UnionMaine

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Last week I received a message about the upcoming changes in Employee health care benefits. This set off a quick email discussion and I think it tells its own story better than a detailed point by point. I have of course removed names and email addresses.

Sent To: Tom Maher

Topic:They’re at it. AGAIN!

I received a copy of the Employee Health Commission minutes and they have again changed the benefits. The cuts do not appear to be that severe but ….

Sent from Thomas Maher

Thanks for writing,

The State took the entire surplus the Union had accumulated and then dipped further into the funds needed to simply maintain the status quo to the tune of several millions of dollars more. Previous to the pillaging the Union had arranged to improve dental benefits and lower several co-pays. The legislature felt that no well run program should go unpunished.

If you want to know how some of this happens, stop, look around, and ask yourself how many of the co-workers you see actually did anything to protect their own benefits. There are a few employees that have been very helpful but out of hundreds of emails sent by me encouraging employees to get involved in the next contract I received three answers. One was positive..

If anyone wants any raises, or any changes to the contract coming up they have not asked. There has not been one response to offers posted asking if anyone would like to have an open meeting to ask questions.

It must be nice to be working with a group that is completely satisfied with wages, benefits, and working conditions.

Thank You,

Thomas Maher

Reply

Regarding satisfaction, or becoming involved, most of us are on the extremely busy already side of life, and we rely on those we’ve elected to represent us. I for one don’t have the energy or inclination to work on the contract — that sounds like a cop-out, but it is true. I devote enormous energy to my job, and the left over is pretty much devoted to others at a personal level. We do want the same old things as you listed below; that has not changed, and won’t change, no matter how many times you ask. But look back at the older surveys, you’ll find we’ve answered; we’ve provided lots of input.

We’re not completely satisfied, but there are only so many times we can say it before we think our input doesn’t matter anyway in the long run.

The legislature and its designees will do pretty much what they want.

Sent from: Thomas Maher

You are right.

We have real lives and many don’t have the time to devote even if they want to.

But for &*%$ sake! Some of us may know how to use a telephone and some advanced employees may even be capable of sending email.

The legislature depends on apathy. It is a little known fact that when a legislator gets ten or more contacts on a single issue they start to ask questions of the other legislators.

As a steward and possibly as a member of the next contract team I will do everything possible to resolve Pro-Tech issues. Last time your team got Management to the table to testify for us. While our gains were limited, we did make progress. In the past we have gotten OT for employees the State tried to make OT exempt. Some of us can now work a 4 day week. Some of us get Standby for at least part of our time. We can make progress.

The surveys have been answered, I know the issues, but to support the issues I am going to need some backing. If I get a number of emails at my home address I can bring those to the table. Is it worth the time to send an email? I make an absolute promise on one thing.

If you don’t play, you can’t win. No big S on my chest, I can’t do it alone.

Thank You,

Thomas Maher

Narsbars@UnionMaine.Org

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

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