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Posted By: Council 93

A dedicated group of private-sector human services workers are looking forward to a brighter future for themselves, their families, and the people they care for, after taking the courageous step of forming a union with AFSCME Council 93.

The workers, who provide quality, compassionate care for developmentally disabled adults at ARC of South Norfolk facilities in Westwood and West Roxbury, voted for the union after working with Council 93 over the past several months on an intensive organizing campaign.

Leaders of the group first reached out to Council 93 last Fall. Like all human services professionals, their primary concerns were focused not on themselves, but on the welfare and safety of the vulnerable individuals they care for on a daily basis. Their requests were simple. They wanted proper equipment, basic safety precautions, and a clean, safe environment for their medically fragile clients.

Michelle Sola, a program coordinator at ARC, summed things up perfectly for her colleagues during the organizing campaign. "If our voice isn't heard, the program suffers," Sola said. "AFSCME can help to give us that voice, and if our voice is protected, so are the voices of every individual we are honored to serve."

Sola's voice was echoed by her colleague Alicia Russell. "I support the union because I support the idea of standing beside my valued coworkers in hopes of adequately providing services for the remarkable individuals we serve," she said. "I also feel it's important to provide these services in an environment that is fair, comfortable and deemed respectful for direct care staff as well as the individuals we serve."

The voices of Sola and Russell, along with many others, had a resounding impact. Despite strong opposition from management, the group worked with the team at Council 93 to educate their co-workers and convince them that the union was the only pathway towards their goals. It worked. When it came time to vote on February 28th, an overwhelming majority of the group voted for the union.

It wasn't always easy, but AFSCME's organizing team were constantly by their sides. After some initial meetings, AFSCME organizers and attorneys took them step-by-step through the process of forming a union, guiding the workers and helping them refute and rebut the deceptive claims of management.

As a result, the men and women at the ARC of South Norfolk are now a part of the largest and fastest growing public sector union in the country. With over 1.6 million members nationwide, and over 45,000 in Council 93, AFSCME is widely-recognized as one of the most respected and influential labor unions in the country.

"We're honored by the trust that these workers have placed in our union and we look forward to working with them to achieve their goals," said Council 93 Executive Director Frank Moroney. "We have a long and successful track record of fighting and winning in this union. There will be challenges ahead, but I can assure these workers that we will be right by their side every step of the way to meet these challenges head on."

Interested in forming a union with AFSCME? It starts with a confidential conversation. Click here for more information.



AFSCME Council 93

AFSCME Council 93 represents more than 45,000 state, county and municipal employees in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

© AFSCME Council 93. All Rights Reserved

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