Lawrence, MA – After a long day of bargaining on Sunday, SEIU Local 509 members at Fidelity House have reached a settlement with management to raise wages at the Lawrence-based human services agency, ending an open-ended strike that has been ongoing since Tuesday.
Under the proposed 2-year contract, workers will receive a 5% cost of living wage increase over 2 years, while day program staff will receive up to 20% over the life of the contract for some positions. The largest bargaining item – pay equality for all staff – will become effective on 1/1/20. The tentative contract agreement will be voted on by Fidelity House members in the coming weeks.
“Since we formed a union, we’ve shown that every time workers stand together, we win higher wages and better care for the people we serve. We’re glad to end the strike so we can get back to the important work we do each and every day.” said Francisco Fabian of Lawrence, SEIU 509 chief steward, who has worked at Fidelity House for over 20 years.
During the week of September 24-29, Fidelity House workers held a five-day strike, with incredibly strong support from the Lawrence community and beyond. Throughout the week, Senator Ed Markey; Congressman Joe Kennedy III; Congresswoman Lori Trahan; Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera; State Senators Barry Finegold and Diana DiZoglio; State Representatives Tram Nguyen and Marcos Devers; and dozens of community, faith, and labor allies joined workers on the picket line and called on Fidelity House management to continue bargaining with workers and pay them a fair wage.
“Our members want to be treated with the same dignity and respect they provide the individuals in their care,” said Orlando Pena, Chapter President of Private Sector Human Services at SEIU 509. “Fidelity House workers provide intensive, round-the-clock care that deserves to be compensated fairly and well. We won’t stop until all our members at human service agencies across the state are paid a living wage. One job should be enough.”
For Immediate Release
September 30, 2019
Contact: Megan Piccirillo
SEIU Local 509 represents nearly 20,000 human service workers and educators throughout Massachusetts. We provide a variety of social services to elders, at-risk children and people with mental illnesses or developmental disabilities — as well as educational services in both public and private sector settings. From mental health clinicians and social workers to early childhood educators and university lecturers, Local 509 members are united in our mission to raise living standards for working families while improving the quality and affordability of the services we provide. SEIU Local 509 is part of the 2 million member Service Employees International Union, the fastest-growing labor union in the United States. Focused on uniting workers in four sectors –- public services, long term care, property services, and hospital systems — SEIU is the nation’s largest health care union, the largest property services union, and the second-largest public employee union.