My MSEA Union Steward called me today to say that while MSEA Managment and their loyalist die-hards are steering clear of this discussion here, a lot of MSEA Members are nonetheless reading and learning from it. When I asked her how she knew that she said a lot of the members she works with and for talk about what they have read here and repeat a lot of the points and questions that have been batted back and forth on this posting. In fact, she told me some Members are even going further asking insightful questions of their own such as:
"What has Tim Belcher really accomplished for the $100,000 a year plus we're paying him?";
"Besides him taking credit for other peoples' work, what significant thing(s) has he done himself for MSEA besides putting himself and MSEA into more legal and political hotwater?";
"What ever happened to Belcher's criminal charges that he said he and his lawyer were going to beat in trial?"
"Why hasn't the MSEA Board of Directors fired him for putting our union into such public disrepute?"
"Why hasn't Belcher also apologized to the MSEA Membership and Staff for his stupid and criminal behavior?"
"What other public humiliations are in store for MSEA with Belcher, DeAraujo & Hiltz at the wheel?"
"Why are there two different MSEA Staff positions: Executive Director and Field Services Supervisor?";
"Isn't Rod Hiltz just an over paid messenger boy and pin cushion for Tim Belcher?";
"Why can't these two positions be merged into one and then held by someone who knows what their doing?";
"Don't Rod Hiltz and Ginette Rivard have a political conflict of interest with MSEA given their political appointments by this Governor?"
"Given Rod Hiltz's close political association and public support for this Governor, should he really be MSEA's point man in the Executive Branch bargaining?"
"In what other union anywhere does the General Counsel, an advisory staff role, also have co-managment line authority over Field Staff as DeAraujo does?
"Is that because Belcher doesn't trust delegating full responsibility and authority to Hiltz for Field Services?"
"If so then why did Belcher hire him?"
"And is that a good idea to permit the General Counsel to in effect determine her own caseload?"
"And might not that be one of the reasons why MSEA has been litigating and arbitrating a lot less for the members?"
and my favorite: "Are we really better off now than when Belcher started work as MSEA's Executive Director?"
Careful--AMG may be accused of union busting if this gets really ugly...there is nothing like an unfiltered debate/discussion to educate open minds.
Union busting? The only people who would ink spray such a false allegation would be MSEA Managment to cover their tracks and divert MSEA members' attention. Besides, you can't bust an already broken and co-opted union...only re-build and re-structure it. After all, when the team keeps losing - you fire the entire coaching staff.
The only people who would ink spray such a false allegation would be MSEA Managment to cover their tracks and divert MSEA members' attention.
As we consider what’s wrong with MSEA-SEIU Local 1989, I wonder if it’s fair to believe that stories like
this and perhaps this one too are somehow related to some very healthy compensation packages for the union/PAC bosses?
For example, here is a partial list of the 2008 total compensation packages for MSEA-SEIU Local 1989:
$96,782 = Timothy Belcher as Executive Director
$89,144 = Mary Anne Turowski as Political Director
$82,617 = Steven J Butterfield as Director, Information Ser
$25,487 = Steven J Butterfield II as Field Representative
(He’s now a State Legislator who sits on the Labor Committee)
$80,920 = Michael Sylvester as Director, Organizing
$79,507 = Rodney Hiltz as Director, Field Services
$77,577 = Roberta de Araujo as Legal Counsel
$74,489 = C. Patrick Reardon as Field Representative
$70,747 = Frank E Porter III as Field Representative
$67,257 = Elizabeeth M Cousins as Director, Finance & Admin
$61,162 = Thomas Farkas as Communications
$66,578 = Chester G Hillier as Reclass Representative
$65,377 = Pamela Morin as Field Representative
$60,730 = Stephanie von Glinsky as Field Representative
$58,494 = Nicholas Galipeau as Organizer
$56,468 = Aymie E Walshe as Organizer
$51,907 = Ernest Canelli III as Field Representative
$50,790 = Diane Goodall-Sharpe as Administrative Assistant
$52,987 = Maygan Hardison as Organizer
Since our honest and hard-working State Employees must now take a Cut-In-Pay, shouldn’t these union/PAC “officials” also take at least the same type of cut?
M.T. says: Since our honest and hard-working State Employees must now take a Cut-In-Pay, shouldn’t these union/PAC “officials” also take at least the same type of cut?
I am willing to bet that Belcher attempts to screw the Staff Organization of MSEA (aka SOMSEA) in their upcoming contract negotiations because he and Hiltz didn't get anywhere with the State in the Executive Branch negotiations due to cooption and mismanagment which of course is no fault of MSEA non-managment staff. However, the MSEA non-management staff should go out on strike (since they're not a public sector union) just to teach MSEA Managment a lesson on how adversarial bargaining works.
No doubt the usual MSEA loyalists think all the above questions are merely rhetorical. So I'll make it easy for Unionman and Narsbars (and anyone else for that matter) - I dare you to just try and answer this: Are MSEA members really better off now than before Tim Belcher started work as MSEA's Executive Director and if so how so?
This is not a trick question. However, your failure to answer it will be construed in the negative much like Soviet Appratchiks who stopped clapping first in Politburo meetings.
What are there about 17,000 or so State workers who are MSEA members?
And NOT ONE is willing to step forward here, even anonymously, to defend MSEA Managment.
Nuff said really.
The only thing that could be worse is MSEA members permitting this clown act to continue on our dimes.
Although most people already know this union/PAC seems to have a deep hatred for the Republican party, their current website (www.mseaseiu.org) is full of updates/articles with nasty shots at Republicans.
As for the big question, "What's wrong with MSEA?" --> A Lot!
I'm hearing that the idea of "increasing" the paycheck by moving to fairshare may be gaining some steam. I think just a temporary move of this nature would have an immediate effect.
Oh by the way, for those individuals considering retiring in the near future. There is a retiree orgainization - Maine Association of Retiress (MAR) - that provides the same benefits that SEIU 1989 can offer for 1/4 of the annual fee. Just another way to exhibit displeasure (and save money) with SEIU 1989.
Think about just how foolish it is for MSEA to take pot shots at Republicans.
After all, aren't many of MSEA's own members Republicans?
So just out of principle, all MSEA members who are Republicans should switch to Fair Share and this other Retirement group. Time to teach the MSEA Managment dogs a little behavior modification.
Finally a response (albeit private) from an MSEA loyalist, here is a bit of our to and fro:
Subject: RE: "As Maine Goes" - "Public Forum" - "What's Wrong with MSEA?"
To: "Sonny Laymatina"
Date: Monday, May 18, 2009, 7:39 AM
What’s wrong with MSEA is organized by Mark Turek, a long time foe of MSEA. He has no credibility and is not objective in his reasoning. As far as I know, he was never a member. I do not trust his analysis, because he not objective. Obama Bin Laden is very intelligent person, but I would not trust his analysis of foreign affairs. Do you know what was in the UPS truck? The package was delivered damaged. The Belcher’s complained. To punish them the driver was going to take the package back, but apparently the item was something that was something that was critically needed. So what if Belcher sat behind the truck. In the 1970s, sit ins were common. It was a type of protest. That’s all.
From: Sonny Laymatina [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, May 18, 2009 12:32 PM
To: Madam, MSEA
Subject: RE: "As Maine Goes" - "Public Forum" - "What's Wrong with MSEA?"
Sure Mark Turek may be a long-time foe of MSEA Management but that doesn't necessarily make him wrong or evil or even anti-MSEA. After all, it wasn't Mark Turek who unlawfully fired Deb Roy or Owen Sullivan. And it wasn't Mark Turek who perpetrated that fraud upon unsuspecting employers. And it wasn't Mark Turek who allowed MSEA to be politically co-opted by the Democratic Party or to be shamefully affiliated with Andrew Stern's anti-union SEIU. And it's not Mark Turek who is currently being investigated by state & federal agencies.
Remember what Jesus said: "By their deeds yee shall know them."
And whether (Mark Turek) was a member or not, MSEA is legally bound by law to represent all workers in a bargaining unit as apparently MSEA did and according to M.T. they did a poor job - shocker that.
That said though, you shouldn't trust anyone's political analysis because no one is really objective in that department. As the Indian (dot not feather) parable goes: we are all like seven blind men feeling different parts of an elephant trying to figure it out - the elephant being symbolic of the reality around us and blindness represents all of our inherent subjective limitations in doing so.
Therefore, you should get as many different view points as you can (even disagreeable ones) and so for instance at least know (because trust is unnecessary) Osama Bin-Laden's analysis of foreign affairs just like the CIA and State Department do all in an effort to know your enemy.
Now I don't know what was in that UPS truck, but I do know what's on the outside of it: an 800 telephone number for all to see and call if you have a complaint about their delivery service. And according to the newspaper accounts (which the Belchers didn't dispute) the allegedly damaged package was an Acceptance Letter from a college their son had applied to which they refused to accept from the Deliveryman so he returned it to the truck per his company's protocol. Tim Belcher then (and this is according to Tim Belcher) sat behind the truck (not because of the damaged letter) but because the driver "...was rude to my wife."
Hardly a reason for public demonstration like a 1970'a sit-in, hence his arrest and his later apologies to the driver and police officer - no doubt in an effort to throw himself on the mercy of the court to get a non-trial disposition of his criminal charges (which he publicly bragged he would beat in trial). Sorry Madam, but Belcher was no political altruist looking to make society a better place by his personal childish actions which not only made him look weird and foolish but held MSEA in public disrepute (grounds for firing in all other labor unions in this country).
To minimize this as you do ("It was a type of protest. That's all.") misses seeing his aberrant behavior and poor judgment for what it is - a manifestation of an irrational mind and dysfunctional personality that is having all sorts of negative ramifications for MSEA.
How else do you explain, among other things, his firing and scapgoating of Deb Roy (his secretary of 16 years) and Owen Sullivan (who went to bat for her in her successful grievance)?
So beware misplaced loyalty.
Subject: RE: "As Maine Goes" - "Public Forum" - "What's Wrong with MSEA?"
To: "Sonny Laymatina"
Date: Monday, May 18, 2009, 1:42 PM
I also believe it is valuable to know the other side. And I will keep your comments in mind.
If any of this is true, members in my opinion have a right to know what's going on behind the scenes and if true should request changes in a respectful manner. I asked MSEA if any of it is true because I wanted to know MSEA's side. The truth is, to date, I never received an answer. If anything, I should receive a response stating confidentiality. As a dues paying member, I think i deserve this.
A couple of things here: first, you don't have to request change in a respectful manner - you can and should demand it because you're a dues paying member in what is supposed to be a functioning labor union democracy. And while yes indeed they (MSEA management staff) should answer your questions honestly, they won't because they have no integrity. The matters regarding Deb Roy and Owen Sullivan in and of themselves should have made that abundantly clear to you by now. So stop expecting them to come clean. It's like expecting an armless kid to catch and throw a ball with you. It just ain't going to happen. Instead, you and other like minded MSEA members are just going to have to clean house yourselves or hold your noses and put up with the stink.
I'm asking and will get an answer. As a member I have a right to know the Unions take on these statements and accusations. I just want to know what their view on all of this............
As an aside isn't it interesting that Mark T. is such a none memeber etc. etc. but still spoken about my MSEA members , me thinks he did alot of good!
Here's a great article about SEIU that was published in the WSJ earlier this week:
SEIU Campaign Spending Pays Political Dividends
"Record spending by the Service Employees International Union to help elect President Barack Obama has paid political dividends but extracted a financial toll.
Officials say the fast-growing union spent $85 million during the campaign season last year, and that it was well worth it: The Obama administration has appointed union officials to top posts and is backing legislation to make it easier for workers to organize.
"SEIU is on the field, it's in the White House, it's in the administration," SEIU President Andy Stern said in a video to members to mark the Obama administration's first 100 days."
You're correct - you have a right to know MSEA Management's take on these statements and accusations. And if you scroll up a bit on this thread you can read what MSEA Madam no doubt relayed from MSEA Management - which as you can also see is easily contested.
It's bad enough that the Wall Street Journal thinks labor unions like SEIU are all powerful, but even worse to see SEIU believe it.
Check out this website’s blog on Tim Belcher's crime & his union’s fraud. Yikes!
I finally have a time and date for my arbitration which has been going on for over a year and a half from the beginning of Step 1 to the actual Arbitration! And along that time line the STATE has failed to answer the Union within the time limits and when the Union was pushed by me to go to the next step and/or arbitration, they refused to do it and allowed the STATE to continue as if nothing went wrong. Now I ask anybody out there, Union Member or not, what would had happen if I had failed to me the time limit, just once? Yeah you got it I would have lost my standing.
Well I have the date and time and hope this will all come out in front of the Arbitrator from my Union Rep. If not then I guess I'll have to do it myself as usual and go from there.
I am surprized that noone picked up on email@example.com !!
That was written on my nickel and yours! On a state computer! ON DUTY!
Good luck with your Arbitration. Just note that since MSEA is a public-sector labor union versus the State of Maine, it doesn't have the right to strike, and so as in any power-powerless relationship it is the benefitiary of weak contract bargaining language such as this single-default grievance procedure (i.e. one party late loses, other party late never loses) you rightfully complain about here. Compare MSEA's single-default grievance procedure with the State of Maine's Civil & Criminal Court double-default procedure (i.e. if either party is late - they lose). That's why it is imperative for MSEA (or any public-sector labor union) to really push their grievances along in a timely fashion to Arbitration...otherwise (rhetorically speaking) what's the point? Moreover, this MSEA Managment sponsored State delay just creates an unnecessary and unwieldy backlogue for Field Reps that angers and frustates dues paying members like yourself. And I fear the only way we're all going to motivate MSEA Managment is by mass conversion to fair share unless or until things get better per our demands for internal change and reform.
She could have been on lunch or break and so allowed to do union business (i.e. defend the union). And remember, since MSEA has been coopted by the Democratic Party of Maine - union business is state business. LOL!
An MSEA member sent a copy of Owen Sullivan’s Chronology to MSEA President Bruce Hodsdon with questions as to its veracity and got the following reply:
“I am not sure what questions you are referring to. As far as ‘As Maine Goes’, blogs are a vehicle in which many false accusations and lies can be made with no accountability for those who make them. Basically anyone can write anything. I can assure you that MSEA has always acted in a fair and responsible manner and in the best interests of the dues paying members.” ---Bruce Hodsdon, MSEA President.
Assuming Bruce Hodsdon wrote this (and I have no reason to believe he didn’t), it’s important to always remember that he is an elected politician himself and in service to the Governor who pays his salary. And note, like a double-talking politician, he didn’t answer the Member’s question BUT NOR DID HE DENY the truth of Sullivan's Chronology. Instead he simply avoided it by referring to the fact that there are many false accusations and lies on the “As Maine Goes” blog, but without telling the Member what those lies and false accusations were.
And nor did he tell the Member what was untrue about Sullivan’s Chronology. And while it is true that anyone can write anything...the question remains – is this Chronology true or false according to MSEA Management? So how can Bruce Hodsdon not be sure what questions the Member was referring to? Finally note that his last line about MSEA always acting in a fair and responsible manner, well that’s just pure pabulum. Just reference what MSEA Management did to Deb Roy and Owen Sullivan (and the fact that Bruce Hodsdon himself went along with this) and ask how that was in the best interests of the dues paying members in light of the current Federal and State investigations that are pending against MSEA?
Don’t get me wrong, Bruce Hodsdon is by all appearances a nice guy...perhaps even too nice...and so easily dominated and intimidated by others who he thinks are smarter and more credentialed than him (i.e. Belcher, DeAraujo, Baldacci & Stern). He is kind of like a juvenile King being led by Regents and so not inclined to question their "wisdom" or challenge their decisions. Therefore, he is highly unlikely to ever admit the truth of Sullivan's Chronology.
I would also remind Mr. Hodson that I, and several other AMGers, make it a point to block or correct any false accusations and lies. I can't say we bat a thousand, but I can we say the caliber of AMG posters is the best. This is not a forum where liars and false accusers are invited or welcome.
Scott K Fish
Ohhh! Mr. Hobson what is that line about "protests to much"?
Also, I remember that the MSEA people at my work place were very assertive in their view
of how their new President was going to do differently from the presidency of the
I will agee that in my experience particularly with affiliated unions Presidents are more eye wash for the sheeple opposd to the paid hacks at the club!
While I have some legitimate concerns of what Owen Sullivan posted, until we have proof, Mr. Hodsdon is correct. and until I see the emails, photo's and more its still up in the air for the most part. I would like to have the photo, emails and more. Why not post all of it here to back the claims up?
And, to give Bruce Hodsdon credit, at least he replied to me. The other emails sent were not answered.
While I have some legitimate concerns of what Owen Sullivan posted, until we have proof, Mr. Hodsdon is correct.
You do have proof. Everything Sullivan posted is independently verifiable. Just go and talk confidentially to any of the MSEA non-management staff you know and trust. Moreover, you have Hodsdon’s refusal to deny what was said and his refusal to point out what was untrue.
and until I see the emails, photo's and more its still up in the air for the most part. I would like to have the photo, emails and more. Why not post all of it here to back the claims up?
That’s already been explained to you, but check out DeAraujo’s email at:
And, to give Bruce Hodsdon credit, at least he replied to me.
True, but like a politician he avoided your question and dishonestly so.
The other emails sent were not answered.
That should have been your first clue.