Private Sector Human Services

Local 509 members in the Private Sector Human Services Chapter provide a number of varied services in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Ranging from elder services to programs for those with developmental disabilities or living with mental illness, we provide the support and assistance that provide all of our state's citizens to live independently and be important members of our community.





A Message from Our Chapter President

Greetings, Private Sector Human Services workers! Our chapter, one of sixteen chapters at Local 509, has recently increased to over 6,000 members, fully one third of the Local’s entire membership.

What’s in a name?
It can sound like Union jargon but what makes us Private Sector workers is that we work in privately owned agencies which receive most of their funding from the Commonwealth, unlike our Sisters and Brothers in the thirteen Public Sector chapters, who are State workers. The remaining two non-public chapters are the Family Child Care Providers and Early Educators chapter and our newest members we’ve been organizing in the Higher Ed chapter.

So who are we?
We provide a diverse group of services amongst our 39 agencies. Nearly 3,000 of our members work in thirteen agencies which exclusively provide services to people with developmental disabilities, in group homes, day programs, and independent living. Over 900 members at our largest agency, Eliot Community Human Services, provide a mix of services to DD, DMH, DCF, DYS/JJ (Juvenile Justice), Homeless clients and more. We have fourteen other agencies with close to 2,000 members who work in womens, family and community services while others provide child protection. We have clinicians and direct care workers in agencies dedicated to helping those with mental illnesses and addictions. Close to 500 members work with one of our most vulnerable populations, the aged, in home care elderly services settings.

How can I get more involved?
We are constantly striving to better our working lives, negotiating contracts to hopefully increase wages and our benefits. You can be proactive in the betterment of your personal lives by joining your contract negotiation team, or you can lift yourself up by attending the next Lobby Day, at the State House, on Thursday, April 14. We will send out more details but if you sign up, we can pay for you to miss work that day, or check your contract, some employers even pay for you to attend that important day, they want you to get more money from the Commonwealth. Talk to your field rep about becoming a union steward. Think about joining the PSHS CEB (Chapter Executive Board); we meet on the first Thursdays of the month at 6:30 pm, in Watertown. Contact me to learn more about this.

Maybe you’re interested in the big picture of the goings on at the Local? The Joint Executive Board (JEB) meets on the second Tuesdays of the month, in Milford, at 7 pm, except April 14, in Boston. The JEB is the governing body of the Local; this can be described as the board with the real movers and shakers of the entire Local.

Check the website,, and you’ll see a 509 Leadership Opportunities link on the first page. Check to see if your agency is represented on the PSHS CEB and even if it is, you can still join the board by running for an open Chapter Wide Seat. All elected seats, including the chapter president and vice-president, will become open for nominations at the Annual Meeting, Saturday, October 15. I will not be running again as I have reached the end of my term limits, two consecutive three-year terms. It has been a highly rewarding experience.

In Unity of Purpose,

Dennis MacDonald
Private Sector Human Services Chapter President

Union Leadership Opportunities – February

Para leer más información en español, haga clic aquí.  VACANCIES were published on March 13, 2017; nominations will be accepted until Monday, April 3 at noon. Below you will find the list of opportunities to serve on the SEIU 509 Joint Executive Board (JEB) and Chapter …

Boston Globe Editorial | Mandate treatment, funding for mentally ill

NANCY CHIERO WAS as devoted as she was patient with her son Lee. The 35-year-old Uxbridge man had spent his life struggling with psychotic delusions, which would periodically send him to the emergency room for a prescription for medications. Those …


CONTRACTS: ServiceNet 2016-20 STEWARDS: Faith Rockwood – REACH Program Kiana Saroce – PATHWAYS Northampton  

SEIU’s Henry: Trump Dept of Labor nominee Puzder dead wrong for America’s working families

WASHINGTON—SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement on President-elect Trump’s intended nomination of Andrew Puzder, chief executive of CKE Restaurants, to be Secretary of Labor: “With the intended nomination of Andrew Puzder for Secretary of Labor, President-elect …

CONGRATS to our new leadership team!

The results are in! With all votes tallied, SEIU Local 509 members have elected our next leadership team. Peter MacKinnon will serve as president of our union, alongside Israel Pierre as our treasurer and Ivette Hernandez as our recording secretary. (See …

Elder Services of Berkshire County

CONTRACTS: Berkshire County Elder Services 2016-19 STEWARD:  Bill Mash, (413) 443-8153,

New England Learning Center for Women in Transition (NELCWIT)


509 on the move | 509 en movimiento

Beginning Monday, September 19, the SEIU 509 headquarters has relocated to 293 Boston Post Road West in Marlborough, Mass. Click here for new contact information for Local staff and elected leaders.

509News | Summer 2016

You should have already received your copy of the 509News in the mail, but you can also access and download here. Read more about some of our recent victories, the upcoming 509 Leadership elections and how to obtain new member …

Highland Valley Elder Services

CONTRACTS: Highland Valley Elder Services 2016 Contract STEWARDS:

Sign Up to Take #WageAction Today!

On Thursday, April 14, Local 509 members will join low-wage workers from across the Commonwealth for a day of grassroots lobbying and in-the-streets action. Together, we’ll bring the fight directly to decision-makers to ensure they hear our voices on the …

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Each and every day, social workers confront some of the most challenging issues facing individuals and families throughout the Commonwealth. Together, they serve some our most vulnerable populations — tackling the opioid crisis, keeping at-risk children safe, providing critical mental …

Clinical and Support Options

CONTRACTS: CSO Contract 2015-2018

Remembering Tom Barbera

Reflections on a Love Warrior for Justice: Memories of Tom Barbera by SEIU President, Mary Kay Henry Tom Barbera was a love warrior for justice and a dedicated activist who dealt with real issues impacting the lives of working men …


CONTRACTS: CLASS_Inc_Contract_2015-2017 STEWARDS:

Central Boston Elder Services

CONTRACTS: Central Boston Elder Services 2014-2017 Contact STEWARDS:

NuPath 2015-16 Wage Proposal

As you may have heard, we received an important proposal this week from the management team at Nupath. They have proposed to move next year’s 2% raise to this year — and to make it retroactive to January 2015. If …

Western Mass Mental Health, Crisis Workers Reach Contract Settlement at CSO

Tentative agreement makes modest improvements in compensation, but long-term, systemic challenges remain NORTHAMPTON, MA – Front-line clinicians and crisis workers have reached a contract settlement with management at Clinical & Support Options (CSO), following months of turmoil at the taxpayer-funded …

Springfield City Council Urges Clinical & Support Options to Value Mental Health Services, Providers

In unanimous vote, local elected officials join colleagues in Northampton, Greenfield in demanding a strong contract for Western Mass clinicians and crisis workers SPRINGFIELD, MA – On the eve of what is expected to be a final negotiation session with …