UnionMaine

Trust me, I work for the Government

Lay offs? Benefit Cuts? Apathy?

The current budget negotiations have brought up the ghosts of years past. No raise contracts, furlough days and political pressure to “hurt” State Employees not for financial reasons but for political gain.

We must face the fact that we are looking at demands that we get no raises, suffer benefit cuts, and layoffs, the MSEA will face some tough challenges when its representatives take their seats at the bargaining table some time later this year.

The first meetings should take a place towards the end of the year, while the legislature will be working to finalize the 2009-2011 budget.

The State plans to have privatized the Levinson center by that time, though the plan was delayed for a while after workers and the parents of clients objected. Decreases in Social benefits will be widespread and the right wing will be in frenzy as they face serious political challenges in both the local and National elections. They will be desperate to blame anyone for their failed policies. In Maine they will want to blame Unions.

The right will be promising that more tax cuts for the rich and privatization of State services to their friends will solve all the problems.

In order to avoid becoming a public target we must get the word out that the union recognizes that Maine and the county are facing difficult times.

We need tell our neighbors that Union members want to suggest ways to make State services more effective and efficient. Tell them we know State workers have an obligation to participate in innovation and quality. We know the jobs best and this gives us the ability to suggest ideas to provide better services and do the best job possible at the lowest cost. We are Mainer’s too, and we don’t want to waste tax payer money because we are tax payers too.

Whether the Bush administration admits it or not the economy is in a recession, and that will impact our negotiations. We can go in and demand ridiculous terms, but that doesn’t make any sense. What we have to do is sit down early and work on both the financial aspects and all of the open working condition issues that are open and unresolved. Then with our research done and in unity we can begin to bargain with the State.

The MSEA, executive branch bargaining teams must realize that we are also carrying the hopes for the State College system, AFSCME, and other units. Historically their contracts have mirrored whatever we have been able or unable to achieve at the table. We will need to try to hear from as many members of our MSEA-SEIU locals to get ideas and gather strength.

Our Union is looking at new methods of bargaining starting with a bargaining summit on May 10 but so far neither members or Union officials know what new process may be developed or how they will be implemented.

The bargaining summit is not exclusive. Individual workers are invited to meet other members and with Union officials to create an official channel for workers to raise proposals, grievances, lobby for policy changes and ask to be heard. One thing is certain; any member that does not participate is giving up the right to complain about the results.

PLEASE TAKE THE BARGAINING SURVEY AND MAKE YOUR IDEAS COUNT.

There is a Bargaining summit coming up on May 10. Do you think things should be done differently? Have you ever asked why something was done? Show up and make yourself heard.
During the bargaining for the 2007-2009 contract your bargaining team found the bargaining survey gave our teams more input and information than had ever been received before. This site and your Union are both collecting ideas now. Your ideas count!

Click Here to take survey

Click HERE to see how other members are voting.
Interested Union members will be given a chance to be heard and help develop plans before they are sent to the Union Board of Directors for a vote. Please take the first step and take the online survey.

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April 5th, 2008 Posted by narsbars | MSEA 2008 bargaining survey, MSEA Dues, MSEA ELECTIONS, MSEA contract, MSEA-SEIU, MSEASEIU, Maine State Employees, SEIU 1989, TECHNORATI, UNIONMAINE, msea maine | no comments

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