Our bargaining team members at Governor Baxter School for the Deaf/MECDHH
Aug. 2, 2019 —
Bargaining roundup: Preble Street, Auburn, Green Valley, Baxter School, Judicial, Maritime, Community Colleges, Legislative, MainePERS, Turnpike
Please welcome the 165 workers at Preble Street, a statewide human services agency serving scores of Maine’s most vulnerable citizens, to our union.
In an election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board, the Preble Street workers voted overwhelmingly June 14 to form a union with ours.
From their locations in Bangor, Lewiston and Portland, Preble Street workers provide invaluable services to Mainers of all ages, from teens to seniors, including veterans, struggling with homelessness, food and health insecurity, poverty and exploitation. Yet over the years, the Preble Street workers have struggled to make their voice heard in the work they do. Low wages have contributed to a serious recruitment and retention problem – a crisis many of us also know all too well.
As one worker said about why they chose MSEA-SEIU Local 1989 for their union, “I am voting yes because my colleagues deserve to be empowered and supported, just like the people we serve. We are asking for the right to advocate for ourselves, the clients, and the programs we care for so deeply. I am voting yes because I love the mission of Preble Street and I want our agency to live it.”
By voting to form a union with ours, the Preble Street workers voted to speak with a united voice as they stand up for themselves and the services they provide. The more workers who stand up for quality services and each other, the better we all are.
“When we unite, we win! We are thrilled with the overwhelming vote of support this organizing effort received,” said Philippa Adam, who works in the food program at Preble Street. “Now we will finally have the collective strength to secure better wages and improve management’s support and communication so that we can do our jobs better. By getting a seat at the table, we believe that we can make this organization stronger and we are looking forward to starting a new chapter that benefits us as workers, our clients and the communities that we serve.”
“The vote was a landslide and we are ready to stand up for ourselves and our clients,” added Leslie Torkelson, who works as a case manager for Preble Street’s Veterans Housing Services in Lewiston.
The next step is for the Preble Street workers to form a bargaining team and begin negotiating their first contract later this month.
City of Auburn
MSEA-SEIU members at the City of Auburn on July 30 unanimously ratified their tentative contractual agreement. It includes a 2 percent pay raise plus up to a 1 percent adjustment based on performance retroactive to July 1, 2019; a 2 percent pay raise plus up to a 2 percent adjustment based on performance in July 2020, and a 2 percent pay raise plus up to a 2 percent adjustment based on performance in July 2021.
The ballots were counted July 17 and the 2019-2021 Judicial Branch collective bargaining agreements for the Administrative, Professional, Supervisory, and Law Enforcement bargaining units all passed with an overwhelming majority. Contract highlights:
Wages: Compensation: $400 lump sum effective 8/1/2019; 3% cost of living adjustment (COLA) effective 9/1/2019; $400 lump sum effective 7/1/2020; and a 3% COLA effective 7/1/2020.
Adds 30-year longevity: Employees hired on or before 6/30/17 receive a 30-year longevity pay at $1.25 per hour; employees hired after 7/1/17 receive a 30-year longevity pay at $.60 per hour.
Seniority: Adds language that “Management shall consider and interview all internal applicants who meet the minimum requirements for a bargaining unit position.”
Union Rights: Increases notice for investigations: Three days if on paid administrative leave, four days otherwise; increases information the Judicial Branch must provide upon notice of investigation: Misconduct alleged, Judicial Branch policy/rule violated, dates and times if known.
Law Enforcement Unit: LEU uniform allowance increases from $800 to $1,200, to be paid in separate checks.
The final contract is undergoing the editing process; bargaining team members will coordinate getting printed copies to all union members.
MSEA-SEIU members in all four of our Executive Branch bargaining units overwhelmingly approved their tentative contractual agreements. The new contracts take effect Aug. 1. Highlights:
Pay raises: A 3 percent across-the-board pay raise at the start of the pay week commencing closest to Sept. 1, 2019; and a 4 percent raise via adding a step/dropping a step with the start of the pay week commencing closest to Dec. 31, 2020.
New longevity step at 10 years (20 cents) starts in October 2019; and an additional 10 cents to the 25-year longevity step, increasing it from 50 cents to 60 cents, starts Dec. 31, 2020.
Department of Transportation Winter allowance doubles moving forward, retroactive additional $25 per week for the 2018-2019 season; there’s no change to overtime equalization.
Greater parity among Maine DHHS caseworkers by increasing base wages of Adult Protective Caseworkers.
Comprehensive compensation and classification study for state employees funded: This study will provide a thorough examination of the state’s classification and compensation system for state employees in the context of how other public and private sector workers are paid for comparable work. The administration will fund the study with the goal of completing it by Aug. 1, 2020, in time for its findings to become the subject of future collective bargaining. We’ll be involved in selecting the consultant to perform the study. Over the coming year, the study will provide us with data we can use to fight for solutions to the kinds of problems many of you and your coworkers identified in our worksite surveys.
Paid parental leave: 14 days of paid parental leave for either parent relating to the birth or adoption of a child.
No takebacks: We went into these negotiations determined to protect and build upon your contractual rights. All rights in the prior contracts continue.
You and your coworkers stepped up in a big way throughout the negotiations. Thousands of you signed our letter to Governor Mills asking her to respect public service. Many of you also identified issues through our worksite surveys, talked with your state legislators in support of the quality public services you provide, and, in late June, rallied in support of your bargaining team to help secure the best contracts possible.
There’s still a lot of work to do, both in our worksites and in the Legislature, in support of quality services, public workers, and retirement security. However, with these new contracts, we made good progress. The contracts position you and your coworkers for future gains. Let’s keep our momentum going!
Green Valley Association
Bargaining continues at Green Valley Association.
Governor Baxter School for the Deaf/Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
MSEA-SEIU members at the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf have been building power in their worksites through membership recruitment. They assembled their largest bargaining team ever as they negotiated with management for new contracts in our Support Services Bargaining Unit and in our Professional and Supervisory Services Bargaining Unit. On July 31, the bargaining team and management reached tentative contractual agreements on two-year contracts for both units, providing for a 1 percent raise in the first year, a 3 percent raise in the second year plus an additional pay step of 3.5 percent for anyone topped out. The bargaining team also secured contractual language enforceable around interpreter confidentiality and the ability to dismiss them.
Maine Maritime Academy
Our bargaining team for the Staff Unit and the Supervisory Services units at Maine Maritime Academy on July 31 secured tentative contractual agreements with management.
The Staff Unit’s tentative agreement highlights include: 2 percent pay raise 7/1/19 and another 2 percent pay raise 7/1/20; enhanced pay for licensed, credentialed employees serving on Academy cruises; improvements to parental leave benefit; and hourly staff will now accrue more vacation time.
The Supervisory Unit’s tentative agreement highlights include: 2.5 percent pay raise 7/1/19 and another 2.5 percent pay raise 7/1/20; enhanced pay for licensed, credentialed employees serving on Academy cruises; and improvements to parental leave benefit.
Maine Community College System
Members of the bargaining team for our MCCS Staff Unit are determined to secure a fair contract addressing issues identified as priorities by members in bargaining surveys. The bargaining team and management began negotiations July 17 with a meeting at Southern Maine Community College. The two sides met again Aug. 1 at Central Maine Community College. They will meet Aug. 21 at Eastern Maine Community College.
Bargaining in the MCCS Supervisory Unit will start later.
Bargaining for our MCCS Adjunct Faculty Bargaining Unit is planned for the fall; we are surveying adjuncts on bargaining priorities and building worksite power on the campuses to strengthen the team’s position at the table.
MSEA-SEIU members in our Administrative Unit of Legislative Employees began contract bargaining with management July 23 for a new contract to succeed the one expiring Sept. 30. Key issues for the team include wages and parental leave. Bargaining continues Sept. 4 and 5.
Maine Public Employees Retirement System
MSEA-SEIU members on our bargaining team in the MainePERS Supervisory Unit and management reached a tentative contractual agreement July 26.
The tentative agreement runs from May 1, 2019, to Oct. 31, 2020. It includes a 4 percent pay raise, effective July 1, 2019, by adding and dropping
a step, and a 1.5 percent pay raise effective
Jan. 1, 2020.
For childcare reimbursement, the tentative agreement increases the base income threshold
from $45,000 to $65,000, increasing the number
of employees eligible for reimbursement, and decreases the amount to be reimbursement,
from $1,800 to $1,500.
Maine Turnpike Authority
The bargaining team for our MTA Supervisory Unit has begun negotiations with management for a new contract. The bargaining team members are determined to secure a contract that reflects the priorities identified by members in bargaining surveys.
MTA Employees Unit bargaining will start later.
The new headquarters for the Maine Public Employees Retirement System opened at 139 Capitol St., Augusta. The retirement system’s P.O. Box 349, phone numbers, website address and email addresses all remain the same Our union is proud to represent MainePERS employees in the Administrative, Professional-Technical and Supervisory Services bargaining units.
MSEA-SEIU members in the Administrative and Professional-Technical Services bargaining units at the Maine Public Employees Retirement System in January ratified new two-year contracts providing pay raises totaling 8.5 percent over the terms of the contracts. Story.
Supervisory MSEA-SEIU members at MainePERS prep for bargaining
February 14, 20109
MSEA-SEIU members serving on the bargaining team for the Supervisory Services unit at MainePERS are seeking bargaining proposals from members of the unit. Bargaining team members Lindy Henninger and Mara McGowan and MSEA-SEIU Field Representative Robin Upton-Sukeforth, the team’s chief negotiator, held their first team meeting Feb. 4; the next one is set for Feb. 19. Bargaining proposals are due Feb. 28.
MSEA-SEIU members on our bargaining team at Child Development Services are, from left, Laurie Brown, Dianne Rowe and Teresa Barbieri.
MSEA-SEIU members on our bargaining team at Child Development Services secured a tentative agreement on new contracts providing substantial wage and benefit gains for CDS workers. The early-intervention services provided by CDS workers are crucial to ensure all children can make the most of their public education, yet CDS for years has lacked the resources, staffing, and wage and benefit structures necessary to recruit and retain qualified employees. The tentative agreements make significant progress in addressing those issues, MSEA-SEIU members on the CDS bargaining team said. Story.
MSEA-SEIU members on the Judicial Branch bargaining team met Feb. 9 to prepare bargaining proposals. They are looking forward to bargaining! From left are Janette Cook, Samantha Turcotte, Ronda Nelson, Claire Bell, Lisa Morgan, Nickole Wesley, Colleen Heal, Christen Haskell (in back), Robyn Saucier, Peter Baker and Darcey Emery. Not shown are Andy Frechette, Laurie Pratt, Mike Mayberry, Glenn Rice, Tom Richardson and Maureen Whitehouse.
Judicial Branch bargaining team preparing proposals
MSEA-SEIU members on the bargaining team representing our four State of Maine Judicial Branch bargaining units are preparing proposals for contract negotiations. Union team members met Feb. 9. The negotiations are for new contracts covering Judicial Branch workers in the Administrative Services, Law Enforcement Services, Professional Services and Supervisory Services bargaining units. All of the current contracts expire June 30. The bargaining team members:
- Law Enforcement Unit: Peter Baker, Team Captain; Mike Mayberry, Team Member; Glenn Rice, Team Member; Tom Richardson, Team Member; and Alternates Mark Tibbetts, Mike Shea, Tim Roy and Jon LeRoyer;
- Supervisory Services: Andy Frechette, Team Captain; Ronda Nelson, Team Member; Laurie Pratt, Team Member; and Alternate Darlene Richards;
- Professional Services: Robyn Saucier, Team Captain; Claire Bell, Team Member; Christen Haskell, Team Member; Maureen Whitehouse, Team Member; and Alternate Janette Cook;
- Administrative Services: Lisa Morgan, Team Captain; Colleen Heal, Team Member; Nickole Wesley, Team Member; Darcey Emery, Team Member; and Alternates Kim Dillingham and Sam Turcotte.
MSEA-SEIU members at our Scott Austin Eastside Chapter in Augusta show their support for their bargaining team in anticipation of Executive Branch contract negotiations starting Feb. 25. From left: Denise Behr, Jenn Curtis, Marianne Senechal, Phil Garwood, Cherrie Plummer, Boris Golubow, Andrea Galasyn, Rich Greves, Kerem Gungor, Lyle Hall, Mike Hudson, Mark Margerum, Stacy Ladner and Bob Hartley.
To prepare for negotiating our next contract, we surveyed our coworkers around the state. With well over 1,000 state workers responding, we found an urgent need to stand up for ourselves, the work we do and the people we serve each day. Too many state workers live under a constant cloud of worry about our own ability to pay our bills, afford healthcare and have a secure future. According to the survey results, 82 percent of state workers are concerned about their ability to retire and 41 percent struggle to pay their monthly bills. Story.