Over 1,100 state workers send letters to Governor Mills asking her to close the state employee pay gap

A delegation of state employees who work as office assistants, public health educators, comprehensive health planners, interdisciplinary instruction specialists, health program managers, tax examiners, eligibility specialists and emergency medical education training coordinators delivered to Governor Janet Mills on Nov. 16 over 1,100 letters from their coworkers asking her to close the state employee pay gap. The letter delivery came as state workers in the Executive Branch of Maine State Government began their fifth month of working without a contract. The Mills administration and the workers are in contract negotiations via a mediator. “Throughout all departments of Maine State Government, our worksites are understaffed and we are underpaid and overworked,” the state workers wrote to Governor Mills. “All the while, the State has record budget surpluses that have come at the expense of substantially underpaying us for the quality services we consistently provide to all Maine people. Studies in 2009 and again in 2020 show that state workers are underpaid compared to the wages earned by our public and private sector counterparts throughout Maine and New England. The 2020 study showed that on average, state workers are underpaid by 15 percent, and it’s even worse for many classifications – accountants are underpaid 20 to 33%; chemists, 24%; civil engineers, 20 to 25%; mechanics, 31%; and correctional officers, 16%.”

State employees cite latest projected state budget surplus in demanding Mills administration present plan to address understaffing, close pay gap


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