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.


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,

Orlando Pena
Private Sector Human Services Chapter President

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.

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CONTRACTS: Highland Valley Elder Services 2016-2017 Contract

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CONTRACTS: CSO Contract 2015-2018

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CONTRACTS: Central Boston Elder Services 2017-2020 Contact STEWARDS:

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Brien Center

CONTRACTS: Brien Center Contract 2017-2020 STEWARDS:

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