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MSEA-SEIU Local 1989
65 State Street
PO Box 1072
Augusta, ME 04332-1072
207-622-3151
1-800-452-8794

MAINE STATE EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION

SEIU Local 1989


JOIN MSEA-SEIU Local 1989!


These are the forms you'll need...

 

Membership Application - Print, fillout and mail or fax. FAX Number: 207-623-4916

Income Protection Questions & Answers

Income Protection Application


April 3: State budget compromise update --

Merit/longevity officially funded

 

The state budget compromise funding merit and longevity pay effective July 1, 2014, became law overnight without the Governor's signature.

 

As a result, workers in all three branches of state government who are eligible for a contractual merit increase will get one on their anniversary date in the fiscal year starting July 1, 2014, subject to a satisfactory performance evaluation.

 

Workers who were denied contractual longevity pay due to the longevity freeze will begin receiving longevity pay on their anniversary date in the fiscal year starting July 1, 2014.

 

We succeeded in putting merit and longevity back on track after years of freezes by speaking with a united voice and never giving up. We truly are Stronger Together.



Advocating for severance pay for 147 production workers

laid off at Maine Military Authority

 

MSEA-SEIU General Counsel Tim Belcher testified March 24 in support of legislation aimed at securing severance pay for the 147 production workers whom the State of Maine laid off in October 2013 at the Maine Military Authority in Limestone. His testimony is below in support of L.D. 1837, "An Act to Provide Former Employees of the Maine Military Authority the Ability to Sue for Severance Pay."

 

Senator Patrick, Representative Herbig, and members of the Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development Committee; my name is Timothy Belcher, and I am the General Counsel of the Maine State Employees Association - Service Employees International Union, Local 1989. I am here to testify in favor of LD 1837.

 

This Legislation seeks to hold the State of Maine to the same standard that we hold other employers when it engages in industrial production, and then implements a mass layoff as a result of substantial cessation of business. Since 1997, the Maine Military Authority has refurbished Humvees and heavy equipment for the National Guard at the former Loring Air Force Base in Limestone. Over the years, it has employed hundreds of mechanics and related trades in tearing down these pieces of equipment and rebuilding them from the ground up. Aroostook County proved ideal for this operation, with a strong labor pool of skilled mechanics used to hard work. I think everyone involved in this operation was rightfully proud of its success.

 

Last October, the Maine Military Authority essentially shut down its industrial operations in Limestone, and laid off 147 production workers. The loss of 147 industrial jobs, with good pay and benefits, would hurt anywhere. In Aroostook County, that loss is devastating. These are hardworking blue collar workers who grew up repairing and operating machinery. They come from all over the County, earning needed income to their families and communities.

 

If any other industrial employer had done the same thing, Maine law would require the payment of severance pay. Maine's severance pay law requires industrial employers who implement mass layoffs as a result a substantial closure to pay severance pay. As the union representing the 147 laid off employees, we demanded payment and were refused. Maine Law allows the Union to bring suit for these payments, and we filed in December.

 

In response to the lawsuit, the Attorney General raised the defense of Sovereign Immunity. Whether the State is right or wrong, it says it is above the law and cannot be sued. While we disagree on the question of immunity, these men and women cannot wait for us to litigate obscure legal questions. They need help now. For that reason, we are asking simply that the Legislature sweep aside this one defense, and permit us to proceed.

 

We are not asking to open floodgates or set new precedents. We are unaware of any other operation in state government that engages in industrial production, or is facing even the possibility of a curtailment of operations resulting in a mass layoff. We simply ask that the Maine Military Authority be held to the same legal standards as any other employer who lays off 147 mechanics when it closes down its industrial facility.

 

For these reasons, we respectfully urge you to vote ought to pass LD 1837.



Legislature Funds Merit and Longevity

 

On March 21, the Maine House voted 121-6 and the Maine Senate voted 33-1 for the state budget compromise. It includes funding for merit and longevity pay effective July 1, 2014, for workers in all three branches of state government.

 

The budget compromise also ensures that the $9 million dedicated for the State Employee Health Plan effective July 1, 2014, would be spent to help offset health insurance premium costs.

 

The budget compromise, known as LD 1843, now goes to the Governor. He has until April 2 to do one of the following with it: sign it into law, allow it to go into law without his signature, or veto it. We will follow up with new developments.

 

The budget compromise puts merit and longevity pay back on track for state workers effective July 1, 2014. Workers eligible for a contractual merit increase would get one on their anniversary date in the fiscal year starting July 1, 2014, subject to a satisfactory performance evaluation. Workers who were denied contractual longevity pay due to the longevity freeze would begin receiving longevity pay on their anniversary date in the fiscal year starting July 1, 2014.

 

The inclusion of merit and longevity in the budget compromise is the direct result of years of resolve and determination by thousands of MSEA-SEIU members who never stopped fighting to get our contracts fully funded. Our contracts have been underfunded since the Great Recession hit in 2008. We did our share of sacrificing --and there is no question that our shared sense of purpose, unity and strength through it all made this budget compromise possible.


Electricity rates are rising dramatically. Standard Offer prices will rise to almost 7.6 cents per kilowatt-hour on March 1st, 2014 - an 11% increase for CMP customers and a 13% increase for Bangor Hydro customers. Other electricity suppliers have already raised rates by over 17 percent.

 

In response to these rising prices, the Maine State Employees Association, SEIU Local 1989, has partnered with the labor movement's electricity provider Union Atlantic Electricity, to offer our members guaranteed low-cost rates on electricity. MSEA-SEIU members can take advantage of locking in those savings now. Check your mailbox this week for a letter from us about this opportunity.

 

Union Atlantic is offering fixed rate plans designed to save you money. They are offering a one-year plan at 7.125 cents per kilowatt-hour, and a two-year plan designed to lock in long-term savings at 7.40 cents per kilowatt-hour.

 

Act Fast! Visit www.unionatlanticelectricity.com/msea to sign up, or use the application form we included in our letter to you. Please use promotion code "MSEA" to ensure that you support MSEA while you save on your bill!

 

That's right. Now you can lock in guaranteed savings for your family with a company committed to supporting the union movement right here in Maine.

 

Your utility will still deliver power, provide billing, and address electrical service issues such as power outages, but you'll save on the supply portion of your bill. Union Atlantic is committed to creating union jobs in Maine by marketing energy efficient improvements and clean energy system installations, relying completely on union contractors. Union Atlantic is committed to the satisfaction of every MSEA-SEIU member, and allows members to leave without penalty with two months notice.

 

Sign up online now at www.unionatlanticelectricity.com/msea using promotion code: MSEA

 

Union Atlantic Electricity is a real partner in strengthening Maine's labor movement and support the important work, such as organizing and advocacy of MSEA-SEIU. As a Maine company, they share our values and are committed to creating union jobs here in Maine. "I've already made the switch and I encourage all of our members to join me," MSEA-SEIU President Ginette Rivard said.

 

For more information, go to www.unionatlanticelectricity.com/msea





 From the Desk of President Ginette Rivard

 

 

Click here for President Rivard's column:
"Our members in Limestone, Houlton are facing tough times"

  Ask Your Union Steward

Latest News Stories and Feature Links

Our sympathies to the family and friends of the late MSEA-SEIU Retirees Steering Committee member Ivan Hawkins. He was a longtime leader of our union, most recently in our Harold West Retirees Chapter.

 

"He graduated from Machias High School and worked at Shoppee's Dairy and Gay's Shop n' Save. Retired from ME DOT after 27 plus years. Not being able to sit still, he went back to work in the Blueberry and Wreathing Industry with Herb Hanscom, a special friend. Ivan enjoyed, gardening, ice fishing, working in his Maple Sugar Shack, family gatherings, driving his tractor and working in the woods. He was a member of the Wesley Historical Society and Wesley Cemetery Association."

 

Ivan Hawkins' obituary is here.


Our thoughts and prayers are with MSEA-SEIU Knox-Waldo Chapter President Lucille Gardiner and her family at this difficult time on the death of her son, Austin Gardiner.

"Visiting hours will be held Wednesday, March 26, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Riposta Funeral Home, 182 Waldo Ave., Belfast where funeral services will be held Thursday, March 27 at 10 a.m. Those who wish may make memorial contributions in Austin's memory to the family c/o Dakota Gardiner, 617 Fuller Road Apartment C, Hermon, Maine 04401."


Austin Gardiner's obituary is here.


 

MSEA-SEIU membership discount!

Red Sox v. Detroit Tigers

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Time: 8:05 PM

$56 per ticket total (Right Field Box 90 Rows HH, JJ, KK)

We have only 27 tickets remaining for MSEA-SEIU members and their families. You are on your own for transportation. Call MSEA-SEIU headquarters at 1-800-452-8794 or 622-3151 to buy your tickets today.


Our four State of Maine Executive Branch contracts for state employees are now online in PDF format

 


Adjunct faculty ratify first union contract with Maine Community College System: On Jan. 17, adjunct faculty represented by the Maine State Employees Association, Local 1989 of the Service Employees International Union, ratified their first collective bargaining agreement with the Maine Community College System. The agreement ensures raises totaling over 8 percent, along with improved job security and other protections.

 

The agreement, which runs through June 30, 2015, covers more than 1,000 adjuncts at the seven community college campuses. The adjunct faculty voted to organize with the Maine State Employees Association in May 2010 to gain a voice in the community college system. They have been working on temporary contracts with no rights or benefits, and for low pay. "First and foremost, adjunct faculty want to be respected and compensated for the work we do," said Paul Trahan, president of the adjunct faculty chapter of MSEA-SEIU. "We provide most of the instruction throughout the system, and we want to be recognized as equal members of this community. This union contract is an important first step."

 

The unionization of the adjunct faculty in the Maine Community College System represents the latest victory in a growing national effort by adjunct faculty to organize for collective bargaining. "While our system of higher education relies increasingly on adjunct faculty, universities and colleges across the country are failing to pay them adequately or to give them the respect they deserve," said Ginette Rivard, president of the Maine State Employees Association. "MSEA-SEIU is proud to be at the forefront of addressing these problems."


Congratulations to Jen Neumeyer from the Jay Poor/Richard West Chapter on her election to the MSEA SEIU Local 1989 Board of Directors from Area 2. Maureen Warner from the Eichel/Crinion Chapter was elected Area 2 Alternate. Both terms expire on 12/31/2014. Congratulations as well to Jonathan French on his election as Area 2 Caucus Chair for 2014.


Attention MSEA-SEIU members serving on Labor-Management Committees: Mark your calendars. The 2014 MSEA-SEIU Labor Management Training Summit is Tuesday, April 8, 2014, at Augusta Civic Center.



MSEA-SEIU Local 1989 rejoins Maine AFL-CIO to strengthen the voice of Maine workers
: Members of the Maine State Employees Association, Local 1989 of the Service Employees International Union, have rejoined the Maine AFL-CIO, a statewide labor federation, after a seven-year hiatus. Collectively, the two groups represent more than 42,000 Maine workers.

 

"Rejoining the Maine AFL-CIO formalizes the effective working partnerships that MSEA-SEIU members and Maine AFL-CIO members have demonstrated over the last several years," said Ginette Rivard, president of the Maine State Employees Association. "We have worked closely together to defend the right of Maine workers to have a voice in their wages, benefits and working conditions. Together, we will move forward to address common legislative issues such as the urgent need to accept federal funds to expand healthcare coverage and to elect a governor who respects Maine workers. We are united in supporting Congressman Mike Michaud as Maine's next governor."

 

Don Berry, president of the Maine AFL-CIO, a federation of 150 local unions, welcomed members of the Maine State Employees Association back into the statewide federation.

 

"MSEA's decision to unite with the broader labor movement is great news for Maine workers. A stronger, more unified grassroots movement of working men and women is exactly what's needed to raise wages and rebuild economic security for Maine families. Together we are stronger - it's as simple as that. Together working people have a stronger voice to challenge inequality and defend their rights on the job. Now that MSEA-SEIU Local 1989 members have rejoined our federation, we can work even closer together to make sure all Maine workers earn a living wage and have good healthcare and respect on the job."