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SEIU —Union Success in Californeeyah

SACRAMENTO, CA - JANUARY 9:  California Gov. A...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

On Tuesday, lawmakers on the California Legislature’s joint budget committee refused to cut state worker pay and spared that state’s In-Home Support Services the major cut that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed as part of his plan to solve the state’s $24.3 billion deficit.

Under the governor’s budget proposal, IHSS would stand to lose roughly $765 million, resulting in a near-elimination of services for nearly 400,000 people—or 90 percent of the elderly or disabled persons currently receiving care. Making such drastic cuts to California’s IHSS program to make up for budgetary shortfalls would also result in more people having to resort to institutional care (nursing homes or other residential institutions)– which is estimated to be four times more expensive to the State.

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June 18th, 2009 Posted by narsbars | Arnold Schwarzenegger, California Legislature, California State Legislature | no comments

No money, no hope and State Employees

FOR KROCHER NO HOPEImage by Phreak 2.0 via Flickr

No money, no hope the public and State Employees all over the country continue to take hits.

Maine has an ongoing freeze on all but essential hiring and mandatory shut down days.

How critical are the shut down days? Do they save money? Are they at least being done with the public in mind?

The State has the first shut down day scheduled for July 6, and has already made thousands of exceptions, over 2100 so far.

You would expect all the jobs to be in emergency or life saving positions but a look at the list lets you see that in many cases management is considered essential while the employees with the skills to do the work are told to stay home.

If they need help, exactly who are they going to call?

Instead of sharing the pain over all State Employees the legislature targeted only the executive branch with the lion’s share of the cuts in a kiss on the lips to the Republicans whose goals had nothing to do with fiscal responsibility and everything to do with hurting Maine citizens just because they work for the State..

When ordering the hiring freeze and the shut down days, the legislature said the disastrous economy required tough choices, and promised that only positions that supported the most vital jobs would be exceptions to the shut down rules.

The intent was to keep only the employees necessary to keep basic functions of government running on the job, filling only those jobs required by law, or of course the tax department.

While we have State Employee lay offs the State is entering the 5th and 6th year of a $2,000,000.00 per year contract for contractors to work for Maine Revenue Service.

Each position costs at least $133,000.00 per year, PLUS the contracted out cost of managing the contract, PLUS the cost at about $159,000.00 to hire a contractor to manage the contractors. If you think a State Employee costs $150,000.00 and up for the same position you would be sadly wrong.

The appropriations committee told the commissioner of Maine Revenue Services when he wanted to hire two employees “We’ll contract it out because that doesn’t cost anything”.

Great! I am going to hire out the remodeling of my house and that won’t cost anything I suppose! In the current economic climate our elected officials must be careful protectors of our scarce dollars, but when it comes to admitting that in many cases a State Employee can do it cheaper, they would rather contract it out.

Even in tough times Maine will probably continue to hire more and more middle management while cutting services to the public. Even with the exceptions made to the shut down days the State of Maine is continuing to try to reduce the workforce.

A retirement incentive of $10,000.00 is in place for a lucky few; workers are retiring, and finding other jobs even in this economy and many of those jobs are going unfilled increasing the workload while the State refuses to look at real savings on contracting out.

The Augusta crowd continues to feed rich landlords while State buildings go empty. They hire contractors more expensively than giving jobs to Mainers. We allowed a casino to be built and ship $50,000,000.00 per year out of State because we couldn’t trust our own American Indian population to run a casino.

When does this end?


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June 18th, 2009 Posted by narsbars | Layoff, MSEA-SEIU, Maine Revenue Service, State Employee | 3 comments

Oregon Bill Bans Mandatory Anti-Union Meetings, Moves to the House

I want to be the 1st person through the door the morning after a local Wal-Mart Unionizes. I will wear my Union colors and call the “associates” brother or sister.

It has been estimated that the cost of better wages and benefits for all Wally World employees could cost an extra $1.00 to a $1.50 per $$100.00 purchase.

Wal-Mart could swallow that and never even have to raise prices. Recently the corp. made a Twelve Billion dollar profit in one year.

The Oregon senate believes workers are able to choose to form a Union and bargain for themselves.

The senate also believes employees may be able to think for themselves and should not be forced to attend coercive, mandatory anti-union meetings held by an aggressive and threatening management.

Monday the Oregon Senate passed the Worker Freedom Act. It now goes to the House, where it passed in 2007.

The legislation, if passed will make it illegal for an employer to discipline or fire a worker who refuses to attend a meeting on politics, religion or union organizing during work hours.

Almost all anti-union campaigns are use mandatory meetings where employers or hired Union Busters use scare tactics to intimidate workers. Depending on how you look at the statistics between 25% and 60% of companies involved in a Unionization campaign fire or punish employees who support Unions.

During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Wal-Mart forced employees to attend meetings where they were told that electing Democrats to the White House and Congress could threaten their jobs.

The Worker Freedom Act was passed 16-14, by the Oregon Senate.

Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski has said he will sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

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June 18th, 2009 Posted by narsbars | EFCA, MSEA-SEIU, MSEASEIU, Maine State Employees, Oregon, Ted Kulongoski, Trade union, Union busting, Wal-Mart | no comments