Nearly 77 years after its founding, workers who belong to the Maine State Employees Association have changed the union’s name to the Maine Service Employees Association. The new name reflects the breadth and growth of the union representing over 12,000 Maine workers. Elected delegates to the union’s 76th Annual Meeting voted Nov. 1, 2019, for the name change, which is in effect.
“Workers got together to form MSEA back in 1943 for a voice in the quality services they provided for Maine State Government,” said Dean Staffieri, president of newly named Maine Service Employees Association, Local 1989 of the Service Employees International Union. “Over the decades, more and more workers have recognized the importance of a voice at work in providing services to Maine people, from the Judicial and Legislative branches of state government to the Maine Community College System to the Maine Turnpike Authority to Child Development Services to Preble Street to Home Care for Maine, just to name a few of the employers for whom our members work. We’ve grown into a union representing a whole range of workers providing services via 20 different employers.”
The name change follows the vote in June of 2019 by Maine workers at the anti-poverty agency Preble Street to form a union with MSEA.
“All workers deserve a voice in their pay, benefits and working conditions,” Staffieri said. “Our new name reflects every worker, active and retired, we represent. Even with the name change, we’re still MSEA.”
The Maine Service Employees Association, Local 1989 of the Service Employees International Union, represents over 12,000 Maine workers at the Maine Community College System, the Maine Military Authority, Maine Maritime Academy, Maine Turnpike Authority, Maine Public Employees Retirement System, York County Government, the City of Lewiston, Lewiston Schools, the City of Auburn, Preble Street, Child Development Services, the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf/Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the Maine People’s Alliance, the American Red Cross in Bangor, Home Care for Maine, Green Valley Association in Patten, Treats Falls House in Orono, and workers in all three branches of Maine State Government.