SEIU 509’s Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission chapter is in arbitration with management because they laid off 23 workers. SEIU 509 believes that their rights were violated under Article 18. Our union is fighting in court to get their jobs back.
In addition, our union is challenging management’s attempt to close offices. We want to keep offices in the communities to make our services accessible to the individuals we serve. Many of our consumers rely on public transportation and desire a safe place for counselors to meet with their clients. Finding a safe, confidential space in the community to meet with consumers is difficult.
This year, SEIU 509 successfully reversed an attempt by management to lower our educational standards. Management wanted Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors to be hired with a Bachelor’s Degree. Our clients deserve to work with Master’s level counselors with knowledge about disabilities.
Plus, our union wants to change or eliminate Disability Determination Services core hours. DDS requires our members to be at their desk or on break from 9:30-11:30 AM and from 1:00 to 3:00 PM. Instead, we are working with management to roll out an alternative work options (AWO) program.
Finally, we want the MRC Commissioner to meet and communicate more effectively with our members.
By fighting for these issues, we are ensuring that we have more manageable caseloads and smoother labor-management relationship to offer high-quality, effective and efficient services to the public. Thank you MRC members for your hard work and participation to date!
MRC Chapter President David Zbikowski