WHAT NAGE MEMBERSHIP MEANS TO ME

What NAGE Membership Means to Me:  Ron Pawelski

Having spent over twenty-five years in senior management positions in the private sector, including corporate board membership, returning to state government marked a first in my professional career; membership in a Union.

Based on the past seven years in state service, I have a deep abiding appreciation of what being a union member represents as I have been on both sides of the equation so to speak, management and individual contributor.  My experience and appreciation was further shaped by becoming a Union Steward for NAGE Local 282 representing our members in the Executive Office of Elder Affairs and Mass Health.

 Our Union represents each of us every day in the following ways:

1. Job Security- While no position in today’s working world is safe from downsizing and elimination, being a union member ensures that the process followed in a staff reduction will be fair and equitable, based on seniority and experience.   With that comes a sense of peace and security that allows us to focus on providing the customers we serve and the agencies we work for with a commitment to excellence rather than the office politics so necessary to keeping a job in the private sector.

2. Conflict Resolution and Legal Representation- There is an old saying that an organization gets the union it deserves. When it comes to representing NAGE members during periods of conflict and dispute, I have witnessed firsthand how committed NAGE is to ensure that every aspect of the CBA is honored. NAGE membership negotiates from a position of mutual respect, ensures that legal resources, where justified, are engaged and protects the rights and privileges afforded us by contract are honored and works with management to see that interests of the NAGE members are preserved.

3. Financial Interests - Through the efforts of the NAGE collective bargaining team, our financial interests are well represented and reflected in the pay increases negotiated as part of the CBA. The results that the NAGE bargaining team has secured in annual increases over the past seven years has far surpassed the increases afforded the Commonwealth’s management ranks.

4. Benefits and Benefit Preservation- We receive our dental and vision benefits through NAGE and administered by the NAGE fund office. These benefits are comparable, and in many cases superior to, similar benefit packages offered in the private sector.  Each year we have seen improved coverage for these two key coverage benefits. In addition, NAGE has led the fight on Beacon Hill to preserve our healthcare contribution amounts rather than have these costs increase significantly.

5. Political Representation- NAGE plays an important role in the political arena by inviting major candidates to present their views and discuss how their platforms would align with the needs of the union members.  NAGE is acutely aware of the impact that elected officials have on the overall health and well-being of its membership.

6. Help Desk Guidance- NAGE provides guidance on a wide range of topics, including the specifics of  the CBA, Dental and Vision insurance  to general guidance on work related issues, is simply a phone call away. Experienced professionals are available to answer your specific questions and offer guidance to help you in resolving day-to-day work-related issues.

7. Steward Representation- Finally, NAGE provides a site presence of support in the form of your union steward. The steward is present to represent you in times of immediate need, to secure answers to your NAGE specific questions and to provide you general guidance in navigating the daily that often in state service

 I am honored and privileged to serve our membership as a union steward and now to also serve on the Local 282 Board of Directors. Unions have a time honored history of working for the betterment of the working people to ensure fair treatment, a safe workplace, a living wage and a financially secure retirement.  NAGE represents you exceedingly well on all these fronts and continues to serve in that great union tradition.  

 I am proud to say I am a NAGE member!

IN SOLIDARITY,

Ron Pawelski, EOEA/OLTSS Union Steward and NAGE Local 282 Vice President