Over the past year, members stood in solidarity with the union bargaining committee and took action at work sites. As a result, SEIU 509 state workers won a new contract that offers more pay, more job security and better working conditions.
Some highlights include:
|North Central||Andrea Helie|
|Gina Surabian (Heck)|
|South Valley (Southbridge)||Aaron Glazebrook|
|South Valley (Milford)||Lauren Knapp|
|I & E||Nora Hardy|
|Adaptive Designers||Prateek Rajbhandari|
|Residential Supervisor||Robbin Egge|
|Regional Vice-Presidents||Tina Simmerman|
Some of your DDS colleagues are working together to keep 509 members in the loop about important updates and opportunities to step up and speak out! Here’s a short video update for DDS members, and check this space for future updates.
Last month, we put out the call for all members to wear purple in solidarity with state worker contract bargaining and the DDS chapter led the way! Check out the full set of photos by liking SEIU 509’s page on Facebook and make sure to tag yourselves!
Daniel Connerty, DOC
Danielle Henry, DTA
Diana Pereira-Velez, DTA
Ethel Everett, DCF
Euphemia Molina, DCF
Italienne Guillaume, Bridgewell
Johnson Odewale, DMH
Joyce Girardi, DMH
Kevin Higgins, Old Colony Elder Services
Kimberly Daughtry, MassHealth
Kristen Tully, DCF
Lisa Rooney, DDS
Lori Cassier, DCF
Michael Grow, DMH
Paul Kelly, DTA
Raymond Obeng, DDS
Stephanie Klink, MRC/DDS Worcester
Stephen Beloa, Bridgewell
Tiana Davis, Masshealth
Umberto Uku, Bridgewell
We STORMED the State House on Wednesday April 12, 2017. We visited our Senators and Representatives and communicated with them or their aides about issues that are important to us. We thanked them for supporting DDS and the services that we provide, but we advocated for a $5 million increase in the DDS Administration line-item (5911-1033). With this increase, the caseload crisis that we are facing will be lessened and our work load will be more manageable.
Thank you to everyone that came out — we had a great day and did a lot of important advocacy work! If you have any questions about how to become more involved in advocacy please ask your steward, and save the date for next year’s Lobby Day: April 11, 2018!
It is with a heavy heart that 509 says goodbye to one of our longtime activists and current DDS chapter board member, Christine McLaughlin.
I have had the privilege to have known Christine McLaughlin since 1985 when she and a couple of her colleagues addressed SEIU Local 509’s JEB in their fight on behalf of 03/07 Service Coordinators. I learned a great deal from Christine as a 509 labor activist and I will sorely miss her counsel and friendship.
Our DDS Chapter Board family is indebted to Christine for her many years of supporting for what truly matters, our members. We appreciate her sacrifices and her many years of advocacy on all of our behalf. We wish her a long, healthy retirement and nothing but the best in her future.”
HSC DDS-Merrimack Valley Area Office
The following DDS Chapter Board/Regional Representatives (who serve equivalent to Regional Vice Presidents) should now receive copies of all grievances that are filed.
Western Region – Tina Simmerman
Central Region – Christine McLaughlin
Southeastern Region – Kleinersen Devenicci
Metro Region – Edward Beecher
Northeastern Region –Deb Foster-Smith
*Please keep Stan Taraska informed of grievance statuses throughout the process.
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.
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!
Dozens of human service providers, disability advocates, clients and families gathered at the Watertown Public Library this month to present the 2013 Charlie Awards, and SEIU Local 509 had a big showing – bringing in two key awards.
Sponsored by the Department of Developmental Services and the Charles River West Employment Advisory Group, the annual Charlie Awards recognize Massachusetts businesses and organizations for their support of integrated employment opportunities for people with disabilities. SEIU Local 509 was honored with this year’s “Best Employer” award, nominated by our very own Sam Fisher.
“Sam has been a valued member of the SEIU 509 family for more than six years and we’re grateful that he feels the same way about us,” said Local 509 Administrative Director Jenny Bauer, who was also recognized as 2013’s ‘Best Boss.’ “Sam is an invaluable member of our team at 509, and we couldn’t be more thankful for his service.”
“As a union of human service workers, Local 509 has long advocated for employment opportunities for all the populations we serve,” said Bauer. “We are extremely honored to receive this year’s Charlie Award.”