509 News

Media Contact:

media@seiu509.org

SEIU 509 Condemns Trump Administration’s “Public Charge” Rule Against Immigrant Families

SEIU 509 Stands Shoulder to Shoulder with Immigrant Families Across Massachusetts

“SEIU 509 members proudly live and work in immigrant communities across our Commonwealth. Yesterday’s decision by the Trump administration is an affront to everything the labor movement stands for: the ability for working people to raise a family and achieve the American dream.

We are better than this. Whether you’re white, black, or brown, every single parent in this country has the right to raise their children with dignity and respect. No family should ever have to make the unimaginable choice between feeding their child or having a future in America.

SEIU 509 members stand shoulder to shoulder with the millions of immigrant families affected by this unjust rule. From the ballot box to the court room to the streets, our members are wholly united in the fight for policies and candidates that put people first.”

-Peter MacKinnon, President, SEIU 509, and Israel Pierre, Treasurer, SEIU 509


SEIU Local 509 represents nearly 20,000 human service workers and educators throughout Massachusetts. 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. For more information, please contact Megan Piccirillo at (973) 668-8999.

 

Leave a comment

SEIU 509 Statement in Response to H.3854

“Today, the House stood on the right side of history by sending a clear message to the Trump administration and right wing special interests: Massachusetts stands with labor. Today’s bi-partisan decision affirms that every union member has the right to their union at the workplace, and ensures every union in our Commonwealth has unfettered access to their members.

 
But this legislation is just one important step in the fight against anti-worker attacks. Even now, the labor movement is facing new legal threats designed to make their way through the courts to drain our resources and weaken our collective power. Our members, our legislators, and our communities must stand united against those that attempt to divide us.
 
Over the past several decades, we’ve witnessed the wealth divide in our country soar. Strong unions level the playing field for all of us. When unions thrive, we raise the bar for all employers to provide a living wage. In turn, we begin to upend decades of income inequality designed to keep white, black, and brown families from achieving the American dream.
 
We are grateful to Speaker DeLeo and the House for their support, and we look forward to the Senate and Governor Baker taking swift action.”
 
 -Peter MacKinnon, President, SEIU Local 509


Media Contact: Megan Piccirillo (973) 668-8999
Leave a comment

May 14, 2019: SEIU 509 and the Baker-Polito Administration Announce Significant Reforms at the Department of Children and Families

SEIU 509 and the Baker-Polito Administration announced major reforms at the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to improve the lives and stability of children and youth that are served by DCF. The new series of reforms, some of which are currently underway or have been implemented, will further address the needs of children who have been removed from their biological families as a result of abuse or neglect.

Leave a comment

SEIU 509 Statement in Response to Auditor Bump’s Chapter 257 Audit

“The passage of Chapter 257 was a first step at leveling the playing field for human services workers across our Commonwealth. And now the verdict is in: Nearly ten years after its implementation, Chapter 257 has failed to substantially lift the wages of direct care workers.

Auditor Suzanne Bump’s analysis underscores a powerful ripple effect. When we invest in human service agencies, providers have stronger financial outcomes. And most importantly: we’ve improved patient care across our Commonwealth. But let me be clear: After hundreds of millions of dollars in rate increases, marginal raises for direct care workers is unacceptable.

Direct care workers provide the highest quality of care to the elderly, developmentally disabled, and those suffering from substance abuse and mental illness. These are not minimum wage jobs. Yet, many of these workers are hovering around minimum wage, with an average salary of just over $30,000 per year.

One job should be enough. By investing in the very people that care for the most vulnerable among us, we raise our Commonwealth’s quality of care to a higher standard.

We are grateful to Auditor Bump for this in-depth report, and we look forward to working alongside the legislature to ensure future Chapter 257 investments lift the wages of direct care human service workers.”

-Peter MacKinnon, President, SEIU Local 509
_____________

SEIU Local 509 is the union for human service workers, including thousands of the frontline, direct care workers at provider organizations that received funding increases after Chapter 257 was enacted. For more information about private sector direct care working conditions in the state, contact Megan Piccirillo at (973) 668-8999.

Leave a comment

Thank you for making Lobby Day a success!

On April 10, hundreds of 509 members came together at the State House to fight for bills that matter to us, like the Fair Share Amendment – a bill that would generate more revenue for public transportation and public education in our communities. Click here to see more photos from the day.

Leave a comment

2019 SEIU 509 Scholarship

The SEIU 509 Scholarship Program funds educational scholarship awards for SEIU 509 union members and their dependents. Dependents are defined as children of members, or children under direct care of the member — such as a grandchild or foster child. These scholarships each range from $1,000 to $1,500.

Program Guidelines

  • Each member or dependent must fill out the below SEIU 509 Scholarship application by May 10, 2019.
  • To apply for a scholarship for a member or dependent of a member, the member must be considered a “member in good standing” as defined in the SEIU 509 Constitution.
  • Dependents of members can be high school seniors or currently enrolled in undergraduate studies at an accredited educational institution.
  • Members can be enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate or PhD program.
  • The awards may be paid to the educational institution or student with proof of enrollment.
  • No member or dependent may be awarded more than one SEIU 509 scholarship per academic year.
  • Some scholarships are specific to members from a specific sector — others are assigned to associate members or officers and stewards.
Winners will be selected at random from the pool of qualified applicants. The drawing will take place May 14, 2019. Some applicants will qualify for activist scholarship awards, by random selection, based on the member’s demonstrated commitment to the growth of SEIU 509 and the Labor Movement during the last calendar year. This could include:
  • Helping to organize not-yet-unionized workers into a union.
  • Active support of candidates for public office or ballot questions supporting positions endorsed by the members of SEIU 509.
  • Encouraging member activism and building strength in their worksite.

Aplicación Española

English Application

Leave a comment

Thank You For A Successful 2018 SEIU 509 Annual Convention

 

Thank you for a successful 2018 SEIU Local 509 Annual Convention in Lowell, Massachusetts on October 20th! From contract victories, to a $15 minimum wage, to paid family leave, we have a lot to celebrate.  We marked another exciting year of wins for SEIU 509, and planned our future as a union.

Leave a comment

August/September 2018 Update

Leave a comment

Workers at Triangle, Inc. Vote to Form Union for Better Pay, Lower Turnover, and a Voice and Respect at Work

IMG9502341

Malden, MA – Direct care support workers at human service agency Triangle, Inc. have voted overwhelmingly to form a union with SEIU Local 509, calling for better pay, lower turnover, and a voice and respect at work. The 100+ employees work at employment support and day services sites in Brockton, Malden, Randolph, and Salem, and at group homes in Beverly, Danvers, Malden, Peabody, Reading, and Saugus, supporting individuals who have developmental disabilities.
By voting to unionize, they are joining nearly 20,000 human service workers and educators throughout Massachusetts, including over 6,000 private sector human services workers, in SEIU Local 509. The election occurred by mail, and votes were counted last Friday at the Boston office of the National Labor Relations Board.
“Coming together to form a union gives us a voice in the workplace, the ability to improve wages in order to reduce turnover and improve staffing ratios, and workplace protections that only a union can provide,” said Amy Banelis of Lynn, an employment specialist at Triangle, Inc. who works with people with disabilities to teach career readiness, help individuals find jobs in the community, and support them in their jobs. “This vote is a win for Triangle, Inc. employees, and it’s a win for the people we care for, because they deserve the better quality of care that occurs when human service workers can make this job into a good career.”
With their current low pay and lack of job security, many workers are forced to work two or three jobs to survive, with some reporting they work more than 100 hours each week. Triangle, Inc. workers are also concerned about how the agency’s high turnover and resulting low staffing levels impact the people with disabilities whom they care for.
“We’ve seen the improvements that happen at other agencies when workers form a union. They’re paid more, turnover is reduced, and services for the people they care for improve. Voting to form our union is the first step towards making those changes here at Triangle,” said Walquiria “Val” Wilson of Malden, a community coordinator at Triangle, Inc. who coordinates and oversees work for clients with disabilities in the community. “We’re proud of our vote, and we’re standing together, ready to work with the agency to raise wages, lower turnover, and improve the level of care we provide for the people who depend on us.”
Through relentless organizing, months of bargaining, and in some cases, voting to authorize a strike, thousands of 509 private sector human services members have won significantly better wages over the last two years, including minimum wages of $15 an hour at several agencies. Additionally, in the face of increasing anti-immigrant policy, Local 509 won key immigration protections for the diverse workforce at many agencies.
“People with disabilities deserve to live a life of purpose and dignity, just like the rest of us, and the hard-working direct care support staff at Triangle, Inc. help them do so every day,” said Peter MacKinnon, President of SEIU Local 509. “Yet these front-line workers who directly serve the most vulnerable among us are themselves in crisis, and often struggle to get by each week. By coming together in a union, the workers at Triangle, Inc. and other human service providers are using our power in numbers to raise wages, secure a voice in the workplace, improve our jobs, protect our rights and create a better life for ourselves, our families and our communities.”

 

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.
Leave a comment

Workers at Triangle, Inc. Organizing to Form Union for Better Pay, Lower Turnover, and a Voice and Respect at Work

More than 100 direct care support workers at human service agency Triangle, Inc. are organizing to form a union with SEIU Local 509, calling for better pay, lower turnover, and a voice and respect at work. Today, workers and Local 509 announced they have filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board, with ballots scheduled to be mailed to workers tomorrow.

“Many of the workers here are highly educated and qualified, but our wages are too low to pay the bills, and we don’t have room for advancement. Triangle pays its workers peanuts, so we have to pick up hours elsewhere. Many people work for two or three different agencies just to pay their rent, and we still can’t afford to live in the communities where we work,” said Wycliffe Mulindwa of Woburn, a direct care specialist at Triangle, Inc.’s Reading residential site who helps people with disabilities with their basic needs, administers medicine, and drives individuals to medical appointments and community activities. “We’ve seen the improvements that happen at other agencies when workers form a union. They’re paid more, turnover is reduced, and services for the people they care for improve. I’m supporting the union because we need to see that change here at Triangle.”
The 100+ employees work at employment support and day services sites in Brockton, Malden, Randolph, and Salem, and at group homes in Beverly, Danvers, Malden, Peabody, Reading, and Saugus, supporting individuals who have developmental disabilities. With their current low pay and lack of job security, many workers are forced to work two or three jobs to survive, with some reporting they work more than 100 hours each week. Triangle, Inc. workers are also concerned about how the agency’s high turnover and resulting low staffing levels impact the people with disabilities whom they care for.
“Due to low staffing levels, my coworkers and I are spread thin and have to cover different work sites, doing multiple jobs at once. Juggling varying responsibilities to make up for low staffing takes the focus away from the people we serve, and greatly diminishes the quality of the services we’re able to provide for them,” said Amy Banelis of Lynn, an employment specialist at Triangle, Inc. who works with people with disabilities to teach career readiness, help individuals find jobs in the community, and support them in their jobs. “I’m supporting the union to have a voice in the workplace, to improve wages in order to reduce turnover and improve staffing ratios, and to win workplace protections that only a union can provide.”
SEIU Local 509 represents nearly 20,000 human service workers and educators throughout Massachusetts, including over 6,000 private sector human services workers who serve individuals with disabilities, the elderly, and people living with mental illnesses. Through relentless organizing, months of bargaining, and in some cases, voting to authorize a strike, thousands of 509 private sector human services members have won significantly better wages over the last two years, including minimum wages of $15 an hour at several agencies. Additionally, in the face of increasing anti-immigrant policy, Local 509 won key immigration protections for the diverse workforce at many agencies.
“People with disabilities deserve to live a life of purpose and dignity, just like the rest of us, and the hard-working direct care support staff at Triangle, Inc. help them do so every day,” said Peter MacKinnon, President of SEIU Local 509. “Yet these front-line workers who directly serve the most vulnerable among us are themselves in crisis, and often struggle to get by each week. By coming together in a union, the workers at Triangle, Inc. and other human service providers are using our power in numbers to raise wages, secure a voice in the workplace, improve our jobs, protect our rights and create a better life for ourselves, our families and our communities.”
For Immediate Release 
July 23, 2018
Contact: Andrew Farnitano, Crawford Strategies
###

 

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.
Leave a comment