Strike vote comes as SEIU Local 509 fights to bring private sector human services workers to $15/hour
LAWRENCE — SEIU Local 509 members at CLASS, Inc. have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike, in the midst of stalemated contract negotiations with the agency. In a show of strong energy and solidarity, nearly 90% of frontline workers at CLASS voted in favor of the action. Tonight, member leaders of SEIU Local 509’s chapter at CLASS, Inc. delivered management the legally required 10-day notice of their intent to strike on July 10.
SEIU Local 509 members at CLASS, Inc. continue to bargain in good faith with management in an effort to address the crisis in care at CLASS and private sector human services agencies across the Commonwealth. Frontline workers care directly for clients of the agency, coming into work day in and out to care for people with disabilities and help them live with dignity. Yet frontline workers still struggle to earn a living wage, resulting in high turnover and constant staffing issues that impact the quality of care available to the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable.
Thomas Baca, who has worked at CLASS, Inc. for five years, confirms that low wages are causing a crisis in care at the agency.
“The reason we voted to strike is simple. We need to take steps to address high staff turnover, so the individuals that we care for can access the care they deserve. Management now needs to take steps to address the low wages that are causing high turnover.”
For more information about the fight to ensure a living wage for private sector human services workers, or to speak to a leader of the campaign at CLASS, Inc., call (413) 374-6370.