COPE

The Committee On Political Education (COPE) is part of SEIU Local 509 and serves as our political action fund. Money contributed to COPE goes directly toward electing pro-worker, pro-labor politicians as well as working for or against ballot measures that would affect our union.

Because many of our members are employed by the state, or agencies which receive funding from the state, having supportive politicians in office is important to funding strong and fair contracts. Contributing to COPE is a great way to invest in your future as a union human service worker in Massachusetts.

Because we do not use members’ dues to give to political campaigns, COPE is funded by voluntary contributions from our members. As little as $1/week makes a big difference. If you do not currently contribute to COPE, or would like to increase your amount, Click here to request that a COPE card be mailed to you.

COPE Committtee, which decides how funds are distributed, meets on the 1st Wednesday of the month, all Local 509 members are welcome to join and be a part of deciding how we can work together to elect pro-worker politicians, contact Deputy Political Director Melody Hugo for more information.

Mass. Residents Overwhelmingly Vote ‘YES on 4′ for Earned Sick Time!

YesOn4_300pThe Yes on Question 4 coalition issued the following statement about Question 4, which was approved by Massachusetts voters November 4 — and will ensure access to earned sick time for hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts families.

“Ted Kennedy said that ‘no one should have to choose between the job they need and the family they love.’ With passage of earned sick time, no parent in Massachusetts will be forced to choose between going to work to put food on the table and staying home to take care of a sick child. No worker will risk losing their job because they need to see a doctor.

This vote shows that the people of Massachusetts fundamentally believe that the ability to care and provide for themselves and family members is a right, not a privilege. Earned sick time will help small businesses succeed by making employees healthier and more productive, and will keep money in the hands of consumers who spend it in their neighborhoods, helping grow our local economies. For the almost one million workers in Massachusetts who today can’t take a single day of paid sick time, this vote is a major victory.”

When it takes effect on July 1, 2015, Question 4 will guarantee every worker in Massachusetts access to the benefit of earned sick time, and prohibit employer retaliation against workers who take time off due to illness.

  • At companies with 10 or fewer employees, workers will earn up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time to visit the doctor or take care of a sick family member.
  • At companies with 11 or more employees, workers will earn up to 40 hours of paid sick time.

Along with SEIU Local 509, Question 4 was supported by over 250 community organizations, religious groups, labor unions, businesses, and civic leaders, including the state’s leading hospitals and healthcare providers and the Alliance for Business Leadership — a group of 200 business leaders.

 

Raise Up Massachusetts, a coalition of more than 100 community organizations, religious groups, and labor unions, collected more than 360,000 signatures to put Question 4 and a minimum wage increase on the ballot. In June, the Legislature passed and Governor Patrick signed legislation giving Massachusetts the highest minimum wage in the country. Raise Up Massachusetts then led the campaign to ensure access to earned sick time for all workers in the Commonwealth by passing Question 4.

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2014 General Election Endorsements

Believe it or not, General Election Day is today — and the outcome of this race will have a major impact on the issues that matter most to important to human service workers and educators. It’s important that each and every one of us get out and vote!

To help inform these important decisions, the Local 509 Committee on Political Education (COPE) spent several weeks interviewing many of the candidates who will appear on the November 4th ballot. Members questioned incumbents and challengers alike on their stances on issues ranging from social service caseloads and earned sick time to collective bargaining and private sector wages. Based on these face-to-face interviews, candidate questionnaires and voting records, COPE has endorsed a host of workers’ rights champions for offices up and down the ballot. 


For polling locations, voting information and to view which races are on the ballot in your neighborhood, type in your home address at www.wheredoivotema.com.

Local 509 Endorsements:
Statewide
MA House
MA Senate

Check out the current Legislature’s voting record on the issues that matter to 509 members:
MA House Legislative Scorecard
MA Senate Legislative Scorecard


STATEWIDE ELECTION ENDORSEMENTS

Martha Coakley Headshot_rs

Governor

Martha Coakley

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Kerrigan_200p
Lieutenant Governor

Steve Kerrigan

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Healey Headshot_rs

Attorney General

Maura Healey

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

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MA HOUSE ELECTION ENDORSEMENTS

 

Alphabetical by Last Name

509 Support Grade

Rep. Denise

Andrews

100%

Rep. James

Arciero

87%

Rep. Brian

Ashe

100%

Rep. Cory

Atkins

100%

Rep. Bruce

Ayers

88%

Rep. Ruth

Balser

100%

Christine

Barber

NA

Rep. Carlo

Basile

94%

Doug

Belanger

NA

Rep. Jennifer

Benson

100%

Rep. John

Binienda

95%

Rep. Garrett

Bradley

96%

Rep. Michael

Brady

100%

Rep. Paul

Brodeur

100%

Rep. Antonio

Cabral

100%

Rep. Tom

Calter

89%

Rep. Linda Dean

Campbell

84%

Rep. James

Cantwell

93%

Rep. Gailanne

Cariddi

100%

Rep. Evandro

Carvalho

100%

Matthew

Castriotta

NA

Rep. Tackey

Chan

100%

Rep. Nick

Collins

100%

Rep. Edward

Coppinger

100%

Rep. Michael

Costello

100%

Rep. Claire

Cronin

100%

Rep. Daniel

Cullinane

100%

Rep. Sean

Curran

84%

Rep. Mark

Cusack

100%

Rep. Josh

Cutler

100%

Michael

Day

NA

Rep. Marjorie

Decker

100%

Rep. Robert

DeLeo

100%

Rep. Brian

Dempsey

96%

Rep. Marcos

Devers

100%

Rep. Stephen

DiNatale

95%

Rep. Diana

DiZoglio

100%

Rep. Daniel

Donahue

100%

Rep. Paul

Donato

96%

Michelle

DuBois

NA

Keavin

Duffy, Jr.

NA

Rep. James

Dwyer

94%

Rep. Carolyn

Dykema

94%

Rep. Lori

Ehrlich

94%

Rep. Chris

Fallon

88%

Rep. Tricia

Farley-Bouvier

100%

Rep. Robert

Fennell

92%

Rep. John

Fernandes

94%

Rep. Ann-Margaret

Ferrante

100%

Christopher

Finn

NA

Rep. Michael

Finn

100%

Rep. Carole

Fiola

100%

Rep. Gloria

Fox

100%

Rep. William

Galvin

100%

Rep. Sean

Garballey

100%

Rep. Denise

Garlick

100%

Rep. Colleen

Garry

83%

Rep. Thomas

Golden

96%

Rep. Kenneth

Gordon

100%

Rep. Danielle

Gregoire

100%

Beverly Ann

Griffin-Dunne

NA

Rep. Patricia

Haddad

100%

Rep. Jonathan

Hecht

100%

Rep. Paul

Heroux

100%

Ari

Herzog

NA

Rep. Kate

Hogan

100%

Rep. Russell

Holmes

100%

Rep. Kevin

Honan

100%

Rep. Daniel

Hunt

100%

Rep. Louis

Kafka

100%

Rep. Jay

Kaufman

100%

Rep. Mary

Keefe

100%

Rep. John

Keenan

100%

Rep. Kay

Khan

100%

Rep. Peter

Kocot

100%

Rep. Robert

Koczera

95%

Rep. Stephen

Kulik

100%

Rep. John

Lawn

100%

Rep. David

Linsky

100%

Rep. Jay

Livingstone

100%

Rep. Timothy

Madden

100%

Rep. John

Mahoney

100%

Rep. Liz

Malia

100%

Rep. Brian

Mannal

100%

Rep. Ronald

Mariano

96%

Rep. Paul

Mark

100%

Rep. Christopher

Markey

100%

Joe

McGonagle

NA

Rep. Aaron

Michlewitz

100%

Rady

Mom

NA

Rep. Frank

Moran

100%

Rep. Mike

Moran

100%

David

Muradian

NA

Rep. James

Murphy

92%

Rep. David

Nangle

88%

Rep. Harold

Naughton, Jr.

100%

Rep. Rhonda

Nyman

100%

Rep. James

O’Day

100%

Rep. Jerald

Parisella

100%

Rep. Sarah

Peake

100%

Rep. Alice

Peisch

100%

Rep. Thomas

Petrolati

95%

Rep. Smitty

Pignatelli

100%

Rep. Denise

Provost

100%

Rep. Angelo

Puppolo

90%

Gene

Rauhala

NA

Rep. David

Rogers

100%

Rep. John

Rogers

92%

Rep. Dennis

Rosa

93%

Rep. Jeffrey

Roy

100%

Rep. Byron

Rushing

100%

Rep. Daniel

Ryan

100%

Rep. Jeffrey

Sanchez

100%

Rep. Tom

Sannicandro

100%

Rep. Angelo

Scaccia

96%

Rep. Paul

Schmid

100%

Rep. John

Scibak

100%

Rep. Alan

Silvia

100%

Rep. Frank

Smizik

100%

Rep. Theodore

Speliotis

96%

Rep. Thomas

Stanley

88%

Rep. Ellen

Story

100%

Rep. William

Straus

96%

Rep. Benjamin

Swan

100%

Matthew

Terry

NA

Rep. Walter

Timilty

88%

Rep. Timothy

Toomey, Jr.

100%

Jose

Tosado

NA

Rep. Cleon

Turner

95%

Rep. Aaron

Vega

100%

Rep. John

Velis

100%

Rep. RoseLee

Vincent

100%

Rep. Joseph

Wagner

91%

Rep. Chris

Walsh

100%

Rep. Jonathan

Zlotnik

100%

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MA SENATE ELECTION ENDORSEMENTS

Alphabetical by Last Name

509 Support Grade

Sen. William

Brownsberger

90%

Sen. Gale

Candaras

95%

Sen. Harriette

Chandler

96%

Sen. Sonia

Chang-Diaz

100%

Sen. Cynthia

Creem

100%

Sen. Sal

DiDomenico

100%

Sen. Kenneth

Donnelly

100%

Sen. Eileen

Donoghue

90%

Sen. Linda

Dorcena-Forry

100%

Sen. Benjamin

Downing

100%

Sen. James

Eldridge

100%

Sen. Barry

Finegold

100%

Sen. Jennifer

Flanagan

89%

Rep. Anne

Gobi

92%

Dylan

Hayre

NA

Sen. Pat

Jehlen

100%

Sen. John

Keenan

100%

Sen. Thomas

Kennedy

94%

Barbara

L’Italien

NA

Patrick

Leahy

NA

Eric

Lesser

NA

Sen. Jason

Lewis

100%

Sen. Joan

Lovely

100%

Sen. Tom

McGee

100%

Sen. Mark

Montigny

88%

Sen. Michael

Moore

89%

Sen. Pres. Therese

Murray

89%

Sen. Kathleen

O’Connor-Ives

100%

Sen. Marc

Pacheco

92%

Sen. Anthony

Petruccelli

95%

Sen. Michael

Rodrigues

92%

Sen. Stanley

Rosenberg

100%

Sen. Michael

Rush

91%

Sen. Karen

Spilka

96%

Sen. James

Welch

100%

Sen. Daniel

Wolf

100%

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Questions? Need additional information? Contact the Local 509 Legislative & Political Department at (617) 924-8509 x515 or email ccondon@seiu509.org.

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The REAL Charlie Baker Record: Get the Facts

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MacKinnon: “Charlie Baker’s DCF failed our kids; we can’t afford to fail them again.”

Remarks of Peter MacKinnon, DCF Chapter President

As prepared for delivery October 6, 2014

Good morning. My name is Peter MacKinnon. I’ve worked in child protection for nearly twenty years – now as a social work supervisor in DCF’s Lowell office. I also serve as President of the Department of Children and Families Chapter of SEIU Local 509.

For much of the last year, there has been a lot of attention paid to child protection efforts in Massachusetts – from the worsening caseload crisis to outdated policies and technology. And while the issues involved were not new, recent tragedies brought light to challenges child protection veterans have raised for many years.

As Election Day approaches, voters rightly want their next Governor to be able to tackle these challenges – to provide the resources, leadership, and accountability that the Department of Children and Families needs to keep at-risk kids safe from abuse and neglect. This is a vital test, as so many innocent lives depend on the decisions and priorities of our elected officials.

When Charlie Baker had the chance to lead, he failed that vital test.

First as Secretary of Health & Human Services and then as Secretary of Administration and Finance, Charlie Baker was responsible for the Department of Social Services, now called DCF.  With Charlie Baker in charge, DSS was in turmoil.

So Baker’s boss – Governor Weld – appointed a Special Commission to perform a full investigation of the department.  It was tasked with conducting an extensive independent review of child protection efforts in the Commonwealth.

What they found was an agency on the edge of collapse. A caseload crisis worse than today’s. Widespread management failures and a total lack of support for front-line social workers and investigators. Kids exposed to repeated abuse and neglect.

You don’t need take my word for it.  These are the conclusions of commission investigators, direct from their report on Charlie Baker’s DCF. Among their observations:

“DSS is in the midst of an organizational breakdown”
“The department stands virtually paralyzed”
“Unable to effectively service children and families”
“years of deterioration…recently exacerbated to the edge of collapse by leadership and management failures”
“Staff deprived of needed resources, unsupported by management, and overloaded with critical cases”
“As a result of those multiple failures…children have suffered increasing developmental failures and behavioral disturbances…”

These problems did not all begin and end with Charlie Baker. But, like all leaders, the actions Baker took – and didn’t take – in response to these findings were, and are, 100% his responsibility.

The Legislature, in response to this report, allocated additional funding to hire more social workers, reduce caseloads, and help stabilize the agency.  That put the ball in Baker’s court.

So what did Charlie Baker do while leading an agency on the verge of collapse? What did he do now that he had the financial resources and support to begin fixing it? He ignored all the warnings and sent millions of dollars back to the General Fund – money that had been dedicated to child protection.

So even when he was given the chance to fix this colossal mess at DCF – a mess he played a role in creating – Charlie Baker’s priorities were elsewhere.

Child welfare advocates actually had to sue to force Baker’s Administration to do the right thing – and an Arbitrator awarded nearly $2 million in damages as a result.

The simple fact is the failures of DCF under Charlie Baker set the stage for the crisis we face today.

There are a bunch of Republicans in Washington DC spending millions of dollars to hide the truth about the candidates’ records on child protection. But no matter how much they may spend on ads, they can’t paper over the truth of Charlie Baker’s failed record at DCF.

When faced with a real opportunity and real resources, Charlie Baker’s DCF failed our kids. And today, we face a similar opportunity with real resources and the will for reform. We can’t afford to fail our kids again.

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SEIU 509 COPE Endorses Steve Kerrigan for Lieutenant Governor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 5, 2014
Contact: Jason A Stephany, (617) 286-4430, jstephany@seiu509.org

SEIU Human Service Workers, Educators Endorse Kerrigan for Lieutenant Governor

Kerrigan speaks to human service workers at LifeLinks, Inc. workers before joining the picket line. (Aug 21, 2014)

Kerrigan speaks to human service workers at LifeLinks, Inc. workers before joining the picket line. (Aug 21, 2014)

Union cites hands-on leadership style, outspoken advocacy on behalf of workers’ rights

WATERTOWN, MA – The Mass. Union for Human Service Workers and Educators, SEIU Local 509 Committee on Political Education (COPE), today announced its endorsement of Steve Kerrigan in the race for Lieutenant Governor – citing his hands-on leadership and outspoken advocacy around key issues of importance to working families.

SEIU Local 509 represents more than 17,000 human service workers and educators throughout Massachusetts, and is among the Commonwealth’s most progressive and politically active labor organizations. The union has a proud history of aggressive primary endorsements that have made a difference in major electoral contests – from the first campaign of Governor Deval Patrick to the recent election of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.

“From our shared efforts to improve child safety to the fight to expand access to early education, Steve Kerrigan isn’t afraid to stand up and speak out on the issues that matter most,” said Christine Crean, Chair of the SEIU Local 509 Committee on Public Education (COPE) and a longtime social worker. “Working families have a true champion in Steve Kerrigan, and we are proud to endorse him as our next Lieutenant Governor.”

SEIU human service workers and educators participated in a transparent, member-driven endorsement process for races up and down the ballot – including forums, questionnaires and face-to-face meetings with the candidates. In the race for Lieutenant Governor, Kerrigan stood far above other candidates in his willingness to directly engage with workers and seek solutions to complicated challenges.

“Steve Kerrigan was right there with us on the picket lines, doing everything he could to support workers in our fight for fair wages and dignity on the job.” said Deborah Martin, a veteran day habilitation specialist who helped lead the successful August strike at LifeLinks, Inc. “That’s exactly the kind of Lieutenant Governor we need – someone who will roll up his sleeves and do whatever it takes to get the job done.”

 

“As someone who was raised in a strong union household, I’m proud to have stood with working people my entire career – in local, state and federal government – and I’m thrilled to have the support of the human service workers and educators of SEIU Local 509,” said Kerrigan. “The issues facing these front-line workers are real and they need a voice in the Corner Office who will be with them, work with them and, when needed, stand with them. I’m honored to be that candidate and I’ll be honored to be that Lieutenant Governor.”

 

The Union for Human Service Workers and Educators in Massachusetts, SEIU Local 509, represents over 17,000 workers throughout the commonwealth. SEIU 509 members provide a variety of educational and social services to at-risk children, elders and people with mental illnesses and developmental disabilities. Local 509 is part of the Service Employees International Union, the largest and fastest-growing labor union in the United States.

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SATURDAY, MARCH 15: SEIU Massachusetts Governor’s Election Forum

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Remembering Kenny Gorman

Ken Gorman

Kenneth (Kenny) Gorman, Jr.

Local 509 is sad to share news of the passing of longtime member and union leader Kenneth (Kenny) Gorman, Jr.

A celebration of Kenny’s life was held on Tuesday, January 14 in Spencer, MA.  Details can be found here, or in the Worcester Telegram.

While he recently retired as a correctional program officer at the Massachusetts Department of Corrections, Kenny was a larger-than-life figure at SEIU Local 509 for many years. He served in a variety of union leadership roles throughout his career: steward, chapter president, chair of our Committee on Political Education (COPE), and most recently as a trustee of the local.  Many members, both in his chapter and beyond, are grateful for Ken’s willingness to mentor and support them in their work — along with his encouragement to become more active in the union.

In addition to bargaining for and representing working families in countless forums, Kenny maintained a true passion for politics. Prior to his storied years of work in the union, Ken served as a legislative aide on Beacon Hill and maintained several close friendships from his time there. Ken volunteered many of his own hours helping to elect candidates who understood and prioritized issues impacting working families — most recently helping to elect Marty Walsh as Mayor of Boston.

Both Kenny’s day-to-day work and his activism were firmly grounded in the desire to lift up all working families — and his dedication to the cause knew no boundaries. Whether here at home or halfway across the country, Kenny was always ready to lend his voice and energy to the fight for workers’ rights. When union workers in Wisconsin came under attack from  Governor Scott Walker, Kenny passionately rallied a large crowd in Boston in support of his brothers and sisters. His words and actions will continue to inspire our work for years to come.

Kenny Gorman was a great leader, a dedicated public servant, and a kind man who will be greatly missed by all of us at local 509.  The SEIU Local 509 COPE Committee has established an annual $1,000 scholarship to be given in Ken’s memory.

 

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Help ‘Raise Up MA’ with Katherine Clark for Congress!

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Human Service Workers Celebrate Election of Workers’ Rights Champion Marty Walsh as New Boston Mayor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Contact: Jason A Stephany, (617) 286-4430, jstephany@seiu509.org

Human Service Workers Celebrate Election of Workers’ Rights Champion Walsh as New Boston Mayor

SEIU Local 509 among the first organizations to endorse Walsh’s preliminary candidacy

BOSTON, MA – Susan Tousignant, President of the 17,000-member Massachusetts Human Service Workers Union, SEIU Local 509, issued the following statement following the election night victory of Rep. Marty Walsh as Boston’s next mayor:

“By electing Marty Walsh as the next mayor, the City of Boston voted for a true champion of working families.”

“Marty Walsh understands, first-hand, the struggles Boston workers face each and every day. He’s dedicated his entire career to tackling the tough issues that matter most to local families and seniors – strong schools, safe streets, real job opportunities and a secure retirement for all.”

“Human service workers were proud to be among the first to stand with Marty Walsh in the race for Boston mayor, and we look forward to continuing our work together to help our neighborhoods grow and thrive in the years to come.”

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House Bill 59: It Goes Too Far.

The personal stories of workers featured in the above video paint a clear picture of what’s at stake in House Bill 59 — Governor Deval Patrick’s proposed changes to retiree healthcare. Simply put, HB59 goes to far.

Under House Bill 59, workers just two or three years from retirement could see the rules changed so drastically they would have to work another 22 years to receive promised benefits. The legislation has its biggest impact on low-wage workers, and offers no real cost-saving measures other than spiking out-of-pocket expenses for seniors – meaning future retirees will bear 100% of the cost burden of these reforms. Even worse, HB59 penalizes workers who must take a leave of absence for the birth of a child or death of a loved one.

That’s why hundreds of workers across the commonwealth are taking action to educate their legislators about the negative impact of House Bill 59 — testifying at public hearings, sending letters to Representatives and Senators, and meeting face-to-face with key legislative leaders. You can take action today to protect retiree healthcare.

Retiree Healthcare Click Here Button Additional Resources

  • Read Local 509 President Susan Tousignant’s testimony on House Bill 59 here.
  • Access the proposed legislation in its entirety by clicking here.
  • Download the Special Commission’s report on Retiree Healthcare here.
  • Invite fellow concerned workers to contact their legislators here.
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