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

Guidewire Inc (formerly Sullivan & Associates)

CONTRACTS: Guidewire Contract 2012-2015 Guidewire Grievance Form

Greenfield Town Council Calls on CSO to Respect, Value Mental Health Services

Franklin County elected officials join Northampton colleagues in demanding a fair, strong contract for Western Mass clinicians and crisis workers GREENFIELD, MA – The Greenfield Town Council voted late Wednesday to support front-line clinicians and crisis workers in their fight for …

In Unanimous Vote, Northampton City Council Calls for  Swift and Fair Resolution at CSO

Local elected officials join growing public outcry over agency CEO’s refusal to value critical mental health and crisis services in Western Massachusetts   NORTHAMPTON, MA – The Northampton City Council voted unanimously Thursday evening to support front-line clinicians and crisis …

Brien Center

CONTRACTS: Brien Center Contract 2014-2017 STEWARDS:

Pickets, Community Rally Cap Off Third Day of Strike at Clinical & Support Options

Click here to view the original story from the Athol Daily News. NORTHAMPTON – Local elected officials, community leaders and health care professionals joined clinicians and crisis workers at picket lines throughout Western Massachusetts today, culminating in a major rally …

It’s Time to Value Mental Health Services in Western Mass!

Urge Clinical & Support Options CEO Karin Jeffers to repect and value critical services by sending your message today!   CLICK HERE TO PARTICIPATE  Every day, clinicians and crisis workers at Clinical & Support Options (CSO) are on the front …

Western Mass Physicians: CSO conflict “a determining episode regarding the future of community mental health”

Open letter expresses strong support for front-line clinicians, urges agency managers to reach fair agreement that averts a strike NORTHAMPTON, MA – With a strike among front-line clinicians looming, physicians who work with Clinical & Support Options (CSO) clients have …

CSO Strike Preparations: Important Meeting July 14

From low pay and productivity stress to high turnover and the lack of a retirement plan, management at Clinical & Support Options has refused to engage in a meaningful dialogue on the key challenges facing our agency. No one wants …

Western Mass. Mental Health Workers Authorize Strike at Clinical & Support Options (CSO)

Barring action to address high turnover and wage shortfalls, taxpayer-funded agency may be forced to cease operations as early as July 22 NORTHAMPTON, MA – Front-line clinicians and crisis workers have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike at Clinical & …

Contract Settlement Reached at Brien Center!

Strike is called off as front-line workers reach tentative deal with management to improve wages and reduce insurance costs. Faced with a pending strike — and after eight hours of negotiations on Saturday — Brien Center management improved their offer to …

Berkshire County Mental Health, Substance Abuse Workers Authorize Strike at The Brien Center

Barring action to address high turnover and poverty wages, taxpayer-funded agency may be forced to cease operations beginning July 6   PITTSFIELD, MA – Front-line clinicians and direct care staff have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike at The Brien …

Human Service Workers, Fee-for-Service Clinicians Testify on New Earned Sick Time Regulations

WORCESTER, MA – Among the strongest Central Massachusetts voices weighing in on Attorney General Maura Healy’s new Earned Sick Time regulations were representatives of SEIU Local 509. Human service worker Ademola Odubiyi and Field Services Director Jon Grossman participated in the June 5 public …

Latham Centers

CONTRACTS: Latham Centers Contract 2014-2017 STEWARDS:

Community Servings

CONTRACTS: Community Servings Inc Contract 2014-2016 STEWARDS:

Comprehensive Mental Health Services

CONTRACTS: CMHS Contract 2014-2017 STEWARDS: Vickie Cadime C: (774) 644-2771 Tim Gagne C: (508) 264-5989 Gail Poliquin C: (508) 642-3690

Sign Up for the Inaugural SEIU 509 Women’s Conference!



Brien Center Mental Health Workers Launch Pickets for Quality Care

Front-line workers call for immediate action to address high turnover, poverty wages at The Brien Center   PITTSFIELD, MA – Front-line mental health workers are poised to launch a series of informational pickets Monday, March 30 over what they call …

Brien Center Workers Reject Management Proposals

Overwhelming vote authorizes informational pickets, other workplace actions – Mental health workers at Pittsfield-based Brien Center have overwhelmingly rejected management contract proposals on wages and health benefits. The 188-15 vote pushes back against management ultimatums that would force workers to shoulder significant increases …

Fidelity House

CONTRACTS: Fidelity House Contract 2014-2017 STEWARDS: