Keep fighting for Downeast Correctional Facility
The Maine House and Maine Senate took initial votes Feb. 15 approving LD 1704 to keep Downeast Correctional Facility open. Additional votes are needed to win. Please keep contacting the House Republicans who voted NO and ask them to reconsider. The House vote sheet is below. Y=Yes to keep the facility open. N=No to close it. Their contact info is here. Thanks to all the laid-off Downeast Correctional Workers who have been commuting to the State House daily since the Governor laid them off with his overnight closure of the facility Feb. 9. Thanks also to those who have contacted their legislators in support of LD 1704. Nothing and no one will stop us in our advocacy for the quality public services provided by the workers of Downeast Correctional Facility.
MSEA-SEIU Member and laid-off Downeast Correctional Facility Vocational Trades Instructor Walter Jessiman talks with the press Feb. 13 about the facility’s crucial role in the state correctional system, the lives of the inmates, Washington County, the local businesses where many of the inmates worked, the community, and the local economy.
Reopen Downeast Correctional Facility NOW!
Laid-off workers at Downeast Correctional Facility in Machiasport trekked to the State House Feb. 13 to talk with the press and state legislators about the many impacts of the Governor’s overnight closure of the facility. Closing the facility is harmful to the correctional system, the inmates, Washington County, the local businesses where many of the inmates worked, the community, the local economy, and workers and their families, the laid-off workers said.
“I think it was very wrong,” Brian Mozeliak, who’s in his 20th years as a correctional officer at Downeast Correctional Facility. “I think Gov. LePage is misinformed at best.”
The workers spoke with the press and legislators about Downeast Correctional Facility’s work-release program, which provides inmates employment as they serve their sentences. The work experience and job skills the inmates gained while serving their sentences at Downeast Correctional Facility have reduced their likelihood of recidivism. Closing Downeast Correctional Facility and moving the inmates to Charleston, which is what the Governor did, means these inmates don’t have work-release jobs anymore.
“I have no ill feelings toward the Governor,” said Chris Sprague, a vocational instructor at Downeast Correctional Facility for six years. “I just hope he has a change of heart. We do a good thing in the county.”
The closure happened overnight Feb. 9 as bipartisan legislation, LD 1704, to keep Downeast Correctional Facility open was moving forward in the Maine Legislature. LD 1704 was presented by State Rep. Will Tuell and cosponsored by 27 other legislators. The Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted Feb. 5 to recommend keeping Downeast Correctional Facility open and requiring the Department of Corrections to report back no later than April 1, 2019, on any proposed changes to the facility. The report would have to identify any impacts on employee compensation and benefits, any correctional facilities and their communities, and the economy.
Laid-off Downeast Correctional Facility workers talk with State Representative John Martin about the impact of the facility’s closure.
“We sit at home at night and listen to the news on our TVs and the horror stories about people working in convenience stories and having robberies, and then I get a phone call this morning (Feb. 9) telling me the SWAT team has been in here with guns. We don’t even have guns in this prison. And the kitchen worker said she’s in there doing her job and all of a sudden a man comes in with a bulletproof vest and a gun on his chest and tells her to get out. The other thing I can say to you, Gov. Paul LePage, I feel sorry for you. You have got to be a pretty unhappy individual to take such mean, bullied, hateful actions against not only the staff at Downeast, the prisoners here at Downeast, when the SWAT team shows up while they’re working at Maine Wild on the night crew. And they’re carried out of there with handcuffs and state troopers. You are a disgrace to the human race, and I think you’re a coward as well.”
— MSEA-SEIU Member Ann Grange, the teacher at Downeast Correctional Facility in Machiasport, where she has worked for 19 years. Maine Wild is one of the Down East companies that employed the minimum-security prisoners at DCF.
Downeast Correctional Facility workers and state legislators showed their support Jan. 26 for LD 1704 to keep the facility open.
Our statement on the Governor’s closing of Downeast Correctional Facility overnight and moving its prisoners to Mountain View Correctional Facility in Charleston
February 9 — Eight of our 10 bargaining unit members at Downeast Correctional Facility were placed on administrative leave this morning and told they will be laid off effective March 3. We are reaching out to them to ensure their contractual rights are respected. We are continuing to evaluate contractual, legal and legislative options. We will join the impacted workers Monday morning, Feb. 12, when they meet with the Maine Department of Labor’s Rapid Response team.
Downeast Correctional Facility plays a crucial role in Maine’s correctional system as shown during the legislative hearing Jan. 26 on the bipartisan legislation known as LD 1704, which would keep Downeast Correctional Facility open. Everyone who spoke supported keeping the facility open.
“The staff of Downeast Correctional Facility has remained strong and steadfast throughout the long, cold months of bitter air flowing our way out of Augusta,” MSEA-SEIU Member Ann Grange, the education teacher at the facility and one of the workers placed on administrative leave this morning, told the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. “We have continued to do the best for the prisoners in our care. We have put their well-being first and have tried to help them through the stress of wondering whether DCF is closing or remaining open.”
Continuing, Ann told the legislators, “We are standing our ground and feel (Downeast Correctional Facility) is the place for prisoners to do their time. Large is not always better. People thrive in a smaller community. They have more time without stress, to reassess their direction in life. They have more personal attention from staff. We need to think and focus more on the prisoner and how we can best meet his needs.”
Downeast Correctional Facility has widespread support among Down East businesses and the local community. Many business owners and community members have consistently testified over the years in support of keeping it open.
At their chapter meeting, MSEA-SEIU members at the Maine Turnpike Authority celebrated the defeat of LD 1779.
Two victories on Feb. 6; help keep them coming
Dear MSEA-SEIU Member,
Feb. 6 was a good day for working families and retirees at the State House. After listening to you, your coworkers and others, two legislative committees cast bipartisan, unanimous votes defeating bad legislation that would have harmed our members and quality public services:
- The Transportation Committee voted “ought not to pass” on LD 1779, which would have required all-electronic tolling at the Maine Turnpike’s York plaza and all other turnpike plazas as they are rebuilt or replaced. LD 1779 could have eliminated the jobs of 25 fare collectors at the York plaza and it could have led to the elimination of the jobs of all 145 fare collectors on the turnpike. This legislation could have jeopardized the $15 million in annual cash fare collections at the York plaza. Thanks go to the Maine Turnpike Authority members and other MSEA-SEIU members who asked the committee to oppose LD 1779.
- The Appropriations Committee voted “ought not to pass” on LD 1509, which would have further singled out and penalized State of Maine retirees. This legislation would have prohibited State of Maine retirees who retire at normal retirement age after Sept. 1, 2011, from returning to public service in Maine for as long as they draw a pension from the state retirement system. Thanks go to the MSEA-SEIU members, both working and retired, who asked the committee to oppose LD 1509.
Please help keep the momentum for working families and retirees going. Join me Tuesday, March 13, at the State House in Augusta for the Maine AFL-CIO Labor Lobby Day. Advocate with fellow union members in support of quality public services, working families and retirees. Register here.
Labor Lobby Day begins with registration at 7:45 a.m. and training at 8 a.m., both at the Cross Office Building Cafeteria. Show your support for pro-worker legislation. Let your State Representative and State Senator them know where you stand. Thank you and I look forward to seeing you March 13.
President, MSEA-SEIU Local 1989
Update Feb. 5 —
Legislative committee makes bipartisan recommendation to keep Downeast Correctional Facility open
On Feb. 5, the Maine Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted in support of an amended LD 1704 funding the Downeast Correctional Facility in Machiasport beyond June 30, 2018. While this bipartisan vote is an encouraging development, additional legislative action will be needed to keep Downeast Correctional Facility open.
Funding for Downeast Correctional Facility will run out June 30, 2018, unless the Legislature acts to pass LD 1704. Presented by State Rep. Will Tuell and cosponsored by 27 other legislators, the bipartisan LD 1704 would keep Downeast Correctional Facility open. LD 1704 would require the Department of Corrections to report back no later than April 1, 2019, on any proposed changes to the facility. The report would have to identify any impacts on employee compensation and benefits, any correctional facilities and their communities, and the economy. We will follow up with new developments.
Attention MSEA-SEIU Members!
Apply now for our 2018 MSEA-SEIU scholarships
MSEA-SEIU members and their dependent students can apply for our 2018 MSEA-SEIU scholarships. Our union offers a total of 11 scholarships. Seven scholarships are for full-time students in a dependent relationship with dues-paying MSEA-SEIU members. Four scholarships are for MSEA-SEIU members who are continuing their education. Application instructions and requirements are attached to the three scholarship forms linked below. Applications and all required data must be received at MSEA-SEIU headquarters by April 20, 2018. If you have any questions, please contact MSEA-SEIU Account Clerk Luanne Collins at 622-3151 ext. 1114 or Luanne.Collins@mseaseiu.org.
MSEA-SEIU 2018 Scholarship Applications. Instructions are attached to each application:
- Full-Time Student Scholarships 2018
- MSEA-SEIU Member (Part-Time Student) Scholarships 2018
- Wayne Hollingworth Scholarship 2018
Don’t gut Maine’s minimum wage law
Jan. 24 — Senator Volk, Representative Fecteau, members of the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee,
We respectfully urge you to oppose LD 1757. Two years ago, many members of our union signed the citizens’ petitions and helped collect over 90,000 signatures of Maine voters to put the referendum question raising Maine’s minimum wage on the November 8, 2016, ballot. Maine voters overwhelmingly voted to raise Maine’s wage. The law resulted in Maine’s first minimum wage increase in eight years. Over 100,000 Maine workers got a raise in 2017 when the wage increased to $9 under the law. Another 59,000 workers got a raise earlier this month when the wage increased to $10, also under the law.
Many of our members who work as publicly funded personal care assistants, or direct care workers, are directly benefiting from the law. These include the workers we represent at Home Care for Maine, a publicly funded agency providing direct-care and personal-attendant services to Maine seniors and Mainers with disabilities. Last fall, our union signed an agreement with management of Home Care for Maine providing our bargaining unit members at Home Care for Maine with a $1 an hour pay raise – a raise that became effective with their Nov. 24, 2017, payday. This raise was necessary because some Home Care for Maine workers were earning less than $10 an hour last year. Just think about that for a minute – some home care and direct care workers in Maine were doing this difficult and deeply personal work last year for less than $10 an hour, all to help Maine people live as independently as possible in their own homes.
Many home care workers, including our members who work at Home Care for Maine, don’t get any benefits as part of their employment contract. They don’t get health insurance. They don’t get sick time. They don’t get vacation time. They don’t get retirement benefits, either. Their paycheck is all they have to help them catch up with the rising cost of living.
Yet under LD 1757, Maine’s minimum wage would be cut to $9.50. Future minimum wage increases would be cut in half, to 50 cents a year. There wouldn’t be any indexing of the wage after 2020. The wage would be cut for workers under age 18. It would also be cut for workers ages 18 and 19 in their first three months of employment. All of these schemes are the wrong way for Maine to go.
Even with this year’s increase to $10, Maine’s minimum wage remains the second lowest in New England. The wage in Massachusetts is $11. In Vermont, it’s $10.50. In both Connecticut and Rhode Island, it’s $10.10. If it weren’t for New Hampshire, which sticks to the federal minimum of $7.50, Maine’s wage would be the lowest in New England.
Please keep Maine moving forward, not backward. Please vote no on LD 1757.
Our testimony in opposition to LD 1509, An Act to Prohibit Retired State Employees and Teachers From Returning to Work While Collecting Retirement Benefits
On Jan. 23, we testified in the Maine Legislature against ill-conceived legislation that would prohibit State of Maine retirees who retire at normal retirement age after Sept. 1, 2011, from returning to public service in Maine for as long as they draw a pension from the state retirement system. Read our testimony below:
Senator Hamper, Representative Gattine, members of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee,
We urge you to oppose LD 1509. Current state law already places multiple restrictions on State of Maine retirees who retire and then return to public service in our great state. LD 1509 would further penalize State of Maine retirees. This legislation also would continue to exempt the roughly 22 million other retired workers who have private-sector or other governmental pensions. Those 22 million workers already can retire in Maine and work in public service without experiencing any of the restrictions imposed on State of Maine retirees.
Here is what current state law requires for State of Maine retirees who retire and then return to public service: First, State of Maine retirees must have reached their normal retirement age. The normal retirement age varies under the law. It’s age 55 under special retirement plans covering certain law enforcement officers. It’s ages 60, 62, or 65 for everybody else. Second, State of Maine retirees must work for 25 percent less than what a non-retiree earns doing the same work. Third, State of Maine retirees are subject to a five-year cap on the amount of time they can return public service. Fourth, they cannot retire one day and return to service the next; there’s a 30-day waiting period.
Because of those requirements, few State of Maine retirees return to public service. Yet LD 1509 would further single out and penalize State of Maine retirees. It would prohibit State of Maine retirees who retire at normal retirement age after Sept. 1, 2011, from returning to public service in Maine for as long as they draw a pension from the state retirement system. Please oppose LD 1509.
Our testimony opposing legislation to lease out and contract out the operations and maintenance of the state-owned Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site in Bristol
Testimony of Mary Anne Turowski, Maine State Employees Association, SEIU Local 1989, before the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation And Forestry, January 16, 2018, in Opposition to LD 1739, Resolve, Authorizing the Lease of the Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site
Senator Davis, Representative Dunphy and members of the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee,
Under this legislation, the State of Maine could lease out and contract out the operations and maintenance of a National Historic Landmark, the State of Maine-owned Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site in Bristol, to a nonprofit organization. We represent the state workers who operate and maintain the Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site with the highest level of accountability to Maine people. This legislation could result in the elimination of their jobs, ultimately resulting in layoffs.
Maine’s state historic sites and state parks are invaluable public resources. They draw record-breaking numbers of visitors year after year. Maine residents ages 65 or older are admitted free provided they show proof of age. Everyone else can either pay an admission fee onsite or, if they purchased one, show a Maine State Park Pass at applicable locations. While a Maine State Park Pass is valid for admission at the Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site, some state-owned parks or sites that have become subject of public-private partnerships for their operations and maintenance don’t accept Maine State Park Passes for admission. These include Scarborough Beach. We are concerned that under LD 1739, public access to the Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site via a Maine State Park Pass could be restricted or disappear.
We do want to recognize the good work of the Friends of Colonial Pemaquid, the volunteer, nonprofit organization that potentially would lease, operate and maintain the Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site under this legislation. The members of Friends of Colonial Pemaquid have shown through their advocacy over the past 25 years that they care deeply about the Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site. While we appreciate their dedication and determination to protect and preserve the Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site, we strongly believe Maine’s state parks and state historic sites, including the Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site, are best protected and maintained by State of Maine workers who are directly accountable to Maine people. Your due diligence is critical in assessing whether turning over the operations and maintenance of a state resource to a third party is in the best interest of Maine citizens. We respectfully urge you to oppose LD 1739.
Dear MSEA-SEIU Member,
The MSEA-SEIU Retirees Steering Committee will present our 6th Annual MSEA-SEIU Lifetime Achievement Award to one of our retiree members Tuesday, May 29, 2018, during our 31st Annual MSEA-SEIU Retirees Day at the Augusta Civic Center. Anyone can nominate. Using the two-page nomination form linked here, please nominate a retiree whom you think might be deserving of this award. Past Lifetime Achievement Award recipients are: Frank Kadi (2013); Jackie Roach (2014); John Hinkley (2015); Bill Deering (2016); and Bob Galloupe (2017).
These factors (in no particular order) will be considered in selecting the 2018 award recipient:
1. Living person;
2. Active in being a leader;
3. During his or her work years, showed leadership in support of working families and retirees;
4. Advocates for MSEA-SEIU retirees through the political process;
5. Promotes spirit of retirees;
6. Supports the MSEA-SEIU retiree agenda;
7. Community Involvement.
You can also request a copy of the nomination form by emailing: email@example.com
You may nominate someone by email or U.S. mail. Send nominations to Tom Farkas, MSEA-SEIU communications and training coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or via U.S. mail at: Tom Farkas, MSEA-SEIU Local 1989, 65 State St., Augusta, ME 04330-5126.
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. Nominations must be received at MSEA-SEIU headquarters by 5 p.m. Friday, April 13.
The MSEA-SEIU Retirees Steering Committee
Bangor Daily News editorial —
“Raising the state’s minimum wage helped the state’s economy and the state’s low-wage workers. Reversing these benefits makes no sense.” Read the full editorial here.
Eric Noyes named Executive Director of MSEA-SEIU Local 1989
The Board of Directors of the Maine State Employees Association, Local 1989 of the Service Employees International Union, has named a longtime union organizer, Eric Noyes of Yarmouth, as the union’s new executive director.
“What impressed us about Eric is his experience in advocating for working people, his commitment to the labor movement, and his high level of engagement with workers in so many occupations,” said MSEA-SEIU Director and Chief Steward Robin Upton-Sukeforth, who served on the union’s personnel committee for the executive director search. “Eric has helped make lives better for working families all across our nation. We’re thrilled he has joined us, as our executive director, in the fight for quality public services, working families and retirees in Maine.”
Since 2001, Eric has worked with SEIU and its affiliates helping thousands of public and private sector workers in higher education, libraries, hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies, Head Start, and the fast food industry gain a voice in their wages, benefits and working conditions. His union organizing work has taken him to many states, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Colorado and Nevada. He most recently served as SEIU’s Deputy Division Director for the Public Division.
“The issues facing working families in Maine are significant,” Eric said. “They are counting on quality public services so they can go about their daily lives. They deserve to earn a living wage so they can keep up with inflation. They deserve access to quality, affordable healthcare. And everyone, someday, should be able to retire with dignity. That’s what the members of MSEA-SEIU Local 1989 are fighting for, and it’s an honor to be helping to lead that fight.”
Eric, who started his new job Jan. 2, earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Buffalo. He is married with two children.
Bangor Daily News editorial —
“The department says it’s moving to fill vacant public health nursing positions as lawmakers required in legislation that passed last year over LePage’s objections.” Full story here.
“The staff increase for 2018 is being driven by a new law sponsored by Sen. Brownie Carson, D-Brunswick, that requires Maine to have at least 50 public health nurses on staff, a measure originally opposed by the LePage administration but now supported by DHHS. The public health nursing staff – front-line nurses who respond to infectious disease outbreaks and perform a number of health prevention duties – has been slashed by more than half under Gov. Paul LePage’s administration, declining from 59 in 2011 to about 25 positions in early 2017.” Full story here.
Please support LD 1163, State Senator Nate Libby’s student debt relief bond initiative
Student debt relief is an issue of direct importance to many MSEA-SEIU members. It affects most of us with children, grandchildren, and other family members burdened with student debt. If we want to support workers willing to dedicate their careers to public service, we should support programs like student debt relief. That’s why we support LD 1163, State Senator Nate Libby’s student debt relief bond initiative.
Here’s what the Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal and Central Maine Morning Sentinel say about LD 1163: “Libby’s bill would issue a $100 million bond for student debt forgiveness and refinancing. Eligible graduates working in Maine could shave 15 percent off their debt per year of work. In six years, the average employee would be debt free. The bill will be coming back to the Legislature this year, and lawmakers should take advantage of this opportunity to put partisanship aside and invest in Maine’s future.”
MSEA is ME
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MSEA-SEIU 2018 Statewide Steward Skills Training Program: Monday, April 30: Augusta Civic Center, 76 Community Drive, Augusta, ME 04330. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Training runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
MSEA-SEIU Fall 2018 Regional Steward Skills Training Programs. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Training runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.:
- Tuesday, Sept. 11: Portland, Clarion Hotel, 1230 Congress St. Portland, ME 04102
- Wednesday, Sept. 19: Bangor, Spectacular Event Center, 395 Griffin Road, Bangor, ME 04401
- Thursday Sept. 20: Presque Isle, Northeastland Hotel, 436 Main St, Presque Isle, ME 04769
- Tuesday, Sept. 25: Augusta Civic Center, 76 Community Drive, Augusta, ME 04330
What a disappointment, Senator Collins and Congressman Poliquin
By voting for the #GOPTaxScam, despite overwhelming opposition from Maine’s working families and retired workers, Senator Collins and Congressman Poliquin put the interests of corporations and millionaires ahead of the interests of Maine’s working families and retirees. The #GOPTaxScam will give enormous tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy at the expense of working families and retirees. The tax bill will cause 13 million Americans to lose their healthcare by repealing elements of the Affordable Care Act. The Republican leaders now intend to use the huge deficit their tax bill will create as an excuse to cut Medicare and Social Security. Don’t let them get away with it. Hold them accountable. Please keep making your voice heard. Together We are Stronger.
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 Nov. 30 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
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:
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.”