Candidate Franco flubs up! AND: Community Health Link workers fight for fair wages!

Franco Flubs up!

John Mahoney, a small businessman and candidate for state representative in the 13th Worcester District, called on his opponent, personal injury attorney Paul Franco, to reconcile his position on growing businesses in Massachusetts with his decision to send campaign business to Minnesota.

Mr. Franco’s lawn signs, an expenditure of nearly $1,400, have been manufactured by a Minnesota company.

“I am the owner of a small business and I know that every dollar counts,” said Mahoney. “It is inexplicable to send campaign money out of state. I believe in investing in our people. We need to grow businesses right here at home and help them create jobs.  As state representative, that will be my top priority.”

In his platform, Mr. Franco calls on the state to adopt more business-friendly measures so that businesses will expand here – rather than in states with more “business friendly” climates. 

Perhaps Mr. Franco should start making Massachusetts more business-friendly by stopping the double speak and investing his own money here, rather than boosting an economy  1,300 miles away. 

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WORCESTER-AREA WORKERS TO HOLD RALLY OUTSIDE COMMUNITY HEALTH LINK (CHL) OFFICES

The workers of Community Health Link (CHL), a human service agency on Chandler Street, will hold a rally today in front of CHL offices to protest management’s unwillingness to reach a fair settlement on a variety of outstanding issues. The workers are members of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 509.

The rally will be held from 4:30 p.m to 6 p.m. at 162 Chandler St., where one of CHL’s offices is located.

Mayor Joe O’Brien and State Representative Jim O’Day will speak at the rally in support of the workers.

Community Health Link (CHL) is a nonprofit human service agency that serves low-income people throughout the Greater Worcester area and is the behavioral health affiliate of the nonprofit UMass Memorial Health Care system whose CEO makes $1.5 million a year![1] The next five managers make over $500,000 each. Meanwhile Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick makes only $140,000.

While UMass Memorial has earned a surplus of over $90 million over the last 15 months and CHL has been in the black every year, CHL workers are being told by management that times are very hard and that many of us need to be phased out and replaced by cheaper, non-union workers who will receive no salary, no benefits, no insurance, and not even their hourly pay if their client doesn’t show up for treatment. These workers are called “fee-for-service.”

And while some of us earn as little as $8.83 an hour, we are all being told that we have to give up our seniority annual wage increases of about 2% because “times are very hard.” CHL also refuses to stop assigning only one worker to staff multi-level residences having as many as 20 to 25 troubled clients which is very dangerous.

Jon Stockmal, Detox Unit RN and union steward, said today, “Management is telling us times are hard so many of us need to be phased out in favor of non-union workers without benefits and we need to give up our seniority steps. But the managers certainly don’t want to work without benefits or live on the low pay that CHL workers try to get by on. When our costs for gasoline, food, insurance, rent, taxes, etc. are going up every year, there’s no excuse to be demanding such sacrifices from their lowest paid staff.”

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[1] Note: UMass Memorial Health Care (UMMHC) sometimes claims no relation to CHL, but UMMHC lists CHL as its behavioral health affiliate, CHL finances are included in the UMMHC annual financial report, and the CHL director is paid directly by UMass Memorial.

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