Frivolous Holidays (Our First Victory!)
June 17 is Bunker Hill Day and marks that early battle of the American Revolution. March 17 is Evacuation Day and commemorates the withdrawal of British forces from Boston during the American Revolution.
Until Voter's Count swung into action, both days were paid holidays for public sector employees in Suffolk County; other state workers received a pair of floating vacation days. The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation estimated that 35,000 public employees got the days off at a cost to taxpayers of five million dollars a year.
State employees are not lacking for paid vacation days - there are eleven others. Private sector workers average eight paid vacation days, and many, such as the self-employed, receive none.
In 2009, a separate bill to eliminate the paid holidays lost by 5 votes in the Senate and was split 78-78 in the House. Click here to see how your legislator voted in 2009.
In 2010, all changed, thanks to pressure from Voter's Count! The state Senate voted to eliminate these holidays, and the final budget signed by Governor Patrick in June 2010 also eliminated them.
The work on this issue IS NOT DONE! Union employees still have these holidays built into their contracts; however as labor contracts come up for renewal it will be easier for managers to eliminate these holidays from future contracts now that they are no longer "official" state holidays in Massachusetts.
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