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Rep. Judith Garcia Lends Helping Hand to Soldiers Home Workers, Chelsea Community

April 20, 2023

Chelsea and Holyoke Soldiers Home's workers are long due Group 2 retirement benefits

Tuesday morning, SEIU 888 members and Holyoke Soldiers’ Home workers Theresa King and Kwesi Ablordeppey teamed up with Chelsea Soldiers Home worker Peter Lanceleve to testify for Soldiers’ Homes workers to receive Group 2 retirement benefits, allowing workers to retire ten years earlier than currently. The Soldiers’ Homes workers received a boost from a formidable ally, Representative Judith Garcia of Chelsea. Garcia is a champion for Soldiers’ Homes workers rights.

In less than a year in office, Garcia has already introduced the retirement bill and has already implemented key reforms at the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home by working with the Healey Administration. “The Soldiers Homes in Chelsea and Holyoke are vital and the service they provide as nurses and as caregivers are instrumental for the people who have served for this country,” said Rep. Garcia. Garcia previously served in Chelsea as a City Councilor and Advisor to Vice President Kamala Harris.

The stories and decades of experience from King, Ablordeppey and Lanceleve were also instrumental to the successful hearing. King and Lanceleve are union stewards in their workplaces and Kwesi Ablordeppey has served for several years as a member of SEIU 888’s Executive Board. All three have worked for over twenty years at the Soldiers’ Home.Passing the bill, S.1650, is a long-term priority for SEIU 888. Supporters of the bill can watch the full hearing here, and should submit written testimony to the Committee of Public Service in favor of the bill by emailing with the subject line “S.1650.”