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  We are the RI Alliance of Social Service Employees and our union, SEIU Local 580 represents more than 850 public sector workers throughout the State of Rhode Island. We provide a variety of  services to low income families, at risk children, veterans, people with mental illness, developmental disabilities ,individuals with businesses and citizens needing help with accessing resources. Local 580 members are united in our mission to raise living standards for working families while improving the quality and affordability of the services the state provides.

SEIU Local 580 is a part of the Services Employees International Union, the fastest growing labor union in the United States. SEIU is the nation’s largest health care union, the largest property services union, and the second largest public employee union.

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The objective of this Local Union is to improve the lives of working people and their families and  lead the way to a more just and humane society utilizing the Service Employees International Union.

To unite Local 580 members within the jurisdiction of the Service Employees International Union for mutual welfare, protection and advancement.

To work as Union members in the establishment and maintenance of fair wages, hours, working conditions, and professional standards.

To encourage and support women and members of minority groups to participate fully in the activities of the Local.

To eradicate discriminatory practices by the employer and society at large.

To seek ways to improve the quality of service the state provides.

To help build a strong labor movement that is reflective of the needs of working men and women.

To promote and encourage the involvement of it’s members in the political process, including elections and other forms of political activity.

Our office is located at:
1258 Elmwood Ave Unit #1
Providence, RI 02907
401-785-0206
Fax: 401-461-7948

Name: *
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Officers

President - Kathy McElroy

First Vice President - Thomas Tedeschi

Second Vice President - Domenic Lancellotta

Treasurer - Jack Kearney

Recording Secretary - Jennifer Ryan

Membership Secretary - Marie Sammartino

C.O.P.E. Secretary - Marguerite Belisle

ELECTION NEWSLETTER

 
 

 

SEIU LOCAL 580 GENERAL OFFICER ELECTIONS

Monday, November 19th, 2018 at the Cranston Portuguese Club (2 – 6pm) and various locations & times to be determined.  Further voting details will be released at a later date.  Balloting shall be conducted by secret vote with no proxy or write in votes permitted.  The elections shall be decided for the candidate receiving the most votes cast for that office.  Candidates statements included here are listed first in position order and then alphabetical order within the position.

Candidates for Election

President: Kathy McElroy & Jacinta Pena

1st Vice President: Tom Tedeschi

2nd Vice President: Keri Anne Paquin & John Piasczyk

Treasurer: Marie Sammartino

Recording Secretary: Jenn Ryan

Membership Secretary: Marguerite Belisle

C.O.P.E. Secretary: William Hawkins III

 


CANDIDATES’ STATEMENTS

President

Kathy McElroy

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Dear Fellow Local 580 Members,

   I would like to start by thanking all of you for the privilege and honor of serving as your President for the past two years.  We have, as a collective body, had many struggles during this time but I firmly believe that our many accomplishments are greater.

            In January 2017 I began my term with approximately 70 of our brothers and sisters laid off and the lowest staffing in years in many departments.  Our team worked diligently to make sure that all of those members were re-employed into 580 positions.  We have had continual hiring into front-line positions in both DCYF and DHS and now have almost 100 more members than we did two years ago.  We also created a new Economic Career Advisor position at DHS and are working on a career ladder for both social workers and supervisors.

   My original promise was to work on communication and ensure that all members had access to information.  We now have a working system where every member receives emails and information, every call is returned, every problem is addressed.  We have worked hard as a team to build relationships in every department and across the State, to forge new partnerships among our multiple departments and to learn about each agency and the very difficult jobs our members do. .

   I fought for our position at the table during Global contract negotiations and as a result I was able to ensure that we have a new contract with increased medical benefits and a record 7.5% raises which is the highest in many years!

   We have worked tirelessly to ensure that more members are involved so that we build a strong foundation to keep this Union moving forward.   We need and deserve experience, stability and consistency to bring us through the tough challenges ahead.

   I have thoroughly enjoyed representing all of you, meeting many of you during my “breakfast meetings”, fighting to ensure that our jobs remain 580 jobs and making sure that our voices are heard when issues arise. If I am fortunate enough to be re-elected I promise as a team we will continue to advocate for additional positions in all agencies to bring caseloads down to the national standards, continue fighting for safe work environments for all members, continue building the relationships we need to make us stronger and continue to make our members my priority.

   Voting is a privilege so please exercise your right in both the General Election and our Union Election.  You have a voice, make sure it is heard.

 

Jacinta Pena

My name is Jacinta Pena, I am running because I believe that I can help bring more voices to the table so that Local 580 have everything they need to provide great services to the people of Rhode Island.

     I have dedicated my career to working for communities. I came to DCYF in 2006. Prior to that, I spent many years working in community-based agencies such as CCRI, RI Memorial Hospital, and St. Joseph Hospital. I started at DCYF as a social caseworker for clients in our Family Service Unit. In 2013, I moved to our Licensing Unit, where I support foster families and ensure that all of our homes are safe for children in state care. During this time, I have been a fierce advocate for families, particularly our Spanish-speaking families who too often are unable to receive the services they need in a timely manner.

     I feel that changes are needed so that everyone would feel participate in the decision making that affects all Union members. Those who know me well will tell you that I am a person who is compassionate and who is a connector. I want to use this platform as a way to promote active participation – in times when they need support from Union leadership and in times when they don’t.

Along these lines, if I were elected, there are many things I would like to see move forward:

• Collective bargaining has to be more accessible to all members. We must increase the number of open meetings that are held so that there is time and space for voices to be heard.

• Civil Services examination schedules must become more routine. We must partner with the Department of Administration to hold regular exams. This is the only way to make sure that hiring and promotion is fair to all of our Union members and community members who want to devote their careers to civil services. We also need to make sure that processes around these exams are being followed (such as vacating lists at the time that new exams are announced).

• The Union needs to be involved with exit interviews. Whether an employee is dismissed, suspended, transferred or fired, the Union should have a role in understanding the nature of that employment change. If we are seeing trends or unfair practices, these insights can inform Union action.

• Our Union must represent all of its members. Members come from many cultural backgrounds and other forms of diversity. Our leadership and decision making needs to make sure that all of these perspectives have a voice in Union matters. As president, I will look for ways to ensure that we have a diverse set of active members. This includes actively recruiting them to support the organization on Union-sponsored activities as well as making sure that our executive committee is always considering the needs of the Union’s diverse membership.

     I hope to have your vote, and look forward to hearing from you and making your voices heard.

Thank you

 

1st Vice President

Tom Tedeschi

Dear brothers and sisters, 

     I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for having entrusted your confidence in me over the past two years and for the two years to come. I have enjoyed meeting as many of our members as I have and hope to meet all of you in the next two years.

     Our union has undergone two very hectic years with having dealt with issues at all our departments. Although the problems at DHS and DCYF have been more prevalent and covered by the media most intensely, this does not mean that the other agencies where our members are employed have not had problems of their own. The fact that many of the buildings our members work in are inadequate has been an on-going problem. Staffing resources at our agencies have been in flux and have left our members working long and stressful days.

     During the last two years your union officers, under the steady leadership of our President, Kathy McElroy, have worked diligently in trying to maintain safe and stable working environments for all the staff at all our agencies. This has meant meeting with our members and providing communication to members about the on-going status of what the union is doing for all our members. Kathy has worked tirelessly as President and has maintained a steady compass in the right direction for our Union.

     When this term began for our officers, DHS was in an organizational and staffing crisis with members displaced. Although the computer issues have continued to cause work related issues, displaced staff were rehired and there has been an on-going increase in staffing at DHS. There has also been an increase in staffing at DCYF. Over the next two years we hope to continue to work on the increase of new members working at all our agencies.  

     As we are all aware, a new contract was signed that has given us all a wage increase and will also provide additional benefits in our healthcare, while lowering some of our costs.

     As previously noted, it has been a privilege to have been your First Vice President over the past two years. I hope to be able to continue this work with all our members in the next two years. I appreciate your confidence in me and look forward to meeting with you in the course of the years to come. 

Thank you

 In Solidarity,

Thomas K. Tedeschi

 

2nd Vice President

Keri Anne Paquin

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Hello, my name is Keri Anne Paquin and I am running for 2nd Vice President of SEIU Local 580. 

During the last 4 years, I have enthusiastically represented SEIU Local 580 members upholding the positions of Executive Board Member, Steward and Grievance Committee representative.  I assiduously worked in protecting each union members rights under our contract from all 8 departments the SEIU Local 580 covers (BHDDH, DBR, DCYF, DHS, DLT, EOHHS, OLS, PUC). I actively supported our members in filing for medical accommodations, counseling secessions, discipline hearings, grievances and arbitrations. 

As your 2nd Vice President I will continue to assist the President, 1st Vice President, in all capacities as well as our union members requiring assistance.

 

John Piasczyk

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My name is John W. Piasczyk, and I am asking for your support in running for the position of Second Vice President of Local Union 580.  I would first like to take this opportunity to thank those who supported my position on the Executive Board.  The last two years in this position have certainly been a learning experience and evoked a desire to play a more integral part in ensuring the support and protections of my union brothers and sisters.

 I have been employed by DCYF for the last twenty years in the positions of Social Caseworker, Juvenile Probation Officer, and my current position of Child Protective Investigator, which I have held for fifteen years.  During my time with the Department I have observed, and been effected by numerous changes which have not always been in the best interest of our combined workforce.  As an employee we all share a strong commitment to the overall care and well being of those we serve to protect, isn’t it time those same standards were afforded to the membership?  I firmly believe a well respected and fairly treated employee not only affects individual professional experiences, but your life as a whole.  Our members should be free of worry of security and protection in all aspects of your day to day life, in and outside of your position.

 As we collectively enter into, and will be effected by changes within our various Departments and Union structure itself, I believe this is a time when we must all remain strong and unified to ensure a safe and well respected work environment.  While I see these changes as difficult, I stand strong in my resolve to ensure our contractual rights and privileges are maintained.

 As front line staff, I understand what we all go through, even previous to my entry into the Union as an elected official, I have advocated for my fellow coworkers when it appeared as they were being improperly treated.  I do not fear standing up for the rights we all have.  As we approach our shared futures we must be strong and support each and every one of our rights.  

 If elected to the position of Second Vice President, I promise to all of the membership MY VOICE, WILL BE YOUR VOICE, with a commitment to all.  Please feel free to contact me (401)787-5387, I am available to you always.  Thank you for your consideration. 

 In solidarity, John W. Piasczyk

Treasurer

Marie Sammartino

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My name is Marie Sammartino.  I would like the honor of being your treasurer.  I am employed as an Assistant Supervisor of Examinations for the Banking Division within the Department of Business Regulation.  I have an accounting degree and a master’s degree in computer information systems and have been a member of SEIU 580 for 16 years.  As treasurer I will use my financial background and experience to monitor the finances of the union and report the finances to the Executive Board and membership.  I humbly ask for your support. 

Thank you.

In Solidarity,

Marie

Recording Secretary

Jenn Ryan

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My name is Jenn Ryan and I have been employed by DCYF since December 14, 2003.   I have been active and proactive as an Executive Board Member since 2012, via nomination.  I have had the benefit, thanks to all of you, to have served as the Recording Secretary since 2016.

 I have had the experience to have been involved with Grievance Hearings and have voiced my concerns and opinions to securely support members, as needed and necessary.   I also serve on the Grievance Committee and as the Chairperson of the By-laws Committee.

 I promise, as your Recording Secretary, to continue to take diligent notes during "fact finding" incidents, Membership Meetings, when there is a quorum, and Executive Board Meetings and will have those notes appropriately accessible.  I will continue to be available to the membership to address their concerns, questions and provide guidance, as requested.   I have an open door policy and feel that I have treated every member equally and effectively.  Most of you know that I always either answer my cell phone or get back to you quickly.

 I hope to and look forward to continuing to serve the Membership, in ALL Departments where 580 is located.   You all have a choice and a voice in who represents you!

 Thank you in advance for all of your support!

Sincerely,

Jenn Ryan

Membership Secretary

Marguerite Belisle

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My name is Marguerite Belisle and I have been employed by the State of Rhode Island at Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals in the Developmental Disabilities Division since April of 2012. Prior to this position I was at the Department of Children, Youth, and Families as a Social Caseworker II for approximately seven years. I obtained a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Rhode Island College in 2001 and am a Licensed Clinical Social Work for the State of Rhode Island.

I have been C.O.P.E. Secretary for the Union for the past 2 years, working closely with our Union President and lobbyist.  I am a strong advocate for the vulnerable population that I service and feel I have the skills to do the same for our members.  Union members have been through significant changes in recent years.  Pension plan cuts, benefit rates constantly increasing., etc. I  am dedicated to our members and feel that open communication and honesty is needed between the board and its members.  The working relationship and communication will help get issues resolved and the union can move in a positive direction. 

Our members want their voices to be heard and I will advocate for increased communication and positive change. I accepted the nomination of Membership Secretary because I understand that change is important for our Union members and that comes with dignity, respect, and advocacy in a timely manner.

I am looking forward to Union 580’s future and hope you vote for me.

 

C.O.P.E. Secretary

William Hawkins III

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My name is William Hawkins and I have been employed by the State of Rhode Island for 20 years and have over 10 years’ experience in the private sector as an Investment Advisor at Wells Fargo Advisors, Fidelity Investments where I held securities licenses after passing comprehensive examinations.  Additionally, I was an Account Manager at Regan Communications, a public relations and crisis communications firm in Boston that lobbied government officials and promoted public and private projects in New England and other states. For the past two years, I have served as Workers Compensation Fraud Investigator at the RI Department of Labor and Training and prior to that as a Securities Examiner with the Department of Business Regulation. My other state service includes Assistant Commissioner of the RI Coastal Resources Management Council, and different roles from legislative and constituent affairs to communications and press relations on the staff of former RI House Speaker Joseph DeAngelis.   I received my bachelor’s degree from Providence College in 1985 and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Rhode Island in 2001.

As a husband, father, grandfather, activist, youth hockey and baseball coach, I decided to seek a position within Local 580 for several reasons.  This past winter, I was diagnosed with cancer. I had surgery and needed some sick bank hours from our membership and wanted to give something back. I have always stepped up to the plate when my help was needed.  However, this time was different.  As I went through the recovery period the prescription drugs prescribed by my doctor for my rehabilitation were not covered under our health care and the costs were astronomical. The C.O.P.E Secretary made most sense as my experience in the legislative process and communication skills would be an asset for fighting for workers’ rights, preserving and expanding our well-deserved wages and health benefits, while maintaining a strong voice with our elected officials.  Over the years, I have established a good working relationship with many of our elected officials on both sides of the aisle that would help SEIU and our membership maintain a strong presence at the state house and congressional delegation, in fighting for what we believe in. Fighting for those less fortunate is something that I’ve always been inspired to do, by participating in events like the MS 150 bicycle ride and 5k runs to benefit the American Cancer Society and American Heart Association. 

Over the past few years, our membership and labor unions across this state and country have seen pension cuts, higher health care costs and stagnated wages.  I feel that my skills and experience would be an asset to our membership and I would work to be a strong advocate along with the other members and officers of  SEIU Local 580 and therefore, I am humbly asking for your support and vote to be your next C.O.P.E Secretary and would be honored to serve with and for all of you for the next two years.