News in Brief: July 28, 2014
Tufts Educational Daycare Center – Somerville/Medford
Parents and faculty members at Tufts University held a march on Tuesday last week to the office of the school’s President Anthony Monaco in protest over the decision to turn the Tufts Educational Daycare Center (TEDCC) over to the for-profit corporation, Bright Horizons Family Solutions. According to a release by the organizers of the protest, the TEDCC has provided high quality education to a diverse population of preschool-aged children in Greater Boston for over 60 years. Traditions at TEDCC have been shaped by generations of highly professional educators devoted to the ideas of social justice, inclusion and equity in education. The center has welcomed children of Tufts University faculty, staff, and graduate students and the wider Medford and Somerville communities, including those from low-income families and those with special needs. It is one of a very few places where each child and family finds nuanced care and education reflecting individual needs and unique paths to success. On July 15, TEDCC staff and parents of current and incoming families said they were blindsided by an email from Scott Sahagian, the school’s executive administrative dean, announcing that Bright Horizons would assume management and operation of the Center on September 1, without consulting staff or families beforehand. Many families had chosen to forego other options for their children when they signed contracts with Tufts for the 2014-15 school year at a time when the university was actively pursuing privatization. The statement claims that while Bright Horizons says it will offer staff the opportunity to stay on, teachers will lose the benefits they earned as Tufts University employees, including access to professional development through graduate coursework at Tufts. Staff will also no longer be part of a thriving university community that includes the renowned Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development, but instead be employees of a corporation which at the end of the day must answer to its shareholders.
MassCOSH – State House
The Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards (DLS) held a public hearing on Monday last week on its proposed regulations under the Temporary Workers Right to Know Law at the Charles Hurley Building in Boston, according to a release by the Massachusetts Coalition for Safety and Health (MassCOSH). Temporary workers, labor representatives and other community members spoke of the importance of the law and the need to make the regulations as strong as possible for the state’s most vulnerable temporary workers. Advocates stressed the need to close loop holes which allow unscrupulous temp agencies to keep their workers in the dark regarding wages, fees to be paid by workers, and critical information on their rights as workers. To help better protect this growing segment of low-wage temp workers, DLS has released draft regulations that will: * Establish three terms for labor market staffing providers to include employment agencies, placement agencies, and staffing agencies; * Clearly establish how to categorize businesses into the above terms and itemize the obligations of each entity in terms of licensure or registration requirements; * Outline the legal requirements for providing information to workers or job applicants * Establish record-keeping requirements on the part of agencies; and * Outline prohibited business practices. To further the gains made on behalf of temp workers, advocates also recommend: * Requiring agencies to post the notice of rights in vans used to transport workers and to give a copy of the state-created temp worker rights poster to each worker; * Requiring staffing agencies to provide both the job order and the notice of rights poster to workers in their own language; * Workers should have the right to request and receive a copy of the original job order (and any changes to their job assignment), at any point in time. Advocates also stressed the need to ensure that temp agencies be brought out from the underground economy and be prevented from undercutting traditional employers.