509 News

Media Contact:

media@seiu509.org

Important Town Hall Meeting – February 22nd

Telephone Town Hall

Thursday, February 22nd at 6:30 PM

Join us on February 22nd for an important Telephone Town Hall meeting as your elected union leaders will update you about the:
  • Commonwealth’s contract funding
  • GIC health insurance plans
  • February 26th Day of Action

RSVP here to join the conversation, then make sure you spread the word to your co-workers!

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Join us for the February 26th Day of Action

America needs union jobs.

On February 26th, thousands of working people across Massachusetts will join a national day of action as we speak out for good, union jobs. The Working People’s Day of Action coincides with the Supreme Court hearings on the Janus vs. AFSCME case. That case is part of a well-funded campaign by the wealthy special interests to divide us from our co-workers – and to limit the power in numbers we have together in a union.

Fifty years ago, in February 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. joined striking sanitation workers in Tennessee as they fought for the freedom to join together in a union for dignity and respect on the job. Today working people are rising up to defend the very freedoms for which Dr. King fought and died, including the freedom to join a strong union for a better life.

Information on all the Massachusetts actions is below and will be updated as new details are formed. Please RSVP here for important updates on actions across the state. #werise

2/26/18
Boston
12pm, Boston Firehouse, 125 Purchase St, Boston, MA 02110

Lawrence
12pm, 280 Merrimack Street, Lawrence, MA 01843

Fall River
12pm, 1567 North Main St, Fall River, MA 02720

Springfield
5 pm, 95 Liberty St, Springfield, MA 01103

Worcester
5pm, Worcester City Hall, 455 Main St, Worcester, MA 01608

New Bedford
5pm, City Hall, 133 William St, New Bedford, MA 02740

Please join us. Contact 774-843-7509 or communications@seiu509.org if you have any questions.

Please RSVP here.

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Sign Up for the 2018 Stewards Trainings

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With a 93.5% YES vote, SEIU 509 State Workers approve their new contract!

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Congratulations! With a 93.5% YES vote, SEIU 509 state workers just ratified their tentative agreement with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
YES NO
UNIT 8 93.4% 6.6%
UNIT 10 97.3% 2.7%
Total 93.5% 6.5%

Over the past year, members stood in solidarity with the union bargaining committee and took action at work sites. As a result, SEIU 509 state workers won a new contract that offers more pay, more job security and better working conditions.

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Some highlights include:

  • Pay increases for three years, including a retroactive wage increase for 2017,
  • Preservation of sick time,
  • Longer vacation periods, and
  • Grievance process improvements.
There are also additional contract language improvements throughout the agreement, including agency-specific language gains for several different chapters.
 
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Thank you members for your hard work and for supporting the bargaining team throughout these negotiations. It was the members and their co-workers who proved that when we stand together as a union, we win!
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SEIU Local 509 Statement on GIC’s Vote to Reinstate Health Plans

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BOSTON – SEIU Local 509 President Peter MacKinnon today issued the following statement on the GIC’s 12-2 vote to reinstate state worker’s health insurance plans:
“Together, state workers and their unions successfully fought back against drastic changes to our healthcare and kept the continuity of care that workers and their families deserve. The 8,300 SEIU 509 members impacted by the GIC’s actions are relieved that they won’t need to find new doctors and other medical providers, go to the back of waiting lists for their children’s treatment, or spend valuable time trying to preserve the quality of their healthcare. Through our union, we’ll continue to watch and speak out to ensure that the GIC doesn’t try to take our benefits away again.”
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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 2.1 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.
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WIN: GIC votes 12-2 to reinstate state workers’ health insurance plans

SEIU 509 members successfully fought back against drastic changes to Massachusetts state workers’ healthcare and kept the continuity of care that their families deserve.
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Because of SEIU 509 members’ phone calls, e-mails and testimonies, the Commonwealth’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) voted 12-2 to reinstate all of the state workers’ health insurance plans.
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SEIU 509 will continue to watch and speak out to ensure that the GIC doesn’t try to take these benefits away again.

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Thank you SEIU 509 members for your hard work to save our health insurance options!

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State Ratification Voting Locations

SEIU 509 members will vote on our new contract on THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 1st. Click here for polling locations
 
Polls will be open from 8:45 am – 5 pm that day at locations throughout the state to accommodate all members. See below for more information, or call 774-843-7509 if you have additional questions.
Important Details:
Also, we will have a telephone town hall this Monday, January 29, at 12:00 noon to answer any questions you have about the contract, voting process, and next steps.
– The Bargaining Committee
PS: Don’t forget to sign up for the townhall meeting by texting “SEIU509” to 828282, or clicking here.
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SEIU Local 509 Statement on GIC’s Decision Not to Take Away Health Care Plans From 200,000 People

BOSTON – SEIU Local 509 President Peter MacKinnon today issued the following statement on the GIC’s announcement that they will abandon plans to take away health care plans from 200,000 people:

“We’re relieved that the GIC is preparing to undo their incredibly misguided decision, and we thank Governor Baker for stepping in to fix this disaster. We also thank Attorney General Healey, Speaker DeLeo, and Senate President Chandler for their leadership in opposing a move that was throwing tens of thousands of Massachusetts families into crisis.

“The GIC’s move would have forced working people and their families to find new doctors and other medical providers, go to the back of waiting lists for their children’s treatment, and spend valuable time trying to preserve the quality of their healthcare. In the last week, hundreds of SEIU Local 509 members called the Governor, spoke to their legislators, and attended the GIC’s hearings to protest this decision. We’re glad their voices were heard.”

Contact:

Steve Crawford, Crawford Strategies

857.753.4132,

steve@crawfordstrategies.com

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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 2.1 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.

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SEIU Local 509 Responds to Latest Group Insurance Committee Vote to Saddle State Employees with Rising Health Care Costs

In response to the Group Insurance Commission’s (GIC) vote to drastically reduce the number of health insurance choices for state workers, Peter MacKinnon, President of SEIU Local 509 released the following statement:

“Working people throughout Massachusetts are grappling with the rising cost of medical coverage, including state workers who go to work everyday to serve the people of the Commonwealth. Yet time and again, the Group Insurance Commission has voted to make workers bear the brunt of out of control health care costs, instead of tackling the crisis with providers.

“State employees have earned the basic freedom to choose the doctors and networks that are best for their families, yet today, the GIC voted to drastically cut the number of plans available to them. Though we will take the coming days and weeks to closely review the changes, it is evident that the GIC has taken a bad situation and made it far worse with this anti-consumer vote. The union’s top priority is to help fight back against these drastic changes to our members’ healthcare and help keep the continuity of care that they and their families deserve.

“When you work on the front lines serving the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable, the work is extraordinarily difficult and the choices are never easy. The Group Insurance Commission routinely takes the easy way out by scapegoating workers for rising health care costs, instead of meaningfully addressing it with the providers who are spiralling costs out of control.”

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Local 509 Statement Regarding State Auditor’s Report About the Department of Children & Families

In response to the report released today by State Auditor Suzanne Bump, Peter MacKinnon, social worker and President of SEIU Local 509, released the following statement:

“Frontline workers at the Department of Children and Families come to work every day to protect the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable children. In recent years, these workers, through their union, have pushed for — and secured — many necessary reforms to ensure that the agency does everything in its power to fulfill its sacred mission.

“We agree with Auditor Bump that DCF must be constantly and rigorously evaluated to ensure the safety of the children in its care, and the safety of the workers that provide that care. However, it is concerning that this report did not take into account the experience and viewpoint of child protective workers, including those involved in cases or examples discussed in the report.

“As the union for DCF social workers, we will continue to work with the agency to implement necessary reforms and extend the important progress that has been made to improve DCF, including in the years after the timeframe of this report. Frontline social workers have the first-hand knowledge critical to capturing a complete picture of the agency, and we remain willing, as always, to participate in future reports or audits.”

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