February 22, 2023
Members name core demands in Executive Branch contract bargaining
Photo: Workers at Maine DHHS in Winthrop are determined to secure a fair contract!
Four core demands surfaced throughout the bargaining-priorities surveys completed by over 2,000 workers in the State of Maine Executive Branch. Our Negotiations Team is bringing these demands to the negotiations table:
- Recruit and Retain Staff — It’s past time to close the pay gap, fix the broken classification system and address needs like training and orientation;
- Work Life Balance — Including addressing the need for time off, flexible work schedules, better access to the ability to work from home and improvements to leave time like bereavement;
- Fairness and Equity — Including access to promotions, fairness in applying work rules and conditions, equitable access to training and support, and workplaces free from harassment, bullying and discrimination;
- Healthy and Safe Work — From the right staffing to do the job to workplaces safe and free from asbestos, mold and other toxins, to time and support in dealing with trauma at work.
Over the last few weeks, the bargaining team has been putting these core demands into shaping our bargaining proposals. We have prepared proposals on:
- Salary increases – to close the wage gap
- Completion and implementation of the classification study
- Health and safety – including improved language about safe work places
- Bereavement leave that is more inclusive
- Parental leave
- Retirement – improving the portion paid by the state.
- Reimbursements – including mileage to the federal rate
Our work is not done; we are working on:
- Updating stipends, differentials and overtime language
- Our flexibility and scheduling proposal
- Additional safe staffing language
- Improved non-discrimination language
We are discussing proposals about student loan repayment and improved child care benefit as well.
A number of folks have joined the team during bargaining preparation sessions and all are welcome to join, listen in, share ideas and discuss proposals as we work on them.
The needs of all of us, especially to the need for the respect and pay we deserve for the vital work we do, must be heard and addressed in these negotiations. To do that, we must demonstrate to the administration that every step of the way, workers across the state are a part of the process and united to win a fair contract and stand up for the services Mainers count on.
If you haven’t done so already, please sign on in support of the core demands that will echo throughout the proposals we bring to the table. Management won’t receive a copy of names who sign on; show us your support for a contract addressing the core demands. Sign on here.
Also, join your coworkers in your worksite’s contract team supporting our Negotiations Team. Join your worksite team by contacting MSEA-SEIU staffer Jonathan Brown: 622-3151 or firstname.lastname@example.org