October 3, 2023
MSEA-SEIU Representational Services Roundup
Members of the Maine Community College Support Services Bargaining Unit have begun negotiations with management for a new contract. From left: Scott Thibodeau (SMCC), Denise Sensenig (MCCS Office), Eric Clark (EMCC), Tammy Putnam (NMCC), Jay Bickford (SMCC), Mike Ramsdell (WCCC), Patrick Simpson (KVCC) and Katrina Ray-Saulis. Not pictured: Pat Dexler (CMCC).
Executive Branch of Maine State Government
Because the assistance of a mediator was requested, the Maine Labor Relations Board has appointed Rebekah Smith as the neutral mediator to resume our negotiation sessions with the Mills administration. Now that the mediator has been appointed, they will contact us and the administration’s bargaining team to set up dates to meet.
It is likely we will meet in separate caucuses with the mediator going between us at least at the start of mediation. Once we have dates and times set, we will send out RSVP links for those wanting to join just as we have for other sessions.
While the mediator can assist in communication between the teams and work with us to try to find a path to a fair contract, they cannot force either side to do anything. They do not make decisions for either side. It is important as we wait for a date for mediation that we use this time to show our commitment to our demands. It is vital that the Governor sees that to reach a fair contract, they must commit to closing the pay gap!
We have continued to keep focused on our demands. Your turnout at informational pickets at worksites statewide, the Blaine House and at the DAFS Employee Appreciation Day are sending a strong message that state workers are united and determined to secure a contract that closes the pay gap.
We have legislators signing on in support of a fair contract and closing the pay gap; if you haven’t contacted your legislators already to ask them to sign onto the legislative letter, you can do so here.
Also, we are keeping up the daily reminder of the reality of the pay gap with our State House Hall of Flags display of letters from state workers sharing the reality of low pay and short staffing.
For assistance in planning a worksite action, contact Greg at greg.white (at) mseaseiu.org
Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing/Gov. Baxter School for the Deaf
Members at our Professional and Support bargaining units at the Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing/Baxter School for the Deaf have ratified new two-year contracts with pay raises and other gains. Economic highlights:
Year 1 raises: Salary scale increases by 1.5% upon ratification; each employee moves up 2 steps.
Year 2 raises: Effective July 1, 2024, salary scale increases by 1.5%; effective July 1,2024, all employees move up the Salary Scale one step.
Elimination of lower steps: Upon ratification, the first four steps on the existing salary scales will no longer be used. Current employees on Steps 1 – 3 will be moved to Step 5. In the future, new employees will be hired no lower than Step 5. No employee will make less than $17 an hour.
Addition of steps: Upon ratification, two steps will be added to the top of the existing salary scales. The percentage increase for the two additional steps will be the average percentage increase for the existing steps.
Stipends: School bus operator endorsement – $2 per hour (when driving); Coordinators – When a Coordinator obtains an Assistant Special Education Director or Director of Special Education Certification (which is a requirement for the position), a Coordinator will receive an additional step on the salary scale. Coordinators working as early intervention coordinators may satisfy this requirement by obtaining an equivalent certification for early intervention, which has been approved by the Executive Director.
The contract provides each bargaining unit member a minimum of two (2) days for educational and training opportunities.
Reimbursement for courses now covers both elective AND mandatory courses. If the certification requirements of a position change for an employee already in that position, MECDHH/GBSD will pay in full for any required coursework. Workers can now be reimbursed for up to three courses per year.
Non-economic gains include contract language relating to remote work, the posting of stipended positions and a streamlined grievance procedure.
Adjunct Faculty at the Maine Community College System
Members of our Adjunct Faculty Bargaining Unit at the Maine Community College System have ratified a new contract with wage increases and other gains. The contract runs from Jan. 1, 2023, through Dec. 31, 2024. Raises and compensation:
Effective January 1, 2023 the Salary Schedule will be increased by 4.5%.
Effective January 1, 2024 the Salary Schedule will be increased by 4.5%.
Adjunct Faculty shall be compensated either for credit hour or for instructional hour, whichever is greater. Appendix A Salary Schedule: Current, $ 930.00; Jan 1 2023, $971.85; and Jan. 1 2024, $ 1,015.58.
Adjuncts will receive a longevity payment in accordance with Appendix B. These payments are for the fall and spring semesters, respectively. The payment shall appear in the adjunct member’s last paycheck of the fall semester and the spring semester in which the longevity payment is earned. APPENDIX B Longevity Payment (per semester) by seniority: 5-9 years, $100; 10-14 years, $200; and 15+ years, $300. No adjunct shall be subject to any reduction in pay as a result of this Article. Upon ratification of the contract by both parties, adjuncts who receive above the $930 base rate established by the 2021-2022 contract shall be paid a lump sum equal to a 3% increase in their current base rate in lieu of the base increase provided in Paragraph 1 of this Article. On January 1, 2024 such adjuncts shall be paid a lump sum on the same terms.
Members in our Legislative Employees bargaining unit are gearing up for bargaining. A demand to bargain has been filed with management.
Maine People’s Alliance
Members of our bargaining team at the Maine People’s Alliance are preparing for their first bargaining session with management, to take place in October. Our bargaining team: Esther Pew,
Adam Zuckerman, Nicholas Adams, Daniel Neumann and Carrie Jadud.
Maine Maritime Academy
Our bargaining team members in the Support and Supervisory bargaining unit have been reviewing the responses to their survey on bargaining priorities. Members of our Faculty Unit at Maine Maritime Academy also are gearing up for negotiations.
Maine Turnpike Authority
Members of our bargaining teams in the Fare Collection, Headquarters and Maintenance Operations bargaining units are continuing their negotiations with management for new contracts.
Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine (SARSSM)
Staff at SARSSM continue to negotiate their first contract, joining their peers at SASSMM, who ratified their first collective bargaining agreement this year. SARSSM staff are focused on wage increases and hybrid work schedules, as well as upholding services and support for clients and volunteers.
Support Staff at the Maine Community College System
Members of our negotiating team representing the Support Staff bargaining unit at the Maine Community College System have begun negotiations with management for a new contract.