UnionMaine

Trust me, I work for the Government

Optomism from Harold Shaw jr.

I mentioned Harold Shaw in another post. Harold is a State Employee and a very talented guy. While reading his blog I came across this optimistic piece that debunks some of the negative press that the right wing is trying to circulate about the president.

If you write, take photos, or have any skill that can be put on a web site, drop me a line and I will try to give you a plug. All Union members invited, not a Union member? If you read this blog, your heart is in the right place, come on in!
Please forgive any formatting errors resulting from translating from his page.
From Here on in, it is all Harold’s.

DISCLAIMER

The opinions expressed in this blog and this post in particular are my personal opinions. They do not reflect the opinions of my employer or anyone else and do not provide any official or unofficial interpretations or guidance on what is being written about. They are simply “my thoughts”.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


THE OBAMETER UPDATE 6-14-09

Update on the Obamameter from the St. Petersburg Times.

image

Many have conveniently forgotten how bad things were getting in January 2009 and what President Obama walked into when he took the oath of office six short months ago. The conservatives and wingnuts want people to think that all of the things that are wrong with this Country are his fault. This is a Presidency, that inherited an economy that was in shambles, an international reputation as a lone ranger and a bully, warmongering (Iraq and Afganistan), declining respect by the people for the government, and a “get it while you can mentality” in and out of government. He did not start the bailouts to the banking industry, the recession, the wars or many of the other things that have been news stories and laid at his feet, but he sure as heck was caught in the middle of them.

President Obama is coming up on 6 months in office and actually for the short amount of time in office, he has been effective. He has restored some of America’s tarnished image on the world stage, he has attempted to reach out to the conservative and had his hand slapped away, he has used the bully pulpit to get his programs through.

Does this mean I agree with everything that he had done – of course not. I believe that he has tried to work too much with the conservatives, I believe that there should be a single payer national health insurance at a basic level and if you want more than that go to the private health industry, Guethner has turned out to be more of an insider to the financial industry and a few others.

Overall, I like the direction he is taking my Country. Away from the extremists in either party.

We did have a peaceful transition of power, but that is not to say it has been easy or civil at times from the world of the Conservatives or “Wingnuts”.

Those are my thoughts, what are yours?

Creative Commons License
This work by Harold L. Shaw, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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June 24th, 2009 Posted by narsbars | Harold Shaw, Maine State Employees, obama promises | no comments

Another State Employee Blog



Based on the Fionavar Trilogy by Guy Gavriel Kay

Poster from http://www.brightweavings.com/


I just ran into another Blog by a State Employee, Harold Shaw, his Blog has too much to list so I will paste in his description. This might be a great place for you to try if you are tired of politics and just want some humor, or great pictures of Maine or pets…..See I told you it was too much to describe.



Harold Shaw

About Harold


This Blog is my personal blog about my thoughts on whatever I am presently thinking about – it could be most anything from politics, aging, software/hardware reviews, education and other topics that are controversial or interesting to me or it could just be what is going on in my life today. Please do take the time to comment, how else will I learn what you think?

Editor: Staying in character for my blog, I will pick a post of Harold’s that deals with State Employees. It is just a little in the past but shows a great understanding of the problem and is a proud voice for State Employees.


MAINE STATE EMPLOYEE BUDGET CUTS

The opinions expressed in this blog and this post in particular are my personal opinions and do not reflect the opinions of my employer and do not provide any official or unofficial interpretations or guidance on what is being written about. See the above disclaimer tab for further information and my full blog disclaimer.

Well the news is out, we finally know (sort of) what is happening to Maine State employees if the State budget passes as it came out of the Budget Committee last night/this morning. Initial reports have State employees having at least 20 state closure days without pay and some sort of health insurance change/co-pay over the course of the next 2 years. (Editor: Since this post, the 10% health care cut, the loss of longevity, loss of merit steps and the loss of the right to bargain have added to the harm done with no negotiations)

How do I feel about this? I understand the rationale/reasons and would prefer to have the “state-wide closure no pay days” than a straight 5% pay cut. At least it means I will have some extra time off, even if I don’t get paid for it. Supposedly they will align these closure day with Monday holidays making it 4 days in a row vs 3. It does mean the there will be less time to complete projects, complete work, etc., but I do believe that we have to do our part to help through the budget crisis we are currently in. But I am concerned about State employees at the lowest end of the pay scale and how this will impact their budgets?

The medical insurance will impact people the most, but it is another reason why I support a single-payer health care system that covers every single American with the same basic coverage. If you want or can negotiate with your work to provide more than the basic coverage that is a great thing, but everyone needs to have health care, which in turn would make this less of an issue for any employer.

The bottom line is that I will loose at least 10 paid days a year which means that I am still employed for 230 (240 is considered the number of days the average person works in a year) days, which is a lot better than many people in the U.S. or the World are doing. Hopefully, this is the last round of cuts that have to be made. (Editor: Sorry to say Harold, but some in the legislature are planning on coming back for seconds in January. Next on the radar, current and future retirement benefits.)

However, if it did come to a lay-off, it would not be easy for us, but we would make the best of it, just like anyone else that is laid off does. But to be prepared (just in case) because you never know what will happen, we are pushing to pay off the mortgage – it is done in Sept 2010, and paying down all other bills we have, but it is better to be prepared than suddenly getting hit with a lay off and then having a mountain of bills.

I hope that we are beginning to turn this mess around and that this recession is going to get better soon, so that more cuts or layoffs are not necessary – only time will tell. Do I think that this is the right thing to do now? I think so, we as State employees have a responsibility do our part to help our State through this difficult time.

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June 14th, 2009 Posted by narsbars | Harold Shaw, Maine Blogs, Maine State Employees, state employee lay offs, state employee pay cuts | no comments

Another State Employee Blog



Based on the Fionavar Trilogy by Guy Gavriel Kay

Poster from http://www.brightweavings.com/


I just ran into another Blog by a State Employee, Harold Shaw, his Blog has too much to list so I will paste in his description. This might be a great place for you to try if you are tired of politics and just want some humor, or great pictures of Maine or pets…..See I told you it was too much to describe.



Harold Shaw

About Harold


This Blog is my personal blog about my thoughts on whatever I am presently thinking about – it could be most anything from politics, aging, software/hardware reviews, education and other topics that are controversial or interesting to me or it could just be what is going on in my life today. Please do take the time to comment, how else will I learn what you think?

Editor: Staying in character for my blog, I will pick a post of Harold’s that deals with State Employees. It is just a little in the past but shows a great understanding of the problem and is a proud voice for State Employees.


MAINE STATE EMPLOYEE BUDGET CUTS

The opinions expressed in this blog and this post in particular are my personal opinions and do not reflect the opinions of my employer and do not provide any official or unofficial interpretations or guidance on what is being written about. See the above disclaimer tab for further information and my full blog disclaimer.

Well the news is out, we finally know (sort of) what is happening to Maine State employees if the State budget passes as it came out of the Budget Committee last night/this morning. Initial reports have State employees having at least 20 state closure days without pay and some sort of health insurance change/co-pay over the course of the next 2 years. (Editor: Since this post, the 10% health care cut, the loss of longevity, loss of merit steps and the loss of the right to bargain have added to the harm done with no negotiations)

How do I feel about this? I understand the rationale/reasons and would prefer to have the “state-wide closure no pay days” than a straight 5% pay cut. At least it means I will have some extra time off, even if I don’t get paid for it. Supposedly they will align these closure day with Monday holidays making it 4 days in a row vs 3. It does mean the there will be less time to complete projects, complete work, etc., but I do believe that we have to do our part to help through the budget crisis we are currently in. But I am concerned about State employees at the lowest end of the pay scale and how this will impact their budgets?

The medical insurance will impact people the most, but it is another reason why I support a single-payer health care system that covers every single American with the same basic coverage. If you want or can negotiate with your work to provide more than the basic coverage that is a great thing, but everyone needs to have health care, which in turn would make this less of an issue for any employer.

The bottom line is that I will loose at least 10 paid days a year which means that I am still employed for 230 (240 is considered the number of days the average person works in a year) days, which is a lot better than many people in the U.S. or the World are doing. Hopefully, this is the last round of cuts that have to be made. (Editor: Sorry to say Harold, but some in the legislature are planning on coming back for seconds in January. Next on the radar, current and future retirement benefits.)

However, if it did come to a lay-off, it would not be easy for us, but we would make the best of it, just like anyone else that is laid off does. But to be prepared (just in case) because you never know what will happen, we are pushing to pay off the mortgage – it is done in Sept 2010, and paying down all other bills we have, but it is better to be prepared than suddenly getting hit with a lay off and then having a mountain of bills.

I hope that we are beginning to turn this mess around and that this recession is going to get better soon, so that more cuts or layoffs are not necessary – only time will tell. Do I think that this is the right thing to do now? I think so, we as State employees have a responsibility do our part to help our State through this difficult time.

Sign up for email alerts whenever this blog is updated.
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June 14th, 2009 Posted by narsbars | Harold Shaw, Maine Blogs, Maine State Employees, state employee lay offs, state employee pay cuts | no comments

Another State Employee Blog



Based on the Fionavar Trilogy by Guy Gavriel Kay

Poster from http://www.brightweavings.com/


I just ran into another Blog by a State Employee, Harold Shaw, his Blog has too much to list so I will paste in his description. This might be a great place for you to try if you are tired of politics and just want some humor, or great pictures of Maine or pets…..See I told you it was too much to describe.



Harold Shaw

About Harold


This Blog is my personal blog about my thoughts on whatever I am presently thinking about – it could be most anything from politics, aging, software/hardware reviews, education and other topics that are controversial or interesting to me or it could just be what is going on in my life today. Please do take the time to comment, how else will I learn what you think?

Editor: Staying in character for my blog, I will pick a post of Harold’s that deals with State Employees. It is just a little in the past but shows a great understanding of the problem and is a proud voice for State Employees.


MAINE STATE EMPLOYEE BUDGET CUTS

The opinions expressed in this blog and this post in particular are my personal opinions and do not reflect the opinions of my employer and do not provide any official or unofficial interpretations or guidance on what is being written about. See the above disclaimer tab for further information and my full blog disclaimer.

Well the news is out, we finally know (sort of) what is happening to Maine State employees if the State budget passes as it came out of the Budget Committee last night/this morning. Initial reports have State employees having at least 20 state closure days without pay and some sort of health insurance change/co-pay over the course of the next 2 years. (Editor: Since this post, the 10% health care cut, the loss of longevity, loss of merit steps and the loss of the right to bargain have added to the harm done with no negotiations)

How do I feel about this? I understand the rationale/reasons and would prefer to have the “state-wide closure no pay days” than a straight 5% pay cut. At least it means I will have some extra time off, even if I don’t get paid for it. Supposedly they will align these closure day with Monday holidays making it 4 days in a row vs 3. It does mean the there will be less time to complete projects, complete work, etc., but I do believe that we have to do our part to help through the budget crisis we are currently in. But I am concerned about State employees at the lowest end of the pay scale and how this will impact their budgets?

The medical insurance will impact people the most, but it is another reason why I support a single-payer health care system that covers every single American with the same basic coverage. If you want or can negotiate with your work to provide more than the basic coverage that is a great thing, but everyone needs to have health care, which in turn would make this less of an issue for any employer.

The bottom line is that I will loose at least 10 paid days a year which means that I am still employed for 230 (240 is considered the number of days the average person works in a year) days, which is a lot better than many people in the U.S. or the World are doing. Hopefully, this is the last round of cuts that have to be made. (Editor: Sorry to say Harold, but some in the legislature are planning on coming back for seconds in January. Next on the radar, current and future retirement benefits.)

However, if it did come to a lay-off, it would not be easy for us, but we would make the best of it, just like anyone else that is laid off does. But to be prepared (just in case) because you never know what will happen, we are pushing to pay off the mortgage – it is done in Sept 2010, and paying down all other bills we have, but it is better to be prepared than suddenly getting hit with a lay off and then having a mountain of bills.

I hope that we are beginning to turn this mess around and that this recession is going to get better soon, so that more cuts or layoffs are not necessary – only time will tell. Do I think that this is the right thing to do now? I think so, we as State employees have a responsibility do our part to help our State through this difficult time.

Sign up for email alerts whenever this blog is updated.
Enter Your Email

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June 14th, 2009 Posted by narsbars | Harold Shaw, Maine Blogs, Maine State Employees, state employee lay offs, state employee pay cuts | no comments