SERV Behavioral Health System Workers Rally Outside HQ

Almost two years since overwhelmingly winning their election, residential counselors and maintenance employees for SERV Centers of New Jersey in Mercer County held a rally for a fair contract. They are still without a contract as management continues to do everything possible to silence the voice of front-line behavioral health workers – even while they are central to helping our communities rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Attendees at the rally Thursday included New Jersey State Senate President Steve Sweeney, president of Ironworkers Philadelphia and Vicinity District Council and financial secretary-treasurer of Local 399, State Sen. Linda R. Greenstein, and New Jersey Assemblymen Wayne P. DeAngelo, president and assistant business manager of IBEW 269, and Anthony Verrelli, a brother from Carpenters Local 254. Also supporting the AFSCME brothers and sisters were AFSCME New Jersey Council 63 Executive Director Steven M. Tully and New Jersey State AFL-CIO COPE Director John Shea III." [click here to read the full Insider NJ article]

After winning their election to improve working conditions, staffing and consumer care by forming a union with AFSCME New Jersey Council 63, these dedicated workers have been met with unprecedented resistance by management.

“I stand with you in support of your right to be represented by AFSCME and to have SERV negotiate a contract for fair pay, improved working conditions, and adequate staffing,” Senator Sweeney told the workers and union members assembled for the protest. “You should be treated with respect and appreciation. The work you do is difficult, demanding and vital. Greater support for workers will result in better care for consumers and a quality behavioral health system in Mercer County and New Jersey.” [click here to read Senate President Sweeney's full statement]

The rally came as New Jersey’s new labor peace legislation has gone into effect. SERV’s actions in 2019 made it the posterchild of why the legislation, passed unanimously, was needed.