UnionMaine

Trust me, I work for the Government

Cut, Cut, Cut

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The middle of winter and all through the state, workers are working both early and late. What do they get for their long hours and strife? A gift from the state in the dead of the night.
Not just furloughs, but wage freezes, too. But that isn’t all they want to give you. They’ve got a plan to jack up health care prices and make you bear the burden for their budget crisis! Check the side bar for the AFSCME Xmas You Tube video.

Governors across the nation are seeking State employee sacrifices and concessions to help balance budgets during the economic downturn.

In States with no strong Unions governors are ordering cuts including pay and benefit cuts, shut downs, and furlough days. In States with strong Unions states are offering bad contracts with concessions and cuts but they are forced to negotiate.

California, Hawaii, Maryland, Ohio, New Jersey, and in many more states governors have asked or ordered state workers to accept furloughs, salary reductions, shortened workweeks and/or benefit cuts. The concessions may be the only way to minimize further job losses in the face of record-breaking unemployment.

Unions argue their members shouldn’t be singled out and are even more vital in hard times providing social services, to a growing population in need, public safety, and education.

Democratic Governor of Ohio, a long time Union friend is asking over 60,000 state employees to accept a 5 percent pay cut, a 35-hour workweek, mandatory furloughs, elimination of step increases, higher costs for their health insurance ,elimination of paid personal days, along with unpaid holidays. State employees are represented by the Ohio Civil Service Employees

Union president Parks said that the union’s negotiating team was “aghast at the scope of the concessions the state proposed.” Union negotiators have been told that layoffs might be necessary even if concessions are made

There has been a long history of Unions compromising with State governments and then having the promises to protect jobs broken. When the MSEASEIU accepted the Cliff, furloughs, and contracts with no raises during the nineties hundreds of jobs were still lost.

Another Democratic Governor, Martin O’Malley of Maryland, imposed furloughs and salary cuts on thousands of state workers in December in an attempt to save $34 million.

The part time legislature of Maryland earns $47,000.00 a year and has so far exempted themselves from the cuts.

The largest State employee Union in Maryland, AFSCME, succeeded in preserving employee benefits but could not halt the furlough days. The Maryland legislature is expected to try to cut State employee benefits and health care for both current and retired State employees.

In 2008 the New Jersey legislature along with Democratic Governor Jon Corzine cut two paid holidays, Lincoln’s Birthday and the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Utah eliminated one paid holiday and is trying a four-day state workweek.

Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, will probably pursue furloughs for 36,000 state employees and ask them to pay a larger share of health insurance coverage and to skip raises. The Governor cut two traditional half day holidays, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. The cuts apply to 53,000 state employees in all departments, including the state Department of Education and the University of Hawaii. Marie Laderta, director of the state Department of Human Resources Development recommended that employees be allowed vacation leave to allow additional holiday time off, subject to operational needs.

Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said layoffs and unpaid furloughs are likely in that state as well.

California Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger tried to force furloughs two days a month beginning in February for 230,000 employees mostly represented by SEIU………GOOD NEWS:…………Democratic State Controller John Chiang said he will refuse to reduce state worker pay as demanded by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, possibly sparing more than 200,000 public employees from furloughs and pay cuts.

Chiang filed documents last week in Sacramento Superior Court arguing that the governor’s plan is illegal.”California law is clear that only the Legislature has ultimate authority over setting state employee salaries,”

Gov Schwarzenegger has so far been unable to cut two paid holidays from State employees due to the need to engage in collective bargaining.

In 1992 and again in 2003, state employees bargained leave agreements that accepted pay cuts 4.6% to 7%, in exchange for leave credits. Those agreements, were collectively bargained and ratified by the Legislature.

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January 25th, 2009 Posted by narsbars | MSEA, MSEA 2008 bargaining survey, MSEA Dues, MSEA contract, MSEA-SEIU, MSEASEIU, SEIU, SEIU 1989, STATE EMPLOYEES, State lay offs, afscme, state employee lay offs | no comments