509 News

Media Contact:


Congratulations 2018 SEIU 509 Scholarship Winners!


Each year, our SEIU Local 509 Scholarship Program funds 20 educational scholarship awards for fellow members and their dependents. Each of these scholarships range from $1,000 to $1,500 — many awards are based on member’s demonstrated commitment to the union’s growth over the last calendar year. From this pool of qualified applicants, winners are drawn at random. First we contact recipients directly, then we announce the full list here at seiu509.org.

Congratulations to our winners:

James Tremblay, DCF
John Follit Award
Jennifer Renzi, CSO
Linda Silva/Deborah Ann D’lorio
Memorial Award
Lynn Mourao, DCF
Luis Vega Memorial Award
Teresa Vazquez, DCF
Zevorah Bagni Memorial Award
Margarita Ramos,
Family Child Care
Membership Benefit
Insurance Scholarship


Christine Fowle, DMH
Colonial Insurance Scholarship
Donna DiNapoli,
Mass Coalition for the Blind
Membership Benefit Insurance Scholarship
Felicia Morgan, CHL
Ginny Steinberg Award
Maura Synder, DCF
Meredith Miller Memorial Award
Stephen Forcha-Beloa, Bridgewell
& Shea/Prout Award
Jocelina Pires, DDS
Kenneth Gorman
Memorial Award
Frances Ransum-Canning,
Department of Education
Membership Benefit
Insurance Scholarship
Elysa Monseratte, DMH
Colonial Insurance Scholarship
Paula Habersang, CCES
Martin Martinian Memorial Award
Lynette Littles, DMH
Bill Greene Memorial Award
Ruth Dresser, MRC
& Shea/Prout Award
Walter Tetreault, Eliot
Flynn Insurance Scholarship
Deborah Visocchi, DDS/MRC
Colonial Insurance Scholarship
Tiffany Goffer-Fitz, DDS
Officer’s Award
Karl Toth, Brandeis University
Mt. Washington Bank Scholarship


Leave a comment

Brandeis University graduate workers rally for a fair contract

Dozens of Brandeis University graduate student workers rallied on the steps of the campus’ Rabb Graduate Center on Tuesday, May 1, at 12 p.m. to demand that the administration bring them an offer for a fair contract. After over six months of bargaining, the administration hasn’t responded to several of the union’s most important issues, including compensation, benefits, and workload.

The workers spoke about why having a fair contract is so important to them and what has led them to this point. Issues such as food insecurity, safety, and the inability to meet basic needs like housing and transportation were frequently mentioned.

Following their rally, they and their supporters marched to the offices of President Ronald Liebowitz and Provost Lisa Lynch. There, they submitted over 200 cards of support from students and parents, letters written by undergraduates about the role graduate assistants have played in their education, a petition signed by dozens of graduate students, and a letter of support signed by more than 50 Brandeis faculty members. There was one unifying theme behind all of these messages: a demand for a fair contract—now!

Graduate student workers at Brandeis voted overwhelmingly to form a union one year ago. The two sides are scheduled to meet again on Wednesday, May 2, on the anniversary of the union’s election. The workers hope that they will be celebrating a complete and fair contract in the near future.


Leave a comment

Thank you for a successful 2018 Lobby Day!

    On April 11th, SEIU 509 members successfully lobbied at the State House for legislation and budget items that affect our specific chapters, as well as broader issues affecting the working people of Massachusetts.  Specifically, we advocated for GIC health insurance reform, state contract ratification and our $15 minimum wage plus Paid Family & Medical Leave ballot initiatives.  Our Lobby Day actions are critical to getting our legislation passed!
    We thank you for your support and participation! We will keep you updated on our progress with these efforts.  Remember, our voice is stronger when we come together to ask for actions on issues that matter the most to us. Here are some pictures:
Leave a comment

SEIU 509 Higher Education Chapter: Schools Should Be Gun-Free

For Immediate Release

Friday April 20, 2018


Virginia Tech University, Sandy Hook Elementary School, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are the sites of the three deadliest mass shootings in U.S. educational institutions since 2000. Even one student, teacher, administrator, or staff member dead by gun violence on school grounds is too many, but already hundreds have died and scores have been injured. Enough is enough.

As teachers, and teachers of teachers, we, the elected Higher Education Chapter Executive Board representatives of Local 509 of the Service Employees International Union, join the AAUP, AFT, AAC&U, the students of #MarchForOurLives, and many other individuals and groups, in affirming that in these United States guns have no place in classrooms or on college and university campuses. We reject the idea that teachers carrying guns will increase anyone’s safety. Our position is both a workplace issue and a human rights issue.

As a workplace issue, it has three key interrelated dimensions: our ability to fulfill our responsibility to facilitate our students’ learning; our commitment to the unfettered, critical discussion of ideas, a principle of both academic freedom and democracy; and our working conditions. The presence of guns in schools would damage academic exchange, with students and faculty alike fearful of violent reactions to conversations about ideas. Additionally, it would create unsafe working conditions and make unreasonable demands on workers to fulfill duties contrary to our educational mission.

As a human rights issue, sensible gun policies permit students to exercise their right to an education, which has been pursued as policy in the United States since the establishment of our first public schools and is protected under Article 28 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Moreover, we are mindful that, given the deeply entrenched racism of our society, guns in schools will present heightened risk to teachers, students, administrators, and staff of color.

For these reasons, we also endorse the 2015 Statement Opposing ‘Campus Carry’ Laws put forth by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB). We stand behind the Statement, which notes in part: “Colleges and universities closely control firearms and prohibit concealed guns on their campuses because they regard the presence of weapons as incompatible with their educational missions. College campuses are marketplaces of ideas, and a rigorous academic exchange of ideas may be chilled by the presence of weapons.”

As a nation we must protect our educational system from pre-school to university, a system that shapes us and should serve to unite our citizens. We categorically reject the idea of adding guns to our schools and campuses. Sensible gun laws and their careful implementation are overdue.

Norah Dooley

Nina Kammerer

Drew Flanagan

Steve Benson

Eleanor Roffman

Celia Morris

Peter Lert

Melissa Wolter-Gustafson

Laurie LaPorte

Sarah Slavick

Elizabeth Lemons

John Maslanka



Matt Dauphin

SEIU 509 Higher Education Coordinator

(774) 843-7509 x1231


Leave a comment

Department of Revenue members want computer systems fixed

Featured in the Boston Globe, Department of Revenue members want their computer systems fixed to serve families in need. Read more from the Boston Globe:

“[Department of Revenue Chapter President] Foley said the problems with the system have not been fixed, leaving front-line employees in the dark about what steps are being taken to remedy the breakdown.

This year’s glitches, Foley said, are affecting low-income parents, primarily mothers, who have had their child support payments pocketed by the state when they go on welfare, in accordance with state policy. They are eligible to resume collecting child support when they leave the welfare rolls.

But the parents have been not been getting the child support checks they are owed because the computer systems at the Department of Revenue and the Department of Transitional Assistance, which oversees welfare, are not communicating properly, union officials said.

Peter MacKinnon, president of Service Employees International Union Local 509, said he has received e-mails from 100 revenue department workers “overwhelmed with people coming to the offices” to complain about not getting child support after they get off welfare.

“Our concern is . . . that people aren’t getting their money,” MacKinnon said. “At the end of the day, we can bemoan a lousy computer system that needs to be fixed, but this is about families needing income to be able to take care of their kids, and we have a system where people aren’t getting what is owed to them, and that’s not OK.” – Boston Globe


Leave a comment

Celebrating Our Union: A National Day of Action

On February 26th, Local 509 members came together for a national day of action to speak out for good union jobs. In over 600 cities in 23 states, working people across America rose up to defend their freedom to join a strong union for a better life. #WeRise

We had an excellent line-up of presenters and speakers at our six rallies in Boston, Lawrence, Springfield, Worcester, New Bedford & Fall River. Here are some highlights:

SEIU Local 509 President Peter MacKinnon at the U.S. Supreme Court

SEIU 509 President Peter MacKinnon spoke out on the steps of the Supreme Court [Watch 9:00 minutes into the Facebook Live Video].  Our Supreme Court legal brief was mentioned in the Boston Globe.

MacKinnon stated that through unions: “[w]e have the power to come together and win for working families. When unions are strong, our communities are strong .”


SEIU Local 509 News Coverage

Our actions were featured in the Boston Globe, Fall River Herald News, Lawrence Eagle-Tribune, Telemundo Boston, Worcester Magazine & Detroit News.

SEIU Local 509 Event Photos:

Here are some event photos. Check out our Facebook page for more photos:






It is inspiring to see SEIU 509 members join together to support our unions for dignity and respect on the job. We thank our members and partners who made the six rallies possible.


Leoule Goshu



Leave a comment

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!

Leave a comment

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

12pm, Boston Firehouse, 125 Purchase St, Boston, MA 02110

12pm, 280 Merrimack Street, Lawrence, MA 01843

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

5 pm, 95 Liberty St, Springfield, MA 01103

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.

Leave a comment

Sign Up for 2019 Steward Trainings

Leave a comment

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

27336210_10160096452835691_7686923391630055120_n 27709400_10160096918055691_1549885011548010782_o
Congratulations! With a 93.5% YES vote, SEIU 509 state workers just ratified their tentative agreement with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
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.


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.
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!
27368486_10160096917995691_449291212297653028_o 27337145_10160096452825691_7098964513586466284_n
Leave a comment