UnionMaine

Trust me, I work for the Government

Back from the Computer Crash

I have been living through a PC crash. I alway preach backup, backup, backup. Always seemed like a good idea for someone else…….Ouch!

On May 10 all the members of the last contract teams for all branches have been invited to get together on their own time to discuss what went right and wrong during the last contract talks.

If one of your members is going maybe you could give them some encouragement and maybe some thanks for what they are doing.

Many things worked and the best thing that happened to the Executive branch was having our current president, Bruce Hodsdon at the table. He made sure everyone was heard and that if you had something to say you had your chances.

The worst thing to happen was that we started at the end of December, at least six months too late and we are set on a collision course with too late with too little again. In SEIU unions throughout the country the following ideas have been passed. Do any of them seem familiar?
Have you heard that our Union is proposing a call center? Are we spending more on training and other ideas? Many of these Ideas are good ones, but since it has been nearly two years since the first discussions about early bargaining took place, I wonder if the Union is listening to the members or if some members of our Union just think they know the best way and don’t want to discuss the ideas with the members.

All over the US the SEIU has been working hard and contrary to the talk show idjits Unions have been making progress in many areas due to new ideas.

Programs passed by SEIU Locals include:
· Enhanced member representation programs: Additional staff and resources in Union Resource and Member Service Centers to provide rapid and professional assistance to members and to enforce our contract.
· Expanded leadership training:
Increased budget for job steward training, ensuring appropriate member representation in the workplace.
· Increased contract funds:
More than money set aside in 2007 and 2008 to organize workers in all Bargaining Units.
Has this happened in Maine? If so, why isn’t it on our web pages?
· Increased defense funds:
How much money has been dedicated to a fund campaign to protect members’ benefits?
· Added research capacity:
Have we added more resources to add negotiating strength and continue the essential fight against outsourcing and downsizing? Our dues must go to protecting our jobs and our benefits.
In order to do research, we need to start now.
· Needed: Strategic campaigns:
Added investment in building organizing strength in departments all across the state to tackle specific departmental and classification issues impacting our members.

MSEASEIU must set timeline
for negotiation team elections
Nominations for Local 1984 Negotiations team members should be opened by June 15, starting a process that will culminate in a ballot count on July 30 at the latest. So far the Board of Directors has failed to make any concrete movement towards change the old method of starting late and trying to work with no research. Is the concern that early bargaining would cost money? Is our Union afraid to pay the mileage and the costs of getting a team together early so they can have a better chance to be ready when they sit down to face what is shaping up to be the toughest contract talks in years?

Call the Union: The Board will meet on May 16. Tell your Union you want our board to do something now, make a move before it is too late again.

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May 6th, 2008 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments

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