SEIU 509 and the Baker-Polito Administration announced major reforms at the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to improve the lives and stability of children and youth that are served by DCF. The new series of reforms, some of which are currently underway or have been implemented, will further address the needs of children who have been removed from their biological families as a result of abuse or neglect.
“The passage of Chapter 257 was a first step at leveling the playing field for human services workers across our Commonwealth. And now the verdict is in: Nearly ten years after its implementation, Chapter 257 has failed to substantially lift the wages of direct care workers.
Auditor Suzanne Bump’s analysis underscores a powerful ripple effect. When we invest in human service agencies, providers have stronger financial outcomes. And most importantly: we’ve improved patient care across our Commonwealth. But let me be clear: After hundreds of millions of dollars in rate increases, marginal raises for direct care workers is unacceptable.
Direct care workers provide the highest quality of care to the elderly, developmentally disabled, and those suffering from substance abuse and mental illness. These are not minimum wage jobs. Yet, many of these workers are hovering around minimum wage, with an average salary of just over $30,000 per year.
One job should be enough. By investing in the very people that care for the most vulnerable among us, we raise our Commonwealth’s quality of care to a higher standard.
We are grateful to Auditor Bump for this in-depth report, and we look forward to working alongside the legislature to ensure future Chapter 257 investments lift the wages of direct care human service workers.”
-Peter MacKinnon, President, SEIU Local 509
SEIU Local 509 is the union for human service workers, including thousands of the frontline, direct care workers at provider organizations that received funding increases after Chapter 257 was enacted. For more information about private sector direct care working conditions in the state, contact Megan Piccirillo at (973) 668-8999.
The SEIU 509 Scholarship Program funds educational scholarship awards for SEIU 509 union members and their dependents. Dependents are defined as children of members, or children under direct care of the member — such as a grandchild or foster child. These scholarships each range from $1,000 to $1,500.
In commemoration of the Pacheco Law’s 25-year anniversary, this paper commences a larger project built around a careful study of public contracting in an era of privatization. We propose to draw lessons from the Massachusetts experience with the Pacheco Law along with experiences from similar policy initiatives elsewhere to inform a national dialogue on good public management. This is especially critical at a time when the institutions of democratic public service are under severe stress.
Congratulations MassHealth chapter on having the most up-to-date trainees with our union regarding the Janus Supreme Court case!
Right now, The MassHealth chapter leadership is negotiating with management to implement a phone-free and part-time work week schedule for our members.
Also, MassHealth leaders will be holding member meetings at all offices to educate their members about the contract and the upcoming Supreme Court decision.
Plus, steward elections are coming up this month!
If you have any questions, contact Mass Health Chapter President Carol Butler.
SEIU 509 joins a coalition of community organizations, business groups, labor unions, religious congregations, and advocates who want to protect the vital public services funded by the Massachusetts state sales tax.
The proposed initiative petition would reduce state revenues by about $1.25 billion annually, necessitating severe cuts to local schools, public safety, roads, transit, health programs, and other vital services. This extreme proposal would cut the state’s second largest source of revenue by 20 percent.
“We’re in the middle of an opioid crisis, but this dangerous ballot question would divert millions of dollars away from critical social services like addiction treatment, homelessness prevention, and mental health counseling,” said Peter MacKinnon, President of SEIU Local 509. “As social workers and clinicians, we know first-hand that Massachusetts can’t afford such severe budget cuts when we’re trying to fight this public health emergency.”
SEIU 509 members are committed to opposing this ballot question and protecting the critical local services funded by the sales tax.
To set up an interview with SEIU 509 President Peter MacKinnon, contact us at email@example.com.
To learn more about the coalition, please visit: https://www.saveourpublicma.org/
This year, the Institutional School Teachers chapter accomplished the following wins:
Thank you IST members for your hard work to date! If you have any questions, contact our IST Chapter President Linda Delman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEIU 509’s Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission chapter is in arbitration with management because they laid off 23 workers. SEIU 509 believes that their rights were violated under Article 18. Our union is fighting in court to get their jobs back.
In addition, our union is challenging management’s attempt to close offices. We want to keep offices in the communities to make our services accessible to the individuals we serve. Many of our consumers rely on public transportation and desire a safe place for counselors to meet with their clients. Finding a safe, confidential space in the community to meet with consumers is difficult.
This year, SEIU 509 successfully reversed an attempt by management to lower our educational standards. Management wanted Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors to be hired with a Bachelor’s Degree. Our clients deserve to work with Master’s level counselors with knowledge about disabilities.
Plus, our union wants to change or eliminate Disability Determination Services core hours. DDS requires our members to be at their desk or on break from 9:30-11:30 AM and from 1:00 to 3:00 PM. Instead, we are working with management to roll out an alternative work options (AWO) program.
Finally, we want the MRC Commissioner to meet and communicate more effectively with our members.
By fighting for these issues, we are ensuring that we have more manageable caseloads and smoother labor-management relationship to offer high-quality, effective and efficient services to the public. Thank you MRC members for your hard work and participation to date!
MRC Chapter President David Zbikowski