Paid Leave in Massachusetts Thanks to YW Boston Coalition Partner Raise Up
YW Boston is proud to have participated in action that led to Paid Leave for all Massachusetts workers.
On June 28th, Governor Charlie Baker signed a new paid family and medical leave bill into law in Massachusetts. Paid leave is one part of the larger bill, the “Grand Bargain,” which will also raise the minimum wage to $15/hour over the next five years. Raise Up Massachusetts, a “a grassroots coalition of community organizations, religious groups, and labor unions,” led the work that made paid leave happen. By holding rallies, collecting signatures, leading negotiations with the business community, and more, Raise Up MA successfully told the legislature that the people of Massachusetts demand paid leave.
The legislature finally felt the pressure when Raise Up’s coalition partners raised over 40,000 signatures this Spring to put Paid Leave on the Massachusetts ballot in November. They surpassed the necessary 10,792 signatures, and the coalition’s goal of 30,000. The signatures were in the process of being certified by city and town halls across the state when the MA legislature passed the “Grand Bargain” bill. In an attempt to keep the bill off of the ballot, the legislature took a large step forward to support Massachusetts workers.
YW Boston organized five signature gathering events, and a number of independent volunteers, who raised signatures for Paid Leave. Access to paid leave is one of the YW Boston Advocacy Committee’s top priorities, alongside ending the school to prison pipeline. Through the collective action of Raise Up Massachusetts’ coalition partners, hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts citizens learned about and declared their support for this important program.