Trust me, I work for the Government

Do know what they think about you?

E.T.I. 2009

Here are small excerpts of comments taken from MaineToday
The paper is well worth reading if you want to know what the public is thinking.
You should join
MaineToday and stay up with what the rest of Maine thinks. I only printed small bits because I was in the conversation.
This is your opposition. They are working with lies, hate, jealousy, and even some good intentions based on bad information. They leave comments, they talk to the papers, they talk to the legislature. Do you? Do your co-workers?
The worst is the intelligent and thoughtful comment made at the bottom of the page.
The reason it is so bad is that it is based on bad information. If we had received C.P.I. raises for the last 16 years we would not have a problem. We have actually gotten a pay cut



There was a time when unions were a necessity in this country, but those days are passed. Unions continue to ruin the economy in this country and states unions are the worst offenders.

The state has 1 secretary for every two workers.

Snow plow drivers getting paid through out the entire year even though it only snows for 4 months of the year?

I print the following link to the supposed proof that State employees are so highly paid because it proves nothing except we are not afraid of made up numbers. This is just more of the “I have a lousy job for a stinking company and you should suffer too!” type of thought. I hope you can get a real job, where someone respects what you do. I know you work hard for your family, if only your employer cared.
YOU deserve a good job, and benefits too!

State workers receive benefits packages that are 120 percent more than the private sector ($14,982 vs.$6,805)


State workers in social services are like garbage men, they do the job no one else wants, and you want to see your trash off your lawn right?

Government is not a business, and can’t be run like one. There are many issues in this State, but putting down State workers just because they want to get a raise is unfair.

I won’t defame state employees. Many I’m sure are hard working people like the rest of us. However, like the rest of us they should share the financial hardship this state’s economic policies have created.
Many Maine workers have gone at least one year without a pay increase let state and local employees do the same. After that wage increases in line with the regional C.P.I. would be fair. Finally all state employees should be placed on Dirigo Health. If it’s a cutting edge program like the Governor promotes, it should be good enough for government employees too.

E.T.I. 2009

June 28th, 2007 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments

Over Paid, Under Worked, Lazy Bloodsuckers.

E.T.I. 2009

Did you read the K.J. on Wed. June 27? The title of this article describes some of the nicer things State employees were called in the comments to the K.J.

The thing that scares me is that the people that hate State employees are organized, effective, vocal and involved. They are on web sites, call in shows, and they write to their legislators.
How many State employees can say the same? I am predicting right now that inside of a year the legislature will be trying to get your health care and benefits. They attacked the N.H. SEIU.
The SEIU in N.H. said GREAT! two 5% raises! The math says that after you deduct what they will pay in health care and deductibles they maybe got two 1% raises. I keep saying “They are coming to get you!” The MSEA protected what was important. Our main motto is “No give backs!” They really are coming to get you.

The comments about State employees are vicious, and destructive. The fact that the comments are ignorant, uninformed and lies is not the real problem.
The real problem is that this is a well thought out campaign to tell Mainers if only they punished State employees all their troubles would go away. The fear of paying all workers what they are worth is what is fueling the campaign to brand anyone with a good job and any benefits as the reason for someone else’s problems. Your employer treats you like SH**, so hurt someone else! Your employer won’t provide benefits, so it must be the fault of a State employee. I am so sorry for the people that fall for this that it is depressing. I see hard working Mainers struggling to feed families while Wall to Wall Mart becomes the biggest corporation on earth and says it can’t afford to pay a good wage or any benefits. Mickey D works assistant managers 100 hours a week and can’t afford to pay a living wage. All they want is someone to blame other than their own dried up, blood sucking, selfish, selves. Remember that when someone calls you a shovel leaner. They have been sold lies and hate. Tell them that you think they deserve a good job and they should be able to take care of their families, but they won’t get it hurting someone else.
Ask them if every State employee were to have there benefits stopped tomorrow and their pay cut to minimum wage if their boss would give them a raise and benefits the next day.

There are a lot of people in Maine without benefits or good working conditions. Every year corporate profits rise, even in Maine the big companies do well. They are afraid that someone will lift the rock and see what crawls out. One of my republican legislators has a dad that was a State employee and he at least answers my calls. The other legislator is a business owner, very well off. Do you think that business pays the same benefits and health care the legislator gets?
Than legislator has never answered one call or one not one email.

This site needs over 450 more people to sign up in the next five months. No 500, no site.

What is E.T.I. 2009 ?

Cartoon Courtes of Carol Simpson DesignWorks.

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June 27th, 2007 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments

If a Union can work here it can work anywhere.

2009 E.T.I.

You think you have it tough? Is it too hard to organize for Union activity?

I know this picture is from China, but I put it in for the idea.

How would you like to face tanks, rifles, and do it in the middle of Iraq where just being an Oil worker is enough to get you and your family killed?

Iraqi Oil Workers Declare Victory after Strike

The demands of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions (IFOU) that held pipeline strikes near Basra during the beginning of June were met. This stopped further planned strikes.

On 11 June, the IFOU met with the Minister of State for Parliament Affairs, who represents Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Promises al-Maliki made to the union in May were finally honored. A committee to deal with oil workers’ grievances was finally established. Grievances including salaries, work conditions, health and safety concerns, and demands to be involved in the future of Iraq’s oil industry.

IFOU President Hassan Jumaa Awad Alasady said, the workers have won in demanding their rights.

Remember, in Iraq, negotiations tend to spread small parts of people over a wide area.

On June 5 the Iraqi military surrounded the strikers and the Union found that there were plans to arrest union and strike leaders.

After negotiations with the union, both sides agreed to stop the strike and to use negotiations to resolve outstanding issues.

Basra-area pipeline workers, part of the 26,000-member IFOU, shut down oil pipelines leading to Baghdad on 4 June, and again on 5 June, after a decision by the country’s oil minister to break the Prime Minister’s promises to the Union.

The IFOU has thanked all of the Unions around the world that helped. sending messages of gratitude for all of the help and good wishes expressing solidarity with the oil workers and the IFOU.

Maybe dealing with Republicans isn’t quite so bad. 2009 E.T.I.

June 26th, 2007 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments


2009 E.T.I.

June 25, 2007
MSEA contract passes. Two to one vote or better in all units. Within a few days of the AFSCME vote to pass their contract MSEA members voted to pass their contract. The process works and although there is a lot of grumbling about not enough money we have a contract. On the lighter side some of the voters must have thought that the Union was lost because they included directions on where to go and how to get there in the mail. Along with those directions, most of which gave a general direction of straight down were a number of compliments. “You did your best”. “Thank you for your hard work”. Any one of the thanks meant more to me than any of the others.

No, this is not a great contract, but wake up and smell the air. It is not too soon to start planning for next time. Were you disappointed? Did your idea get left out? Start now, send in your ideas.

I am starting a collection of proposals now. You can post here by hitting the comment button or you can email NARSBARS@GMAIL.COM. I will never share your email with anyone. If you have a good idea, start now and be first in line.

What do you want to bet that the budget process for two years from now features State employees as the target of what they call “cost savings”? Your pay, your health care, everything you have as an employee is going to be attacked again and again. You only have to slip once. If they take it away, do you think they will ever give it back?

This blog has about five months to go. If you want to have to have this place to share ideas, Click SUBSCRIBE ME under this post. If I get 500 signed up, this place stays, and your ideas have a place. If we can’t get 500 people in six months, it won’t matter. Thinking positively, the vote was larger than last time, many more people got involved. Whether they voted yes or not they voted.

2009 E.T.I.

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June 25th, 2007 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments

New Hampshire SEIU 10% raise over two years

They don’t have a contract yet, but they do have a TA.

New Hampshire SEIU
Tentative Agreement Reached 10% raise over two years.

A lot of this is great stuff, but read the whole story. See how much they are paying for health care, check the size of the deductibles and look at the increases that are coming. Would you like a contract like this? What do you think.They did well but just getting some things, we have had for years. Click on the comments at the bottom of the post and let everyone know what YOU think. Is this a good contract? Is our healthcare better? How important is the fact that we saved our healthcare?

The tentative agreement would increase pay by more than 10% over the two-year contract.

Wages, the Agreement

$0.51 per hour to employees’ base pay, effective July 6, 2007 (a total of $1,060 for employees working 40-hour weeks.

3.5% raise January 4, 2008; and a 5.5% raise on January 2, 2009.


$200 in “health reimbursement” funds to employees who complete an on-line “Health Risk Assessment” questionnaire. The money can be used for office visit and prescription co-pays.
Caps maximum out-of-pocket expenses for office visits at $500 per individual and $1,000 per family; caps maximum out-of-pocket expenses for prescription drugs at $500 per individual and $1,000 per family; implements $25 per pay period health care fee for employees who subscribe to the state’s health insurance system (a total of $650 a year in pre-tax dollars); this fee will increase to $30 per pay period ($780) on January 2, 2009;
Office visit co-pays will be effective January 1, 2009 (preventative care will continue to have no co-pay; primary care visits will increase to $10; most specialists’ visits will increase to $20, but some will remain at $10); Prescription drug co-pays stay at current rates; Increase maximum dental benefit to $1,200 (a 20% increase);
Adds adult orthodontia benefits; increases coverage of dental X-Rays to 100% (eliminating the 20% co-pay);

The SEA will get a Health Benefit Advisory Committee with union representatives to help the State evaluate and restructure its health plans. Seriously ill college students can continue to receive health care insurance through their family’s health insurance policy even if they are unable to maintain their full-time student status) and will be eligible for domestic partner benefits.

The Agreement also: increases sick leave credits at retirement from 41.7% to
50% (not to exceed 60 days); allows employees to use up to 15 days of sick leave per
year to care for a family member; gives employees a contractual right to request a flexible or alternative work schedule; and provides retroactive reclassification pay, to 91 days after filing.

The Union negotiating Team chair Diana Lacey summed up the sentiment at the meeting when she said, “We feel good about this agreement.”

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June 21st, 2007 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments

SEIU gets 22 1/2% raise. SEIU gets Federal Mileage rate

Pennsylvania SEIU got a 22 1/2% wage increase over four years. Scroll down for the post. Oregon gets and has gotten Federal mileage rate for employees for years!! I am sick of reading about SEIU victories in other States, raises, raises, raises!!! What kind of place is this, where a prison guard can be knifed and put on workers comp instead of at least a few weeks of full pay?

None of the gains were in Maine, but we can make the same gains. We know we need to have more members involved in protecting their families and their jobs. It is getting better. Hard to believe, but we are hearing more questions about how things work. I think we are hearing more from members because the message is getting through. The union is you, and your voice matters. Your opinions will be heard. Let’s get more people involved. Pass on this blog address, and ask “What can we do, what do members want from the Union?”. POST your ideas! If we get enough voices, we will be strong.

Know your enemy.

In Maine we get lied to, told we get too much already. We get told that the legislature with the help of the State’s best economists can’t figure out how to fund a raise or stop stealing gas money from employees. We pay the travel expenses for the State, we pay the insurance costs to drive our cars for the State, we pay the hundreds to fix our cars if they get trashed by a client, BUT we can’t get cost of living raises. We are the targets of every politician looking to make a name on a right wing talk show or newspaper. We keep taking pay cuts. Sorry, sometimes I just lose it. AFSCME is making a run at a 25/55 retirement plan. Great for their employees but the money would come from the same money we need to fix the cliff. We don’t talk to them, they don’t talk to us, and meantime the State’s negotiators are just rolling in the halls watching us waste all our energy in fighting each other.

Everyone is screaming about what the Union has not done for them. What can we do to get people involved? How do we reach out? We are doing good work with dedicated people.

We need a lot more ideas than mine. How about you email this post someone you know. Ask them to subscribe to this blog, if you haven’t signed up, take a second. We can make a difference, one person at a time. Ask them to pass it on. If you are reading this I know you care about more than just yourself.


Mileage Rate Changes OREGON

January 31 2007

From the State Controllers Division Travel Coordinators:

The General Services Administration (GSA) has announced that the private vehicle mileage reimbursement rate will be 48.5 cents per mile, effective February 1, 2007 for Federal agencies. Our intent in State Travel Policy is to mirror those federal rates. This change was published in the Federal Register on January 30, 2007

Appendix A will be amended to state “Effective 2/1/07, vehicle mileage is 48.5 cents per mile. State mileage rates mirror the federal rate and change automatically when the Federal rates change.” Thus, for travel that occurs on or after February 1, 2007, the reimbursement rate for private vehicle mileage will be 48.5 cents per mile. This change affects all employees. The HRSD Labor Relations Unit had previously notified employee union representatives that the rates may go up on January 1, 2007 and that the union would receive notice if the anticipated increase in the rate occurs. HRSD Labor Relations will notify the affected employees’ union representatives (AEE, IAFF, KFAFFA and SEIU) about the rate change and effective date. If HRSD receives any objections, the affected agencies will receive direction from HRSD.

How many complaints about the State raising mileage rates will they get?

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June 20th, 2007 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments

Secret Snapshots of a gem of a meeting.

We couldn’t get cameras into the last meeting of the decertification crowd but these sketches were made by our source.
They think they are really going to be “Purple people eaters”. Purple union money comes from the members.
Ask yourself where the anti union money comes from when there is no union and no dues. Does anyone think that some big organization is donating millions of dollars all over the country out of their warm, employee loving hearts?

These cartoons are courtesy of a great Union friendly site, Carol Simpson Designworks. They do artwork, design work, and much more. Please drop in and take a look.

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June 18th, 2007 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments


On July 14 the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that states may require public-sector labor unions to get permission from workers before using their union fees for political activities.

The 9-0 decision applies to government workers who have chosen not to be members of the union.

Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the court. Because it even would be constitutional for Washington state “to eliminate agency fees entirely,” this “far less-restrictive limitation” is acceptable, he wrote.

The question was if it is enough for unions to give nonmembers the chance to opt out of their fees being used for political purposes – Under this standard, the burden is on the nonmember to object, and if no objection is heard, the union can assume consent.

The high court yesterday reaffirmed that standard, saying that it’s OK for a state to put the burden on the nonmember. But the court also said that standard is a “floor,” not a “ceiling” — meaning that states may impose further restrictions on unions——-

The man who brought the case said the Supreme Court unanimously rejected the idea that unions have a constitutional right to spend nonmember dues on politics. THE FAIRSHARE FEE INCLUDES NO POLITICAL SPENDING.

The Supreme Court also refused to push further and force all states to follow Washington in requiring unions to get affirmative consent from nonmembers.

Officials at the National Right to Work Foundation — which helped bring the suit said the Supreme Court passed up an opportunity to change the union rules.

They have no dues paying members. Where is the money coming from? Corporate generosity to union busting groups?

America’s workers laboring under compulsory unionism are little better off after today’s ruling,” said Stefan Gleason, the group’s vice president. “No one should be forced to join or pay dues to a union in the first place.”

No one is being forced to pay Union Dues in Maine, they are being asked to pay for the expenses that the State has determined the Union must cover for all employees, Union members or not.

“Our fear was that if the Supreme Court had ruled the other way, the constitutionality of federal campaign restrictions on unions would be next,” he said.

He is afraid that the restrictions placed on the free speech of Union members might be removed. I am sure the same group believes in uncontrolled corporate speech.

The Supreme Court didn’t rule that
the teachers union had violated any law.

June 16th, 2007 Posted by narsbars | ATTACK ON UNIONS, FAIR SHARE, FairShare, MSEA Dues, MSEASEIU, UNIONMAINE, Union Success | no comments

U.S. Dept. of Labor Union Wages

Why would anyone want to bust a union? Obviously so they can pay the employee less.
The figures speak for themselves. Keep reading, the punch line is at the bottom. “They say Unions are dying. Why would anyone rush out to say “I want to earn less”. Because Unions have been painted as the devil, denying good wages to everyone else. The truth of the matter is that you have to consider the source. Republicans, Wall to Wall mart, big employers with a vested interest in keeping wages low.

Union Members Summary

     USDL 07-0113
    Thursday, January 25, 2007
                          UNION MEMBERS IN 2006The bold italics are my comments. Narsbars

To be fair there is information stating union membership has declined.

Why would membership decline with the facts shown here? Part of the reasonis George Bush, who has taken the right of unionionization from thousand ofFederal workers.
 --Workers in the public sector had a union membership rate nearly five times thatof private sector employees.                                  
The union membership rate for government workers (36.2 percent) was substantiallyhigher than for private industry workers (7.4 percent).
Within the public sector, local government workers had the highest union membershiprate, 41.9 percent.  This group includes several heavily unionized occupations, suchas teachers, police officers, and fire fighters.
Among major private industries, transportation and utilities had the highest unionmembership rate, at 23.2 percent, followed by construction (13.0 percent).  Withinthe information industry, telecommunications had a 20.7 percent union membershiprate.  Financial activities had the lowest unionization rate in 2006--1.9 percent.
                                     - 2 -
Union Representation of Nonmembers
   About 1.5 million wage and salary workers were represented by a union on theirmain job in 2006, while not being union members themselves.  (See table 1.)  Slightlymore than half of these workers were employed in government.  (See table 3.)
In 2006, full-time wage and salary workers who were union membershad median usual weekly earnings of $833, compared with a medianof $642 for wage and salary workers who were not represented byunions.

Do you think they could afford to pay fair share from the difference?

June 14th, 2007 Posted by narsbars | AGEM, FAIR SHARE, MSEA, MSEA Dues, MSEA ELECTIONS, MSEA-SEIU, MSEASEIU, Maine State Employees, SEIU, SEIU 1984, SEIU 1989, STATE EMPLOYEES | no comments

Pennsylvania SEIU gets 22% over 4 years


Agreed to General Pay Increases:

FY 07/08 $1250 Signing Bonus Effective July 1, 2007 as noted below*
FY 08/09 3% Effective July 1, 2008
FY 09/10 3% Effective July 1, 2009
FY 10/11 4% Effective October 1, 2010

*Signing Bonus Terms: In accordance with Article 20, Section 8, each permanent
full-time employee covered by this Agreement who is in an active pay status on
July 1, 2007, shall receive a one-time lump sum cash payment of $1250. Each

Annual Service Increments/Cash Payments:

FY 07/08 Employees shall be eligible to receive a one step annual service
increment, or shall receive a one-time cash payment, as applicable,
effective the beginning of the first full pay period in January 2008.

FY 08/09 Employees shall be eligible to receive a one step annual service
increment, or shall receive a one-time cash payment, as applicable,
effective the beginning of the first full pay period in January 2009.

FY 09/10 Employees shall be eligible to receive a one step annual service
increment, or shall receive a one-time cash payment, as applicable,
effective the beginning of the first full pay period in January 2010.

FY 10/11 Employees shall be eligible to receive a one step annual service
increment, or shall receive a one-time cash payment, as applicable,
effective the beginning of the first full pay period in January 2011.

This looks great, but they are now looking at Furlough days, attacks on health care and more.

In the fine print there are many areas where they have not gotten the benefits we have.

This was still a good contract. Ask yourself how it happened. Member involvement! Penn. State employees showed up at huge rallys, and sent in thousands of emails and cards.

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June 14th, 2007 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments