Department of Developmental Services

With a 93.5% YES vote, SEIU 509 State Workers approve their new contract!

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Congratulations! With a 93.5% YES vote, SEIU 509 state workers just ratified their tentative agreement with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
UNIT 8 93.4% 6.6%
UNIT 10 97.3% 2.7%
Total 93.5% 6.5%

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:

  • Pay increases for three years, including a retroactive wage increase for 2017,
  • Preservation of sick time,
  • Longer vacation periods, and
  • Grievance process improvements.
There are also additional contract language improvements throughout the agreement, including agency-specific language gains for several different chapters.
Thank you members for your hard work and for supporting the bargaining team throughout these negotiations. It was the members and their co-workers who proved that when we stand together as a union, we win!
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Annual Central/West DDS Stewards Day

The Central/West DDS Stewards met on 12/4 for their annual Stewards Day!
This year we had 17 Stewards (plus our 2 Regional Vice Presidents and 2 Field Representatives from SEIU local 509) join us for a day of training and meeting with Regional Management! We spoke about the importance of our union, the strength we have and why we got involved in advocating for ourselves and co-workers.  If you are interested in becoming more involved in your union please speak with one of the stewards from your area.


Pittsfield Emmanuel Bile
Leah Reed
Franklin/Hampshire Patrick Chartrand
Holyoke/Chicopee Cathy Beaver
Ashley McGrath
Springfield/Westfield Denise Anghilante
Gary Campurciani
Sarah Guillotte
Leslie Macaulay
North Central Andrea Helie
Ann Mugford
Worcester Ashley McDonough
Gina Surabian (Heck)
South Valley (Southbridge) Aaron Glazebrook
South Valley (Milford) Lauren Knapp
I & E Nora Hardy
Lynne Jasaks
Adaptive Designers  Prateek Rajbhandari
Residential Supervisor Robbin Egge
Richard Paradis
 Patrick Vassallo
Regional Vice-Presidents  Tina Simmerman
 Tanya Stonehouse
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A Message from the DDS Communications Committee!

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.

SEIU 509 DDS YouTube

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!

DDS North Central 2Franklin-Hampshire DDS


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Congrats to all 2017 scholarship winners!

Each year, our SEIU Local 509 Scholarship Program funds more than a dozen educational scholarship awards for fellow members and their dependents.
Each of these scholarships range from $1,000 to $1,500 — many awards are based on member’s demonstrated commitment to the union’s growth over the last calendar year. From this year’s pool of qualified applicants, winners were drawn at random.
Congrats to all the winners, and stay tuned for information about next year’s application process!

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

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DDS at 509 Lobby Day 2017


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!

DDSLobbyDay1 DDSLobbyDay2

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Happy Retirement Christine McLaughlin

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.”

Stan Tarask
HSC DDS-Merrimack Valley Area Office

Click hear to learn more about the History of DDS Service Coordination.

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Grievance Process Update

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 RegionTina Simmerman
Central RegionChristine McLaughlin
Southeastern RegionKleinersen Devenicci
Metro RegionEdward Beecher
Northeastern RegionDeb Foster-Smith

*Please keep Stan Taraska informed of grievance statuses throughout the process.


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House Bill 59: It Goes Too Far.

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.

Retiree Healthcare Click Here Button Additional Resources

  • Read Local 509 President Susan Tousignant’s testimony on House Bill 59 here.
  • Access the proposed legislation in its entirety by clicking here.
  • Download the Special Commission’s report on Retiree Healthcare here.
  • Invite fellow concerned workers to contact their legislators here.
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Alliance Contract Negotiations in Full Swing!

MRC Lowell Staff Rally for a Fair Contract

Workers at MRC Lowell were among the thousands of state employees wearing “Fair Contract NOW!” stickers on the first day of negotiations.

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!

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Disability Advocates Name SEIU Local 509 2013’s ‘Best Employer’

Local 509's Jenny Bauer and Sam Fisher pose with the 2013 Charlie Award for 'Best Boss'. The union was also recognized as 2013's 'Best Employer'.

Local 509’s Jenny Bauer and Sam Fisher pose with the 2013 Charlie Award for ‘Best Boss’. The union was also recognized as 2013’s ‘Best Employer’.

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.”

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