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State Employees offer to pitch in and save money

Friday, November 21 2008


State Employees representing the Executive Branch bargaining units with over 9000 employees came to bargaining today with an offer to help with the budget crisis. State employees who have gone without raises for two years in recent contracts, and consistently accepted raises lower than inflation, today offered to help balance the budget by identifying savings and waste in State government.

State employee’s raises have not kept up with inflation for the last ten years consistently leaving them behind the private sector in real income today called for everyone to pitch in.

The State employees represented by the MSEA-SEIU manage lifesaving services for children and adults through DHHS, DOT, and Public Safety. All branches of State government provide necessary services to the people of Maine and State employees stand ready to help save tax payer dollars by ending wasteful outsourcing and bloated contracts to out of state companies.

“Why send our money out of State, when we can hire Mainers to do the work for less?” said one of the Union negotiators, No one knows how to serve Mainers better than Mainers and we will work with the State to identify areas where money can be saved and funds kept in Maine. When we keep the money in Maine it helps our revenue fo ALL Maine citizens!

‘We provide quality services.” We want to help cut the tax burden said members of the negotiations team.

Many people don’t know that some state employees earn so little that they qualify for state services. Even these employees are dedicated to doing their part to get everyone in Maine through these hard times.

There are so many examples of waste and opportunities for savings said another member of the executive branch teams.

We can find ways to save tax dollars.


“State employees pay taxes too and see their neighbors and friends hurting. With the help of their Union State employees have been trying to point out the waste of outsourcing for years and maybe during this crisis the time has come for the legislature to listen to those who know the work best.

State employees are your friends and neighbors and they don’t want agencies to close and the public suffer. Mainers will still need to register a car, adopt a child, be sure their food is safe, and educate their children.

State workers know how fragile the economy is at the moment but they know Maine will weather this downturn better than many States because Mainers will pull together.


Saving State services has strikes home when it is made personal. Here is a personal story.


Recently two public safety workers working long hours and many unpaid hours on their own time were responsible for tracking down a sexual predator. The detective work rivaled the best of CSI. These two heroes don’t make Hollywood salaries, they don’t get a bonus for catching a monster. They did it to keep your children safe.

No one knows how many children may have been saved from this monster. Last week one of these heroes was told they were scheduled for layoff, after saving children their child would have a mother with no job.

I hope the State will work with its citizens to lower costs and I expect the public would question why State agencies would refuse to partner with State employees at no cost in a mutual goal of saving tax dollars.

The State is expecting as much as a half billion dollar deficit and our members want to be part of the solution, we have the skills and the people to replace contracted services, saving both jobs and money for the taxpayers of Maine while improving services.

The workers’ contract does not expire until July 2009 but they are in negotiations now in order help find savings in the coming biennial budget.

State employees know they find ways to save the State millions of dollars. They are willing to commit the resources to make this happen.

Update: Saturday November 22

Ground Breaking Meeting of Executive, Judicial, and Community College bargaining units.

In a show of solidarity and strength the three bargaining units that are most closely associated with the biennial budget process met on Saturday to share their concerns, their talents, and to build solidarity.

The theme developed was “The best for the largest number, regardless of bargaining unit”. This unprecedented meeting will lead to more sharing in the future and make it harder to pit one unit against another.

“We all share common interests and we all want to help each other” said one of the Union team members.

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November 22nd, 2008 Posted by narsbars | EFCA, Employee Free Choice Act, SEIU 1984, SEIU 1989, UNIONMAINE, furlough days, state employee lay offs | one comment

1 Comment

  1. We are all in this together, so we need to help each other out. Who better to help identify waste and savings in State government than those working in it. By that I don’t mean the Legislature or the Department Commissioners or Department Heads. I mean those everyday workers who help us out when we get our driver’s license renewed, file our company’s income and payroll taxes, do intake for any type of assistance, or simply answer the phone and direct your call when you call one of many State offices, or plow our roads during snowstorms so we can make it home safely. The Legislature needs to listen up.

    Comment by Helen | November 23, 2008

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