Due to the weather conditions the MSEA-SEIU Offices are closed today

We plan to return to normal business hours tomorrow

MSEA-SEIU Local 1989 members mourn the death of fellow union member and Maine Turnpike Authority worker Jeff Abbott

MSEA-SEIU Local 1989 members mourn the death of fellow union member and Maine Turnpike Authority worker Jeff Abbott. A member of our Maine Turnpike Authority Chapter and a highway maintenance worker, Jeff was struck and killed Friday, Jan. 20, while working at Exit 48, according to authorities.

“Like all workers, Jeff Abbott went to work with every expectation that he would be home for dinner at the end of the day. His death is a tragic reminder of the dangers our members experience every day as they serve the people of Maine,” said Ramona Welton, president of MSEA-SEIU Local 1989. “We are devastated. We grieve with Jeff’s family, friends and coworkers.”

National Call In Day for Affordable Care Act on Tuesday, January 24

Saturday was an incredible day for hundreds of thousands of working people who came out and stood up. We can keep that momentum going. Join us for a National Call-In Day on Tuesday, Jan. 24.

Now more than ever we need to stand up for healthcare. The new administration is already taking steps to take away healthcare and slashing Medicaid.

Call 866-426-2631 on Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET to tell Congress: Show us your plan to lower healthcare costs and make improvements before taking healthcare and Medicaid away from millions of Americans, our children and aging parents.

The 2017 MSEA-SEIU Board of Directors and our union’s officers

The 2017 MSEA-SEIU Board of Directors WEB

Members of the 2017 MSEA-SEIU Board of Directors and our union’s officers include, from left, seated: MSEA-SEIU Secretary Kathy Ferrick, Director Nicholas Pitarys, Director Tom Maher, Director Phil Garwood, Director Tracy Bonnevie, Director Robin Upton-Sukeforth, Director Miranda Wilson and Director Maureen Sullivan; and standing: MSEA-SEIU Vice President Dean Staffieri, MSEA-SEIU President Ramona Welton, Director Allison Perkins, Retiree Director Peggy Rice, Director Sam Portera, Alternate Retiree Director Brenda Kaler, Director Jennifer Neumeyer, Retiree Director George Burgoyne and Alternate Retiree Director Loren Snow. Absent from the photo are MSEA-SEIU Treasurer Mark Landry, Director Luci Levesque, Director Ron Ahlquist and Retiree Director Penny Whitney-Asdourian.

Governor proposes cutting 500 jobs and freezing retiree pensions to fund more tax breaks for the wealthy

In his proposed two-year state budget released Jan. 6, the Governor has proposed cutting the jobs of 500 state workers and freezing retiree pension cost of living adjustments for two years to fund more tax breaks for Maine’s wealthiest residents. Our initial sense of the proposed budget is while the Governor talks about creating jobs and helping seniors, some of his budget proposals would cut jobs and harm seniors. We are reviewing his proposed budget carefully to identify its impacts on all Maine people.

“At the end of the day, despite the governor’s consistent pitch to add jobs to this economy, it seems that he only wants to take away.”
– Mary Anne Turowski, director of politics and legislation, Maine State Employees Association, SEIU Local 1989

Union Negotiating Team election results for the State of Maine Executive Branch

Dear MSEA-SEIU Members in the Executive Branch of Maine State Government,

Thank you to every one of you who voted in the Union Negotiating Team elections. The following MSEA-SEIU members were elected to serve on our 2017-2019 Executive Branch Union Negotiating Team:

Glenn Jalbert
Shawn Kelley
Dean Levasseur

Tracy Bonnevie
Cindy Proulx
Debra Stowe

Dave Projansky
Maureen Sullivan
Charles “Chuck” Dame*
*Two candidates were nominated and elected. The MSEA-SEIU President has appointed the third member, Charles “Chuck” Dame, who works in the Department of Corrections.

Andrea LaPointe
Tom Maher
Michael McCormick

Members of the Union Negotiating Team will meet in the coming weeks to review the bargaining proposals submitted by MSEA-SEIU members, and gather additional information for the upcoming contract negotiations. Thank you again for your participation in the elections, and have a safe weekend,

In Solidarity,

Ramona Welton
MSEA-SEIU Local 1989

plow 3FB

Our Snowfighters are on the job keeping all of us safe. Please be sure to give them the space they need as they do this difficult and dangerous work. Right now there are scores of openings for Transportation Workers, who do this work. Check out the news coverage on WGME TV and in the Portland Press Herald.

State Senator Roger Katz and State Rep. Drew Gattine:

Riverview’s future too important to decide without public input

In a column in the Jan. 3 edition of the Kennebec Journal and Central Maine Morning Sentinel, State Senator Roger Katz and State Rep. Drew Gattine write, “Legislators have consistently pushed the DHHS to come forward with a public plan that meets the needs of forensic patients at Riverview who no longer need hospital-level care. Despite the overwhelming need, the department continues to refuse to come to the table and engage with legislators, advocates or health care professionals.” Read their column here.

Dec. 7: Commemorating National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day as the 128th Maine Legislature is sworn in

Senator Bellows with family and volunteers for web

Family members and election campaign volunteers surround MSEA-SEIU-endorsed State Sen. Shenna Bellows and her grandfather, William Bellows, seated at front center, Dec. 7 during the 128th Maine Legislature’s swearing-in ceremony and commemoration of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. A World War II veteran, William Bellows copiloted a B-24 warplane in Italy during World War II. In addition to honoring two survivors of Pearl Harbor, Floyd Keniston and Ruth Parker, not shown, the 128th Maine Legislature also honored William Bellows and another World War II veteran, Carmine Petrocelli, not shown, for their sacrifices and service to our nation. Kneeling at lower left next to William Bellows is the Senator’s husband, MSEA-SEIU member Brandon Baldwin. Standing from left are: the Senator’s mother, Janice Colson; campaign volunteer Marge Gilman; the Senator; the Senator’s father-and-mother-in-law, Ralph and Carol Baldwin; and MSEA-SEIU retiree members and campaign volunteers Jim Betts and Richard West. Throughout the communities of Senate District 14, MSEA-SEIU members talked with voters in support of the election of Sen. Bellows. She is a proven advocate for Maine workers and retirees.

Attention MSEA-SEIU Members!

We rely on you to keep us apprised of any changes to your status, your position and your contact information. Accordingly, please contact MSEA-SEIU Systems/Database Administrator Lynn Warner at 622-3151 ext. 1131 or lynn.warner@mseaseiu.org to update us whenever the following information changes:

  • YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION: Please let us know of any changes to your mailing address, your home or work email address, or your home, cell or work phone numbers.
  • YOUR POSITION: Please let us know of any changes to the number of hours you are regularly scheduled to work each week, your work location, or your position, including changes through promotion, demotion, transfer or reclassification.
  • YOUR SEASONAL PAYROLL STATUS: If you are a permanent seasonal employee, please contact us to let us know when you go on or off payroll. Under our Constitution and Bylaws, permanent seasonal employees may maintain active member status while off payroll by paying dues at the retiree rate. This allows seasonal employees to continue to serve as chapter officers and delegates, to participate as delegates in our Annual Meeting, and to vote in contract ratification votes even while off-payroll. As of January 2017, the retiree dues rate is $5.05 per month. If you go off payroll, Lynn can help you make the payment arrangements necessary to maintain your active member status.

Thank you for your attention. It is your responsibility to provide us with accurate and up-to-date information. Failure to do so could affect your ability to participate in union matters, as well as your rights under your contract, Constitution and Bylaws.

Androscoggin Valley Retirees Chapter toy collection —

2016 Androscoggin Valley Retirees toy collection II CROPPED

Every year, members of our Androscoggin Valley Retirees Chapter collect unwrapped toys and nonperishable food goods and donate them to Safe Voices, a shelter for victims of domestic violence. Shown with some of the collected items are Androscoggin Valley Retirees Chapter President and MSEA-SEIU Retiree Director Penny Whitney-Asdourian and Androscoggin Valley Retirees Chapter Vice President Ben Conant.

President Welton’s column —

Making our voice heard in the opportunities, challenges ahead

The MSEA-SEIU members whom you elected to serve as delegates to our 2016 Annual Meeting Oct. 21 and 22 at the Samoset Resort in Rockport made decisions that will help determine our union’s course for 2017 and beyond.
Delegates passed a 2017 General Operating Budget ensuring we will have the resources necessary to advocate for quality public services, Maine workers and retirees. Delegates elected leaders to the MSEA-SEIU Board of Directors, Finance Committee and the Voluntary Employee Benefits Association (VEBA) Board. Delegates voted on resolutions. This is what union democracy is all about. Each of you, as MSEA-SEIU members, are this union. Read  the full column here.

Attention MSEA-SEIU members working in the Executive, Judicial or Legislative branches –

Are your children under age 19 uninsured? Do you need help insuring them?

Are your children under age 19 uninsured? Do you need help insuring them?

Are you struggling with health insurance? Are your children uninsured because you cannot afford the dependent health insurance coverage available through the State Employee Health Insurance Plan?

If you are in this situation and work in the Executive, Judicial or Legislative branches of Maine State Government, please contact MSEA-SEIU Political and Legislative Director Mary Anne Turowski right away at maryanne.turowski@mseaseiu.org or 1-800-452-8794 or 622-3151 ext. 1133. Be sure to provide Mary Anne with a personal phone number and personal email address so she can follow up with you.

Maine law currently prohibits Executive, Judicial and Legislative branch employees of Maine State Government from participating in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. The SCHIP program is a federal-state partnership providing children under age 19 with health insurance. The SCHIP program is for children in families that don’t qualify for Medicaid but still cannot afford private insurance.

We are trying to find out how many MSEA-SEIU members employed in the Executive, Judicial and Legislative branches would meet the eligibility criteria for SCHIP even though current state law prohibits their participation in it. Below are the family sizes and corresponding income limits for SCHIP participants in Maine. The numbers at left are family size. The amounts at right are the maximum family income per year to qualify:

  • 2:  $2,844 a month or $34,123 a year;
  • 3:  $3,579 a month or $42,941 a year;
  • 4:  $4,314 a month or $51,759 a year;
  • 5:  $5,049 a month or $60,578 a year;
  • 6:  $5,783 a month or $69,396 a year;
  • 7:  $6,520 a month or $78,235 a year;
  • 8:  $7,258 a month or $87,096 a year.

Again, if you are an Executive, Judicial or Legislative branch employee and have children under age 19 who are uninsured, or if you need help insuring them, please contact MSEA-SEIU Political and Legislative Director Mary Anne Turowski right away at maryanne.turowski@mseaseiu.org or 1-800-452-8794 or 622-3151 ext. 1133. Be sure to provide Mary Anne with a personal phone number and personal email address so she can follow up with you.

Updated: January 24, 2017 — 6:07 am
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