UNION UPDATE: 
June 2018
In this issue:
Leadership Message | 509 News I Leadership Vacancies | Stay in Touch | Together We Rise
Leadership Message from Local 509
Happy Summer! We are writing to you with some great news for state workers and a request. 
 
First, the state worker contract is done! 
 
The Massachusetts Legislature and Governor passed a supplemental budget that included the needed funding and authorization for our state worker contract. We have already contacted the State to see when you'll be receiving the state worker raise and retro. We will share that information with you as soon as we have it.
 
Now, the request for action. We need your help!

A few months ago, Local 509 members spoke out and the GIC reversed its ill-thought out decision to eliminate three health insurers that some of our members' families rely on for medical care. This change would have forced us to find new doctors, pay more and in many cases, lose coverage for medical treatments.

We came together with one voice and said "enough is enough!"  But the fight is far from over.
  

We want to give front-line state employees a voice at the table by requiring the GIC to hold at least four public hearings a year, provide at least 21 days' notice to GIC subscribers before voting on any major changes to state employee health care benefits, and give SEIU Local 509 a seat on the GIC.

We learned before that when we fight, we win!  Please contact your state representative today.

Please contact Deputy Legislative Director Bridget K. Quinn at bquinn@seiu509.org with any questions.

In solidarity, 
Peter MacKinnon
SEIU 509 President
Israel Pierre
SEIU 509 Treasurer
509 News
Local 509 opposes three MRC office closures, service cuts & potential staff layoffs

Our union opposes the Massachusetts Rehabiliation Commission three office closures in Malden, Sturbridge and Holyoke this year.

In the Boston Business Journal , an MRC spokesperson said that "no staff cuts are expected" and that "17 of the employees at the Malden office will be split between Somerville, Salem and Lowell, while seven employees in Sturbridge will be moving to Milford."

The Union continues to oppose any additional offices closures that will diminish the services we provide to consumers in the numerous regions of the Commonwealth. We will continue to address the issues of office closures and reduction in services to our consumers in a forceful and timely manner.

Victory at Lesley University

This spring, Lesley announced its intention to reconfigure and resize the Graduate School of Education (GSOE), leading to a reduction in full-time faculty from 37 to 26. This left faculty feeling vulnerable, as their jobs and livelihood were threatened, but it also unified faculty across schools. We strongly believe we are ONE faculty; we presented a united front and, after meeting with the administration, we were able to save 10 faculty jobs. (The 11th person was not part of our union, so we couldn't help them.)

The transition process was by no means perfect but we could not have saved these faculty members' jobs without the collaboration and good faith of our colleagues in the administration, including the Dean of Faculty and the Interim Provost. We are proud of what was accomplished and hope our administration will continue to be open and work with us in good faith to address the issues facing Lesley in the future.
Brandeis & Tufts graduate students bargain for a just contract

Seven months into bargaining, Brandeis graduate students have managed to settle 15 articles for their first contract. Also, Tufts graduate students have 13 articles settled and they're waiting to hear back on their first offers regarding compensation, benefits, and a few other key provisions. The biggest obstacles still lie ahead, but these grads are ready to meet the challenge! Good luck!
MassHealth Contract Update

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.
Union Leadership Opportunities
Are you interested in serving in a leadership role? There are currently several open positions including  Unionwide Trustee , Joint Executive Board (JEB) and Chapter Executive Boards (CEB). (Click here to see all the current openings.)

If you are interested in running for a seat — or nominating a colleague — submit nominations for vacancies, in writing, to Jenny Bauer in our union office by:
Nominations are due Friday, June 22 at noon.

Make sure to bookmark this page as we update it frequently with new leadership vacancies and monthly nomination deadlines:
Only members in good standing are eligible for nomination. Members may nominate themselves or be nominated by fellow SEIU 509 members. The member doing the nominating also needs to be a member in good standing. Nominees who are unopposed shall be declared elected on that date. If offices are contested, election dates will be announced and candidates will be notified.
Stay in Touch
Stay in touch with SEIU 509 by:

  • Letting us know if your contact information has changed by filling out this form.
  • Signing up to receive important text message updates by texting "SEIU509" to "PURPLE" (787753).
  • Liking our facebook page and following us on twitter.
Together We Rise
As SEIU 509 members, we care for and educate the Commonwealth, from our youngest children to the most vulnerable among us.

Through our union, we're able to raise wages and improve benefits for our families, while continuing to raise standards for all working people in Massachusetts and beyond.

This year, we will face threats unlike anything we've ever seen. For forty years, we’ve seen state legislatures and courts chip away at the right to unite. This month, the Supreme Court will rule on Janus vs. AFSCME, that is another attempt to rig the system to make it harder for working people to get ahead.

We’re doubling down by building our union with the strength and determination to beat back the attacks on working people and change the direction of our country. Local 509 members won’t let any court case stand in our way of sticking together for good jobs and quality public services.

As your elected leaders, we couldn't be more proud of everything we accomplished together and look forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with you.
In solidarity,
Peter MacKinnon, President
Israel Pierre, Treasurer