Rally for Maura Healey on September 24

Boston Plasterers and Cement Masons Logo

Thanks to your support, Maura Healey won the primary for Governor of Massachusetts with more than 80% of the vote. But we’re not done yet.

Join us this Saturday as we get fired up for November and knock doors for Maura Healey for Governor. There will be a rally and canvass to kick off Maura’s post-primary campaign on September 24 at IBEW Local 103 (256 Freeport St 1 Boston, MA 02122) from 9:30 am to 1 pm. Make sure to RSVP here: www.mobilize.us/maurahealey/event/493749

The general election is right around the corner, and the clock is ticking to elect a governor who stands up for unions and the working people we represent. As Attorney General, Maura fought against wage theft and worker misclassification. She has our backs, so let’s have hers.

See You at the MBTU Futures September Meeting

Boston Plasterers and Cement Masons Logo

Calling all Local 534 apprentices!

Make the most of your apprenticeship and join us for the MBTU Futures meeting on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, from 4-6 pm, at Insulators Local 6 (303 Freeport St. Boston, MA).

Rick Rothwell, training director of Insulators Local 6, and JATC Training Instructors will be there to provide their insight on apprenticeships and answer your questions.

All union members are welcome and encouraged to come. See you there.

Register Now for Women Build Boston Conference

Calling all female plasterers and cement masons in New England!

Registration is now open for the first-ever Women Build Boston Conference on Saturday, October 8, 2022, at Encore Boston Harbor.

Whether you are an apprentice or an experienced journeyperson, Women Build Boston will provide networking, learning, and leadership development opportunities for all attendees. Don’t miss out and tell a trades sister!

To learn more, visit WomenBuildBoston.com.

Contact John Sweeney at 617-750-3353 or jsweeneylocal534@gmail.com for tickets.

Local 534 Announces Endorsements for September 6 Primary

Local 534 is proud to announce its list of endorsed candidates for the 2022 primary election. These 24 candidates, running for office at all levels of government, have earned Local 534’s endorsement through their strong individual records of fighting for workers’ rights.

“Each and every one of these candidates have proven themselves as champions for working people in Massachusetts and Maine. From Governor to school committee, they will fight to rebuild the middle class and protect workers’ rights,” said Business Manager and Financial Secretary-Treasurer John Sweeney. “We’re proud to stand by these leaders and their pro-labor policies. Local 534 is confident they will ensure the rights of workers.”

Local 534 represents hundreds of skilled and licensed craftspeople across New England. We applaud these candidates’ commitment to prioritizing the needs of working people and their recognition of the vital service our members provide to the communities that rely on us.

Maura Healy

Lieutenant Governor
Kim Driscoll

Attorney General
Shannon Liss-Riordan

State Auditor
Diana DiZoglio

Secretary of State
Tanisha Sullivan

Deb Goldberg

Jim McGovern

State Senate
Lydia Edwards
Paul Feeney
Sydney Levin-Epstein
Paul Mark

State House
Pete Capano
Kate Lipper Garabedian
Jessica Ann Giannino
Kevin Honan
Roxanne Longoria
Ronald Mariano
Steve Teehan

Boston City Council
Gabriela “Gigi” Colleta
Michael Flaherty
Erin Murphy

Framingham City Council
Philip Ottaviani

Quincy School Committee
Kathy Hubley

Janet Mills

Join us for an evening cruise on September 11

Looking for a fun night on the water as summer draws to a close?

Local 534 is hosting an evening cruise on Sunday, September 11 from 6 pm – 8 pm. The cruise will also feature a cash bar. We will be meeting at:

The Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships
67 Long Wharf
Boston, MA 02110

We are limited to 90 members/guests, so spots will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact Business Manager John P. Sweeney at 617-750-3353 to reserve your spot.

We look forward to seeing you there!

The Local 534 Summer 2022 Newsletter is Out Now!

The Local 534 Summer Newsletter is now available online! Click here to read up on the latest news from Local 534 or wait for the physical copy to hit your mailbox. 

This edition highlights Local 534’s 2022 political endorsements so we can help elect pro-labor, pro-union candidates to office, as well as easy steps on how to register to vote. Find out how to apply for the John F. “Jackie” O’Neil Annual Scholarship, which is available to high school and college students close to a Local 534 member. You’ll also find our member spotlight, featuring Cement Masons Alan Kerwin and Emir Rama, and contractor spotlight with Jim Marguerite, a signatory contractor of Local 534. 

Thank you for your support!

Remembering Chris Brousaides

Boston Plasterers and Cement Masons Logo

We are sorry to hear of the passing of our Brother and Funds Administrator, Chris Brousaides.

A wake will be held from 4 pm to 8 pm on Friday, July 8, at Gillooly Funeral Home in Norwood. The funeral will occur on Saturday, July 9 at 9 am at St. Catherine’s Church in Norwood. The reception will immediately follow the burial at Easton Country Club. The location of the reception is subject to change.

Local 534 gives our sincerest condolences to the Brousaides family. 

To view Chris’s obituary, click here.

Unions 101: How to Become a Business Agent

Want to learn about the nuts and bolts of building trades unions? Want to know more about becoming an active member or a leader?

Join us for the next Massachusetts Building Trades Unions’ Futures Meeting, where you’ll learn the ins and outs of becoming a business agent. Vinny Coyle, business agent of Iron Workers Local 7, will be the featured speaker and talk about his union leader experience.

Thursday, July 7, 4-6 pm
Iron Workers Local 7 Hall
195 Old Colony Ave., Boston, MA

All building trades union members are encouraged to attend. MBTU and Local 534 are working together to educate the members of building trades unions and their future leaders.

Boston Herald: Union apprenticeships the new 4-year degree

Hand smoothing concrete

By John Sweeney
With graduation season upon us — students’ thoughts naturally turn to the future and what it may hold. For many, the end of high school means going to college. For others, the choice may be to enter the military. But for some, a union apprenticeship is the new four-year degree.

After all, college isn’t for everyone. Years ago, I decided that it wasn’t the best choice for me.

Not that college wasn’t fun. It was just that I was putting too much time into having fun and too little time into studying. It just wasn’t the right fit.

Signing up for an apprenticeship was like a gift to me. It was that or going to work at my local supermarket. Looking back, I know I made the right choice.

A union apprenticeship was my ticket to landing a job that offered opportunity and paid a family-sustaining wage with excellent benefits. As an apprentice, I got trained while getting paid. And I didn’t have thousands of dollars in college loans to repay at the end of my education.

Some members of my union — Boston Plasterers and Cement Masons Local 534 — had already earned college degrees before they picked up the tools of our trade. That’s because getting trained in concrete and plaster was a better fit for them than the other opportunities out there. So they signed up as apprentices and found their ticket to the middle class. For so many of our brothers and sisters in the local—this was the right answer for them.

In fact, a new study from the Illinois Economic Policy Institute concluded that an apprenticeship might be as good a ticket to the middle class as a four-year degree. 

On average, graduates of joint labor-management, meaning union, apprenticeship programs do well. In the construction industry, they can achieve wage and benefits packages almost on a par with other workers with four-year college degrees. Some may be making significantly more money than college graduates—all without mountains of student loan debt. 

Beyond that, Local 534’s apprenticeship programs offer training in cutting-edge tools. We recently debuted our virtual reality training program, which helps apprentices prepare for challenging situations before they even come up on the job.

The virtual reality training gives apprentices a real sense of what it’s like to do such things as spray fire-retardant onto metal beams at a building under construction and simulates being out on a construction platform and doing the job. This type of training in the latest equipment keeps our members prepared to tackle any situation on the job.

Local 534 is also recruiting the workforce of the 21st century. We’re actively recruiting women and minorities to our apprenticeship programs. Unlike other industries, you won’t find a gender pay gap out on the job. Under the union contract, that just won’t happen.

So it’s too simplistic to tell high schoolers that the only path to a solid and satisfying career is to go to college. College isn’t for everyone. Instead, high school guidance counselors should be educating students on all the options available to them once they graduate.

There are many great reasons for high school students to check out the opportunities offered by union apprenticeship programs. For many high school graduates, a union apprenticeship program is the new four-year degree.