MSEA is ME
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A holiday message from President Welton
Dear MSEA-SEIU Member,
Thank you to the generations of dues-paying union members who came before us. Many of us enjoy paid holidays and leave time in our union contracts. As we spend time with our families this holiday season, let’s remember that many Maine workers, including MSEA-SEIU members in some of our bargaining units, still don’t enjoy any paid holidays at all. Many Maine workers don’t even have collective bargaining agreements. In 2018, please join me in redoubling our efforts to create a more just and humane society. As members of MSEA-SEIU Local 1989, let’s continue speaking with a united voice in support of the quality public services Maine people count on. Thank you and have a safe and joyous holiday season.
Together We are Stronger!
In Solidarity, Ramona Welton, President, MSEA-SEIU Local 1989
What a disappointment, Senator Collins
What a disappointment. By voting for the Republican tax bill, Senator Collins voted to:
- Raise taxes on families earning less than $75,000. By 2027, millionaires would reap tax cuts averaging $5,580 yet families earning less than $75,000 would pay more.
- Hurt people with student loans by eliminating $71 billion in college tax breaks over 10 years.
- Take away healthcare from 13 million people and increase healthcare premiums by repealing the Affordable Care Act requirements that individuals purchase healthcare coverage.
- Exclude millions of working families from its Child Tax Credit expansion. It leaves out millions of children from low-income families while expanding eligibility for higher-income families.
The proposed highway worker legislation won’t move forward
Dear MSEA-SEIU Member,
The calls you and your coworkers made to key Republican legislative leaders over the past few weeks helped make them aware of the statewide recruitment and retention issues at MDOT camps. So it was disappointing today to see the Legislative Council vote, once again, along party lines to prevent Senator David Miramant’s proposed highway worker wage legislation from proceeding as emergency legislation.
All five Republican legislative leaders voted to prevent it from proceeding. All five Democratic legislative leaders voted to let to proceed. The 5-5 vote means the proposed legislation won’t move forward.
We will continue to look for other possible ways to address state highway worker issues in the upcoming legislative session. Thank you for your efforts, the calls and conversations. I believe you made a difference and helped your cause moving forward by your participation. Again, thank you.
Ramona Welton, President, MSEA-SEIU Local 1989
Longtime MSEA-SEIU staffer Carmen Gardner retiring
Congratulations to MSEA-SEIU Account Clerk Carmen Gardner on her announced retirement. Carmen has worked for us for 40-plus years. Story.
Longtime MSEA-SEIU staffer Steve Butterfield retiring
Congratulations to MSEA-SEIU Director of Information Services Steve Butterfield on his announced retirement. Steve has worked for us for 42-plus years. Story.
MSEA-SEIU delegates reelect President Ramona Welton and Vice President Dean Staffieri
Congratulations to MSEA-SEIU Local 1989 President Ramona Welton and MSEA-SEIU Vice President Dean Staffieri on their reelection to their respective union offices during our union’s 74th Annual Meeting held Oct. 20-21 at the Samoset in Rockport. In addition to voting in union elections, MSEA-SEIU delegates also approved our union’s proposed 2018 General General Operating Budget and approved a resolution funding the MSEA-SEIU Emergency Relief Fund. So far, MSEA-SEIU chapters have pledged over $6,000 in funding for the MSEA-SEIU Emergency Relief Fund, which was formed in the event of a shutdown, lockout, strike or similar event impacting the active members of our union. Talk with your chapter’s elected union delegates for a complete report on our 74th Annual Meeting, or check out the links below:
Maine Snowfighters are second to none
Congratulations go to MSEA-SEIU Member and Transportation Crew Supervisor Curtis Lewis and MSEA-SEIU Member and Transportation Worker II Mark E. Merrill II, both of our Oxford Chapter, for taking first place and beating 60 teams in the 2017 National Snow Plow Roadeo in Colorado. Photo via MDOT.
Update on SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program)
Dear MSEA-SEIU Member,
This is an update on the recently gained right of eligible parents with State Employee Health Insurance coverage to enroll their children in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), pending federal authorization. We secured this right by making sure state legislators included the necessary language in the enacted two-year state budget.
Since the budget’s enactment, Maine DHHS has begun the process of applying to the federal government for the ability to offer SCHIP coverage to the children of eligible parents covered by the State Employee Health Insurance Plan. It’s important for Maine DHHS to get federal approval because many of our members who are working parents cannot afford the cost of dependent coverage through the State Employee Health Plan.
We will follow up with new developments. In the meantime, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 622-3151 ext. 1133 if you have any questions.
President, MSEA-SEIU Local 1989
Protecting Medicare and Medicaid is a matter of life and death for older Americans like MSEA-SEIU retiree member Jim Betts. Read his story as told by Eileen Kirlin, a retired SEIU Retiree Advisory Council chair and retired SEIU executive vice president. Read Jim’s story here.
SEIU members and staff can support the families of those impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma by making a financial donation to the SEIU Disaster Relief Fund which helps support members in times of need.
Our SEIU sisters and brothers in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico are among the millions of people impacted by the devastating effects of these powerful storms. As these communities start to pick up the pieces, our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone dealing with these disasters.
It’s times like this when being united with two million members in a strong union matters. We must band together and use our power in numbers to provide support and relief to our sisters and brothers in need.
BY ELIZABETH SIMPSON
MSEA-SEIU retiree member
The State of Maine offers a phenomenal benefit to their employees, retirees and spouses/domestic partners of State of Maine employees/retirees. The State of Maine Employee Wellness Center Program is sponsored by the Maine Division of Employee Health & Benefits and Office of Workers’ Compensation partnering with Maine General Medical Center. Membership to the State of Maine Employee Wellness Centers is provided at no cost to eligible members. Read the rest of Elizabeth’s column here.
Attention all MSEA-SEIU members: Welcome to SEIU Member Benefits, a new online benefit program exclusively for SEIU members. Go to seiumb.com for details.
At seiumb.com you can take advantage of a range of benefit programs – everything from insurance and credit cards to discounts on travel and everyday items. We’re proud to bring you this assortment of great benefits at no cost or obligation – just for being a member of MSEA-SEIU Local 1989.
Go to seiumb.com to see how the buying power of millions of SEIU members can help you:
Manage finances: Get competitive rates on everything from credit cards to personal loans;
Protect your family: Benefit from group rates on a growing portfolio of insurance products;
Cut your cost of living: Get special discounts at thousands of stores and favorite merchants;
Travel for less: Enjoy specially negotiated rates and travel programs.
There’s no cost or obligation. Get started today by registering at seiumb.com and then keep going back to see new benefits. You also can sign up at seiumb.com for emails to be the first to know when new benefits are added.
Every day we go to work and on many days our work goes unnoticed. Often it seems like we’re only noticed when there’s a problem. I want to take this opportunity to thank every one of you for the work you do, or have done, for Maine people. Thank you also for what you do every day for your community and for your union. Together We are Stronger!
MANY OF YOU STEPPED UP IN 2017
This year, many of you stepped up in support of Maine workers, retirees and quality public services. Over the summer, you demanded passage of a fair budget ending the state shutdown. In October, nearly 200 of you served as delegates at our 74th Annual Meeting. As you will read in the Dec. 7 edition of your Maine Stater, delegates approved our 2018 General Operating Budget. They also passed a special resolution titled “MSEA is ME.” This resolution, printed on Page 7, is your call to action for 2018:
“MSEA is committed to fighting against all attacks on our ability to be a voice for all workers across Maine, that MSEA is committed to maintaining our strength in every single worksite by increasing membership and developing new leaders. By speaking with a unified voice MSEA will make our presence known at the worksite, at the State House and in our communities. MSEA’s members, leaders and staff will devote every effort to amplify the voice of Maine’s workers and working families to ensure that ‘Together We Rise’ in each MSEA bargaining unit and chapter, and that we stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers fighting for workers’ rights across the country.”