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Northampton SEIU 668 Members Present Petition to County Council

April 22, 2024

Northampton County Union Members Deserve a Strong Contract.

On Thursday, April 18, more than 40 Northampton County SEIU 668 union members delivered a petition to the County Council meeting with over 100 worker signatures. Union members are calling on the County to return to the Negotiating Table on Wednesday, April 24, and reach a deal that meets the needs of the workers.

The county's current economic proposal will not address the staffing crisis that workers are facing. In solidarity with the SEIU 668 Negotiating Team, we're asking SEIU 668 members in Northampton County to wear your union purple on Wednesday, April 24. You can read the text of the petition below.


Petition Text Presented at Northampton County Council on April 18, 2024

Northampton County Executive

Lamont McClure

We, the members of SEIU Local 668 working in the Northampton County Department of Human Services, are committed to fostering a community where all residents can live safe, healthy, and independent lives, free from abuse, discrimination, and inequity. Our vision encompasses providing preventive and protective services to residents of all ages and backgrounds across socioeconomic classes, races, and cultures. We believe that every resident should have the opportunity to achieve well-being and independence through services and opportunities that protect, empower, respect choice, and preserve dignity. Our department encompasses vital services such as Children, Youth, and Family Services, Aging, Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol support, Early Intervention, Developmental Programs, and Information and Referral/ Emergency Services. As dedicated employees of Northampton County, we are deeply committed to bettering the lives of our residents and building a strong community.

The Northampton County Department of Human Services members take their commitment to serving the community very seriously. However, we are deeply concerned about the disparity between our wages and the rising cost of living. County Executive Lamont McClure acknowledged in the March 2024 edition of the Northampton County Newsletter that stagnant wages are making it increasingly difficult for middle- to lower-income workers to afford housing in our region. This issue affects our current workforce and our department's ability to retain qualified staff and fill double-digit vacancies, exacerbating caseloads and workload issues. Staff turnover has become a consistent problem across multiple County agencies. For the residents of Northampton County, this could result in difficulty accessing services, inadequate outreach, inadequate protection of our most vulnerable populations, and overwhelmed caseworkers.

The Department of Human Services needs workers to deliver effective services to the community and residents of Northampton County. This is why SEIU union members are disappointed in Northampton County’s bargaining team’s decision to provide a last, best, and final offer that offers a too low wage increase combined with raising healthcare costs for our members, who already pay the highest percentage among unionized Northampton County workers. It is crucial that we settle a union contract that addresses these issues and ensures the continued provision of quality services for Northampton County residents as soon as possible.

We invite you to join us at our April 24 negotiation session to hear from workers and collaborate on a meaningful agreement that prioritizes these issues and protects services for Northampton County residents.