Local 534 Spring 2023 Newsletter

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CELEBRATING WOMEN IN THE TRADES

BUILDING NEW ENGLAND FOR OVER 100 YEARS

SPRING 2023

TABLE OF CONTENTS

3 BUSINESS MANAGER’S REPORT

4 ACTION NEEDED: LICENSED FIREPROOFING

5 RECOVERY RESOURCES

6 MEMBERS SPOTLIGHT: WOMEN OF 534

8 UPCOMING MEETINGS AND TRAININGS

Boston Plasterers and Cement Masons Local 534 represents over 400 skilled and licensed plasterers and cement masons across New England. We’re proud to set the standard for cutting-edge architectural design and durable construction. Thanks to our world-class training, benefits, and commitment to quality construction, we’ve been the trusted choice for plaster, cement masonry, and fireproofing for over 100 years.

BOSTON LOCAL 534 | SPRING 2023 2

BUSINESS MANAGER’S REPORT

Brothers and Sisters, Spring has sprung, and I hope you’re enjoying the warmer weather with your family and friends. At Local 534, we think there’s no better way to celebrate spring (and all year long) than by fighting for workers and their families.

In March, members of Local 534 attended the Massachusetts Building Trades Unions’ convention, where we were thrilled to meet with Governor Maura Healey. Together, we can further our work to protect workers’ rights and support working families.

One way we’re protecting workers’ rights is by supporting legislation to make our industry safer. House Bill 397 would require training and certification for fireproofing in Massachusetts, ensuring that workers have

the knowledge and skills to perform this work safely and effectively. Learn more about how you can help pass this bill on page 4.

As we come off Women’s History Month, we want to celebrate women’s many contributions to Local 534. Learn more about our union sisters who work hard daily and shape our future on pages 6-7.

As always, thank you to all our members for keeping our union strong!

In

Members of Local 534 meet with Governor Healey

ACTION NEEDED: LICENSED FIREPROOFING

Local 534 is fighting to pass a bill in the Massachusetts State Legislature that would make the fireproofing industry safer and more reliable. But, we can’t do it without your help.

House Bill 397 would require training and certification for fire-resistant material applicators in Massachusetts to make sure that workers have the knowledge and skills to perform this work safely and effectively.

Getting the job done safely and skillfully is a hallmark of Local 534. We’re working to pass this legislation because it will ensure that the high degree of expertise members you bring to the job will be rewarded. Once this bill passes, members like you will have a leg up in fireproofing because of the top-notch union training you’ve received.

Your voice matters, and by speaking up, we can get this important legislation over the finish line this year.

BOSTON LOCAL 534 | SPRING 2023 4
your state representative today and urge them to co-sponsor and support House Bill 397.
Contact

RECOVERY RESOURCES

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to remember that taking care of our mental health is just as important as our physical health.

If you’re going through a rough patch, you’re not alone. 1 in 5 U.S. adults experiences mental health issues each year. But help is only a call away.

As a member of Local 534, you can access free counseling, substance abuse resources, and more through Modern Assistance. This benefit provides a full range of services for eligible members and their dependents.

For 34 years, Modern Assistance has been New England’s leader in providing mental and physical health resources to construction and trade unions. When you reach out, you will be put in touch with experienced counselors who truly understand the needs of Local 534 members.

You can contact Modern Assistance anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call (800) 878-2004 or scan the QR code to visit their website. Cantonese, Mandarin, and Spanish-speaking staff are also available.

Get the support you need when you need it. Visit Modern Assistance’s website here.

TRUST PLASTER. TRUST CONCRETE. TRUST LOCAL 534. 5

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: WOMEN OF 534

At Local 534, we are proud to create opportunities for women and celebrate their many contributions to our union. Learn more about your union sisters who are working hard and shaping our future.

VICTORIA SAAR

Just over six years ago, Victoria was working as a hairdresser but wanted a more fulfilling job. After a lot of research, she applied to be an apprentice with Local 534. She didn't have any experience in the field but knew that a union offered better benefits and a better future.

"Ever since I joined, it's opened up so many possibilities," Victoria said. She is now a journeyperson and was recently named a trustee on two different funds. She has gone on several trips as a member of Local 534, from connecting with her fellow tradeswomen at a conference in Las Vegas to going to the union's international headquarters in Maryland for officer training.

"No other job would give you those opportunities starting with no experience," she said. "You can come from any background, and the union will teach you. They'll put time into you if you put time into the trade." Victoria is proud to help build Boston, adding, "It's great to drive around the city and see your work."

SHAKINA BOZEMAN

Shakina worked in childcare for several years but felt it wasn’t for her. She had helped her sister with a cleaning company and met a lot of tradespeople through that work. So when she decided it was time for a change in career, she applied to Local 534 and is now a first-year apprentice.

“I’ve always been a crafty person and I love building things,” Shakina said. She is currently doing fireproofing and working on job sites like the new Amazon offices. Shakina credits the union for embracing and uplifting women in the field. “They really want to see you succeed and make sure you’re on the right path,” she said.

Shakina is also the mother of a 3-year-old daughter, and being part of a union has provided more financial stability for her and her family. “I feel like I don’t have to worry about being out of work,” she explained.

BOSTON LOCAL 534 | SPRING 2023 6

SHIONE MURRAY

A second-year apprentice, Shione joined Local 534 through Building Pathways — a Boston non-profit that is dedicated to recruiting under-represented groups in the building trades, particularly women and people of color. When she finished Building Pathways, Shione got two pieces of good news: she was accepted into Local 534... and she was pregnant! She didn’t let that hold her back. As the mother of two young children, she’s thrilled to be earning family-sustaining wages and benefits. “This is a career, not a job,” she said.

Shione started her work with Local 534 doing fireproofing, and she picked it up so quickly that she was soon trusted to do work on her own. As an apprentice, she said it’s “great to be learning on the job instead of sitting in a class.” She is looking forward to becoming a journeyperson and is alway reaching out to other women to encourage them to join her in the field.

JANELLE LEONE

The daughter of a carpenter, Janelle went to hair school with another Local 534 sister, Victoria. When Victoria made the leap from hairdresser to Plasterer, Janelle reached out to see how it was going. She wanted to do work where she felt more like herself so she decided to join the union, where she has been a member for over 5 years.

“Being part of the union has definitely changed my life a lot,” Janelle said. “I’ve gained a lot of close friends I consider family now. The union is one big family.” She takes deep pride in proving herself as a woman working alongside men, and has enjoyed meeting thousands of other tradeswomen at conferences around the country.

Janelle has also won recognition for her work. In January, she was named Tradeswoman Hero by North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU). This monthly award recognizes four tradeswomen across the U.S. and Canada who lead by example and perform their duties at an outstanding level.

TRUST PLASTER. TRUST CONCRETE. TRUST LOCAL 534. 7

Boston Plasterers and Cement Masons Local 534

7 Frederika Street

Boston, MA 02124

UPCOMING MEETINGS

The best way to have a voice in your union is to attend local meetings, where you can engage with fellow members, ask questions of local leadership, and stay informed. Mark your calendars and bring a friend!

All meetings will be held at the Local 534 Union Hall unless otherwise noted.

♦ Tuesday, May 23 at 6 PM

♦ Tuesday, June 27 at 6 PM

*No meetings in July or August*

♦ Tuesday, September 26 at 6 PM

♦ Saturday, October 28 at 9 AM (note date has changed)

♦ Tuesday, November 21 at 6 PM

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