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Candidates for Union Vice President


E.T.I. 2009

This is a direct copy from the MSEA home page. These are public statements by candidates, so I am publishing them here for comment. If you like a candidate, if you know something they have done to help the members please let us know. I will be putting up a poll to see how the voting might go.

First is a Statement by Bruce Hodson, current VP, running for president. In respect for fairness I will say that I am endorsing Bruce for President. I have enclosed a statement to that effect.

Vice President Bruce Hodsdon Seeks MSEA-SEIU Presidency

Hi, my name is Bruce Hodsdon and I am running for the office of President of MSEA/SEIU Local 1989. Over the past 3 years I have had the honor of serving as your Vice-President. Thanks to the support I’ve received from your President Dana Graham, I have been able to visit many of your chapters and I have been involved in much of the decision making involved in running our Union. I feel that those 3 years combined with my 20 + years of service to MSEA/SEIU Local 1989 make me qualified for the job.

I believe that MSEA/SEIU Local 1989 is at a crossroads. We are at a time where we need to take an inward look at our Union and how it runs. The result of that inward look will determine if MSEA will continue to grow and be a potent force for all its members or whether it will become another Union hanging on to the old ways of doing things. Any organization that does not have some kind of plan to move forward and have some sort of vision or idea of where they want to go is doomed to failure. Our world is changing and we must continue to change with it in order to survive.

In order to accomplish that change, I have several things I would like to accomplish over the next few years. First is beginning the review of our organization. Our current organizational structure was developed in the 1970’s and we need to move into the 21st century. As part of that review we also to need look at upgrading our technology and the development of a database of our membership that fully addresses our needs is a priority. We need to know who our members are and where they work.

Next I would like to continue holding worksite meetings like we had during the decertification fight. These meetings would continue the conversations we need to have with all our members. I would propose the first round of those meetings address what kind of services members expect from MSEA and what are the best ways to deliver them. This could include everything from changing the current chapter structure, changing our Board of Director’s structure, and changing our staff structure. Inherent in all these discussions is the need for a forum where members can feel comfortable putting forward their views.

We will begin to put together our next round of contract bargaining in late 2008. I agree with the proposal put forward by the Bargaining Committee that a year round bargaining action team be formed. This team would be charged with collecting bargaining proposals year round and then doing research on those proposals. This team would also be charged with reviewing the 2006-2007 bargaining session and then recommending any changes or improvements to that process to the Board of Directors for their action.

One thing that seems to always come up during my visits to chapter meetings is the lack of attendance at meetings and the lack of communication with members. I believe that the creation of “informational stewards” could help in addressing some of those problems. These informational stewards would maintain bulletin boards (remember those?) and help chapter leadership pass along important information to our members. It’s important to recognize that the best way to communicate will vary from worksite to worksite. By leaving this job to the individual chapters and worksites we will identify and make use of the right way to get the word out.

We must also remember that in order to accomplish these goals we need the resources to do the best job possible. That includes not only dues increases but also an increase in member involvement and participation. Without adequate finances our ability to represent members, address Legislative and work place issues, and continue to grow our strength will slowly erode. Without the member’s involvement and participation we will become stagnant and irrelevant. If our Union is to continue to be strong it will require a commitment from all of us.

These are a few of my ideas about some things we might do over the next few years. I look forward to hearing from you and listening to your suggestions.

In closing I would ask that you give me the opportunity to continue the work begun by President Graham and elect me as the next President of MSEA-SEIU Local 1989. Together we can make MSEA-SEIU Local 1989 the best possible Union it can be.

At this time there is only one candidate for President, Bruce Hodson. I have worked with Bruce and he listens to the members. In the past we had MSEASEIU employees that were not popular. They were not popular for a number of reasons, but most of them boiled down to attitude. They thought they knew better than members, they gave the impression of cutting deals on the side. Bruce Hodson will listen to members, he knows who he is representing and he will put up with no X&$^) or BS from any employee of the Union. He will do his best to do what the members want and to shape the Union in the way the members decide.
I fully support his candidacy and I hope he is our next president.

We must think ahead, one of the candidates listed below will likely be our next president. Think ahead and weigh carefully. I firmly believe that all of the candidates want to do a great job as VP and they will all try their best. It is up to the members to decide who is best qualified.

Candidates for MSEA-SEIU Vice President

Editor’s Note: Candidates for MSEA-SEIU elected office had the option of submitting candidate statements and photos for publication in the Stater. The following statements were received from candidates running for Vice President.

Kathryn J. Latulippe

Dear Members:

I guess it is time that I tell you about myself, something that I rarely do. I want the voting Delegates and members to have a better grasp of who I am while they consider me for the position of Vice President of our union.

My Dad had a career in the Army. He was born here in Chelsea and graduated from Cony. Upon retirement form the military he worked and retired from DOT (member of MSEA). Everyone in our family of five was born in different state with me being the middle child and a Libra to boot. While growing up we traveled and lived in different states and in Germany. Dad first retired when I was 9 and I have lived in the greater Augusta area ever since. My Mother (a member of MSEA) also worked for the state at the AMHI complex and for DHHS before her retirement.

I find that by the nature of birth I have always been a mediator / negotiator with the need to keep balance in my life. I have the empathic ability to pick up on strong emotions. I am a Past Matron of O.E.S. My daughter, who works for DAFS in Augusta, is involved in union activities and my son joined the Army after high school and then the Maine National Guard and works at Camp Keys in Augusta. They have given me two wonderful grandsons and granddaughters.

I have worked in DHHS, Agriculture, DOT, Workers’ Compensation, DEP and now PFR. When I was in my twenties I drove and helped repair dump trucks for my first husband.

I keep stepping into union activities using the traits I learned and was born with. In addition to having been a Director for the last 6 years I have also been on the Executive Branch Bargaining Committee and Team for the last 4 contracts. I have held the title of President in the Gardiner Chapter for 2, 3 year terms. I am the Chair of our departmental Labor/Management Team and at one time was on the Health & Safety Team. I chaired the state wide Labor/Management Committee for Alternative Work Schedules. I am a steward and have been on the Finance, Representational, Organizational and Political Sub-Committees as a Director. Currently, I am also on the Vision for the Future Committee. I have enjoyed everything I have done to help the members and our union. I am committed to continue doing the best I can for you, our members, and our union, MSEA/SEIU Local 1989. That is why I am running for Vice President. You have several candidates to choose from as your Vice President and I am asking you to vote for me.

Thank you.

Kathryn J. Latulippe

Ginette Rivard

Brothers and Sisters,

Proud to be union! Proud to be MSEA SEIU Local 1989! I learned respect for public servants growing up in a family of Transportation workers. I learned the value of a union job living in a union household my entire adult life; first as an IBEW family member, and since 1991, through my own membership in our Union.

Prior to membership in MSEA, I served my community in numerous ways: Girl Scout Leader, Chair of a local Zoning Board of Appeals, Child Abuse & Neglect Council Member, and Church Youth Group Advisor to name a few. Since membership in MSEA, I’ve served as Director, Steward, PASER member, Deferred Compensation Advisory Council Member, AFL-CIO Executive Board Director and on numerous standing committees. President Graham appointed me as a Labor Rep to the DHS/BDS merger committee in 2003 and the Managed Care Stakeholder Group in 2006, so that the interests of our affected members were protected in these deliberations.

Along with my union activism, I bring a range of professional experience stemming from my years as a public servant working with Children’s Behavioral Health Services at DHHS. I have been involved in a number of initiatives, including the coordination of a statewide family conference for 6 consecutive years. This past year, I have led three separate initiatives involving other state agencies, social services providers and community members. This work has culminated in the successful merger of these three initiatives into one group, focused on improving the lives of children and families in our communities. The skills needed in these types of activities will be valuable in service to the members of our union from every community, every worksite in our great state.

Many of you associate me with political activities. Everything I know about politics I learned from my dad. He taught me that you had to fight for what you believed in. He taught me that it was more about knocking on doors, making those phone calls and getting people to the polls than it was about having your picture taken or going to the fancy parties. And he taught me that we had to hold our elected officials accountable once we had helped get them elected.

So it stands to reason that you will find me talking to Legislators on both sides of the aisle about why they can’t change our health insurance plan, why the budget can’t be balanced with our insurance premiums, why the cliff is bad public policy and Social Security offset harmful to our retirees and why they cannot cut our jobs. The attacks on our jobs and benefits are far from over and I welcome the opportunity to work with even more members throughout the state to make our voice heard in every worksite, community, and with every Legislator. We have every reason to be proud of the work we’ve accomplished to date. As we look to the future we must continue to fight for the rights of working men and women. In the process, we must continue to expand our role to be even more inclusive of all worksites we represent, no matter how small the Bargaining Unit.

As your next Vice President, I will continue to devote the same commitment, energy and integrity to the job that you have come to expect from me. Thank you for your support.

Rebecca Snowden

My name is Rebecca Snowden and I am running for the seat of Vice-President of MSEA. These are a few things you should know about me. I’ve been a dedicated hard worker for the Department of Transportation since 1993. Currently I work in the Contracts Unit as an Engineering Technician. I am an MSEA Steward and Chief Steward. I am a member of the MDOT/MSEA Labor/Management Committee and the L/M Health and Safety Committee. I work very hard for our members as a Steward and Chief Steward. Recently I have won overtime status and back pay for several employees and I have many more irons in the fire. As MSEA’s Vice President, I believe I would provide strong leadership and if I am elected I will work to create positive changes and will work hard for employees.

Penny Whitney-Asdourian

Hello to all my union brothers and sisters!

I am Penny Whitney-Asdourian of Scarborough and I work for the Judicial Branch. Most of you know me as a director from Area III or the quilter who loves to donate quilts to PASER. My goal is for you to come to know my passion and commitment to MSEA and the labor movement.

I have been a member of MSEA for 25 years. It certainly doesn’t seem that long ago when I sought out the help of the union to gain collective bargaining rights for Judicial Branch employees. It was one of the best decisions of my life. Since that time I have been active in various roles. I have been a member of every bargaining team that has negotiated a Judicial Branch contract, held each of the various chapter offices, and have sat on a variety of committees and labor/management teams. I have also been a steward since my initial involvement, and a chief steward for the past 12 years. I am a political organizer, a member organizer, and have served on MSEA’s Board of Directors for more than three years now.

I have grown up in this union, and doing so has helped to foster within me a true sense of belonging and a deep commitment. A commitment to the legacy of our founding members and retirees who laid the foundation upon which MSEA has been built and who continue to serve as an inspiration to those members and leaders who have mentored me over the years and who continue to be positive role models and trusted advisors, and to each and every one of you, the members, activists and future leaders of MSEA.

For several years now, I have diligently and intentionally worked toward the goal of taking on a much more active role within the leadership of this great organization, believing when the time was right, I would be able to present myself to the membership as a well-rounded candidate for Vice-President. Now is that time.

While politics will never be my strong suit, I have gained great confidence by actively participating. I have been an active member of PASER for several years. In 2004 I took leave from my position with the Judicial Branch to work on MSEA’s Get Out the Vote campaign, helping to achieve the goal of getting members out to their town caucuses and getting them elected as delegates to the 2004 state convention. It was a great experience, and I was elected at the Portland caucus to attend the Maine Democratic Convention as a delegate, where I campaigned to be elected as a delegate to the National Democratic Convention. My continued active participation ensures further insight, growth and a greater level of a understanding and confidence.

Representational service is an area where I am well experienced and feel I excel. Negotiating contracts, actively participating in and chairing labor/management committees, being an active steward and mentoring other stewards in my role as a chief steward are exceptionally comfortable roles for me, while at the same time they offer new experiences and unique challenges.

One of the most rewarding aspects for me, to date, has been in organizing. I have worked on several organizing campaigns, starting with the Judicial Branch employees. In recent years I have actively participated in campaigns for Head Start, Alpha One, and Child Development Services. I have enjoyed the home visits and listening to the stories of these workers – stories of struggle and the desire for positive change. What always leaves the greatest impression with me is the selflessness and overwhelming commitment to the services they provide

I have seen a lot of changes and growth throughout my relationship and association with MSEA. Our foresight and vision have improved as we have moved toward approaching the future with more proactive planning. We stand strong in the face of adversity and it strengthens our resolve. I am proud to be a member of this union and equally proud of you, its members. I would be honored to serve as your Vice President and respectfully ask for your support and your vote. I look forward to seeing you at convention and serving you over the next four years.

In Solidarity,

Penny S. Whitney-Asdourian

E.T.I. 2009

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September 15th, 2007 Posted by narsbars | MSEA, MSEASEIU, SEIU, SEIU 1984, STATE EMPLOYEES, TECHNORATI, UNION CANDIDATES, UNIONMAINE, VSEA | no comments

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