Direct Care Workers at Fidelity House Are on Strike

Workers at the Merrimack Valley nonprofit will begin open-ended strike against low wages and high turnover

 LAWRENCE, MA — SEIU Local 509 members at Fidelity House are on strike following stalemated contract negotiations with the agency.

SEIU 509 represents nearly 300 direct care workers at Fidelity House who provide round-the-clock care to adults with disabilities at over two dozen group homes across the state. Direct care workers at Fidelity are amongst the three lowest paid human service agencies in the state, with most staff making just above minimum wage. Low wages have created a staffing turnover crisis, with the agency often deferring to temporary workers to fill in staffing gaps.

SEIU 509 and Fidelity management reached an impasse after management was unwilling to raise wages for nearly one third of the bargaining unit. Other proposed wage hikes would have left workers around minimum wage once the state’s minimum wage increases hit again in January 2020.

Last week, members of the union at Fidelity House overwhelmingly voted to authorize the strike, delivering management with the legally required 10-day notice of their intent to strike. Tomorrow, community leaders, activists, and local elected officials will join workers on the picket line to lend their support.

WHO: Direct care staff at Fidelity House, Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera, State Representative Marcos Devers, and community and faith leaders
WHAT: Solidarity Rally and Strike with Fidelity House Workers!
WHERE: 439 S Union Street, Lawrence
WHEN: 9-6pm, Tuesday, September 24th

SOLIDARITY RALLY: 12-1PM Tuesday, September 24th

“The direct care staff at Fidelity do some of the most difficult work in human services. Caring for our state’s most vulnerable is not minimum wage work, but that is what Fidelity direct care staff is being paid. These workers are simply asking Fidelity management for what’s fair – not only so they can support their families, but so they can continue to do the work they love,” said Peter MacKinnon, President, SEIU 509.

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 Fidelity House, contact Megan Piccirillo at (973) 668-8999 or mpiccirillo@seiu509.org

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