Bargaining News

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January 30, 2024

Statement by MSEA-SEIU President Mark Brunton on Governor Mills’ State of the State remarks released this morning


“The Governor’s address this morning rightly named many of the critical issues facing the people of Maine. In light of these challenges, it’s disappointing to see the administration’s plan to squirrel away $100 million in General Fund revenues, especially given that Maine’s rainy-day fund is already maxed out at nearly $1 billion. Governor Mills presented some good ideas to strengthen child and family services in Maine. Yet understaffing is rampant throughout all departments of Maine State Government. With nearly one in six positions vacant – that’s over 2,100 vacant jobs – the State is struggling to hire frontline workers. This is due in large part to the state employee pay gap; the compensation and classification study conducted in 2020 but still not yet acted upon shows that state workers have been underpaid by 15%, on average, compared to their public and private sector counterparts throughout Maine and New England. Child Development Services also has a critical staffing shortage; it’s part of a much larger crisis affecting Maine children across the state. We encourage the Governor to work with legislators to seriously address the problems in state government. We hope to hear the administration’s plan to address the understaffing challenges and implement the compensation and classification study as required by statute and by contract. We also hope legislators will strengthen the Governor’s Supplemental Budget proposal by investing revenue in the services that children, and all of the people of Maine, rely upon.”

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The Maine Service Employees Association, Local 1989 of the Service Employees International Union, represents over 13,000 Maine workers and retired workers, including workers in the Executive Branch of Maine State Government.


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