State of Maine Executive Branch Members: MSEA’s Building Safety Committee needs to hear your questions, concerns about COVID-19

Dear MSEA-SEIU Members in the State of Maine Executive Branch,

The safety of you, your coworkers and your family is my No. 1 priority. MSEA-SEIU members have made progress on safety in this evolving pandemic and the State’s response to it, yet there’s still a long way to go. Members are demanding a voice in decision-making so we can all safely do our jobs while protecting ourselves from the coronavirus. Your input and advocacy are needed to make this happen.

With Stage 2 of the administration’s planned reopening of Maine’s economy under way, you and your coworkers must be heard on the timing and planning for all workers returning to state offices or worksites. We need a voice in how to ensure safety and social distancing in worksites with shared office space and equipment. Many of you have asked about the possibility of staggered shifts, scheduling and continued telecommuting, and for protocols on how to safely interact with the public, vendors and coworkers.

We must be heard on accommodating coworkers at elevated risk of COVID-19, on ensuring appropriate cleaning protocols, on responding to potential worksite contamination, and on developing ways to quickly resolve health and safety issues in each and every worksite.

Last month, under the terms of your union contract and on behalf of you and your coworkers, I asked Governor Mills to appoint management representatives to a statewide Building Safety Labor-Management Committee. I explained to her that you and your coworkers must be heard on the many issues relating to working remotely and transitioning back to worksites during this COVID-19 outbreak so you can safely do your jobs.

Governor Mills listened to us; the Statewide Building Safety Labor-Management Committee is now established. I have appointed the following MSEA-SEIU members to it:
Katrina Perkins, a customer representative associate II for Maine DHHS in Lewiston and a member of our Androscoggin Chapter, representing the Administrative Services Bargaining Unit;
Kyle Thomas, a steward and postal service worker for the Postal Center based in Augusta and a member of our Capitol Chapter, representing the Operations, Maintenance and Support Services Bargaining Unit (OM&S);
Jonathan French, a transportation engineer II for the Maine DOT in Augusta and a member of our Transportation Chapter, representing the Professional-Technical Services (Pro-Tech) Bargaining Unit;
Wade Colpitts, a chief steward and transportation crew supervisor for Maine DOT in Bangor and a member of our Penobscot Chapter, representing the Supervisory Services Bargaining Unit.

As they prepare for the first Building Safety Committee meeting, Katrina, Kyle, Jonathan and Wade want to hear from you right away so they can advocate for you and your coworkers to the fullest extent possible. Please use this official MSEA- SEIU form to share questions, concerns or suggestions relating to keeping workers safe during the COVID-19 outbreak so the committee can help advocate for solutions. Thank you and stay safe!

In Solidarity,
Dean Staffieri
President, MSEA-SEIU Local 1989

Updated: June 3, 2020 — 1:40 PM