SEIU Local 509 Members at the State House for Lobby Day 2017
Day of action culminates with rally on State House steps with workers and allies from across SEIU Massachusetts
BOSTON, MA – Nearly 300 members of SEIU Local 509 headed to Beacon Hill on Wednesday April 12th in a show of solidarity for critical legislation impacting human service workers and educators across the Commonwealth. From state employees, to private sector human services workers, family child care providers, university faculty, and mental health clinicians, SEIU 509 members united to advocate for measures that will improve the quality of education and care for the populations they serve.
“At SEIU 509, our unity is in our diversity – of our membership, and the people we serve,” said Peter MacKinnon, President of SEIU Local 509. “SEIU 509 members are meeting with their elected officials to tell their stories and push for several important bills that will improve their ability to serve some of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable. Though our membership is advocating for a variety of needed legislation, we are united in serving the children, students, people with disabilities, and underserved populations we support every day.”
Bills SEIU Local 509 members called for include:
- Ensuring address protection for Department of Children & Families social workers: HB 2803 is commonsense legislation that would ensure DCF social workers’ home addresses are not released to the public in the course of doing their job.
- Increasing the minimum wage to $15/hour for private human services workers: No one who works full-time should struggle to make ends meet. HB 3152 would help bring private sector human service workers closer to a living wage and ensure that talented, caring workers can stay in the profession.
- Addressing caseloads at the Department of Transitional Assistance: Caseworkers at DTA work every day to help vulnerable families reach self-sustaining futures, but they are chronically understaffed – making it impossible to provide this support while being effective stewards of taxpayer funds. An increase to the DTA caseworker line-item in the budget would help bring caseloads to a responsible level.
- Ensuring fair wages and job stability for adjunct faculty: Private colleges and universities are increasingly relying on adjunct faculty to perform the same teaching duties as their full-time counterparts for significantly lower pay and benefits. This is compounded by a lack of job security most adjuncts face. HB 2236 seeks to address each of these issues.
Following meetings with legislators and staff, SEIU Local 509 members joined members of SEIU Locals 1199, 32BJ, and 888 to rally against the extreme federal agenda. The rally took place at at 2:00pm on April 12, 2017 by the State House Steps.