Commission for the Blind

The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind Chapter is made up of three agencies. They are the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB), the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH), and the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA).

The MCB Chapter Board is made up of members of the three agencies.  At this time, our chapter has one hundred and forty-five SEIU 509 members. There are seven from DIA, one hundred and five from MCB, and thirty-three MCDHH members.

The Chapter Board meets the second Tuesday of the month at the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, 48 Boylston Street, Boston. The exception is in October when the Annual Meeting takes place.

MCB Chapter Officers
President Cheryl Rivers
Recording Secretary Lauren Starr
MCDHH VP Roberta Perry
DIA VP Vacant
Chapter Board Cathy Burke
Chapter Board Gail Denman
Chapter Board Lesli Gazerro
Chapter Board Sengil Inkiala
Chapter Board Stephanie Mattuchio
Chapter Board Steven Moniz
Chapter Board Alexander Pooler

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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Alliance Contract Negotiations in Full Swing!

MRC Lowell Staff Rally for a Fair Contract

Workers at MRC Lowell were among the thousands of state employees wearing “Fair Contract NOW!” stickers on the first day of negotiations.

State contract negotiations are already in full swing, and Local 509 members are more prepared than ever for the potential fight ahead. Dozens of leaders prepped at Bargaining Team caucus meetings, and more than 1,700 members responded to our contract survey –- sharing their ideas, concerns and priorities for the upcoming negotiation sessions. This trove of information will serve as the foundation for many of the proposals we put forward in the coming weeks, and we are fired up and ready to go!

The first Alliance Contract negotiation session took place on July 31, and Local 509 members put their solidarity on full display. Thousands of state workers rocked their ‘Fair Contract NOW’ stickers to send management a clear message: let’s get this thing done! (Check out the Local 509 Facebook Page to see a few of the many photos members sent in throughout the day.)

With so much at stake in this contract — from wages to benefits to working conditions — it’s incredibly important that as many workers as possible get engaged in the negotiation process. A quick and easy way to get involved is to sign up for the Contract Action Team (CAT) for your chapter/worksite. As a CAT member, you’ll communicate important negotiation updates to co-workers at your worksite and help mobilize members for key contract actions as the process moves forward.

Workers have set a goal of building a 750-member CAT team in the coming weeks, so there’s no shortage of opportunities to make a difference. Together we can win a strong contract for all state workers!

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MCB President’s Note

Dear Members, welcome to the new webpage for our chapter!

I would like to encourage a member from DIA to represent the Department of Industrial Accidents as the position is currently vacant. If anyone is interested, please contact me.

Our members have been involved in various committees. For example, there was an issue with the EPRS system at MCB and we were able to form a committee. There is a current committee regarding a new computer system with which we are able to discuss the impact of the new technology.

Currently, there are proposed changes to the organizational structure of the MCDHH Intake and Referral Department. MCDHH 509 members, Ellaina McDowell (our SEIU 509 field rep) and I will meet with EHS and management.

Many offices are also looking forward to viewing relocations.

I am very hopeful that more members will come forward and take part in Union activities.

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State Worker Contract Ratified Overwhelmingly

Today, state workers voted overwhelmingly to ratify their contract!

Voting Results:
Unit 8
3252 – YES
212 – NO
8 – blank
Unit 10
237 – YES
4 – NO

Thanks to all of the poll captains and volunteers who staffed the 26 balloting sites across the state. Your hard work was instrumental in making today’s vote a smooth process.

To see the details of the newly ratified settlement, click here to read the Memorandum of Understanding

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