UnionMaine

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Merry Grinchmas Contract to be signed 1-4-08


The 2007 -2009 contract for State Employees will be signed on January 4, 2008. I don’t know how you feel about this contract, wages and benefits but unless you think it was the best thing since free beer and pretzels just wait. Too many State Employees think that “the union” will bargain the contract and that there is nothing that can be done. We can make a difference, we are the Union and if we are not interested enough to take care of our own issues no one will do it for us.

When contracts are bargained, both the Union and the legislature start looking at neighboring States to make economic comparisons. The legislature only looks for cuts while your Union is looking at the whole picture. If another State pays less do they have better benefits? If their benefits took a hit did they get a better raise? Here is what New Hampshire got hit with at their last contract. They did get an 11% raise in two years, nearly twice what we got. They pay almost all of their employees overtime and standby regardless of being “salaried”. Our legislature will be looking for cuts and the only way we will get anything is to look ahead and plan.

The Union has promised to start bargaining early, when? Read this summary of New Hampshire and see if you would settle for a contract that guts your health care and that makes a joke of all the promises you were given when you came to work last year or or twenty five years or more ago. You kept your word, you worked for less for the promise of a health plan.

Cutting your pre paid health care would be like Chevy, Ford, and Chrysler sending tow trucks to your house to take your car back even a paid off car. They could just say that it was too expensive to honor the warranty they promised, too expensive too keep making spare parts so you will need to give up your car to help them.

Will you settle for a contract like this?
If you say yes, you would settle we have not seen 11% in two years since Dick Cheney ran his last marathon for charity. It is likely that the legislature is going to try for another zero and zero with benefit cuts. Contact your legislator now and ask them if they will fight for you.

Wages

What would it take for you to accept the rest of this agreement? New Hampshire Employees settled for about 11%. After you take out what they are going to be paying they got about 6%, the same as Maine employees.

Healthcare, the Agreement

  • Provides $200 in “health reimbursement” funds to employees who complete an on-line “Health Risk Assessment” questionnaire (this money can be used for office visit and prescription co-pays);
  • Cap maximum out-of-pocket expenses for office visits at $500 per individual and $1,000 per family;
  • Cap maximum out-of-pocket expenses for prescription drugs at $500 per individual and $1,000 per family;
  • Employee pays $25 per pay period health care fee for employees who subscribe to the state‚Äôs health insurance system (a total of $650 a year in pre-tax dollars); the fee would increase to $30 per pay period ($780) on January 1, 2010;
  • Office co-pays will also increase effective January 1, 2010; primary care visits will increase to $20; most specialists’ visits will increase to $40, but some will remain at $30);
  • Prescription drug co-pays remain at current rates;
  • Increase maximum dental benefit 20%
  • Add adult orthodontia benefits

While you are working these amounts don’t look like they would destroy your budget. They would prevent you from going to the doctor, they will prevent you from affording care for your kids, which is the whole idea. If you can’t use your health care the costs will definitely go down. The State is looking to balance the budget on your backs and on your family’s health. If you are near to retirement it will make the health care you worked a lifetime to earn a joke. “Thank you for thirty years, get out!”

Happy New Year.

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December 23rd, 2007 Posted by narsbars | MSEA, MSEA Dues, MSEA contract, MSEA-SEIU, MSEASEIU, Maine State Employees, SEIU, SEIU 1989, STATE EMPLOYEES, TECHNORATI, The Cliff, federal mileage rate, msea maine | no comments

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