Steven A. Tolman

Steven A.
(781) 324-8230

President Steven A. Tolman

Massachusetts AFL-CIO

Steven Tolman of TCU-IAM Local 1089 was elected President of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO at the 54th Constitutional Convention on October 5, 2011.

Steven was born the sixth of eight children in Brighton and grew up in a union household in Watertown where he attended public school.  Shortly after beginning work for Amtrak in 1972, Steven got involved in the labor movement.  He rose through the ranks of the Transportation Communication International Union and ultimately became the Division Chairman of New England while he continued to work full time for the railroad.  He graduated the Harvard Trade Union Program in 1980 and also got involved in his community.  He is a past commissioner of the Watertown Housing Authority and is a current member and the former chairman of the Ward 22 Democratic Committee. 

When the labor movement asked that union leaders step forward and run for office, he answered the call and ran for State Representative from his community of Allston/Brighton and was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representative in 1994. After 17 years as a union leader, Steven took a leave of absence from the railroad to start work at the State House. He also continued his studies at night and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Law and Labor Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. 

In 1998, Steven was elected to the Massachusetts State Senate. He was the first Senate Chairman of the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse, and Vice-Chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Steven was re-elected in November 2010 to a seventh term in the Senate and was a member of the Senate President’s leadership team, he resigned the Senate serving as the Assistant Majority Leader.

Steven spent 17 years in the Legislature, fighting for the issues of working families and making sure that labor had a strong voice on Beacon Hill. While in the Massachusetts Legislature, Steven was an outspoken advocate for better health care, quality public education, vigilant environmental protection, effective consumer safeguards, campaign finance reform, enhanced workers’ rights and the continued preservation of vital safety net programs for those in need.

He and his wife Susan live in Brighton with their daughters, Victoria and Siobhan, and their son, Steven, Jr.