Osco Drug pharmacists form bargaining unit

Pharmacists at Osco Drug voted to become members of Teamsters Union Local No. 340 on Tuesday. The newly organized group is made up of Osco pharmacies that in the 16 Shaw’s Supermarkets across the state, including in Augusta and Waterville, according to a press release from the Teamsters.

The Teamsters filed a petition to the National Labor Relations Board earlier this year to get the process started, arccording to the release.

“We are excited to work with the Osco pharmacists in securing them powerful representation that Teamsters Union Local 340 can bring to their workplace,” said Brett Miller, president of Teamsters Union Local 340. “We will work tirelessly, providing them with the best representation to improve their working conditions and negotiate a strong contract that puts their rights and protections on paper.”

“Labor is under attack in our great state. Now more than ever, workers are uniting to have a voice at the table,” said Teamsters Union Local 340 Organizer Ed Marzano. “The pharmacists of Osco Pharmacy delivered that message loud and clear by voting for Teamster representation.”

Teamsters Union Local No. 340 represents approximately 3,800 men and woman working in both public and private sectors.

Small Business Week Waterville begins Monday

Small Business Week Waterville begins Monday and runs through Friday, according to a press release from Small Business Waterville.

The Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, Waterville Public Library Business, Career, & Creativity Center, Waterville Main Street, KVCOG and TOCmedia are all involved in the effort, according to the release.

A highlight of the week will be the 11th annual Downtown Business of the Year Recognition, from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, at Amici’s Cucina.

The week will include a series of free seminars geared toward small-business owners and entrepreneurs.

The schedule includes topics such as the Creative Economy and Small Business; Increasing Sales in Your Small Business; Self Employment: What You Need to Know; How to Reduce Energy Costs; QuickBooks Intermediate; Recycling for Your Small Business; Small Business Administration Overview; What You Need to Know When Starting a Business; What it Takes to Get a Small Business Loan; Downtown Waterville Cash Mob; Planning 401k for You & Your Employees; Social Media Marketing Hacks

For schedule times, places and other details, go to eventbrite.com/o/small-business-waterville.

Hartland Volunteer Fire Department earns state Safety and Health Award for Public Employees

The Hartland Volunteer Fire Department has become the 54th workplace in the state to earn the Safety and Health Award for Public Employers, the state Department of Labor announced last week.

SHAPE recognizes public-sector organizations that voluntarily undertake a rigorous safety achievement program for their workers, according to a press release from the labor department.

In the press release, Gov. Paul R. LePage said the award recognizes the fact that “the fire department knows that keeping their people safe is not only good for the citizens of Maine, but also good for their communities and their taxpayers. Better safety means less lost time due to injury and illness as well as lower workers’ comp costs.”

The SHAPE award has been given since 2005 and recognizes public-sector employers and employees who are striving to provide a safe and healthful workplace, according to the release, which said it is given only to exemplary public-sector employers after a thorough review and inspection of the employer’s safety and health policies and procedures by a Safetyworks consultant.

The award is given after a trained consultant with industry-specific expertise reviews the worksite and assesses of awareness of safety hazard recognition, air and noise exposure, reducing or to eliminating hazards, developing or improving a safety program, complying with regulations and identifying training needs.

For more information on the award, go to www.safetyworksmaine.com

New England School of Metalwork to hold a youth bladesmithing day

The New England School of Metalwork will hold youth bladesmithing day Saturday, May 23, in the interest of passing traditional hand skills down to the next generation, says a press release from the Auburn-based school.

The event will give 10 boys and girls a chance to hand-forge a knife under the supervision of American Bladesmith Society master bladesmith Timothy Potier, according to the release. Those registering must be between the ages of 12 and 18.

Potier, from Oberlin, La., is one of 126 rated master bladesmiths worldwide. He was a forester with the Louisiana Forest Commission and is now a full-time bladesmith and educator. He has taught bladesmithing to hundreds of people all over the world and is a fixture at NESM, according to the release.

With increasing public interest in traditional crafts and learning sustainable living arts, demand for various topics in blacksmithing has been steadily increasing since 2002. In 2009 NESM became an official educational member of the Artist Blacksmiths Association of North America and an official educational for the American Bladesmith Society.

Potier will be assisted by four local bladesmiths, for a 1 to 2 instructor-to-student ratio.

“This is a great event that teaches kids discipline, science, design, physicality and most importantly, how to stay safe working around hot metal,” said executive director of the school, Dereck Glaser, in the release.

For information on the May 23 event, contact [email protected].

[The date of this event has been corrected]

Maine Center on Deafness, Disability Rights Maine, form partnership

Maine Center on Deafness, a nonprofit organization serving the deaf community as well as hard of hearing, has established a partnership with Augusta-based Disability Rights Maine.

Former MCD interim executive director John Dunleavy said the move makes DRM “a full partner in all our programs.”

He said that the move leaves the agency “in the hands of” DRM Executive Director Kim Moody.

“This new partnership immediately improves the ability of Maine Center on Deafness to provide services to citizens throughout the state of Maine,” said Dunleavy, who left the agency last month. He said Disability Rights Maine has been a long-time partner in MCD’s advocacy work.

Maine Center on Deafness contracts with the state and federal government and with Hamilton Relay to provide a variety of specialized services to Maine’s citizens who are Deaf or have hearing loss, and helps provide adaptive telephonic equipment statewide to people who have any barrier that prevents the use of a standard telephone. Through the Telecommunication Equipment Program, MCD is also able to provide a single hearing aid at no cost to low-income seniors who cannot afford to buy aids.

MCD also provides advocacy and information services to those who have experienced discrimination due to their hearing loss. Several staff are also certified as employment specialists, providing support to those with hearing loss who need accommodations in the work place.

“The collaboration now possible between DRM and MCD presents an exciting step forward,” says Meryl Troop, advocacy division manager for MCD. “We can extend MCD’s reach through DRM’s network and provide more and better services to the populations that MCD serves. Even today, 25 years after the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Deaf people still have an uphill battle to get the communication accommodations needed to participate in everyday life. MCD will be able to continue providing much needed training and advocacy.”

Compiled from contributed releases

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