. In part citing state law (Act 153) and a need to cut costs, the school boards appear they may follow through and hire private companies next year instead of keeping the jobs employed by the school. Eliminating school-run programs to save a few dollars and in the process cutting the jobs of loyal food service and transportation employees is not fair. Act 153 does require individual school districts to move all transportation decisions for students from the districts to the Supervisory Union, but it does not require the hiring of a private company. Act 153 encourages Supervisory Unions to find ways to be as cost effective and efficient as possible with transportation expenses. Private companies cannot guarantee to offer to do the work for less than what the Supervisory Union pays as a direct employer without cutting corners, wages and benefits. Most of our school food service and transportation employees are long-term, loyal and committed employees. These staff members have played by the rules and worked hard for the districts. These employees often go above and beyond what they’re expected to do, especially for students in need. As members of the East Branch Education Association and Upper Valley Education Association, they’ve negotiated fairly with the school boards since a union formed over 15 years ago (Stockbridge 8 years ago). These employees are hourly workers. No one in these positions gets paid days they do not work during school year or receives unemployment over the summer. These people are our hard working neighbors with many not even making a livable wage. Farming out the work to a private company removes local control and authority over the hiring/supervision of employees who will be in our schools and driving our buses. Plus, using private companies to do the work currently done by the school districts does not guarantee that the work will be cheaper for the Supervisory Union. In fact, companies such as Butler Transportation, are in business to make money/profit. While a bid may come in lower to do the work, it usually means a cut in services or benefits/wages to the workers or both. Any short-term “deal” made with Butler or another company to hire current school-employed bus drivers (or food service workers) does not bind that employer long-term to keep the same wages/benefits for that individual. Again, these are businesses looking to make a profit, unlike our schools. If companies cut services or reduce the quality of school food program or transportation services, our students feel the impact. Private companies running food or transportation services in Vermont often offer no paid sick days or offer health insurance, making the jobs even less livable for working people, causing turn over in staff. High turnover in our kitchens and with our bus drivers hurts the relationships staff have with students. Ask the employees and/or parents of students in communities who use private companies like the Abbey Group or Butler Transportation. Low standards for the food program and transportation department and its employees are not consistent with our community’s values.
    177 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Vermont NEA Picture
  • Adjusted sick/vacation pay for hourly managers
    Hourly paid managers cannot take a sick day or a full weeks vacation without taking a hit of at least $100 on a paycheck. As an employee who is expected to work 45 hours a week, there shouldn't be a concern about missing pay because you are sick or taking a "paid" vacation. This leads to illness being brought to the stores because sick employees feel as though they cannot afford to take a sick day as well as vacations not being taken because they will not be fully paid.
    9 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Jennifer Johnson
  • Tell Myer: clean up your act!
    My name is Susan* and I work as a cleaner at a Myer store in Melbourne. Cleaners like me work around the clock keeping Myer stores clean and hygienic. But dodgy subcontractors are underpaying us by up to $20 an hour. We are denied basic rights like sick pay, weekend rates and superannuation. If we complain we can be sacked at any time – many of us are too frightened to join our union and speak out. A few weeks ago a Myer cleaner was sacked when he asked about his rights. So was his sister – and his partner. And they weren’t even there! Myer threw out its last contractor earlier this year because cleaners were being exploited. Now it’s happening again. We should be paid properly, and be able to work without fear or intimidation. The system is unjust and is failing us. Please stand with me and my fellow cleaners and tell Myer it needs to clean up its act and demand we are directly employed and receive our full legal pay. *Not my real name.
    2,433 of 3,000 Signatures
    Created by Susan Myer Cleaner
  • Sick leave for Starbucks Partners
    I have to save some of my vacation every year just in case I get sick. I am a working partner who can't afford to stay home when I am sick.
    445 of 500 Signatures
    Created by Deborah Hauser Picture
  • Starbucks, Pay Your Partners A Living Wage
    This is important because it's fair. Starbucks is making record profits. Earnings reports has profits the highest they have ever been (http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexadavis/2014/07/24/starbucks-sizzling-profits-get-cool-reception/) In years past, employees would be granted a personal day every quarter as well as sick time being available. After the financial crisis, personal and sick days went away, never to return. If partners get sick, they have to use their precious vacation time to make up the difference. The speed at which employees accrue vacation time was also cut down, so it takes longer to make enough to cover one day. Starbucks should and can do better. Starbucks Baristas operate their stores. It's non management that is responsible for creating that coveted third place environment (the space between home and work) that's so essential and so important to our loyal and wonderful customers. The larger percentage of Starbucks employees struggle to live from week to week. As amazing as the entire benefits package is, free coffee doesn't pay the bills. Free stock won't put gas in our car. Free tuition doesn't ensure a quality of life where many of us scrape by from week to week, just to afford food and gas.
    2,112 of 3,000 Signatures
    Created by Jaime Prater Picture
  • Protect MVU Jobs
    Last fall, rumors of privatizing (also called sub-contracting) the MVU cafeteria to The Abbey Group circulated. The MVU cafeteria staff and many other staff are concerned that the school-run program may simply be “eliminated” to save a few dollars. This is not fair. The food service employees are long-term, loyal and committed employees. They have a collective 66 years of service to the school, performed high quality work, and often go above and beyond what they are expected to do, especially for students. All the staff at MVU bring the same level of commitment to the school and the students. The MVU cafeteria workers are being proactive and are asking the MVU Board for something very simple – to adopt a policy that it will not privatize the food service jobs at MVU or any of the work currently being performed by its staff. This is perfectly legal. It doesn’t violate the existing union contract. It doesn’t violate the Municipal Employees Labor Relations Act. It is well within the rights of the Board to pass such a policy. The policy wording we propose would be as follows: “It will be the policy of the Missisquoi Valley Union School Board of Directors to not sub-contract any work currently being performed by employees of the Board.” Contractors, like the Abbey Group, are in business to make money/profit. If they’re going to make money from the school, they will have to cut corners somewhere. Either they will cut services, or the wages they pay to workers, or both. If they cut services, the quality of school food program, in this case, goes down. And if they cut wages, they will get people in to work who are not very qualified, or who will leave as soon as they get a better job. Contractors like Abbey Group often offer no paid sick days or benefits, making the jobs even less livable for working people, causing more turn over in staff. High turnover hurts quality of the food program and it hurts the relationships staff have with the students. Low standards for the food program and its employees are not consistent with the MVU’s values. We encourage you to add your name to encourage the board to adopt this policy. Thank you.
    434 of 500 Signatures
    Created by Vermont NEA Picture
  • Return Partner sick days
    How would you feel if you had to choose between keeping your job to feed your kids, or staying home to take care of your kids when they are sick? Can you imagine choosing between getting fired or not being able to make rent because you stayed home to get well, or being forced to go to work and expose customers to germs, despite the fact that this is in direct defiance of Starbucks health code? Every day, Starbucks workers have to make choices like these because Starbucks has taken away our sick days, putting partners and customers at risk even though the company makes over $1 billion a year. Proper sick leave is not only a fundamental right, but an ethical necessity. Please sign our petition- tell Starbucks you want paid sick for all workers. Let's make Starbucks a healthy, family-friendly workplace for all!
    8 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Samantha Cole