Workers at Human Service Options win major settlement

On the eve of a planned four-day strike at Human Service Options (HSO), SEIU Local 509 released the following statement:
“After a late-breaking settlement with HSO management, members of Local 509 at HSO will work on Friday as scheduled. The planned four-day strike is cancelled as workers at HSO have reached a tentative agreement with management after a long, hard-fought campaign to improve working conditions at the agency. The tentative three-year agreement (subject to ratification by union membership) includes significant raises of 3 percent each year of the contract, in addition to other key provisions that will improve the quality of care HSO clients receive. 
 
“We all agree that individuals with disabilities deserve the chance to live with dignity. The fact remains that workers at HSO and at similar agencies across the state too often struggle to make ends meet doing this incredibly important work.
 
“HSO workers decided to go on strike to fight for their clients and stand up for what’s right, and this win is a testament to their bravery.”

South Shore agency is one of the only for-profit companies receiving state funding to serve individuals with disabilities

WEYMOUTH — SEIU Local 509 members at Human Service Options (HSO) will be on strike this Friday through Tuesday morning of next week, following stalemated contract negotiations with HSO. Members of the union at HSO overwhelmingly voted to approve the strike and delivered management two weeks ago with the legally required notice of their intent to strike. Workers, community leaders, activists, and local elected officials will be on the picket line during the four-day strike.

The strike comes as nearly 200 direct care workers at the agency have been fighting to improve the quality of care at one of the only for-profit agencies of its kind in the state. HSO, which is primarily funded through the state Department of Disability Services, has been profitable in recent years and company executives are paid an above average salary. Yet the agency’s workforce is one of the lowest-paid in the state, with many of its workers receiving poverty wages to do important, difficult work caring for individuals with disabilities.

WHERE: 536 Broad Street, Weymouth

WHEN: 9-6pm, Friday 11/3 – Monday, 11/7 

COMMUNITY RALLY: 12PM Friday, November 3

HSO is putting profits over people — clients and workers alike — and we are ready to go on strike to improve the quality of care the agency offers the people we serve,” said Louise Ricciardi, who has worked at HSO for over twenty years. 

For more information about the strike and the fight to ensure a living wage for private sector human services workers, or to speak to a leader of the campaign at HSO call (413) 374-6370.

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