Addressing the serious
public employee recruitment and retention problem
the State of Maine has been experiencing throughout
all branches and departments;
to solve the problem of impossible workloads
and caseloads many of our members are
experiencing as they do the public's work;
Maine's mental health service structure;
contractors who do the public's work accountable
so Maine taxpayers will know whether they
are getting their money's worth;
the retirement security of Maine's retired
We can win on our issues by building
support for our legislative agenda, advancing other
legislation helping Maine workers and retirees, and
opposing legislation harming Maine workers and retirees.
Among the over 1,500 legislative proposals submitted,
there are several supporting our priorities this legislative
session. We are proud of the following legislative proposals
and their bipartisan support:
"An Act to Improve
State Employee Recruitment and Retention," sponsored
by State Rep. Lori Fowle. This legislation would require,
by statute: funding for merit and longevity pay for
workers in all three branches of State of Maine Government:
Executive, Judicial and Legislative; full funding for
the State of Maine's group health plans; and the negotiation
and the implementation of the findings of the three
remaining Executive Branch Classification and Compensation
Study Committees covering the Operations, Maintenance
& Support Services Bargaining Unit; the Professional-Technical
Services Bargaining Unit, and the Supervisory Services
"An Act to Protect Taxpayers by Regulating Personal
Services Contracts," sponsored by State Rep. Roland
"Danny" Martin. This legislation would provide greater
protection to taxpayers by requiring contracts for personal
services under Title 5, Section 1816-A, demonstrate
long-term cost savings and, if contracts are up for
renewal, demonstrate actual savings during the initial
contract and projected savings for the renewal. This
legislation also would provide ombudsman authority to
the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability.
"Resolve, An Act to Study Staffing Levels of State
Agencies," sponsored by State Rep. Peggy Rotundo.
This resolve would establish a work group composed of
stakeholders (collective bargaining representatives,
state agency/department representatives and state legislators)
that would review staffing levels, caseloads, workloads
and any national standards to assess staffing levels.
The work group would report back to the respective committee
of jurisdiction, which could then file legislation.
"An Act to Improve Retirement Security for Retired
Public Employees," sponsored by State Rep. Roger
Sherman. For the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 state budget
years, this legislation would lock in, at no less than
2.55% on the first $20,000 of pension income, the cost
of living adjustment to retiree pensions for retired
workers in all three branches of state government and
for retired teachers.
"An Act to Increase the Reimbursement Rate for Direct
Care Workers Serving Maine's Seniors," sponsored
by House Speaker Mark Eves. This legislation would raise
the current low hourly wages for home care workers,
including personal care attendants, who help Maine people
live independently in their own homes. We represent
these workers at Home Care for Maine and Alpha One.
We are monitoring legislation relating to worker and
patient safety at Riverview Psychiatric Center. One
proposal is "An Act to Improve Inpatient Mental Health
Services," sponsored by State Rep. Andrew Gattine.
This legislation would improve inpatient services for
mental health by providing more effective assessment,
improved staffing, better staff education and more effective
In addition, we are supporting legislation raising
Maine's minimum wage. Maine's minimum wage has been
stuck at $7.50 since October 2009, yet the cost of living
has been going up. Raising the wage merely will help
low-wage earners catch up to the rising cost of living.
Raising the wage also will reduce the need of low-wage
earners to resort to public assistance programs to survive.
We are disappointed the Governor once
again is pushing so-called "right-to-work-for-less"
legislation. We oppose any attempts to weaken the ability
of labor unions to advocate for Maine's working families.
Stagnating wages, rising income inequality and retirement
insecurity are plaguing the American workforce. If anything,
Maine's elected leaders should make it easier, not harder,
for workers to organize.
In order for us to win on our issues,
we need you to begin a conversation with your state
senator and state representative. Please pull out and
save our 2015 Guide to Contacting Your State Legislators
arriving with your Maine Stater in mailboxes this week.
Keep the Guide handy. We will follow up with you in
the coming weeks and months on key hearing dates, legislation
and facts so you can have informed and persuasive conversations
with your state senator and state representative in
support of our issues. Together, we can win for Maine's
working families and retirees.
MSEA-SEIU members in the Executive Branch!
do you want in your next contract?
Dear MSEA-SEIU Members Working for the
State of Maine Executive Branch,
This is a key bargaining year, with
all of our contracts expiring in the State of Maine's
Executive Branch. Now more than ever, we need to work
together to deliver fair contracts for everyone.
Your union is establishing a Contract
Action Team consisting of MSEA-SEIU Local 1989 members
who will guide the Union Negotiating Team. This is your
invitation to become part of the Contract Action Team.
Please join the Contract Action Team
and attend the Contract Action Team's kickoff meeting
from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, at Augusta
Civic Center, with registration starting at 8:30 a.m.
To participate, sign up by calling MSEA-SEIU Member
Support Specialist Terry Baillargeon by 5 p.m. Tuesday,
Jan. 27, at 1-800-452-8794 or 622-3151 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the Contract Action Team meeting
Jan. 31, team members will start the process for us
to win new Executive Branch contracts. Our current contracts
expiring June 30, 2015, cover state workers in four
bargaining units: Administrative Services; Professional-Technical
Services; Operations, Maintenance & Support Services;
and Supervisory Services. If you want to be part of
the actual Union Negotiating Team, you need to have
someone attending the Jan. 31 meeting nominate you to
serve on the Union Negotiating Team.
On Jan. 31, members of the Contract
Action Team will elect one at-large Union Negotiating
Team member from each of the four bargaining units and
take nominations for the remaining slots, which will
then be elected by a mail-in ballot. Candidates who
are nominated will have until Friday, Feb. 6, to submit
written biographies in support of their nominations
to MSEA-SEIU Local 1989 headquarters. At that point,
ballot elections will be held via mail for MSEA-SEIU
Local 1989 members in each of the four Executive Branch
bargaining units to elect members to the Union Negotiating
Team. All ballots will be due at MSEA-SEIU Local 1989
headquarters by 5 p.m. Friday, March 6, and MSEA-SEIU
members will count them immediately thereafter.
Again, all MSEA-SEIU Local 1989 members
in the four Executive Branch bargaining units are encouraged
to serve on the Contract Action Team meeting Jan. 31.
Preregistration is necessary as explained above. All
MSEA-SEIU members in the Executive Branch also are encouraged
to submit bargaining proposals using this bargaining
proposal form on our website.
A copy of the bargaining proposal form
also will appear in the Maine Stater arriving in your
mailboxes the week of Jan. 26-30. There are two requirements
in submitting bargaining proposals:
1) Only one proposal will be accepted
per form, so if you are submitting more than one proposal,
please either photocopy the form or download
and print copies from our website;
2) Your contact information (name, home
and work phones, and home and work email) is required
on the bargaining proposal form for your proposal to
Once the Union Negotiating Team is elected,
the next step is for members of the Union Negotiating
Team to meet from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 14,
at MSEA-SEIU headquarters in Augusta to undergo training
in bargaining, review bargaining proposals, and solicit
meeting dates from management.
Thank you and we look forward toward
your participation in determining your next contract.
President, MSEA-SEIU Local 1989
P.S. Here is our timeline for Executive
Saturday, Jan. 31: First meeting
of the Contract Action Team, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Augusta
Civic Center, Augusta Room, Upstairs, with registration
beginning at 8:30 a.m. Nominations for Union Negotiating
Team candidates, election of four at-large Union Negotiating
Team members (one per bargaining unit), review proposals,
and set goals and priorities.
Friday, Feb. 6: Deadline for
nominees to the Union Negotiating Team to submit written
statements to MSEA-SEIU Local 1989 headquarters.
Friday, Feb. 20: Ballots and
written statements from nominees for Union Negotiating
Team to be mailed out to union members in respective
Friday, Feb. 27: Deadline to
submit bargaining proposals to MSEA-SEIU Local 1989
Friday, March 6: Ballots due
at MSEA-SEIU Local 1989 headquarters by 5 p.m. Ballots
will be counted immediately thereafter.
Saturday, March 14: Union Negotiating
Team meets from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at MSEA-SEIU headquarters
to undergo training, review bargaining proposals and
solicit meeting dates from management.
Tom Feeley named as our union's
The MSEA-SEIU Board of Directors has named Tom Feeley
as our union's general counsel. He started working for
us Jan. 12.
For the last seven years, Tom worked at
a union-side labor firm in New York City, where he represented
both public sector and private sector employees in a variety
of forums. Prior to that, he worked with an immigration
organization in New York City, clerked with the SEIU's
General Counsel office in Washington, D.C., and worked
as a public defender in Palmer, Alaska. Tom earned his
law degree at Northeastern University School of Law in
2006 and his bachelor's degree from Reed College in Portland,
"MSEA-SEIU members provide myriad essential
services throughout the state, from keeping our roads
safe and clear to protecting our parks and wildlife to
performing the day-to-day administrative functions of
our state government," Tom said. "MSEA-SEIU members are
the backbone of Maine's communities and economy. Through
decades of organizing and bargaining, they have secured
contractual rights ensuring fair wages, fair treatment,
and healthy and safe working conditions. I am thrilled
and honored to fight to enforce these rights."
Tom was raised in Andover, Mass. He currently
resides in Topsham with his wife, Alexis, and children,
Clementine and James.
January 15, 2015
Making Our Voice Heard
here for a poster of this message for your Union Bulletin
New Year! Together, we can make the voice of our members
heard in 2015 as we advocate for a responsible two-year
state budget that funds our contracts and delivers quality
public services to all Maine people. Here's our initial
assessment of the Governor's proposed two-year state budget:
contractual merit and longevity: We are encouraged the
Governor's proposed two-year state budget funds contractual
merit and longevity pay for Executive Branch workers for
the fiscal years starting July 1, 2015, and ending June
30, 2017. Contractual merit and longevity are central
elements of our state employee contracts.
State Employee Health Plan: We are encouraged the Governor's
proposed budget contains an increase in funding for the
State Employee Health Plan for both budget years. We will
work to ensure this level of funding stays in the proposed
layoffs and job eliminations: While the Governor's proposed
budget adds much-needed staff at Riverview Psychiatric
Hospital, many state departments or bureaus would experience
layoffs or position eliminations. Some of our members
have received intention-to-lay-off notices. If you received
such a notice or any written communication potentially
impacting the status or potential status of your job,
-- Contact MSEA-SEIU Director of Politics and Legislation
Mary Anne Turowski at email@example.com or
1-800-452-8794 or 622-3151. Provide her with any information
that can help us advocate in the Legislature for the work
-- Call our Member Support Specialists on our staff at
MSEA-SEIU headquarters at 1-800-452-8794 or 622-3151 so
we can ensure your contractual rights are respected.
Governor's proposed tax breaks and tax increases: We are
concerned about how the Governor's latest proposed tax
breaks - and tax increases - would impact our members
and the ability to deliver quality public services throughout
Maine. Shifting the tax burden from corporations and the
wealthy onto Maine workers and retirees was wrong in 2011,
and it's still wrong now.
Maine Stater arriving in your mailbox later this month
will include our 2015 Guide to Contacting Your State Legislators.
Please pull out the guide and keep it handy so you can
talk with your state senator and state representative
in support of Maine's working families and retirees throughout
the legislative session.
tuned. We will roll out our legislative agenda in the
MSEA-SEIU Local 1989
Jessica Dubois appointed as secretary
to the MSEA-SEIU Board of Directors
Ginette Rivard has appointed MSEA-SEIU member Jessica
Dubois as secretary to our union's Board of Directors.
works as an Office Associate II for the Bureau of Motor
Vehicles within the Maine Department of the Secretary
of State. A resident of Winthrop, Jessica belongs to our
Motor Vehicle Chapter and serves as an MSEA-SEIU delegate.
succeeds former board secretary Irene Chandler, who resigned
Dec. 31 after more than five years of service.
Rod Hiltz named executive director of MSEA-SEIU Local 1989
The Board of Directors of the Maine State
Employees Association, Local 1989 of the Service Employees
International Union, on Dec. 16 promoted Rod Hiltz, a
longtime Maine unionist who most recently served as a
member of the union's senior management team, to become
the union's new executive director.
Hiltz, 55, of Monmouth, is a familiar
face to the 12,000 workers the union represents. He has
served since February 2007 as the union's director of
field mobilization and also as chief negotiator for the
union's largest bargaining units.
Hiltz earned his first union card in 1978
through United Paperworkers International Union Local
14 at the Jay, Maine, paper mill then-owned by International
Paper. From 1985 until early 2007, he worked as a paperworker
and later as president of (UPIU, PACE) United Steelworkers
Local 9 at the S.D. Warren/Sappi paper mill in Skowhegan.
"For decades, Rod has worked tirelessly
for good wages, solid benefits and safe working conditions
on behalf of Maine workers who are privately or publicly
employed," said MSEA-SEIU Director Dean Staffieri, who
served on the union's personnel committee for the executive-director
search. "Our union has become stronger with Rod managing
our field mobilization program. Now, with a lifelong unionist
as our executive director, the voice of Maine workers
will grow even more."
"Serving as executive director of MSEA-SEIU
Local 1989 is both an honor and a privilege," Hiltz said.
"From my work at MSEA and as a Mainer, I have seen how
dedicated MSEA-SEIU members are to serving Maine people.
Whether they're out plowing the roads in treacherous conditions,
keeping the State of Maine's public safety structures
running or protecting our children from dangerous situations,
our members are there 24/7 providing the services necessary
so the rest of us can go about our daily lives. Together,
we will make the voice of all Maine workers heard because
that's how we build a stronger Maine for all Maine workers
and their families."
Hiltz earned a master of science degree
in labor studies from the University of Massachusetts
at Amherst. He earned a bachelor of science degree in
marketing from Thomas College in Waterville, and an associate's
degree in criminal justice from the University of Maine.
He is married to Barbara Niccoli-Hiltz, a retired field
representative for the National AFL-CIO, and is the stepfather
to Barbara's two children.
News Stories and Feature Links
MSEA-SEIU MEMBERS IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF MAINE STATE GOVERNMENT:
Please be sure to join us from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan.
31, at Augusta Civic Center in the Augusta Room, Upstairs, as
we begin the process leading to our next Executive Branch contracts.
To become part of our Contract Action Team and participate in
the team's kickoff meeting, contact MSEA-SEIU Member Support Specialist
Terry Baillargeon right away at 1-800-452-8794 or 622-3151 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. While we recognize another winter
storm is in the forecast for Friday, we are proceeding with Saturday's
meeting. Members of the Contract Action Team will elect one at-large
Union Negotiating Team member from each of the four Executive
Branch bargaining units and take nominations for the remaining
slots, which will then be elected by a mail-in ballot. If you
are unable to attend Saturday's meeting and want to be nominated
to serve on the Union Negotiating Team, please send an email to
that effect right away to MSEA-SEIU Vice President Ramona Welton
at email@example.com. Vice President Welton will then
present any nominations she receives to the Contract Action Team
on Saturday. Again, all MSEA-SEIU Local 1989 members in the four
Executive Branch bargaining units are encouraged to serve on the
Contract Action Team. Together, we can win contracts reflecting
everyone's hard work.
Attention MSEA-SEIU Stewards!
Mark your calendars for the 2015 MSEA-SEIU Steward Training Programs
listed below. Registration begins
at 8 a.m. at all locations. All training programs run from 8:30
a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Click
here for a poster to post on your Union Bulletin Board:
2015 MSEA-SEIU Statewide Steward
Skills Training Program: Thursday, May 28, 2015, Augusta Civic
2015 MSEA-SEIU Regional Steward
Skills Training Programs:
Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, Spectacular Event;
Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, Hampton Inn;
Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015, Augusta Civic Center;
Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015,Clarion Hotel, Portland.