UnionMaine

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Update 08 Not in thirty years

UPDATE 08
Not in thirty years.

The Bargaining Summit meeting this weekend was unique in our Union’s history as never before had so many members from so many units been together in the same room to find out what works, what doesn’t and how we can all work together. The theme was “We are all one Union.
MSEA’s campaign to win a new contract began this weekend as former members of contract negotiating teams from all over the State, not just the Executive branch, met in Augusta to develop bargaining strategies. The current contract ends In July 2009, the members talked about how teams will collect and analyze input gathered from members, prioritize issues and identify important points as MSEA builds an aggressive strategy designed to prepare our elected teams for a tough set of talks.

We need every member to know their voice will be heard,” said Sharon Carroll President of Area one and a member for Pro-Tech on many contract teams. “Our success at the bargaining table depends on the members’ ability to demonstrate to the state and Legislature that we are ready to fight for what we deserve”

Many teams spoke about the need for a comprehensive bargaining survey that could be distributed on the MSEASEIU website and by mail, allowing members to identify the issues most important to them in upcoming negotiations. “We must use member’s responses to develop priorities in key contract areas: wages, mileage, seniority rights, classifications and workloads,” was heard many times from all teams.

Several former team members said that they are going to hold a series of “listen-up” meetings at work sites throughout the state starting soon. These meetings will start small but they will be a forum where members can discuss and debate their ideas and concerns about bargaining. This blog is pushing for MSEA to work to organize and mobilize members in every work site with the creation of Contract Action Teams (CATs). These communication networks would enable a rapid, two-way exchange of information between members and elected team members at the bargaining table.

Members of the Board of directors have said they plan to take no action in May, but it is their goal to start earlier and develop the tools that will help our teams with member involvement and the research needed to deal with what may be as bad an atmosphere as the early 1990’s. There is a deficit, and a recession. The State will be under immense pressure to deny any gains to MSEA employees. Many politicians will be planning on making a reputation attacking Union employees.

This may be the most important contract campaign in MSEA’s history,” to win, we’ll need more members showing more involvement than ever before to show that we are truly united in this campaign.

Fill out a bargaining survey here, but ask the Union for a survey on MSEASEIU.org
Share your ideas at a Worksite meeting
Ask about Contract Action Teams
Get ready to show your support

Bargaining Survey, What bargaining survey?

Click Here to take survey Click HERE to see how other members are voting..

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May 11th, 2008 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments

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