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February 13, 2024

MaineDOT losing out on qualified job candidates due to pay gap


MSEA-SEIU Member and MaineDOT transportation worker Joe Sears’ testimony in support of LD 2121, An Act to Address Chronic Understaffing of State Government Positions, sponsored by Representative Drew Gattine:

February 7, 2024

Good afternoon, Senator Nangle, Representative Stover, members of the Committee on State and Local Government. I am Joe Sears from Penobscot County. I am here on my own time to speak in support of LD 2121.

I work as a Transportation Worker with MaineDOT. My department as a whole has many vacancies and because of the pay gap it is not attracting qualified candidates or retaining the knowledgeable staff who train them. This makes our hard work that much more challenging and it is a problem that can be resolved with the help of you and the rest of the Legislature.

To reference my own personal struggle. One half of one month’s wages is dedicated solely to my reliable commute to work. A ratio that does not leave extra for things like a hearty lunch on an extra-long work day. Nor a pair of rubber boots when working in water all day, a new pair of glasses to match the prescription I got last summer.

We need more staff. Please support LD 2121 because state workers are depending on it, and Maine is depending on us.

Thank you.

Joe Sears


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