UnionMaine

Trust me, I work for the Government

Lies, Lies, and a roadmap

Today as a steward I helped a number of employees get the respect they deserve. As a Union representative I heard some problems from some employees. I contacted management and asked if they understood the contract language. Contract language that I helped to write. There was no big fight. A few calls, mention of some old emails and contract language and we all agreed. The result was an agreement that this was all a misunderstanding and that, of course, the employees would get the wages they were due. I honestly don’t think that management intended anything, but because of our Union, management and labor avoided a confrontation and bad feelings. The best result is the employees will get the wages and respect they feel they have earned.
A phone call, a little involvement, and we had a success. We must all be prepared to get involved. I will slip this next comment in quickly. If you want to keep reading any of this blog—comment. I agree with my own writing, except when the voices keep shouting each other down, but I don’t know what you want or even if you want any more of this. It is up to you.

Waiting for State Employees to become involved.


Don’t say the Republicans are sneaky. They are very clear. They do not respect the citizens of Maine or State employees.

I have tried to be even handed recognizing that a good idea or a bad idea has no political party and neither party has a monopoly on being right.

But if you are a State Employee or a citizen of Maine that expects to have good services when you need them you will know who to blame when you can’t register a car or get the roads plowed.

Republicans have put forward their own versions of budget cuts, at least three of which would directly affect state workers.

The GOP members of the Health and Human Services Committee want to require all state workers and legislators to pay ten percent of their health insurance premiums and regardless of how little they make to prohibit them from signing up for MaineCare.

They also want to eliminate vacant state jobs and even knowing my audience I have to say that may have merit. If the cuts were enforced fairly it could work. The remaining employees would share in the overtime needed to do the work. Just don’t say fair to the university system. During the Big Job Freeze the University system just kept on hiring. During the travel ban the University travel budget kept on growing.

The most harmful suggestions will not be able to be put in force now because of fair contracts negotiated by the MSEA-SEIU. Even though we have paid for our benefits in advance for ten, twenty or even more years, they are only guaranteed until 2009. They will be targeted again and again.

Let us put a name to some of the GOP members that think it is OK to break the word of the State and promises given to prospective employees in order to hire talented hard working employees to serve Maine.

Sen. Kevin Raye, R-Perry, and Rep. Robert Walker, R-Lincolnville, said the proposed cuts provide a roadmap for budget cuts over the long term. TRANSLATION: THEY WANT TO KEEP ON CUTTING, NO MATTER HOW HARD IT WILL MAKE IT ON THE CITIZENS OF MAINE. THE NO NEW TAXES PROMISE IS A LIE. NO NEW TAXES UNLESS YOU ARE A STATE EMPLOYEE.

Rep. Henry Joy, R-Crystal, will sponsor a bill to make a joke out of what Mainers voted for, the 55 percent State share of education. His bill would cut the percentage of educational spending the State provides to 49 percent.

Why are we in a race to the bottom? It is because the State Employee plan sets an example for employee coverage that the corporations sponsoring many legislators don’t want to admit is working well and could be affordable for many other employers in Maine.

I have been hoping to see a little more involvement from State Employees in the process but today’s cartoon says it all.

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March 19th, 2008 Posted by narsbars | MSEA, MSEA 2008 bargaining survey, MSEA Dues, MSEA ELECTIONS, MSEA contract, MSEA-SEIU, MSEASEIU, Maine State Employees, SEIU 1989, TECHNORATI, msea maine, turnmaineblue | no comments

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