With the start of 2019, we begin a new legislative session on Beacon Hill and restart our efforts to reclassify certified emergency telecommunications across the Commonwealth from Group 1 into Group 2 of the public retirement system. With the closing of 2018 and the 190th General Court SB.1479 & HB.1449 failed to come out of the Senate Ways & Means Committee and were never brought forth to a hearing. That is not for a lack of effort or support from any of you or this Association. These bills saw the largest amount of support from legislators ever seen by any of our previous attempts.
I need not tell any of you the reasons as to why public safety telecommunicators should be reclassified into group 2 or even try to explain the physical, emotional, and potential long-term psychological impacts this profession has on all of us. We live it each and every day and our families also feel the impacts. What I can tell you is that MCSA is already working with legislators on Beacon Hill to refile these critical pieces of legislation and continue to move forward with this fight.
With the start of the 191st General Court and new legislative session, it is a critical time in the process and we need your support. We need every certified telecommunicator in the Commonwealth to reach out to their elected representatives on Beacon Hill, both in the Senate and House of Representatives and make your voices heard. Ask them to sign on a co-sponsors of “An Act Relative to Massachusetts Certified Emergency Telecommunicators” which is being offered in the House of Representative by longtime MCSA friend and supporter Rep. Todd Smola of the 1st Hampden District. Educate them on what it is that you do on daily basis and how the job of an emergency telecommunicator has changed and your duties and responsibilities have grown. Let them know the split-second decisions that you make on a daily basis save the lives of people in the communities they represent as well as the public safety personnel that they count on to save lives. Explain to your representative why this bill is critical to you and your work co-workers. Lastly, inform them of the direct impacts that the passage of this legislation will have on you personally and the impacts that this profession has taken on you and directly or indirectly your families. Your personal stories are what will have an impact so share them with those who you have elected to represent you!
Lastly, I would ask that you help to spread the word… Talk to your Directors, Chiefs, local elected officials, and family members. Ask them to also reach out to their elected officials on Beacon Hill and advocate on behalf of this Legislation. The louder our voices and the more phone calls, letters and face to face visits happen the stronger our movement becomes. This legislation isn’t about politics… it isn’t about Democrat or Republican… It is about supporting 911 Telecommunicators who save lives on a daily basis and deserve recognition as PUBLIC SAFETY PROFESSIONALS!