On April 22, a delegation of MSEA-SEIU members delivered our letter with over 2,000 signatures to Governor Mills asking her to address the serious recruitment and retention problem throughout Maine State Government and to end publicly funded low-wage work. Thank you to all who signed our letter. We still await a response from the administration to our Executive Branch Bargaining Team’s wage proposal. More photos here.
Executive Branch Bargaining Team Demands State Address Recruitment, Retention and Low Wage Work with Three Part Wage Proposal
In bargaining on March 18 the team made clear that to settle a fair contract the state must address three key issues: we must recruit new workers, value and retain experienced workers and make state service the kind of work that allows state workers families to thrive not just survive.
To address these needs we proposed:
- Additional steps – to update our outdated pay scale so we can retain workers and reward service.
- Pay rate increases across the board – that end publicly funded low wage work. State Government shouldn’t be in the business of lowering wages or labor standards. Maintenance, construction, and administrative workers must share in the prosperity that their labor creates. No state worker should have to rely on SNAP to care for their families or work a second job to pay for their housing and health care.
- Significant across the board cost of living increases – We need to make sure that we are able to recruit skilled workers and not losing trained workers to private and public employers who offer higher wages.
Now that we have made the demand at the table and are waiting for management’s response – we need your support to show the state that state workers everywhere support these demands.
Click here to sign on to the Respect State Workers Petition
Share the link with your co-workers, family and friends. Whether you are currently a union member or not this will affect you and the state needs to see we all demand respect!
In a comprehensive survey, over 1,000 State of Maine workers identified understaffing, staff turnover, inadequate equipment and training, stress, lack of resources and concerns about their ability to support themselves and their families as barriers to the quality public services they provide to Maine people.
The Maine State Employees Association, Local 1989 of the Service Employees International Union, conducted the survey of both union members and nonunion members employed in all State of Maine Executive Branch departments. Eighty-three percent of respondents identified problems in recruiting and retaining staff due to pay or other departmental problems. Sixty-three percent said their worksites or offices are insufficiently staffed. Detailed survey results here.
The State of Maine’s compensation and classification system was put into place in 1975 — the same year Wheel of Fortune started and the Vietnam War ended.
It was the same year the very first versions of the personal computer were introduced. Suffice to say, few State workers were using them. Read President Welton’s column here.