Representational Services Roundup as of Dec. 7
2018 MSEA-SEIU Statewide Steward Skills Training Program
Our 2018 MSEA-SEIU Statewide Steward Skills Training Program is scheduled for Monday, April 30, at Augusta Civic Center. The program runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with registration starting at 8 a.m.
Jeff McCabe joins our Representational Services Division as a field representative
Jeff McCabe, who most recently served as our union’s Member Political and Legislative Coordinator, has joined our union’s Representational Services Division as a field representative.
Jeff previously served as Maine House Democratic Leader in the 127th Maine Legislature and as the Maine House Assistant Democratic Leader in the 126th Maine Legislature. A licensed Maine guide, has worked as outreach coordinator for Northern Forest Canoe Trails Maine and as director of Lake George Regional Park. He earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental education from Unity College.
“It’s an honor to be working for MSEA-SEIU Local 1989, advocating for the members and the quality public services they provide,” Jeff said.
The proposed highway worker legislation won’t move forward
Dear MSEA-SEIU Member at MDOT,
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.
In Solidarity, Ramona Welton, President, MSEA-SEIU Local 1989
Child Development Services
Health insurance grievance: A class-action grievance on behalf of all bargaining unit CDS employees was filed May 12 regarding the increase in health insurance costs and poor plan coverage. The grievance has gone through the steps of the grievance process (Article 3 of our contract) and is scheduled for arbitration in December when MSEA-SEIU General Counsel Tom Feeley and CDS’ attorney will present their opposing arguments to a neutral arbitrator.
Merger with public school system: We had a conference call on Sept. 13 in which management told us about a proposed partial merger of some aspects of CDS with the public school system. On Sept. 21, MSEA-SEIU Field Representative Meg Reilly reached out to HR Director Dan Alley, who wrote: “The legislation has not been introduced so the planning and proposed changes are in very preliminary stages. Where it is so early in the process, such information as specific employees, sites and timelines has not been solidified. When we have a clearer understanding of the final legislation and how it might affect CDS employees and sites, we will be happy to update you.”
Proposed change: salaried to hourly: CDS management informed CDS union members that management believes that employees in certain job classifications at CDS have been misclassified under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Specifically, the classifications Case Manager I, Case Manager II, Service Coordinator, and Licensed Social Worker have historically been considered “exempt” under the FLSA, and thus not entitled to overtime pay. Management now believes that it is legally required to treat these classifications as “non-exempt” employees. According to management, they do not intend to change the amount of compensation paid to employees, only the way in which the employees are paid.
Under the hourly model, this change would mean that employees in these classifications will receive some form of overtime compensation for work performed in excess of 40 hours per week. It also means, however, that employees’ paychecks would be based upon actual hours worked, rather than a steady salary rate. Thus, CDS management has approached our union about how to deal with the impact of the proposed change. Our union has received extensive documentation related to actual hours worked by these classifications over the past three years and we are reviewing the data.
Children’s Health Insurance Program Update
Earlier this year, eligible parents with State Employee Health Insurance coverage gained the right to enroll their children in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), pending federal authorization. We secured this right by making sure state legislators included the necessary language in the enacted two-year state budget.
Since the budget’s enactment, Maine DHHS has begun the process of applying to the federal government for the ability to offer SCHIP coverage to the children of eligible parents covered by the State Employee Health Insurance Plan. It’s important for Maine DHHS to get federal approval because many of our members who are working parents cannot afford the cost of dependent coverage through the State Employee Health Plan.
We will follow up with new developments. In the meantime, please contact MSEA-SEIU Director of Politics and Legislation Mary Anne Turowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or 622-3151
ext. 1133 if you have any questions.
City of Lewiston
On Dec. 1, our members voted to ratify the 2017-2020 tentative agreement. The City Council voted Dec. 5 to approve it as well. The contract is being edited and, once signed, will be uploaded to the “Our Contracts” section of the MSEA website at www.mseaseiu.org. Rose Dufour, Tom Maynard, Connie McCown and Allison Pease served on our bargaining team.
Home Care for Maine
Our union signed an agreement granting a $1-per-hour increase for all employees hired prior to Jan. 1, 2017, backdated to July 1, 2017. On the Nov. 24, 2017, payday, affected workers were scheduled to receive their increase back to November 5, 2017. The following week, payroll was scheduled to run the retroactive pay, back to July 1, 2017.
Legislative Branch of Maine State Government
MSEA-SEIU members in our Administrative Unit of Legislative Employees Bargaining Unit have ratified their tentative contractual agreement.
Lewiston Public Schools
On Nov. 2, ballots were counted for the 2017-2020 tentative agreement and the results are in – the tentative agreement was ratified. The School Committee also has ratified, so the new contract is in effect. Retroactive pay was distributed in November. The contract has been signed and an electronic version has been added to the “Our Contracts” section of the MSEA website at mseaseiu.org. Clayton Easter, Gerry Lapierre and Jordan Berube served on our bargaining team.
Maine Community College System Adjunct Faculty
Your negotiating team has been meeting with management since April, and last met on October 2nd. We have several outstanding areas of concern including compensation. At this time, we believe that the negotiating process could benefit from a neutral third-party mediator, and we have therefore have filed for mediation with the Maine Labor Relations Board. This means the mediator will work with both parties to help identify opportunities to reach an agreement.
Please reach out to us with any questions. In Solidarity, Ralph Carmona, SMCC; Luci Levesque, KVCC; Camilla Lofving, SMCC; Paul Trahan, SMCC; and Mike Turcotte, EMCC
Maine Community College System Support Unit
MSEA-SEIU members in our Maine Community College System Support Unit on Dec. 5 ratified their tentative contractual agreement. The agreement runs from July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2019. It includes annual wage increases of 2.75 percent; the first one is retroactive to July 1, 2017.
Maine Community College System Supervisory Services Unit
MSEA-SEIU members on our union negotiating team for the Maine Community College System Supervisory Services Unit are in contract negotiations with management. The union team reports progress is being made.
Maine Public Employees Retirement System Supervisory Services Bargaining Unit
MSEA-SEIU members in the Supervisory Services Bargaining Unit at the Maine Public Employees Retirement System have ratified their tentative contractual agreement. Their contract is finalized and implemented.
York County Government
MSEA-SEIU members on our union negotiating team for the York County Government are in contract negotiations with management. The union team reports it is making progress. Negotiations will continue Dec. 19.