April 25, 2023
Executive Branch bargaining — Union team finalizing proposals, seeking personal stories on pay gap
Members Mark Brunton, Dave Projansky and Kevin Russell talk with Senator Craig Hickman, second from left, in support of ending the state employee pay gap March 30.
Members of our State of Maine Executive Branch Negotiations Team are finalizing their bargaining proposals and discussing the next steps in the contract campaign.
While management hasn’t yet agreed to any of the team’s bargaining dates, the team is determined to make sure that when they do meet with management, that management hears the realities that state workers face every day and night in delivering quality public services to all Maine people. As our Negotiations Team awaits bargaining at the table and prepares for discussions on the upcoming supplemental budget, they need to hear from you. Tell our Negotiations Team your story about how the state employee pay gap impacts you, your family and services in your department. Tell them your examples highlighting the pay gap, its consequences and the difference between what the State is paying and what other employers are paying for comparable work.
Use this MSEA form to tell us your story. The stories we collect will help us advocate at the bargaining table and in the Legislature in support of each other and quality services.
As you think about your own story, take a look at (and share!) our recent video in support of recruiting and retaining staff, rebuilding our communities and closing the pay gap after a decade of cuts.
If you or your co-workers haven’t yet done so, set up a worksite meeting for updates and a worksite discussion about our contract campaign. Join our ABC Team (the Action, Bargaining and Communication Team) to help amplify our voices and demands. Contact Greg White at Greg (dot) White@mseaseiu.org.
Board complaint over State’s refusal to bargain
Last year, the chief negotiator for the Executive Branch, BHR Director Breena Bissell, approached MSEA and proposed conducting bargaining remotely and during non-work hours, in effort to minimize the amount of leave time necessary. MSEA agreed and members voted on a 25-person bargaining team. However, the State is now refusing to bargain unless MSEA’s team is cut in half, and the State has canceled multiple bargaining sessions.
On March 3, 2023, MSEA filed a prohibited practice complaint to the Maine Labor Relations Board, alleging that the State’s refusal to bargain is a violation of labor law. The State filed a preliminary motion to dismiss the complaint. In an April 17 ruling, the Board rejected the State’s motion and ruled that the complaint was sufficient to go to hearing.