UnionMaine

Trust me, I work for the Government

How Many Candidates for MSEA Vice Pres Job?

As of today there are a possible five candidates for the MSEA Vice President position. Ginette Rivard the current V.P. is running for reelection. Penny Whitney-Asdourian and other unconfirmed candidates. The Stater will have all of the candidates that made the cut off of September 4…….BUT…..

There is at least one candidate who won’t be listed in the Stater as his nomination was not final until today. Me.

A friend and an Executive Board member requested me to run for V.P.. I have always told members that your elected officials should do what they are asked to do by the members and since I was asked I agreed to run and I have been nominated by the Eichel-Crinion chapter out of Augusta.

Second round of the French presidential electi...Image via Wikipedia

I am not running against any other candidate and no one will hear me say anything against another candidate.

I believe I have something of value to offer as your Vice President and that is what I offer, not attacks on my brothers and sisters.

The whole slate of current and possible Veeps have all done good things for our Union, it is my position that if you like the way things have gone the last few years then who you should vote for is clear.

If you want to see change, open government, more member involvement, more information about how our Union is run and to have someone who will have no secret agenda then I will be that person.

I already have a well developed plan to make bargaining more efficient, more representative and open. I have a resolution for convention this October to create a Bargaining Senate that will allow every chapter a voice in bargaining.

There is much more we can do, the focus must be on more than bargaining, more than any one issue. We must change the direction and control of our Union. I will follow this short announcement with details and I am open to have you ask me questions.

I don’t promise answers for everything, if I knew everything I would have picked a better lottery ticket a long time ago. I do promise the truth as I know it. I will give you a clear idea of what I plan to do and how I plan to do it.

All candidates for any elected office in MSEA are offered the opportunity to post on this site, with no editing, just what they want to say. I believe in transparency in the process. As a candidate promising an open Union I think you deserves as much information about all of the candidates as possible so you can make the best decision for us all.

If you have any questions for me, please email me at Tom@UnionMaine.Org

This is the first in a continuing series of informational posts.

Thank you for your consideration
Thomas Maher

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September 11th, 2009 Posted by narsbars | MSEA ELECTIONS, MSEASEIU, Union, union vice president | no comments

SEIU gets raises, SEIU on strike?

Service Employees International UnionImage via Wikipedia

Weekend update, fun and the good news, bad news for SEIU State employee Union members. Don’t forget the MSEA-SEIU contract votes will be counted on August 17.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the holodeck! This story comes from the DailyKos. The tech in this story wouldn’t make Mr. Spock or Scotty sit down and cry, but until then this is the best around. Like the Holodeck? follow the link. The tech is great but the real reason to include it here is to blow a hole in the right wing idea that liberals are all about tax and spend. Read the quote after the link and see how real liberals think we should dig our way out of this hole in the ground economy.

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/8/6/762702/-Ladies-and-Gentlemen,-I-give-you-the-holodeck.

America should get on that, because that is what America does best. We see the world and all of its ideas and technology and recombine it into fantastical products that we create with our industrial might and sell around the world.

Or we use to, before we became a nation dependent on financial services to generate wealth.

I say we got back to selling the world boxes labeled, “Made in the USA.”

Especially if we start slinging holodecks.

California

SEIU 1000 State workers vote “Yes”

Updated August 3
SEIU members approve strike authorization by 74 percent margin; Union members step up pressure on governor to ratify their contract


By an overwhelming majority, SEIU Local 1000 state workers have shown their outrage at the governor and his attacks on state employees and the services they provide. In votes from state offices throughout California, 74 percent authorized their union officers to call job actions up to and including a strike if necessary in order to ensure that the contract signed with the governor’s representatives in February is passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“This is about our contract,” SEIU President Yvonne Walker said Saturday. “Whether it is through litigation, negotiations or any other actions that are necessary, we’re in this for the long-haul to right this wrong to our members. We negotiated in good faith, we have offered cost-saving solutions, and we need our contract to be ratified.”

SEIU 1000 in a cost savings program targeted as saving jobs, and saving tax dollars found $340 million dollars through a combination of cutting wasteful outsourcing of jobs and more efficient work rules. The Union is currently subject to three furlough days a month equaling a 15% pay cut while the governor backpedals and refuses to live up to his word and sign the contract that he agreed to. Like the politicians in so many states hurting State workers as a political move comes before saving the citizens money.

Local 503 Oregon

SEIU 503 signs tentative agreement, gets over 6% in raises over two years.

After eight and a half months of bargaining a new contract, a tentative agreement affecting nearly 18,000 employees was agreed on. The new contract, if approved, will run until June 30, 2011 Service Employees International Union local 503 reached a tentative agreement with the State of Oregon that gives cost of living wage increases. Over the next two years, wages will increase 6.2 percent.

Does this quote sound familiar?

“Our cost of living has been behind the private sector for years now,” says Randy Davis, a mental health therapist at Oregon State Hospital.

The new contract, will go to the bargaining committee on August 15 and if passed will be sent to the membership for a vote.
A rare success story, although not without some losses. 503 protected fully paid family medical coverage. The state will pay for premium cost increases up to 5% in each year. Increases between 5% and 10% will be paid partly by the State and partly from insurance reserve funds. The state subsidy for part-time employees’ health insurance will increase so that part timers” premium costs don’t go up.

The contract contains a one year step freeze from 9/1/09 to 8/31/10. All bargaining unit members will get at least one step raise during the contract. There will be no cost of living raises during the contract. Ten, twelve, of fourteen furlough days over the next two years.

The State started with a demand for 24 unpaid days off and now the days off will count as time worked for accruals and insurance A number of non-economic changes will benefit members, including a classification study for many positions that must be finished in time to bargain salary rates in 2011 and an extra year of recall rights for laid-off workers.?

Congratulations Local 503!

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August 7th, 2009 Posted by narsbars | Arnold Schwarzenegger, Labor, MSEA-SEIU, MSEASEIU, Service Employees International Union, Union, local 503 | no comments

SEIU gets raises, SEIU on strike?

Service Employees International UnionImage via Wikipedia

Weekend update, fun and the good news, bad news for SEIU State employee Union members. Don’t forget the MSEA-SEIU contract votes will be counted on August 17.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the holodeck! This story comes from the DailyKos. The tech in this story wouldn’t make Mr. Spock or Scotty sit down and cry, but until then this is the best around. Like the Holodeck? follow the link. The tech is great but the real reason to include it here is to blow a hole in the right wing idea that liberals are all about tax and spend. Read the quote after the link and see how real liberals think we should dig our way out of this hole in the ground economy.

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/8/6/762702/-Ladies-and-Gentlemen,-I-give-you-the-holodeck.

America should get on that, because that is what America does best. We see the world and all of its ideas and technology and recombine it into fantastical products that we create with our industrial might and sell around the world.

Or we use to, before we became a nation dependent on financial services to generate wealth.

I say we got back to selling the world boxes labeled, “Made in the USA.”

Especially if we start slinging holodecks.

California

SEIU 1000 State workers vote “Yes”

Updated August 3
SEIU members approve strike authorization by 74 percent margin; Union members step up pressure on governor to ratify their contract


By an overwhelming majority, SEIU Local 1000 state workers have shown their outrage at the governor and his attacks on state employees and the services they provide. In votes from state offices throughout California, 74 percent authorized their union officers to call job actions up to and including a strike if necessary in order to ensure that the contract signed with the governor’s representatives in February is passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“This is about our contract,” SEIU President Yvonne Walker said Saturday. “Whether it is through litigation, negotiations or any other actions that are necessary, we’re in this for the long-haul to right this wrong to our members. We negotiated in good faith, we have offered cost-saving solutions, and we need our contract to be ratified.”

SEIU 1000 in a cost savings program targeted as saving jobs, and saving tax dollars found $340 million dollars through a combination of cutting wasteful outsourcing of jobs and more efficient work rules. The Union is currently subject to three furlough days a month equaling a 15% pay cut while the governor backpedals and refuses to live up to his word and sign the contract that he agreed to. Like the politicians in so many states hurting State workers as a political move comes before saving the citizens money.

Local 503 Oregon

SEIU 503 signs tentative agreement, gets over 6% in raises over two years.

After eight and a half months of bargaining a new contract, a tentative agreement affecting nearly 18,000 employees was agreed on. The new contract, if approved, will run until June 30, 2011 Service Employees International Union local 503 reached a tentative agreement with the State of Oregon that gives cost of living wage increases. Over the next two years, wages will increase 6.2 percent.

Does this quote sound familiar?

“Our cost of living has been behind the private sector for years now,” says Randy Davis, a mental health therapist at Oregon State Hospital.

The new contract, will go to the bargaining committee on August 15 and if passed will be sent to the membership for a vote.
A rare success story, although not without some losses. 503 protected fully paid family medical coverage. The state will pay for premium cost increases up to 5% in each year. Increases between 5% and 10% will be paid partly by the State and partly from insurance reserve funds. The state subsidy for part-time employees’ health insurance will increase so that part timers” premium costs don’t go up.

The contract contains a one year step freeze from 9/1/09 to 8/31/10. All bargaining unit members will get at least one step raise during the contract. There will be no cost of living raises during the contract. Ten, twelve, of fourteen furlough days over the next two years.

The State started with a demand for 24 unpaid days off and now the days off will count as time worked for accruals and insurance A number of non-economic changes will benefit members, including a classification study for many positions that must be finished in time to bargain salary rates in 2011 and an extra year of recall rights for laid-off workers.?

Congratulations Local 503!

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August 7th, 2009 Posted by narsbars | Arnold Schwarzenegger, Labor, MSEA-SEIU, MSEASEIU, Service Employees International Union, Union, local 503 | no comments

Is Baldacci planning lay offs?

100_9351Image by SarekOfVulcan via Flickr


Is Baldacci preparing for hundreds of lay offs?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Rumors are flying. Is Governor Baldacci preparing plans to lay off possibly hundreds of state workers? Rumors are that Baldacci has ordered state department heads to prepare plans for layoffs, while he remains closed mouthed.

At the same time contract negotiations over a new contract are reaching a conclusion. The negotiations, started last year have been fouled by a legislature that decided to ignore collective bargaining when they refused to negotiate cuts. The contract Tentative Agreement is going to a vote of the Union Contract Action Team on Monday the 27th. State Employees have tried to be a part of the process for many months both through suggestions for real cost savings and political action.

Millions of dollars of cost savings ideas put forward by State Employees have been ignored while the State refused to allow any Union involvement in government oversight of waste and fraud, claiming the appropriations committee could do it all. The fear in the politician’s eyes is clear every time a State Employee says “We know where the waste is!”

MSEA reached out to the State last year and asked to be part of any discussions around employee pay cuts or benefit reductions. MSEA members know times are tough, we pay taxes, and we offered to save the State tax payer money. Every time we offered to point out the waste, a politician would say no thank you.

The ugly refusal of the legislature to respect collective bargaining has many employees demanding legal action be taken against the State for bargaining in bad faith.

State Employees have accused the governor and the legislature of undermining the negotiations and disrespecting all state employees and all taxpayers when they refused to allow citizens to be part of their so called savings committee.

The continuing refusal by the State to bargain in good faith is a common topic of discussion during Union discussions. It has been a constant disappointment that the Governor and the legislature continue to intimidate workers with the layoff threat. There are responsible solutions to be had, but the State has so far refused to listen to ideas that could save Maine tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars. State Employees know where the waste is, where the political favors are being handed out at the expense of the taxpayer. Unlike the legislature, State Employees are committed to public service, not a political agenda.

The two sides have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract, but the Union has refused to recognize shut down days in formal language as there were never any talks with the Unions only a midnight deal in the appropriations committee with no Union input.

MSEA-SEIU, which represents most state employees, tried to offer savings in order to bargain a guarantee there would be no future layoffs. The combination of attrition and retirement incentives was refused mostly by the right in a knee jerk refusal to offer any benefit to any State Employee, no matter the savings to the taxpayers of Maine.

The union proposed retirement incentives for cost savings, but the State said the retirement ideas would cost the state millions of dollars. The Union offered to be part of a cost savings committee and we were told not to let the door hit us on the way out.

The state’s biennial budget for 2009-2011 plans for about 200 retirements during the July retirement incentive period and allows the Union to negotiate for any “excess” personal savings the Union can identify. This may be the reason the appropriations committee refused to allow State Employees on the savings commission as they are certain to want to hide any monies found and protect their favored private contractors regardless of the cost to the state budget. State Employees, being taxpayers too would have been too likely to publicize the wasteful contracts to political allies and campaign supporters.

The union’s bargaining committee meets Monday to discuss ratification of the proposed contract and whether to send it out for a vote of the membership or to send the negotiations team back to the table. If the contract is sent back to the table the State is almost certain to call an impasse which would result in months of stalemated talks with no contract in place. The legislature found a way around our contract by making the law that came in to effect at the end of the last contract.

If we have a new contract in place it will be much, much harder to bypass an existing contract. Having a contract in place may very well be the least bad of a series of bad choices. Employees continue to be covered by the provisions of the old contract, which expired June 30 and a contract extension that runs until the end of August. Shut down days have already been implemented along with cuts in longevity pay due to the legislative refusal to bargain and instead rely on brute force.

Union members are of many opinions about the best course of action. Stress and tension have been building for months and the latest announcement of an “at least” $80,000,000.00 million dollar budget gap has only added to the strain.



It is time to look at some of the services being done by contractors that could be done by state workers at a lower cost. This would make it a lot easier to cut in the future without all the politics. The State is cutting back, why should private industry be any different?

Some State jobs are 100% federally-funded and the State still wants to cut the jobs and lose the funds that come with those jobs. The right wing doesn’t care about savings. They only want to reduce head count regardless of the cost. Many state employees are partially or fully funded by federal funds.

Stop the welfare, save the budget. How about instead of handing the money out with no question we use some state employees to investigate families collecting when complaints are made. Currently State Employees are told “There is no money for enforcement” or “We would lose Federal dollars”. Get it straight! State Employees don’t hate welfare but they do hate welfare cheats!


Get a job with Wal-Mart and see how long you last without a union. Unions don’t support poor work standards. If you let a company go out of business, you are out of a job. If it wasn’t for the threat of unionization wages would be far lower than they are now. State Workers don’t think they should be immune to the economy but if we have taken cuts instead of lay offs then asking for no more lay offs is only fair.

Why are cleaners being laid off and during a hiring freeze while new management positions are created in the budget at $75,000 a year or better to start? Essential employees must stay home without pay while there are internal job postings for even more management. That is the real insult.

SSDD, Same Shit Different Day. Cut the programs that help people. Why does it always have to be the departments that help people that get cuts? We thought we had a Governor that supported state employees. He gave us a speech promising no furloughs, no unpaid days while he was in office. Lying S.O.B.!

State employees have almost gotten used to being hated.It makes the economy of knuckle dragging radio shows run. State Employees don’t make a fortune and when we were paid far, far, under the private sector we were laughed at as being too dumb to get a real job with real wages. The Staff has been going down for a decade and many employees are now doing the work of several employees.

We couldn’t break a contract to pay AIG executives nearly half a Billion dollars in bonuses for destroying a company because the contract was sacred, yet the legislature can break our contract while trying to find out how to steal the health care and pensions we were promised for 30 years as if asking to be paid what you were promise is a crime.

Jesus hired three men at three different times yet paid them what they were promised, there should be some lesson there for the “moral majority”.

The state budget is out of control because ME’s politicians from both sides of the aisle refuse to produce a list of “essential services” and the real cost associated with those services. In many cases the service is unneeded or could be done cheaper by a State Employee. True costing is not something state employees are afraid of, it is something they are demanding. A true cost basis would cost some jobs but with the firing of wasteful contracting many more would open up.

Cuts should not be made on the basis of head count but on an honest review of costs and need for a particular service. If outsourcing a vital service can save money with out losing efficiency it must be considered. If a State Employee can do the job better and cheaper we should keep or hire a State Employee.

Cut employee pay and benefits and you will save temporarily save some money. You will also see the level of service drop because you will have lost a skilled work force while being unable to attract skilled replacement workers.

Services cost money, and if it costs $100.00 to fix a pot hole, then it costs a $100.00. If you pay less, you will get less, if you want less service and quality a politician will be happy to give you what you want.

The state should listen to suggestions of workers, not management, for cost-saving ideas.
In the worst economy since the Great Depressions, MSEA-SEIU members found cost savings ideas, instead of tax increases or reductions in services. Many on the right and some possible Democrat candidates for Governor were far more interested in publicity than saving Maine’s budget.

Union Employees want to provide quality public services and protect the jobs of our co-workers. These are your neighbors who plow the roads, protect the public, and fix the roads.


It’s bullshit!! Every time I hear “6 people to lean on a shovel” it is really bull shit. Most of the shovel leaners are contractors that buy the same uniforms and paint their trucks the same color as State trucks so their waste will be blamed on State Employees. The employees don’t ask for five friends to help. Management sends five because the more people they manage the more pay they get. Everyone blames the employee. It’s time to look at upper management.

Governor Baldacci didn’t even try to negotiate in good faith. He never offered State Employees the respect of even asking for their help. They sold us out to the Republican head hunters with no regard for the tax payers of Maine. “So what if it costs more!” Cutting State employees and paying more for the same services is always a good idea when you are looking for a consultant job when you leave the legislature.


A lot of consultants are former employees who retire, collect their retirement and then return to the same job in the same agency. The state pays them twice. Get rid of the double dipping mostly former managers if you really want to save $$$$.

Union workers want to help the public and save money. We are the public. We pay taxes. How about BMV? If you asked State Employees they might be willing to shift hours so the public could come in at 6 pm or at 6 am. The trouble is the politicians are afraid to ask State Employees for help. They are afraid we would say yes.

Some people hate Unions. OK, OK, but, state employees aren’t members of Tony Soprano’s family. State Employees are taxpayers and neighbors and make our state run, these cuts will be devastating to them and to our state services. No one else in Maine has been asked to take thousands of dollars of tax increases in a single year.You don’t think the contractors will have to take less money do you?

With State Lay offs more employees get laid off than needed in order to give bragging rights to some politician while he or she ships the work out to a business partner or friend at an inflated price. The contract MSEA-SEIU may get now is not a good contract but the fault is not on the union. The fault is on the legislature that has wasted money for decades while raiding retirement funds and borrowing even in years of surplus.

Union members were not smoking dope and dreaming of pay increases and more benefits. We know this is a rough time and we expected to take a hit. All we ever asked is to be part of the process and to get the respect we deserve.

The state is expecting to save money by having state employees use their vehicles while never increasing the mileage paid. Employees don’t even get what the Feds have determined is the least it takes to run a car. They can’t afford to run the cars but we are supposed to carry the load.

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July 24th, 2009 Posted by narsbars | BALDACCI, MSEA-SEIU, MSEASEIU, STATE EMPLOYEES, State lay offs, state employee pay cuts | no comments

Before there were Unions Free Market Capatalism Was Free to Grow

I’ve got nothing tonight, but a civics lesson and a history lesson. Our tax dollars paid for the article below and it is free for all of us.

Many some ones paid for our right to be free and to have a chance to organize and to try to earn a living for our selves and our families. We have to learn the history of the so called free market and the real results of deregulation or we will be doomed to repeat them.

Http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/hine-photos/

Teaching With Documents:
Photographs of Lewis Hine: Documentation of Child Labor

Background

“There is work that profits children, and there is work that brings profit only to employers. The object of employing children is not to train them, but to get high profits from their work.”

– Lewis Hine, 1908

After the Civil War, the availability of natural resources, new inventions, and a receptive market combined to fuel an industrial boom. The demand for labor grew, and in the late 19th and early 20th centuries many children were drawn into the labor force.

Factory wages were so low that children often had to work to help support their families. The number of children under the age of 15 who worked in industrial jobs for wages climbed from 1.5 million in 1890 to 2 million in 1910.

Businesses liked to hire children because they worked in unskilled jobs for lower wages than adults, and their small hands made them more adept at handling small parts and tools. Children were seen as part of the family economy.

Immigrants and rural migrants often sent their children to work, or worked alongside them. However, child laborers barely experienced their youth. Going to school to prepare for a better future was an opportunity these underage workers rarely enjoyed.

As children worked in industrial settings, they began to develop serious health problems. Many child laborers were underweight. Some suffered from stunted growth and curvature of the spine.

They developed diseases related to their work environment, such as tuberculosis and bronchitis for those who worked in coal mines or cotton mills. They faced high accident rates due to physical and mental fatigue caused by hard work and long hours.

By the early 1900s many Americans were calling child labor “child slavery” and were demanding an end to it. They argued that long hours of work deprived children of the opportunity of an education to prepare themselves for a better future.

Instead, child labor condemmed them to a future of illiteracy, poverty, and continuing misery. In 1904 a group of progressive reformers founded the National Child Labor Committee, an organization whose goal was the abolition of child labor. The organization received a charter from Congress in 1907.

It hired teams of investigators to gather evidence of children working in harsh conditions and then organized exhibitions with photographs and statistics to dramatize the plight of these children. These efforts resulted in the establishment in 1912 of the Children’s Bureau as a federal information clearinghouse. In 1913 the Children’s Bureau was transferred to the Department of Labor.

Lewis Hine, a New York City schoolteacher and photographer, believed that a picture could tell a powerful story.

He felt so strongly about the abuse of children as workers that he quit his teaching job and became an investigative photographer for the National Child Labor Committee. Hine traveled around the country photographing the working conditions of children in all types of industries.

He photographed children in coal mines, in meatpacking houses, in textile mills, and in canneries. He took pictures of children working in the streets as shoe shiners, newsboys, and hawkers.

In many instances he tricked his way into factories to take the pictures that factory managers did not want the public to see. He was careful to document every photograph with precise facts and figures.

To obtain captions for his pictures, he interviewed the children on some pretext and then scribbled his notes with his hand hidden inside his pocket.

Because he used subterfuge to take his photographs, he believed that he had to be “double-sure that my photo data was 100% pure–no retouching or fakery of any kind.” Hine defined a good photograph as “a reproduction of impressions made upon the photographer which he desires to repeat to others.” Because he realized his photographs were subjective, he described his work as “photo-interpretation.”

Hine believed that if people could see for themselves the abuses and injustice of child labor, they would demand laws to end those evils. By 1916, Congress passed the Keating-Owens Act that established the following child labor standards: a minimum age of 14 for workers in manufacturing and 16 for workers in mining; a maximum workday of 8 hours; prohibition of night work for workers under age 16; and a documentary proof of age.

Unfortunately, this law was later ruled unconstitutional on the ground that congressional power to regulate interstate commerce did not extend to the conditions of labor. Effective action against child labor had to await the New Deal. Reformers, however, did succeed in forcing legislation at the state level banning child labor and setting maximum hours. By 1920 the number of child laborers was cut to nearly half of what it had been in 1910.

Lewis Hine died in poverty, neglected by all but a few. His reputation continued to grow, however, and now he is recognized as a master American photographer.

His photographs remind us what it was like to be a child and to labor like an adult at a time when labor was harsher than it is now.

Hine’s images of working children stirred America’s conscience and helped change the nation’s labor laws. Through his exercise of free speech and freedom of the press, Lewis Hine made a difference in the lives of American workers and, most importantly, American children.

Hundreds of his photographs are available online from the National Archives through the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) .

Resources

Foner, Eric, and John A. Garraty, eds. The Reader’s Companion to American History. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1991.

Nash, Gary B., et al. The American People: Creating a Nation and a Society. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1990.

Tindall, George Brown, with David E. Shi. America: A Narrative History. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1992.

The Documents

Garment Workers, New York, NY
Click to Enlarge

Garment Workers, New York, NY
January 25, 1908
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523065

Basket Seller, Cincinnati, OH
Click to Enlarge

Basket Seller, Cincinnati, OH
August 22, 1908
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523070

Boys and Girls Selling Radishes
Click to Enlarge

Boys and Girls Selling Radishes
August 22, 1908
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523071

oy Working in a Shoe-Shining Parlor, Indianapolis, IN
Click to Enlarge

Boy Working in a Shoe-Shining Parlor, Indianapolis, IN
August 1908
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523072

Top of Page

Boys in a Cigar Factory, Indianapolis, IN
Click to Enlarge

Boys in a Cigar Factory, Indianapolis, IN
August 1908
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523076

Boy Running 'Trip Rope' in a Mine, Welch, WV
Click to Enlarge

Boy Running “Trip Rope” in a Mine, Welch, WV
September 1908
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523077

Children Working in a Bottle Factory, Indianapolis, IN
Click to Enlarge

Children Working in a Bottle Factory, Indianapolis, IN
August 1908
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523080

Child Workers Outside Factory
Click to Enlarge

The Noon Hour at an Indianapolis Cannery, Indianapolis IN
August 1908
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523088

Glass Blower and Mold Boy, Grafton, WV
Click to Enlarge

Glass Blower and Mold Boy, Grafton, WV
October 1908
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523090

Girls at Weaving Machines, Evansville, IN
Click to Enlarge

Girls at Weaving Machines, Evansville, IN
October 1908
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523100

Top of Page

Young Boys Schucking Oysters, Apalachicola, FL
Click to Enlarge

Young Boys Schucking Oysters, Apalachicola, FL
January 25, 1909

National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523162

Girl Working in Box Factory, Tampa, FL
Click to Enlarge

Girl Working in Box Factory, Tampa, FL
January 28, 1909
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523166

Nine-Year Old Newsgirl, Hartford, CT
Click to Enlarge

Nine-Year Old Newsgirl, Hartford, CT
March 6, 1909
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523174

Boy Picking Berries, Near Baltimore, MD
Click to Enlarge

Boy Picking Berries, Near Baltimore, MD
June 8, 1909
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523205

Workers Stringing Beans, Baltimore, MD
Click to Enlarge

Workers Stringing Beans, Baltimore, MD
June 7, 1909
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523215

Boys Working in an Arcade Bowling Alley, Trenton, NJ
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Boys Working in an Arcade Bowling Alley, Trenton, NJ
December 20, 1909
National Archives and Records Administration
Records of the Department of Commerce and Labor, Children’s Bureau
Record Group 102
ARC Identifier: 523246

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June 23rd, 2009 Posted by narsbars | Labor, Labor Movement, Labor rights, Lewis Hine, MSEA, MSEASEIU, child labor | no comments

Oregon Bill Bans Mandatory Anti-Union Meetings, Moves to the House


I want to be the 1st person through the door the morning after a local Wal-Mart Unionizes. I will wear my Union colors and call the “associates” brother or sister.

It has been estimated that the cost of better wages and benefits for all Wally World employees could cost an extra $1.00 to a $1.50 per $$100.00 purchase.

Wal-Mart could swallow that and never even have to raise prices. Recently the corp. made a Twelve Billion dollar profit in one year.

The Oregon senate believes workers are able to choose to form a Union and bargain for themselves.

The senate also believes employees may be able to think for themselves and should not be forced to attend coercive, mandatory anti-union meetings held by an aggressive and threatening management.

Monday the Oregon Senate passed the Worker Freedom Act. It now goes to the House, where it passed in 2007.

The legislation, if passed will make it illegal for an employer to discipline or fire a worker who refuses to attend a meeting on politics, religion or union organizing during work hours.

Almost all anti-union campaigns are use mandatory meetings where employers or hired Union Busters use scare tactics to intimidate workers. Depending on how you look at the statistics between 25% and 60% of companies involved in a Unionization campaign fire or punish employees who support Unions.

During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Wal-Mart forced employees to attend meetings where they were told that electing Democrats to the White House and Congress could threaten their jobs.

The Worker Freedom Act was passed 16-14, by the Oregon Senate.

Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski has said he will sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

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June 18th, 2009 Posted by narsbars | EFCA, MSEA-SEIU, MSEASEIU, Maine State Employees, Oregon, Ted Kulongoski, Trade union, Union busting, Wal-Mart | no comments

State Employees Fund Budget Again


Ten shut down days each year, around holidays, a two year freeze on merit raises and longevity, and a hit on health care (go to MSEA site for details after 11:30 pm) Tuesday night.

Tthere will be three levels of cuts initially. Bad, worse and even worse, with the possibility of moving the wellness portion up to the middle of 2010, maybe earlier.

Good No 5% pay cut.

Good Maybe someone will notice what we do when they can’t register a car or process paperwork.

Summary: They took between five and ten point 4 million additional dollars out of our hides.

Tim Belcher and Colonel Poulin both spoke up for their members but the venom dripping from the committee burned holes in my earphones from 90 miles away.

Like bullies anywhere they showed resentment that we tried to defend ourselves and that we tried to be part of the process.

Best Quotes: “They didn’t want to lose 5% and this is what they got.”

Rep: Flood: “I thought the 5% was fair, but I will vote for this anyway.”

Rep Martin: “This is better than anything I have seen so far!”

Almost to a man and a woman they showed disgust for State Employees who asked to be represented and as much as said “this is what you get for talking back”.

The ones that didn’t blame us or damn us turned their backs. I only hope it was in shame.

Tom Farkas, who does the Stater for us and handles our web page has been staying up to report on this sick joke and will have all the details.

UPDATE: From the MSEA website.

The Appropriations Committee at 10:20 PM Monday, May 18, eliminated the across the board 5% pay cut on all State workers.

In its place, the Committee imposed 20 shutdown days (10 per fiscal year) on Executive Branch and Legislative Branch workers, exempting so-called “Tier 1″ workers such as those in institutions, law enforcement and public safety.


For workers in all three branches of state government, the Committee voted to freeze merit increases and longevity increases for two years. The Committee allowed for comparable savings to be identified through contract negotiations.

On health insurance, the Committee imposed tiered individual premiums as follows:
Beginning October 1, 2009, those earning $30,000 or less will pay no premium, those earning $30,001 to $79,999 will pay 5 percent premiums; and those earning $80,000 and up will pay 10 percent premiums.

Beginning July 1, 2010, those earning $30,000 or less will pay 5 percent premiums, those earning $30,001 to $79,999 will pay 10 percent premiums; and those earning $80,000 and up will pay 15 percent premiums.

The Committee voted to establish a health credit premium program for implementation on July 1, 2010, where workers could earn back some or all of their individual premiums through healthy behavior.

Under this program, to be developed by the State Employee Health Commission, workers earning $30,000 or less could earn their way back to fully paid premiums, those earning $30,001 to $79,999 could earn their way back to up to 95 percent paid premiums, and those earning $80,000 and up could earn their way back to up to 92.5 percent paid premiums.

These cuts affecting state workers are now part of the overall two-year state budget that will go to the House and Senate for voting.

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May 18th, 2009 Posted by narsbars | MSEA-SEIU, MSEASEIU, Maine State Employees, health care cuts | no comments

Ginette Rivard at Appropriations Live

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Ginette Rivard is reporting live at 9:16 pm Thursday night at the appropriations hearings. It is early but Ginette says so far “2 proposals in play. John Martin versus Pat Flood” Details to follow.

Editor, the plans were 10% in the first year and 10% in the second year with a chance to earn back 10% with a wellness program. 10% in yr 1 and 10% in yr 2, earn back 5% 15% for all

According to Ginette “Things have changed” Rosen’s motion defeated. 5 for those earning under 30,000, 10 for those earning 30 to 90, 15 over 90. First 2 groups go to 10 in second year.


Only half incentive.


Ginette:

Martin motion for 5 for under 30,000 and 10 for all others in year 1 and all at 10 in year 2 with full incentive as soon as Health Comm can pull it off. Vote along party lines thus a divided report.

Ginette: 10:35 pm

They just moved to reconsider.

Ginette, keep those Blackberry batteries running. I will continue this as soon as I hear something from Ginette.


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May 14th, 2009 Posted by narsbars | Ginette Rivard, MSEASEIU, Maine State Employees, Tim Belcher, pay cuts | no comments

Proposal Deadline

MSEASEIU 1989 is engaged in contract bargaining with the State. All proposals will be on the table by May 1 at 5:00 pm.

We don’t know if there will be any surprises. Maybe the State feels they don’t have to do anything but say no, and let the legislature do the harm.

If we are so important we don’t have the right to strike, then nothing should be done without bargaining. Lots of rumors flying around, no facts yet but maybe the Gov. (I voted Democratic and all I got was this lousy Governor) will make an announcement early next week letting all Mainers know how bad things are.

In N.H. they actually want to raise the income tax………….only on State employees. It is bad, they don’t care if we tell them where they can save money. State Employees know where the waste is.

How about a contract for 14 contractors that is being renewed for the 7th and 8th year for $133,000.00 per employee NOT counting the money we pay another company to manage the contract. I could find a hundred more examples if the idea was to save money or they actually cared.

Anyone that doesn’t think we could pay and provide benefits for State employees for less does not have their head screwed on tight.

They won’t listen because they want to keep feeding rich landlords when we have vacant State owned buildings, and paying bloated prices for rich contractors that might hire a ex legislator.

What about the citizens of Maine? Alone, I could point out 1/2 to one million dollars of waste a year. Many other employees could prove the same. It is time for the State to put all contracts for goods and services on the web for all Mainers to review. Then the public could make a fair comparison.

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April 30th, 2009 Posted by narsbars | MSEA-SEIU, MSEASEIU, SEIU, SEIU 1984, SEIU 1989, msea maine | no comments

We have lost a Friend

Members of SEIU 1989 recently lost one of their own. One of our long term field reps, one of the best, was hired by our the State’s Human Resources Dept, A.K.A. “The Dark Side”, the same group your negotiations team and your stewards sit across the table from. Someone who knows how we think, what we were talking about this contract year, has now joined the dark side and taken his knowledge of our plans with him.

While he won’t be working for us I know he won’t be giving up our secrets just to get ahead. This guy has honor and I trust him. In this case we don’t have a problem. Our ex rep will probably be one of the “good guys” in HR and he will know when we are right as we defend our members and our contract.

The issue is, his years of skill will be put to work to defeat our members in grievances and job actions. He did his best for us, and he will do his best for HR, his best is damn good!

That worries me. I liked this rep, he did great work for members in the past, but I have to ask, how long the recruitment dance has been going on for, under cover, without MSEASEIU staff being aware. Is it only this rep or have they made an approach to other SEIU staff?
While thinking about offers, can a rep focus on representing our members? Will they worry they might do something that could kill the job offer? Do our members get the representation they need when staff is being solicited? Work done for our members after a job is sought or offered is done under conflict of interest.

We won’t have an enemy in HR this time, possibly even a friend, but what about the next time and the time after that?
We have to know why someone would take an offer like this and we need to prevent it in the future.

Our board of directors should take action to prevent this hostile raiding in the future. Our members deserve to receive representation without divided loyalties. Is this betrayal or did the State just make an offer he couldn’t refuse? Maybe the State is paying more.

SEIU employees have NO retirement, and from what I have seen, when they are working for us, they have no lives except the Union. To retire they have to save for themselves and I can only imagine what has happened to their plans in the last few months. It can’t be good.

Maybe the benefits that field rep helped us win in the past are better than the SEIU provides employees. Maybe the reality of having to live and feed your family overcame any dedication to Labor Rights. There are many reasons why someone changes jobs. Money, family, health care, retirement, or just a more interesting job.

The worst scenario is if our Rep. looked around, heard things, and decided he wanted be a winner. Did he hear something from the other side while being recruited that made him think he was on the losing side?
We think we know what we are losing. What is HR gaining? The rep has helped to plan our bargaining in the past.
He knows how we think and what we would use to win a contract or win a grievance. He knew some of our bargaining priorities and strategies for this year. He will never give up our private information, the real danger is brain drain, our reps know how we think, and we are hurt when we lose someone with his skills, abilities, and historical knowledge.

Human Resources, might see him rightly or wrongly as an ace in the hole, a resource they can use to counter our stewards, our bargaining teams, or just to break our spirit. That rep is lost to us, but we cannot let this continue! We don’t know why he left or what they offered him. We can plan for the future. It is time to let the reps still working for us know that we are grateful for their years of service and all the help they have given our members. We can’t let one incident change our opinion of this great bunch of men and women, that don’t have many of the benefits they have helped us win for ourselves.

O.K. it is a lousy situation but how do we fix it? Both Unions and Business have known two ways to protect themselves from hostile knowledge raiders for decades: pay them more and have a Non-Compete Clause. We have lost a lot of staff recently and we have trouble attracting field reps to Maine. The MSEASEIU rep pay scale may seem good on the raw numbers but in the same way we compare our salaries to other states you need to compare rep salaries to other states. MSEASEIU rep pay is significantly lower and comes with reduced benefits in Maine, how else could the State or even other Unions hire our staff even in this economy?

The second method, a non-compete clause, has become more common in some contracts especially when it protects “secrets” or information that could unfairly advantage the entity hiring an insider.
No one would want to prevent someone from making a living in their field of expertise. You don’t want to lock them in to one job and have a miserable employee. It is immoral to prevent someone from finding another job.
What would be wrong with an agreement preventing an SEIU employee from taking an HR position with any company, in Maine, employing members represented by MSEASEIU? You could make it easier by limiting the restriction to only a year.
I don’t know what the staff contract says or doesn’t say on non-compete. But it certainly looks like something needing investigation.

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April 11th, 2009 Posted by narsbars | Executive Branch Bargaining, MSEA, MSEA contract, MSEA-SEIU, MSEASEIU, state employee lay offs | one comment