UnionMaine

Trust me, I work for the Government

Live Blogging from the Appropriations committee

‘They are looking for cuts. Commissioner Lowe says the Holiday take away is not fair to all and will cost money. The shut down days may not work. Several members are pushing for an across the board pay cut but let employees negotiate the savings.

Across the board cut keeps coming up. “Every State employee should be treated the same” Default position suggested is a percentage cut default position and let us negotiate for the last 18 months of the contract. They want a sliding scale so the more you make the larger the cut you take.

That is not bargaining, that is still mandating. Our team is here, and two members of the negotiations committe are here today and there were several last night. They are still talking about a 6 month fall back position with ongoing negotiations. Rep Nutting: Won’t the Unions have trouble negotiating this? We are still getting strong support from the Dems and some from the Repubs to let us negotiate. The default they like is the progressive cuts. Make more, lose more which is the opposite of how we have ever bargained.

A dollar amount will be put on the table, That includes everything is the total amount the Gov. asked the employees to bear so they still want the same money plus cut the health care.

Rep. Kane brings up the fact that they are asking us for the whole amount and then add the health cuts. The mood seems to be swinging in favor of the State setting across the board sliding scale pay cuts for six months while the Republicans continue to demand health care cuts. Tim Belcher to committee: We appreciate the work Senator Mitchell put in and this is moving closer to where we want to be. We like the Wellness program if you are goitg to do something to us. We have asked for a chance to be part of the solution.

Zack from AFSCME Matthews I share the comments of Mr. Belcher and thank the committee for trying to find an answer. Our members are dedicated and will respect the process. Finding equity is the best way to do this. Our members want to be involved, they understand the need to do the budget by July 1 and we can help find the answser. We can leave jails without gaurds, mental health patients without staff. I have talked to our members and they are looking for the savings you need.

Colonel Poulin: for Law Enforcement. He appears to be supporting the across the board cut and the chance to negotiate. We are getting hounded by our members “What is going on” We need to make it equitable. Other ideas could pit member against member. We look forward to the opportunity to negotiate. Maybe the Bargaining units and the various Unions can work together. Col. Poulin says no one should be excluded, no commissioner, no manager, no one. Committee: How do you break up the pay scale so higher paid employees take a larger hit?

Rep. Martin…..A percentage is a percentage, no tier is needed. At last a guy with a clue.

Push back from the R side, they want tiers. Rep. Nutting: We can’t set the parameters of how they negotiate, we don’t want to be involved. Give them a figure, let them negotiate.

Committee: Is this a move for an across the board cut? Almost unanimous. Rep Nutting is trying to get back to including the longevity cuts and other cuts. They are breaking and will be back at about 1:00 None of this is direct quotes, I can’t type that fast.

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May 13th, 2009 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | one comment

1 Comment

  1. Good job. I believe members would rather have Shutdown days rather than pay cuts that will hurt their retirement. I am just afraid that if we meet their $ for cuts they will take more.

    Comment by Anonymous | May 14, 2009

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