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.
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
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.
“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.
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.
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.