UnionMaine

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After returnig from New Hampshire where he was stocking up on beer, wine, and ciggarettes Governor Baldacci issued a new executive order calling for further cuts in the 2007-08 fiscal year in a bold move towards streamlining government.

Among his suggestions is closing the MDOT, laying off all employees and selling all State Highways to corporate bidders. A Republican suggestion to allow all legislators to retire immediately regardless of age with full benefits and a $36,000.00 was hailed by the minority party as helping the economy. To quote a Republican leader “We are in favor of less government, and with a deal like this, a lot of us will quit tomorrow. This is the one suggestion that got both Union and Public support if they promised to stay away.

One story going around has blamed the Democrats for wanting to shorten the sentences of minor drug offenders. The Republicans have shot back with a plan to save even more money.
All criminal offenses will be subject to death penalty if you are found to be a liberal, no appeal, immediate sentencing. Funding the courts will be done on a “pay go” system where if you pay you can go. This is considered simply an extension of corporate deregulation.

Republicans moved to exempt incomes over $350,000.00 form all taxation including excise, sales, income, and bottle deposits. They say they want to build on the successes of the Bush tax cuts.

All funding will be removed from the public defender program in deference to the new “waterboard legal assistance program”. Defendants will be given a fair chance to provide the answers that the court deems necessary. They will know their sentences even before the questioning begins. In the case of trouble makers prosecutors are authorized to keep asking until they get the answers they need. Giving the defendants the answers ahead of time will almost eliminate the need for trials. All defendants that plead guilty before being told the charges will be given a free bright orange “Club Gitmo” Tshirt signed by Rush Limbaugh.

DHHS will no longer take children from parents. Every year there have been two or three mistakes where kids had to be given back.

If this program saves even one child from being removed wrongly from their family, it will be worth it one law maker said.
The governor’s order puts in place a hiring freeze – for all hourly employees, but actually increases funding for upper management due to the increased workload handling lay offs.
The deficit will force all State departments and agencies to shut down except for upper management employees.

Not having to actually provide services for the citizens of Maine will save hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

In other news:

Three Bargaining Units rally for reclass anticipating pay study outcomes.
State stonewalls again
In a preview of things to come, nearly 10 workers in offices participated in worksite actions in support of pay study negotiations.

A Union spokesperson commenting on the large turnout as compared to the usual rallies said “This is the kind of member action we’ll need to prevail in the upcoming contract battle,” In every worksite, in every department, we need to show state officials, legislators and the governor we are united, we are fearless, and we are ready to act.”

More than 3 members picketed and rallied at the SOB, while three or four more work­ers statewide took a five-minute solidarity break, standing up in their offices, or maybe they were just stretching. There is an unproven rumor that two more employees emailed their representatives, but there is no real proof.

Asked about the claims of stalling by the Union a human resources spokesperson was quoted as saying that Union members are being unreasonable if they think an increasing work load, massive increases in the complexity of the jobs, and wages that have fallen behind inflation for years are a justification for a living wage.

If State employees want increases every contract they must first accept a 50% reduction in pay and benefits. They must all become salaried, doing away with overtime. After a fresh start we would have room to start discussing reasonable increases during the next budget, or maybe the one after that, or the one…………………………

PLEASE TAKE THE BARGAINING SURVEY

YOUR IDEAS COUNT.

The first Union Bargaining summit coming up on May 10. All former members of negotiating teams and bargaining committees are invited. Do you think things should be done differently? Have you ever asked why something was done? Show up and make yourself heard.During the bargaining for the 2007-2009 contract your bargaining team found the bargaining survey gave our teams more input and information than had ever been received before. This site and your Union are both collecting ideas now.

Your ideas count!Click Here to take survey Click HERE to see how other members are voting.Interested Union members will be given a chance to be heard and help develop plans before they are sent to the Union Board of Directors for a vote. Please take the first step and take the online survey.

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April 16th, 2008 Posted by narsbars | BALDACCI, MSEA 2008 bargaining survey, MSEA-SEIU, MSEASEIU, Maine DOT, Maine State Employees, SEIU 1989, TECHNORATI, msea maine | one comment

1 Comment

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    Comment by Wireless | April 18, 2008

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