LePage's Unpaid Bills
March 6, Gov. LePage presented state legislators
with a proposal to replenish his "Rainy Day"
fund by using $11.4 million set aside to fund
future liabilities for retiree health insurance.
$11.4 million is the result of Gov. LePage
eliminating early retirement health benefits
for state employees, raising the retirement
age to 65 for new hires and imposing tiered
retiree health benefits on new hires.
state workers with decades of institutional
knowledge were pushed into early retirement
because of Gov. LePage's cuts. His cuts worsened
the workloads of state workers left behind.
His cuts also exacerbated the serious public
employee recruitment and retention problem
the State of Maine is experiencing.
LePage now wants to redirect this money despite
his failure since July 1, 2011, to fully fund
the health plan and the merit and longevity
provisions of our contracts. MSEA-SEIU members
testified before the Legislature's Appropriations
Committee this week and last month on the
critical importance of the State of Maine
funding our contracts and meeting its responsibility
to fund the health plan. It's time for the
State of Maine to pay its bills by fully funding
the health plan and our contracts.
will follow up with the hearing date on Gov.
LePage's proposal once it is scheduled.
Statement by Ginette Rivard, President of the
Maine State Employees Association, SEIU Local
1989, Concerning the Report of the United States
Solicitor of Labor on Improper Interference
by the LePage Administration in the Unemployment
conducting an exhaustive and careful investigation,
the United States Department of Labor issued
confirming that the
LePage Administration sought to unduly influence
the decisions of impartial hearing officers
by the Department of Labor. This report confirmed
that the Administration pressured hearing
officers to favor employers. The pressure
was exerted both directly by the Governor,
at a lunch on March 21, and prior to that
date by other political appointees.
the conclusions vindicate the earlier claims
brought forward by the news media and other
sources, the report
includes few detailed facts. It recommends
that Maine government examine the situation
to determine whether additional steps are
needed to protect hearing officers from undue
confirms that a problem of undue influence
existed, both in the March 21 lunch and before.
That problem remains, and needs to be addressed.
The Governor's defiant and belligerent response
to this report shows that he will not reform
his administration on his own. It is time
for the Government Oversight Committee to
step up to the plate and perform its own investigation
into the critical questions that remain:
Did the Administration seek to exert undue
influence on the unemployment appeals process,
either at the March 21 lunch or at other times?
Are there steps that need to be taken to insulate
state workers from political influence?
behalf of MSEA-SEIU and the thousands of state
workers we represent, I want to thank the
Hearing Officers for their courage in resisting
this pressure, and for their dedication to
providing a just and prompt hearing process."
Remembering Guy Savage
thoughts and prayers are with the family of
MSEA-SEIU Southern Maine Retirees member Guy
Savage on his death Feb. 10, 2014, at age
96 after a long career of service to Maine
a Legendary Trooper and a longtime delegate
to our MSEA-SEIU Annual Meetings, is shown
here with Congresswoman Chellie Pingree at
our 2012 Annual Meeting.
services will be held on Friday February 28,
2014 at 2:00 PM at the First Parish Congregational
Church, 116 Main St. Yarmouth. In lieu of
flowers donations can be made in his memory
to Shriners Hospitals for Children, 2900 Rocky
Point Dr., Tampa, FL 33607 or to the First
Parish Congregational Church in Yarmouth,
116 Main St. Yarmouth ME. 04096.
obituary is here.
- an 11%
is a real
As a Maine
sought for MSEA-SEIU Retiree
Lifetime Achievement Award
The MSEA-SEIU Retirees Steering Committee
will present our second Lifetime Achievement
Award to one of our retiree members
May 15, 2014, during the 27th Annual
MSEA-SEIU Retirees Day at the Augusta
Civic Center. Anyone can nominate.
this two-page nomination form,
please nominate a retiree whom you
think might be deserving of this award.
The award criteria (in no particular
Active in being a leader;
Represents MSEA-SEIU retirees through
the political process;
Promotes spirit of retirees;
Supporting the MSEA-SEIU retiree agenda;
may nominate someone by e-mail or
U.S. mail. Send nominations to MSEA-SEIU
Retirees Steering Committee Chairwoman
Peggy Rice or via
U.S. mail at: Peggy Rice, MSEA-SEIU
Local 1989, P.O. Box 1072, Augusta,
ME 04332-1072. You may self-nominate
or nominate someone else. In nominating
someone else for this award, we need
your help by answering some of the
criteria above as we don't know what
all retirees have done to contribute.
Once the deadline has passed, a subcommittee
will look over the nominations, score
them and select someone. The deadline
for submission is March 18, 2014.
the Desk of President Ginette Rivard
here for President Rivard's column:
members in Limestone, Houlton are facing tough times"
News Stories and Feature Links
Red Sox v. Detroit Tigers
Sunday, May 18, 2014
$56 per ticket total (Right
Field Box 90 Rows HH, JJ, KK)
We have just received 30 tickets
available to 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
faculty ratify first union contract with Maine Community College
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
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."
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
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
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."