Riverview, Dorothea Dix workers recognized for building supermajority support necessary to put LD 1645 into law
Union delegates at the Maine AFL-CIO Cope Convention in Auburn on June 23 gave a standing ovation to Riverview Psychiatric Center workers Lisa Cromwell, at left, and Laura Fisher on behalf of all the workers at the Riverview and Dorothea Dix psychiatric Centers. Delegates recognized the Riverview and Dorothea Dix workers for building the supermajority support necessary to override the veto of the emergency legislation known as LD 1645, “An Act To Address Employee Recruitment and Retention Issues at State Mental Health Institutions.” Now law, LD 1645 provides wage adjustments for the Riverview and Dorothea Dix front-line, direct-care workers referenced in Court Master Daniel Wathen’s reports. Laura Fisher is president of ASCME Local 1814 of which Lisa is a member. MSEA-SEIU members worked closely with AFSCME Local 1814 and other coalition partners to build the supermajority support that put LD 1645 into law.
“Turmoil at Riverview, especially regarding forensic patients like Bechard who have been committed through the criminal justice process, has been evident for several years. The hospital lost its federal certification in 2013 and has forfeited $20 million a year in Medicaid reimbursements. A revolving door for senior leadership and inadequate pay for front-line workers have apparently translated into an unstable environment for patients.” Read the full editorial.
SEIU President Mary Kay Henry’s message on the Orlando massacre:
“As a human being, I am dumfounded once again — standing shocked and numb as I hear the details on TV. My heart and hands are extended to our entire Orlando family and the families of all those who have been lost in this tragedy.
“As a member of the LGBT community, I am reminded that our community has long been the target of violence as we fought for freedom to love. Just in the past year, African Americans in a church and healthcare workers in a women’s health clinic have lost their lives. We must all stand against all forms of hatred and violence.
“We must also unite to demand that our nation does everything to ensure that no more families have to feel this pain, sadness and loss ever again. It’s long past time for our nation to do something about gun violence in our communities. As SEIU President, I renew the commitment of our 2 million members and the millions more in the Fight for $15 and a union to use every ounce of our energy to unite and fight to end this senseless gun violence and build a just society.” #PrayForOrlando
MSEA-SEIU members ratify OM&S tentative contract
In their contract-ratification vote, MSEA-SEIU members in the Operations, Maintenance and Support Services Bargaining Unit in the Maine State Government Executive Branch on May 31 ratified their tentative contractual agreement. The successor contract went into effect June 1. Thanks go to all OM&S members who participated in this long and difficult process.
2016 MSEA-SEIU Statewide Steward Skills Training
About 100 MSEA-SEIU stewards converged on Augusta May 26 for our 2016 MSEA-SEIU Statewide Steward Skills Training Program. In addition to hearing reports from MSEA-SEIU President Ramona Welton, MSEA-SEIU Executive Director Rod Hiltz and MSEA-SEIU Director of Politics and Legislation Mary Anne Turowski, the stewards joined in numerous workshops throughout the day. The workshops included “The Life and Times of a Complaint,” “Building Our Strength,” “Stump the Chief Stewards,” “Lessons from the Stewards Guild” and “Preparing Your Member for a Meeting with Management.” The stewards also recognized two of their own, retiring MSEA-SEIU Chief Stewards Sharon Carroll and Sam Sotirelis, both at left, for their many years of advocacy for Maine workers. Also shown are MSEA-SEIU Chief Stewards Lisa Morgan and Bill Hartley.
SEIU International Executive Board members elected to serve 2016-2020 term
Congratulations to the newly elected and re-elected International Executive Board members who were sworn in at SEIU’s quadrennial Convention. They include:
Ramona Welton, President, Local 1989 (Maine)
On May 9, over 175 retiree members and guests rallied at the Augusta Civic Center for our 29th Annual MSEA-SEIU Retirees Day. Together, they mobilized to make sure the voice of retirees is heard at the state and national levels in the November 8 elections. Full story.
At our 29th Annual MSEA-SEIU Retirees Day, members of our Retirees Steering Committee presented retiree member Bill Deering with our 2016 MSEA-SEIU Lifetime Achievement Award. Members of his retiree chapter, the Eastern Maine Retirees, nominated Bill for the award. Full story.
Check out this report:
Fighting Fraud: U.S. Senate Aging Committee Identifies Top 10 Scams Targeting Our Nation’s Seniors
by the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging
Another update: Victory for Ferry Service workers, islanders
At our urging, the Maine Legislature on Friday, April 29, overrode the Governor’s veto of LD 1468, the emergency legislation helping workers for the Maine State Ferry Service and the island communities they serve. Thanks go to our ferry service captains, crews, shore crews and everyone else who called their legislators in support of LD 1468.
Victory for Riverview and Dorothea Dix workers
At our urging, the Maine Legislature on Friday, April 29, overrode the Governor’s veto of LD 1645, the emergency legislation helping workers at Riverview Psychiatric Center and Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center, and the people they serve. LD 1645 is now law. Thanks go to all of you who took the time over the past few months to speak with your state senator and state representative in support of LD 1645.