MOSES. News from the Massachusetts Organization of State Engineers & Scientists. Picture Descriptions (Left to Right): AIR: Sun in a blue sky with clouds. WATER: A glass being filled with drinking water.
May/June 2020
Leadership Message
from President Joseph Dorant and Vice President Patrick Russell
Dear MOSES members:

We hope all were able to enjoy the July 4 th  holiday no matter how strange it must have felt, no fireworks displays, no parades, no big family cookouts, and no Boston Pops on the Esplanade. 

Patrick and I know every single one of you have felt the effects of the COVID- 19 pandemic. Some have lost family members, tested positive for the virus, been quarantined because of a potential exposure, had to delay a medical procedure, play the role of school teacher and/or daycare provider. Meanwhile, our jobs have drastically changed. For those who continue to report to their work location PPE and personal safety are very important, others who telework must deal with technology challenges that make it difficult to do their job. Some of our members have been redeployed to answer hotlines or process unemployment claims. Then of course, there are our members from DPH and MEMA, who are directly dealing with the response to the COVID pandemic. We applaud all of you from Provincetown to Williamstown for your courageous efforts to ensure that the critical services of the Commonwealth are provided efficiently and effectively.

Now that we are entering Phase 3 of the Coronavirus, very little appears to have changed for MOSES members. With few exceptions, those who have been reporting to work continue to report and others teleworking continue to work from home. Flexibility or variable work schedules may have evolved in some agencies. However, there are a few departments preparing to bring small groups back to work to perform critical functions, such as inspections at essential facilities, exams for professional licenses, and summer water quality sampling. MOSES has been working with our Health and Safety Committees and the agencies involved to make sure their COVID Control Plans and safety protocols protect the lives and health of our members.

As we mentioned last month, if you have any concerns about how COVID-19 is being handled in your workplace, please don’t hesitate to contact MOSES at  www.moses-ma.org /contact but remember to contact your supervisor and manager with concerns immediately.

We urge all our members to remember, the virus is still here. Please, do not let all the great work that we have done in Massachusetts to go to waste. Do not let your guard down, continue to social distance, wear a mask and be conscious of your personal safety and the health & safety of your family and friends.

A few quick updates:
·         Pending deadlines - Health and Welfare Trust (Dental and Eyeglasses) 2019 deadline extended to July 31, 2020. Healthcare Mitigation (Commonwealth agencies not MassDOT or MWRA) deadline July 31, 2020. For more details, see the article below.

·         Collective Bargaining - MOSES agreed with MassDOT, MWRA and the Commonwealth to put a pause on bargaining during the pandemic to deal with COVID-19 issues. The contracts have an evergreen clause, which means all the agreements remain in effect until a new one is negotiated. We will let the membership know as soon as negotiations resume.

·         Budget - You may have heard that the legislature passed a 1/12 th  budget for the first month of the FY 21 fiscal year (July). Even though the FY20 budget has a deficit of $2 billion dollars and the projections for FY 21 are uncertain we have not heard anything about possible budget cuts. However, MOSES continues to closely monitor the revenue each month.

·         Keep your eyes open for the “MOSES Scholarship Notice” that will be sent out next month. MOSES awards over $20,000 in scholarships to help defray the cost of educational expenses of our members and their families attending higher education institutions.

May you and your families have a safe and healthy summer and once again, thank you for your public service! 

Joe and Patrick
March/April 2020
President's Message
from President Joseph Dorant
Headshot of Joe Dorant
Dear MOSES members:

We have certainly been living in extraordinary times over the last six weeks. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every aspect of our daily lives. Many of you are feeling anxious, especially given the dramatic increase in positive Coronavirus cases and the situations described at our healthcare facilities. But it’s YOU who are at the forefront of providing core governmental services for the Commonwealth.

You have demonstrated the value of the work you provide to ensure a safe and healthy environment for the citizens of Massachusetts. We are proud of the passion and dedication that you all bring to the job, especially now as we work through this public health emergency together.

Some of you are working from home, others are required to report to work, but each one of you are completing critical tasks that keep state government operating. Our members from the Department of Public Health at the State Lab are performing the COVID-19 testing and the epidemiologists are tracking the virus, those who volunteer at the 211 emergency line and our members at MEMA are on the front-line providing information and services dealing with this virus. Others reporting to work such as the forensic scientists, laboratory personnel at the hospitals, hazardous response teams, crime scene investigators, state building inspectors, engineers from DCAMM, MWRA workers, Fish and Wildlife biologists, and others we may have missed, are all leaving their families to serve the public. That is what public service is all about.

Finally, we would like to express to our members at MassDOT and DCR who are required to report to work at construction and maintenance sites that they should strictly adhere to the new “COVID-19 Guidelines at Construction Sites” and make sure that your agency provides you with the proper PPE you need to do your job. Your safety and health are our number one concern.

We know many of you have important questions regarding COVID-19 and how it affects your job. Every day is different, and every day brings new issues to light. But rest assured, we are talking with your agencies to make sure everyone is aware of the latest information. We are working collaboratively with other unions, state health and safety professionals at DLS, MassCOSH, and reviewing CDC directives and agency guidance documents to ensure that best practices, protocols, procedures and communication plans are implemented.

There are a few items that we want to make you aware of. You may have heard about a Bill-HD4631 that was filed in the Legislature about giving additional compensation for those required to report to work. MOSES supports the Bill and is working in coalition with other public-sector unions on this Legislation. MOSES has recently submitted testimony on the bill and has asked our members to contact legislators to support the bill.

Another piece of legislation we are following is the “Family First Coronavirus Response Act” and how it affects state employees. Our legal staff has been reviewing the Bill and we have had discussions with the Office of Employee Relations (OER) about the federal law. Please refer to the article below for further information to act.

If you have any concerns about how COVID-19 is being handled in your workplace, please don’t hesitate to contact MOSES at  www.moses-ma.org  but remember to contact your supervisor and manager with concerns immediately.

The next few months will surely be challenging for all of us. When the going does get tough, please take a moment to remember how much all of Massachusetts values your work, dedication and compassion – and, above all, be PROUD of what you do. You do it well !

May you and your families be safe during this unprecedented time and once again, thank you for your public service!

Joe and Patrick
January/February 2020
President's Message
from President Joseph Dorant