• 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
  • End Hardship at the REI Co-Op!
    We are part-time retail employees who work for one of the most reputable outdoor retailers and cooperatives in the country, Recreational Equipment, Inc. REI is known not only for its remarkable stewardship of the outdoors, but also for its down to earth image as a retailer that ‘authentically’ values its people—an image REI prides itself on and one which distinguishes the co-op from other large scale retailers. The truth of the matter is that a huge number of us are struggling with considerable hardship. We have tried to address our grim circumstances internally, but our corporate leaders and store mangers have turned a blind eye to our outcries. Although REI has enjoyed record profits for the last 3 years, hardship has become a way of life for most of us. While we comprise a vast majority of the retail positions at REI’s 145 and growing stores, none of us receive any real guarantees whatsoever. Such benefits are reserved for the very few full-time positions offered at REI. One of the primary causes for our hardship are the irregular hours we are subject to—ranging from 4 hours to 30 to 12 hours a week (or none at all)—making it nearly impossible for most of us to make ends meet. Another contributing factor is the lack of full-time opportunity that exists for REI’s retail employees. Very few store workers actually work full-time. For instance, in a store that is staffed with nearly 200 workers, only about 14 of these workers (outside of management positions) are guaranteed full-time hours. For the rest of us, we are at the mercy of REI’s frequent payroll cutbacks and its variable scheduling practices. None of REI’s part-time employees are guaranteed hours—not even 4 hours a week—because that is REI’s store policy. To exacerbate matters, employees are negatively impacted when REI hires more part-time workers during seasonal upswings in business, even though there are plenty of existing workers who are not getting enough hours. While REI claims that it has to hire more part-time employees to meet expected business demands, this is not true. There are many dedicated workers who desperately need to work more, but REI will not accommodate them. REI’s reluctance to make this commitment to its workforce, also impacts the few meaningful benefits that we could be eligible for, like health insurance. While REI boasts it offers health insurance to its part-time workforce, only employees who work a rolling average of 20 hours a week can receive it. Those employees who qualify for coverage can just as easily lose it, simply because of the frequent payroll cutbacks made at REI. Last year alone, we witnessed a large number of distressed colleagues who were fraught with panic, after they learned REI was dropping their coverage. As a united voice, we are demanding that REI make a commitment to its employees by giving us stable hours, offering us more full-time opportunity and putting an end to the practice of over-staffing its stores with so many part-time employees—that hardly any of us can get the hours we need to make ends meet. In addition, it is imperative that REI addresses our low wages. In light that we were told part-time employees would not be eligible for a Living Wage, our hardship is a testament that one is needed. When most REI part-time employees are starting at a wage of just over $10 an hour and it will take an estimated 20 years to earn a Living Wage, REI is not doing enough to provide for the well-being of its employees. Finally, part-time employees are requesting 3 weeks advance scheduling notice from the store managers who are responsible for scheduling. Typically employees receive a one weeks notice and this is not nearly enough time for those employees who need to plan for daycare, a second job, or school. We believe no REI employee should have to take desperate measures in order to survive their jobs at the REI Co-op. When employees are seeking emergency assistance from state and federal funded programs like food stamps, donating plasma to blood banks, participating in risky pharmaceutical experiments, living off credit cards and student loans, selling off their belongings or relying on loving parents to bail them out—REI is not doing enough to take care of its workforce. We’re tired of witnessing our colleagues in great despair at work (sometimes to the point of tears), after their hours have been reduced so drastically that they don’t know how they’re going to survive. To drive our message home, here’s a glimpse into what employees were saying after REI’s extraordinary #OptOutside campaign was announced last year. One employee stated, “I’m glad I’ll have at least one paid day in November (Black Friday).” Others exclaimed: “Are there any of us who can actually afford to get outside to our favorite outdoor spaces on Black Friday?” and “REI expects me to be stoked about #OptOutside, I can’t even afford a turkey for Thanksgiving!” That was our #OptOutside reality when REI’s amazing campaign took media by storm. With the support of our loyal members and the sympathetic guests who shop at REI, retail employees are demanding that REI authentically value us and treat us like the myth #OptOutside created. Hardship should not be a way of life for any of REI’s fiercely dedicated workers. Moreover, it was not the vision that our co-founders, Mary & Lloyd Anderson, had intended for us. It is time the REI Co-op revisit its roots as a true cooperative and value all its employees as much as the outdoors it is renown for preserving. #OptInChange for REI’s friendly green-vested ‘Inspired Guides’—The Andersons (the name we’ve adopted in honor of our co-founders, to represent all REI's working-class heroes). Thank you for your support!
    2,348 of 3,000 Signatures
    Created by Alpine Anderson Picture
  • Short, natural/neutral colored nails at work while wearing gloves
    This is important because so many of us who work for Starbucks are young, we're college students, we enjoy looking and feeling good. Having our nails done makes us feel good. That's our enjoyment and treat to ourselves after a sometimes stressful day at work.
    12 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Shardae Vance
  • Wells Fargo: Make all currently pregnant employees eligible for new paid parental leave policy
    As hard working employees of Wells Fargo and expecting parents, we were thrilled to learn that the company has announced a new paid maternity and paternity leave policy which will guarantee employees 16 weeks of fully paid leave for mothers and 4 weeks paid for fathers. However, we were shocked and saddened to learn that the policy would not apply to a large portion of us, because currently pregnant women as of April 6, 2016 are not eligible unless they give birth on or after June 1st. For those who give birth prior to June 1st, we must file for short term disability with a max of 6-8 weeks (6 weeks for natural birth and 8 weeks for C-section) at 65% pay. This announcement affects hundreds of families who will not get the much needed bonding time with families. We are hoping those currently pregnant can be grandfathered into the new wonderful benefits. Women should not be risking their health or their children's health trying to stay pregnant longer. This is only adding more stress to these expecting mothers. We urge the company entities in charge to consider making some changes to the policy. While it is possible for some of the expecting mothers to deliver late, this is not the case for all of us. Some must deliver early or schedule C-sections in order to keep their baby and themselves safe and healthy. We as parents do not always call the shots when it comes to when our children enter this world. And healing time for some can extend pass the 8 week mark when they are expected to go back to work. Not only are they then sitting at their desk trying to concentrate on work, but they could be suffering from the pain of unhealed incisions on top of constantly thinking of their babies at home or in daycare. It is very disappointing to hear we will not get this much needed time to heal or bond with our new babies just because we are due earlier than this pre-released change date. Our health is more important and for a company that claims to be ‘One Wells Fargo’ and ‘Together we’ll go far’ is making us seem like we are not part of their mission of unity. Some of us are single parents and the partial disability pay will not support us during this time when we should be most concerned of the care of our new babies. Since this announcement, we have been told a number of different things and not one of those things is that the company wants to figure out a way to help us. This situation is very disappointing and stressful and during a time when we should be excited for our new arrivals. We feel the successful company that Wells Fargo is has the ability to implement this in a different manner so more employees can not only bond with their new babies and heal, but to also have peace of mind. All employees matter.
    2,829 of 3,000 Signatures
    Created by Krystyn Barlage
  • Medallions keep us from earning a decent living
    Taxi drivers have their income limited by the county’s decisions regarding meter charges and flat rates for trips. However, the taxi companies that charge drivers for leasing their medallions and/or vehicles are able to increase their prices without restriction. At the same time, customers are paying almost 3x what Uber or Lyft are charging, and yet taxi drivers are still barely able to take home money in their pockets after a full day’s work because they are saddled with a lease payment for the medallion. This is unfair. County authorities should seriously consider our proposal since, if implemented, it would fundamentally benefit the people of Miami-Dade, and assure the highest-quality taxi service at the airport and on the streets. When taxi drivers are finally able to work in dignified conditions, free from the yoke of taxi companies, services and quality of transport are sure to markedly improve and be far more efficient. We believe there are many other benefits that will come from reforming the current system, some of which may not even be apparent at the moment. Miami-Dade’s commissioners and the mayor have a crucial decision to make regarding our local taxi industry. This important decision will greatly affect the cities and county we call home and the ability of all us to build a truly cosmopolitan and inviting metropolitan area in which we can all live in peace and happiness. We realize this could cause a disproportionate financial burden on those single medallion owner-drivers who might not be able to withstand this major change. This situation should be specially taken into consideration in the program the County ultimately designs to reform the taxi industry.
    855 of 1,000 Signatures
    Created by Raymond Francois
  • Buddy Passes Fly As D2 When Traveling With The Employee
    Buddy Passes many times are used when traveling with a friend or family member. In most instances, as the employee we wouldn't leave them behind. Many employees fly to another city to pick up their grandchild for a week, or a parent who is divorced can't guarantee that their step-child will still be able to travel with them when they could previously because the parents were married. We are now the largest airline in the world and the chances of our companion traveling with us are almost nil. It also causes havoc at the gate. An employee (D2) is #5 on the list and the buddy pass traveler (D3) is #13 on the list. The employee informs the gate that they won't go if they can't get their pass traveler with them. It adds undue pressure on the Gate Agent as they try to accommodate everyone while still waiting to check bags, release seats for no shows, get non-revs seated and get the plane out on time OR when no seats are available, unseat the employee and give the seat to #14 on the list. America West and US Airways always had this benefit, only to lose it in the merger with American Airlines. So many things were lost to the "AA way" and we feel it would be nice to have this one benefit back, not only for the employee but to alleviate undue stress while controlling a flight in an already hectic environment. In the airline industry we are all family, so shouldn't we be able to fly with our "real family," too?
    4,131 of 5,000 Signatures
    Created by Debra Moore Ewing Picture
  • Blue Jeans at Starbucks
    It really just shouldn't even be an issue at Starbucks - Every other coffee shop allows blue jeans behind the bar - Why not Starbucks?
    62 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Meghan Cruikshank
  • Higher pay for Baristas and shift supervisors at Drive Thru's
    This is important because Starbucks has already taken away our 6month raises. Very high expectations and we all work our butts off at work! It is very discouraging!
    22 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Heather Shelton
  • Student loan assistance for long time partners.
    This is important because long time partners such as myself have grown with and supported the company through all its many changes over the years. We have been faithful and worked hard to make the company what it is today.
    81 of 100 Signatures
    Created by April Cruz
  • Raise hourly wages and bring back merit increases!
    Starbucks is positioned as a leader in the fast food/service industry, and consequently bears a responsibility to make fair decisions regarding compensation and benefits to its employees.
    8 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Amanda Remster
  • Money as an incentive when coworkers don't come in
    When partners don't show, it puts a lot of pressure on the present baristas to make every moment matter. If we have an incentive for working hard while a partner is missing, were more determined to push through and work hard.
    11 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Zoe Gray
  • Higher hourly rate for supervisors of high volume stores
    Like so many of you out there, my store is my home away from home. Having worked at three different locations, I've been able to understand the ins and outs of different stores and the varying demands each store has based on its business and volume. Before I transferred to my current store, my last store earned on average $2,200-3,000 a day. The store I'm at currently makes anywhere from $7-9000 a day. To say that we should all be held to the same standard is wishful thinking. From a company standards perspective, yes this is true. From a monetary standpoint, absolutely not. Shift supervisors working at incredibly high volume stores are not currently being paid their worth. Being responsible for a team of 8 or 9 people at any given time, not to mention driving sales, and constantly having to call facilities because everything in the store keeps breaking is a daily occurrence for me and I'm sure for countless others out there. Free drinks and one free food item are nice, but they don't do anything for those of us who don't drink coffee or for those who bring their lunches to work. Most of the time, I'm lucky if I even get a break because something has broken or a computer has crashed or something has pulled me away from any sort of break I might need to keep my sanity. Feeling like I'm not going to work in vain is why I'm writing this letter. I know I'm not the only one who feels as though they are not appreciated, not paid enough, is overworked, and constantly chasing their tail while getting paid an amount that can barely cover rent. If our store managers earn a pay increase for managing higher volume stores as well as receiving a QUARTERLY bonus for the success of their store, then shouldn't the supervisors who help them achieve these goals be given bonuses or pay increases as well?
    228 of 300 Signatures
    Created by Christian Ruhtz