Direct Support Professionals at the Mentor Network/REM Form Union for Respect, Better Pay and Improved Services for Consumers

More than 275 direct support professionals at the Mentor Network, REM Connecticut Community Services have formed their union with SEIU District 1199. Despite tough employer opposition, workers stood up for respect, better pay and a voice to improve services and supports for their consumers.

“I’m organizing because changes are needed within the agency for the staff, our families and the people we care for,” said Carina Kerr, a direct support worker at the Mentor Network, REM.

Simone Dacres says that she supports forming a union because, “We need to support each other as we support our consumers here at REM.”

Workers at the Mentor Network, REM in Connecticut join over 200 human service workers at CHI in Maryland who voted to join SEIU Local 500 last month.

Direct support professionals are increasingly seeing that the best way to have a real voice in important decisions that impact their jobs and the services they provide is by joining together in a union.

Explaining why she and so many others chose to join SEIU Local 500, Delphine Achi said, “Our union will help us speak out.”

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