Mental Health Services Privatization Approved

In the most recent move to privatize vital services in the state, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Auditor Suzanne Bump’s approval of the privatization of state-run mental health and crisis intervention services in southeastern Massachusetts. This move jeopardizes the care of thousands of children and adults in Brockton, Fall River, Taunton, Attleboro, Cape Cod and the Islands.
SEIU Local 509 that represents nearly 20,000 educators and human service providers in the state, challenged the approval, because the proposed changes failed to uphold the minimum wage and benefit protections under the Pacheco Law, lacked a competitive bidding process, and could lead to a decline in the quality of services.
In a statement made over the weekend, SEIU 509 President, Susan Tousignant said, “Front-line clinicians have been clear in our view that any action that jeopardizes critical care for at-risk families is unconscionable – whether through unnecessary budget cuts or irrational policy initiatives. This holds especially true in a region that has been devastated by the opioid crisis and suicide rates that are four times the rest of the state.”
Read more in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette.