TODAY! Community HealthLink protest! Workers’ efforts to improve security stonewalled by CEO Deborah Ekstrom

Safety Concerns, Pay Inequities Prompt Picket by Human Service Workers, Allies at Community HealthLink

In wake of attack, workers’ efforts to improve security, address compensation imbalances stonewalled by CEO Deborah Ekstrom and CHL management

WORCESTER  – Human service workers and community leaders are poised to stage an informational picket at 5:00pm today – Tuesday, October 8 – over safety concerns and gross pay inequities at Worcester-based Community HealthLink (CHL). The delegation will elevate its demands for improved security in the wake of an August attack on a front-line CHL worker – as well as concerns over significant compensation deficiencies for those who provide direct care to clients. Human service workers will be joined by local elected officials and community leaders for a drive-time event outside Community HealthLink’s HOAP Office at 162 Chandler Street in Worcester.

Since the tragic attack on a Community HealthLink worker this summer, human service workers and support staff have pressed for concrete security improvements in CHL facilities and transportation services. Yet CEO Deborah Ekstrom and her management team have refused to implement commonsense proposals to add security staff and address stagnant wages for CHL staff who provide direct client care. The issues have come to a head in negotiations over a new contract for front-line workers at CHL, whose previous agreement expired September 30.

Front-line staff at Community HealthLink provide a variety of vital services to at-risk and underserved populations throughout Worcester County and North County – helping children, adults and entire families recover from the effects of mental illness, substance abuse and homelessness. Tuesday’s informational picket will call on CEO Deborah Eckstrom and the CHL management team to take immediate action to settle safety and compensation conflicts at issue in current contract negotiations.

WHAT: Informational picket calling for action on workplace safety and compensation imbalances at Community HealthLink

WHO: Human service workers, local elected officials and community advocates urging prompt action in the wake of August’s attack on front-line CHL staff

WHEN: TODAY – Tuesday, October 8 – 5:00PM

WHERE: Outside Community HealthLink’s HOAP Office

162 Chandler Street – Worcester

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