It's time to move on... this thread has served it's purpose and is no longer needed.
Well I sure hope that those in the Union begin to see what their Union leaders are really made of. Maybe people will begin to smarten up and look elsewhere for reprsentation. Shameful, just shameful I.M.H.O.
What many have known for years! The once proud association is now one of idiots power hungary
political pawns of dems. only interested in furthering SEIU interests.
Gee this appears to have gone on during Unionmans' Presidenency!!!!
I am sure he would love to explain this , it must be Mark Ts' fault!
Good point, Bruce. Perhaps unionman was involved in some manner...what a terrible thing to do right before the Christmas holiday. I might not agree with a lot of what MSEA has done over the past five years, but this really takes the cake.
The change in "attitude" - for lack of a better term - at SEIU 1989 started with the hiring of Phil Merrill as Executive Director shortly after the affiliation with SEIU. There was a an ongoing purge of most of the pre-affiliation staff - particularly at the upper levels of management. The organization has continued to deteriorate ever since. Sullivan's "fairness" would tend to clash with the current culture. SEIU 1989 is now just another wing of the liberal democrat party.
Hey unionman, what happened here? I've heard nothing but good things about these two former employees of your union.
Hold on. I'll be right back. I need to make another bag of microwave popcorn. This is going to be good.
Hey Roger, this article and photograph ads another interesting and political twist...how's that popcorn? :-)
“Introducing SEIU's Member Lobbyists”
Do you see the Mainer in this picture?
And the proof that something is really wrong with MSEA: they didn't give Deb Roy or Owen Sullivan a going away party, but they gave one to Pat Reardon.
The same Pat Reardon MSEA Management said they were trying to fire.
The same Pat Reardon whose cases they assigned to Sullivan because they didn't trust Reardon with them.
And the rest of the MSEA staff isn't stupid.
They know which way the wind blows at MSEA.
If you work hard and accomplish for members - you risk getting fired.
If you don't work hard and accomplish for members - you get job security and a going away party with tributes all around.
Political Scientists call this a manifestation of cooption and capture for which cooperation and collaboration are merely political euphemisms.
That is, MSEA has been co-opted by the Democratic Party of Maine and so have had their adversarial capacity captured or neutralized.
News Flash: that's why Sullivan was ordered twice by MSEA Management not to tell Members about their right to also file complaints with the Maine Human Rights Commission even though it is expressly permitted in all the non-discrimination clauses of MSEA's collective bargaining agreements (just read the last sentence of that section in any of the Maine Executive Branch cba's).
According to MSEA Management that: "…detracted from the Union as a remedy for members' work place problems."
Now who does that really benefit?
In short, MSEA is no longer a threat to the Baldacci Administration all so Tim Belcher and various Board Members can be on a first name basis with the Governor. And if you don't think so, then what pray tell have MSEA members gotten in return from Baldacci besides layoffs, hard bargaining and the usual bad State managers violating their rights and collective bargaining agreements?
In my humble opinion, MSEA members have been sold out for political crumbs while the State Government eats their economic lunch.
And maybe that’s a good thing for the tax payers, but it begs the question: what’s the point of this union for the members?
As an MSEA member, If this is true, I have serious concerns of competent representation. For years I have been wondering why the union is allowing certain things to happen. If all of this is true, now i know why.
First and foremost welcome biddefordsteve,from your post I assume you are a fellow "pig at the trough" as a state employee! After search engine is back you can research the various themes you will be subjected to here,but for the most part ,all in good fun!
Secondly, bsteve, vote to get rid of that incinerator downtown because it has blinded you to
MSEA and what they are doing!
On a more serious note they want you to only wonder, not ask and not act!
Once again welcome and enjoy!
Steve, I suggest you run this chronology past other MSEA members, Stewards and Field Reps you know and trust to verify it for yourself.
Also note that MSEA isn't the first labor union to be taken in by management and it won't be the last.
Cooption by managment is always a real danger for any union which is why members always need to be on their guard against it.
And when they see verifiable evidence of this they must rally to take back and reform their union for themselves.
Otherwise they'll get sold out in a blaze of euphemism and excuse making.
In fact, I once heard Rod Hiltz, MSEA's Field Services Supervisor, say: "MSEA has a highly evolved relationship with the State and so the traditional adversarial model of labor versus management isn't really applicable." And this is who MSEA currently has leading their Executive Branch contract bargaining and negotiations with the State. Now watch how this "highly evolved relationship" translates into State Government demanded and gotten contract concessions from State workers who are MSEA members.
Sure times are hard and we'll all be lucky to just have a job, but why does MSEA have to add insult to injury giving the members hard earned money to politicians like Baldacci or any other Republicrat who will like clock work say one thing to them during the election season to get their campaign contributions and volunteers only to turn around and screw them with layoffs, bad contracts and unnecessarily delayed grievance procedures.
Far better in my humble opinion for a public sector labor union to stay politically neutral, keep their money and their time, and to always take an adversarial approach in negotiations and grievances all the time no matter who is Governor, be he/she Democrat or Republican or what ever.
Baldacci dictionary: Definition of union cooption:
"an act of giving fairdhare inleiu of a no raise contract to large labor union"!
same as an act of molestaion!
I have always had serious concerns of MSEA. I have no doubt misdeeds are happening. Mr. Reardon was our field rep for a time and when he was pulled away, it was no love lost. My opinions of the union for a time changed when we had Ernie Canelli as a rep and then for some reason MSEA pulled him away from our chapter. Now we have C.J. Unknown what he will be like as yet.
I generally watch union threads from the sidelines - unless unionman says something especially ridiculous - but I gotta chime in here for one reason: "Sonny Laymatina" has to be one of the most clever AMG handles yet!
Hey Steve, From what I am seeing of C.J. he doesn't move very fast. Owen says he's Good, but having had Owen in my corner, C.J. can't hold a candle to Owen. maybe that's why he still has a job there.
The title for this thread is a great question for both the people they “represent” and our Maine taxpayers, “What’s wrong with MSEA?” In light of what has happened with the above-referenced Owen Sullivan and Deb Roy, this union/PAC deserves to be investigated before more good people are affected by this cancer-like fiasco which involves a significant amount of our tax dollars.
Let’s see if I can pull together a brief summary, because it's time for some major radiation treatment!
Mark, if you are putting together a summary, suggest you make it a news summary so that you can send it to any and all Maine media for possible publication and distribution there.
And just for laughs, you should also send it to "The Maine Stater" which is MSEU's worthless little rag and dare them to publish it.
if they were smart, they'd invite you in as an op-ed guest columnist to show the membership that their open and transparent and can take constructive criticism.
Of course you know they won't, damn Stalinists that they are, but you can always hold it against them as other media publish it.
Does Mr. Sullivan have proof of all this from happening? As a concerned member I would like to have this if it is availabe. “This would be a great place to have a union.” wow, what a statement if true.
My understanding is what Mark posted was from Owen and his notes. Mark can really tell you for sure. Knowing Owne as I did, he's pretty sharp and is an attorney himself so this may really get interesting down the road.
Towncrier is correct, as my initial post (the timeline) was provided by Mr. Sullivan.
Biddleford Steve, for your information, Sullivan and various other MSEA non-management staff took pictures of Rodney Hiltz's marker board with their cell phones during the time period (June - December 2008) that Hiltz had written up on it: "This would be a great place to have a union." I suggest you quietly contact some of the non-managment staff (especially the Field Services Staff that were there then) that you know and trust at MSEA and ask them about it and also ask them if they or anyone else they know there has a cell phone picture of it that they can show you. Then, you confront Rodney Hiltz about this to see if he will admit or deny it. Now don't get me wrong, I agree with Rod Hiltz that MSEA would be a great place to have a union because it certainly isn't one now given among other things its political co-option by the Democratic Party of Maine. My beef with Hiltz is that he doesn't have the courage of his convictions...so he is hardly leadership material.
If anyone could get the photo for me, shoot me a message on here please.
Here’s a summary of what I believe is wrong with MSEA:
1. When the local union/PAC (MSEA) joined the national union/PAC (SEIU), the organization’s focus shifted from helping our local workers with local issues to a much larger emphasis on national political activities and pet projects for the Democrats. Hence, SEIU became the puppet master over MSEA.
2. By joining with SEIU, all levels of the MSEA organization seem to have lost various elements of freedom they previously had while the national puppet masters have gained more power and wealth at the locals’ expense.
3. When an organization gets rid of honest and hard-working employees like Deb Roy and Owen Sullivan, it seems like they must have a poor/inexperienced management team. Does anyone know how much management experience their Executive Director (Tim Belcher) has?
4. The local and national puppet masters for MSEA and SEIU are wasting countless membership dues and fees for political and non-bargaining activities. The membership and taxpayers alike deserves to know the truth about how and where these monies are being spent.
5. Since the MSEA-SEIU Local 1989 has proven over the past four (4) years of that they have little/no detailed accountability for their massive expenses, the members and fee payers alike should demand a truly non-political procedural audit of those poor accounting practices. This political machine for Big Labor and the Democrats is rolling downhill and growing in both size and power, but at the expense of both our involved workers and all taxpayers alike.
6. If a worker does a careful read of their MSEA contract, s/he will recognize a poor contracting process with little/no accountability requirements. However, in light of the overly cozy relationship between MSEA-SEIU and our state’s democrat leaders, these poor contracts with no accountability by management might be part of this political machine. For example, the so-called “fair and impartial” arbitration process is nothing but a kangaroo court for anyone who attempts to challenge this union/PAC. To make matters worse, the state leaders (democrats) will do little/nothing to help their workers but will actually support their campaign partners at the union/PAC.
7. Many of the various union/PAC stewards and officers are wasting our taxpayer resources/dollars while they work on non-bargaining issues and pet political projects while “on state time.”
8. In light of the cozy relationship between the local union/PAC bosses at MSEA-SEIU Local 1989 and leadership within the Baldacci Administration, our Maine State Government seems to have a spineless management system/team that will not address the vast and daily array of wasteful and inappropriate activities. Hence; the honest and hard working state employees are forced to carry-the-load of others, while Maine tax dollars are being wasted on a regular basis.
9. Another bad trait of MSEA-SEIU Local 1989 is their ongoing push for Forced Unionism. Like many others, I believe people should have a right to organize and join a labor union if-they-desire. However, their push for more Forced Unionism illustrates their greedy lust for more money and more political power. It’s time for this schoolyard bully to get expelled for good!
BTW, if anyone would like to contact this union/PAC directly,
just visit http://www.mseaseiu.org/contact.html
Wow Mark! That was very well done. Your summary could easily be an outline for, say, a PBS Frontline documentary entitled "Potemkin Union". And I applaud your insight into Tim Belcher's lack of management experience, which manifests more ways than one at MSEA. When I was in the military, we had a saying for officers like Tim Belcher, we'd say: "They're staff, not line." Which meant maybe they'd be good at flying a desk as an Accountant, Dentist or Lawyer but they had no business trying to manage or command others because of their ineffective and incompetent leadership skills which often times was genetic. That is, it just wasn't in them, given their personality defects and deficiencies, to be able to generate the support and following of their subordinates. Seems to me then that the MSEA Board of Directors made the same mistake the General Motors Board of Directors made when they promoted their Chief Accountant Roger Smith to the General CEO position, and it's been down hill ever since for GMC, because what did Roger Smith know about making and selling cars? Likewise, what does Tim Belcher know about managing a union since as I understand it, Tim Belcher has only worked for many years at MSEA as their lawyer, first as their Assistant General Counsel then as their General Counsel where he actually got to supervise two others: his then Assistant General Counsel Roberta DeAraujo and his then legal secretary Deb Roy. Then in one fell swoop, he went from staff Lieutenant to line Brigadier General and the results have been as tragic as they have been predictable like a babe at the wheel. IMHO, the MSEA Board should have fired him when he sent those letters of apology (his admissions) to his arresting police officer and victim, because at that point his presumption of innocence ended. And that whole embarrassing affair of his aberrant behavior, sitting behind a delivery truck and willing it not to leave like a little kid holding his breath until he gets his way, stands as further evidence of his strange and dysfunctional personality. Only in a Potemkin Union like MSEA could a weirdo freak like Tim Belcher find a home as Executive Director.
Sonny Laymatina, welcome to the AMG forum!
But several state workers, including Maine State Employees Association Vice-President Ginette Rivard said they cannot afford to take what amounts to a $1,200 a year pay cut.
“Everyone here will tell you that the health insurance benefit is a significant part of their wage and benefit package,” she said. “It is a major reason employees stay with state government, especially when they are tempted by private sector salaries, which can be significantly higher than salaries paid by state government.”
State Workers Object to Insurance Hike Bill
Thank you Naran! Good it is to be on board. And thank you Henry Clay for relaying this news blurb from MSEA VP Ginette Rivard who may not realize she is in a Potemkin Union or worse she just doesn’t want the membership to realize it hence her occasional media moan as eyewash for the State workers. And I suspect the latter given her recent appointment by Governor Baldacci on the Workers Compensation Commission that also has MSEA Field Services Supervisor Rodney Hiltz as a member. Nice work if you can get it, which begs the question: how do you get it? I mean: what does one have to do for the Governor to get these coveted State appointments. What’s the trade off? Are you all starting to see how political co-option can and does work? So you can bet their real job at MSEA will be to sell the MSEA membership on what little if anything the Governor will offer them in the executive branch bargaining negotiations headed by (ahem) Rodney Hiltz on behalf of MSEA. Yeah, that’s the ticket. And probably it’s a good deal for taxpayers but why oh why do MSEA members have to give these double-dealing politicians their money and support too? Talk about being had, took and bamboozled.
What the gov. will give is nothing. The negoitating team has already been told there is no money on table!! Nor should there be any period!
That shouldn't stop the MSEA negotiating team, in a non-Potemkin world anyway, from bargaining for better contact language to get (for instance) a shorter and more expedited grievance procedure. Remember, real world labor negotiations aren't just about money, they're also about hours and working conditions, or they're supposed to be anyway. I myself would be happy in these times with a contract extension but with say a shorter double-default grievance procedure rather than the present longer single-default grievance procedure that is in place now that drives MSEA members nuts and or to apathy.
Oh Sonny you are such a heretic!!!!!!!
Rest assured "unionman" will report your revolutionary
subversive talk to headquarters, known to a few here as the
Baldacci Bada Bing club!
( where are the smileys)????