Happy Labor Day! Again, to all of you who are working this holiday weekend, thank you! And, happy new school year. Whether you're helping the students ease into a new year at UMMS, or getting the students in your own home back into the groove, we hope things are off to a smooth start. Here's a handful of things worth noting this week:
- You've likely seen in the local news that, this Labor Day, President Obama will be around the corner at the 2015 Greater Boston Labor Council Labor Day Breakfast.
- But did you know that, leading up to Labor Day, US Labor Secretary Tom Perez has been doing a tour of US cities, meeting with workers around the country? He's been blogging his travels. And it's in that blog where we found this statement, in the entry about his Detroit stop: For generations, there has been a direct link − not just correlation, but direct causation − between a thriving middle class and a vibrant labor movement. Membership in a union lifts up workers, empowering them with a voice on the job that translates into better pay and benefits.
- Of course, there's still much to do to strengthen the middle class. For example, millions of working people don't get time off for holidays or vacations, including Labor Day. We're looking forward to more vibrancy, doing more good work through our own Union. And we're excited to see groups like Raise Up Massachusetts and Fight for 15 pushing to make paid family and medical leave, and a living wage, a reality in the communities around us.
- September is also Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Thanks to advances in research and treatment, the five-year survival rate is 83 percent for all childhood cancers combined, up from 58 percent in the mid-1970s. We're grateful to have fantastic Pediatric Cancer care in our own hospital, for local resources such as Why Me and Sherry's House which do so much to support patients and their families in hard times, and that, as always, the Boston Red Sox are coming out big in support of childhood cancer cures.
- And, finally, SHARE turns eighteen this month! In 1997, on September 9th, 10th, and 11th, SHARE members voted in favor of having a union, and having a greater say in their worklives, and in making UMass Memorial and UMass Medical School better places to work and receive care. Happy birthday, everybody!