Page 2 THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – Friday, July 5, 2019 Pay up or no pole installations Selectmen give ultimatum to National Grid, which owes more than $47,000 By Mark E. Vogler T he Board of Selectmen voted this week to put all future pole installation requests from National Grid on hold until the utility pays the town more than $47,000 it owes for public safety details at its work sites. Board members came close $3.39 $2.45 GALLON GALLON We accept: MasterCard * Visa * & Discover Price Subject to Change without notice 100 Gal. Min. 24 Hr. Service 781-286-2602 Healthcare workers and Saugus Care and Rehabilitation Center settle on new contract (Editor’s Note: The following story is based on a press release issued this week by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, which is part of the 2.1 million-member Service Employees International Union.) N ursing home workers with 1199SEIU announced this week that they have reached a new four-year contract agreement with Saugus Care and Rehabilitation Center. The tentative agreement was reached on June 19, and workers voted to ratify the new contract on Wednesday, June 26. The contract features a wage increase for workers, strong severance and successorship language, and the protection of paid meal breaks. In January the ownership had proposed making workers’ 30-minute meal break unpaid, which would have equaled a 6.25 percent wage cut. “The dedicated employees at Saugus Care and Rehabilitation Center deserve wages that allow them to care for their own families, and I’m pleased that this contract provides a wage increase and other benefits,” said State Senator Brendan Crighton (D-Lynn). “Quality, affordable and reliable nursing home care is vital to our community, and this contract is an important step for employees and local families.” Saugus Care and Rehabilitation Center is an 80-bed nursing home that employs about 60 1199SEIU workers who work as CNAs, dietary technicians and LPNs and in other positions. They also include a large majority of employees who are of Haitian and African descent. “We’re excited to announce this agreement that will provide a much-needed financial boost to these caregivers who work so hard to provide the very best care to residents,” said 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East’s Executive Vice President, Tim Foley. “This has been a long process and we’re proud of the commitment of our members, who have successfully advocated for a strong voice on the job and protections that will enhance quality care.” The last contract with 1199SEIU members and Saugus expired on October 31, 2018. Last month, workers submitted a strike notice to Saugus Care and Rehabilitation Center, but due to the advocacy and actions of members, management agreed to return to the bargaining table and committed to reaching a fair contract with employees. “We are proud of the work we do and this agreement is an important step that will ensure we can continue to provide the type of quality care families and residents reply upon,” said Eddy Pierre, CNA at Saugus Care and Rehabilitation Center. “From the start of this process, we have advocated for ourselves and our residents and we look forward to continuing our work in this crucial industry,” Pierre said. This contract victory follows advocacy efforts by the healthcare workers of 1199SEIU to create additional oversight and funding needed to ensure quality and reliable care for nursing homes. One priority has been the Emergency Nursing Home Taskforce bill, which has been included in the FY20 House and Senate budgets. The bill seeks to create a stakeholder task force to make policy recommendations necessary to ensure the financial stability of nursing homes. Saugus Care and Rehabilitation Center was purchased from Genesis in April 2018 by Waterbury, Conn.–headquartered Regal Care Management Group’s CEO, Eli Mirlis, who owns two other nursing homes in Massachusetts, in Amesbury and Danvers. Lawrence A. Simeone Jr. Attorney-at-Law ~ Since 1989 ~ * Corporate Litigation * Criminal/Civil * MCAD * Zoning/Land Court * Wetlands Litigation * Workmen’s Compensation * Landlord/Tenant Litigation * Real Estate Law * Construction Litigation * Tax Lein * Personal Injury * Bankruptcy * Wrongful Death * Zoning/Permitting Litigation 300 Broadway, Suite 1, Revere * 781-286-1560 Lsimeonejr@simeonelaw.net to holding up the construction of a new home on Walnut Street until National Grid paid off the bills – some of them going back 18 months. But they decided they didn’t want to pose a hardship for the homeowner on account of the utility being a deadbeat when it comes to paying for police and fire details. “We’ve already paid the police officers. I feel we’re on the short end of the stick here,” Board of Selectmen Vice Chair Jeffrey Cicolini said. Selectman Scott Brazis expressed great dismay about the situation. “We aren’t going to allow a telephone pole to be put in the ground,” Brazis said. “The answer is going to be ‘No!’” he said. Board members noted that there have been past problems with the utility paying its bills on time. They came close to postponing any action on a National Grid petition to construct an underground electrical conduit near 61 Walnut St., site of a new home – and a pole installation in front of 106 Howard St. After listening to the concerns of the future homeowner on Walnut Street, who wouldn’t be able to move into his new home, the board decided to put the utility on notice that delinquent bills would hold up future jobs. Michael Cordima, senior designer for National Grid based out of the company’s Malden office, said he will alert his superiors of the town’s concerns. FOUND!

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