Across Massachusetts, we hear the same thing from employees who provide support to people with mental illness and developmental disabilities. We want the best services for our clients and we’re doing that by joining together to win improvements like:
- A say in the policies that affect our jobs and the people we support every day.
- Better pay and benefits to attract and keep experienced staff who can provide the highest quality services
- A strong voice to preserve funding for services we provide
That’s why mental health and direct support professionals across Massachusetts are coming together to form a union with SEIU Local 509. We know that together we will have the strong voice we need to secure a better future for our clients and ourselves.
Sullivan/Guidewire Employees Are Now Negotiating Their First Contracts for Respect and Dignity
At Sullivan/Guidewire here in Springfield, , we love our jobs, but we knew that we could make our agency better. So we contacted SEIU Local 509, a union of 12,000 human service workers across Massachusetts. We organized our union, and voted more than 2-to-1 to join SEIU Local 509.
“I have a good understanding about unions and how they can help you when you don’t feel like you have a voice. The unity it brings and the confidence it gives you to be able to say “Hey! I’m worth more and I deserve to be heard!” is a feeling that cannot be described. I am excited to work together to better our situation as a whole.” —Tanesha Lawrence-St. Julien, Sullivan/Guidewire, Springfield.
Now we’re sitting down and negotiating our first union contract that will require management to treat us with respect and dignity, and improves the lives of the individuals we serve. We’re not finished yet, but already we’ve gotten management to agree to:
- Maintain a safe and healthy work environment;
- Make anyone who works 35 hours a week full time and eligible for benefits;
- “Just cause” for discipline; and
- Establish a labor-management committee to guarantee us permanent input.
Labor Board Finds MHA Broke the Law in Last Year’s Union Election
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the agency that governs labor law in the United States, found that during last year’s union election, management at MHA broke the law many ways throughout their campaign. The NLRB felt the violations were so severe and unfair to you, the workers, it threw out the results of the election.
As a result of some of the violations, you should see this poster hung in your workplace.
If this notice is not in your log book or posted in view, contact SEIU Local 509 at the number below.
In the next few weeks, you’ll be hearing more from us about your opportunity to vote for a union again—this time in a free and fair environment.
For more information
contact us at 800-632-8079 x558