The UWS Mission

Union Web Services (UWS) provides high quality web site design, database implementation, maintenance services and content development to the labor movement.

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Union Web Services (UWS) exists to promote and further the goals of the labor movement by providing 21st century technologies, techniques, and tactics, including online tools that allow unions to reach their members and other constituents in the most cost-effective and direct manner possible. We do this while offering our workers the benefits of union membership. We constantly seek to improve working conditions for our clients and their members. Ultimately, it is our goal that our tools and services will revitalize the labor movement in the US and beyond. All UWS workers are members of Communications Workers of America, Local 1180.


 Our Latest Work

The USA's September Spring

 

A Tale of Two Rallies :

By Stephen Holmes UWS Correspondent

On Tuesday September 27th there were two rallies in New York City: Occupy Wall Street and Save America's Postal Service. On the most basic level, both were a cry of protest against the current economic system and the situation the working class right now. Beyond that, however, the rallies were completely different in terms of organization, structure, and purpose. Comparing the two is useful for examining the nature of protest today, especially in the United States, as well as asking the question : which type is more effective?

The Collaborative Approach : Following the Finnish Example




Editor's Note :
The current economic crisis in the United States has provoked strong responses and reactions against organized workers, including the targeting of pensions, benefits, and wages that were previously collectively bargained. As both organized labor and employers search for creative ways to address the crisis, UWS correspondent Stephen Holmes, through his recent interviews with Finnish Labor officials, details that country's approach.

By Stephen Holmes, UWS Correspondent

On a recent trip to Finland, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sit down on separate occasions with two representatives of Finnish Trade Unions: Mr. Reijo Paananen who is Adviser for European Union Affairs, and Member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) for SAK (The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions), and Ms. Liisa Folkersma, who is the International Secretary for AKAVA (Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland). Both were helpful in explaining how their system is organized differently than ours, and how their different confederations are dealing with the current economic struggles in Finland and Europe.

Race to The Top in Massachusetts : Questions, No Answers Yet

 

A little more than a year ago, on August 24, 2010, Massachusetts political and educational leaders stood proudly as the state was awarded $250,000,000 in Phase II Race to the Top Funds. Although there was criticism from groups like the Pioneer Institute that perhapsthe state had lowered its high standards in order to qualify for this national education grant, it was hard to find an official with a negative thing to say. "We've had the talent, commitment and the dedication, and now we have the funding we need to dramatically improve every student's educational experience" said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray as part of a press release that perfectly summed up the mood of the day. The question was, and continues to be, how much of this money is actually going to schools and children, and how much is going to administration, overhead, and consultants. Most importantly, has Race to the Top been effective so far in its stated purpose in helping create better teachers and classrooms?

City of Providence Enacts Sweeping Cuts and Layoffs to Reduce $110 Million Budget Deficit



Beth I. Gandelman
, Union Web Services Correspondent


As a drastic measure to close a $110 million structural deficit, the city of Providence, R.I. has enacted sweeping across-the-board cuts in union and non-union positions. The hardest hit union was the Providence Teachers Union (AFT Local 958) with a controversial measure receiving national publicity when Mayor Angel Taveras issued an order to “pink slip” all 1,926 teachers in the school department. Since then about 75% of the teachers have been rehired.

While most school systems enact layoffs by seniority, the Mayor’s order meant all teachers lost their jobs and needed to reapply for their positions after a 4-3 vote of approval by the Providence School Board (appointed by the Mayor, not elected) on February 24 at the Mayor’s suggestion. This was brought about by the closing of six Providence schools in an effort to close a $40 million school budget deficit. Alleging unfair labor practices, a hearing is scheduled for June 9 since all teachers were fired without cause, leaving them feeling “disrespected,” according to one of the 700 teachers who attended the hearing. “I’m feeling disrespected, devalued and marginalized,” said teacher Ed Gorden. “Termination is a career-ender. You are putting a scarlet letter on every one of us.”

IBEW 223 Debuts Cutting-Edge Membership System

IBEW 223 goes live with Next Generation Web Site and Online Member Database

IBEW 223, a union representing electrical workers and contractors in eastern Massachusetts, has gone live with a next generation web site that utilizes the CiviCRM web-based membership management system.

CiviCRM is a contact, fundraising and eCRM system that allows unions to record and manage information about members, contractors, legislators, activists, vendors and more. Submit and track dues payments, conversations, events or any type of correspondence with each constituent and store it in a web-accessible source.