Bruce Libby - thanks for that heads up on income protection insurance and your point on SOLIDARITY. And while I agree with you that Maine State Government has done little to deter the unionization of the work force, isn't that because MSEA-SEIU is a paper tiger easily controlled like a managment union by political cooptation? Imagine for a moment if MSEA was like a real adversarial labor union always challenging the State on behalf of its members both legally and politically all of the time. I know that's a fantasy but no way the State or any employer would encourage its employees to join that kind of union. That's why MSEA's Field Services Director Rod Hiltz wrote on his office marker board (for several months in 2008) that "This would be a great place to have a union." Because he at least recognized then that MSEA wasn't a real labor union but some where along the line, cowardly blowhard that he is, he gave up the ghost on trying to make MSEA a real union. Proof again that meaningful change in any organization only comes from below and not from the top and certainly not from goofball middle managers like Hiltz.
Amazingly it is not just the Baldacci Administration that will not offer income protection for employees to purchase. I remember when McKernan was in the "dome" there was an effort pushed to get another carrier so that employees could purchase the insurance at a group rate and not have to belong to the union. In fact some talked to insurance compaines and were told they would love to get involved but the state said NO it was a Union benefit and they were not going to go there and were strong armed to stay out of it.
Franco, how fair is that? It wouldn't cost the state a thing to have a great benefit like that, and I know it would be appreciate by a lot of state workers. IMO, they deserve to have that as a general benefit option. If only the administration would become willing to get out of bed with that PAC/union... perhaps our next governor will find his/her own bed for a change?
That reasoning is now dead since fairshare confiscation of money against employee will is now law!
True, but fair share is a double-edge sword that can swing both ways if enough of the current full-dues paying members convert to it thus putting MSEA-SEIU Managment in the position of having to woo us back into the fold with meaningful changes and reforms such as disaffiliation with SEIU, partisan neutrality and a traditional labor-managment relations adversarial service model on behalf of the membership which of course would mean kicking the current crop of the State's counter-insurgents at MSEA to the curb.
If by any chance that a (R) got the Blaine House next year,I know , I am really stretching it,the
smartest thing that person could do is what was talked about years ago,provide a state sponsered
employee contribution disability insurance. This would force unions to change! Or leave all together!
Of course one has to remember on the states side is the fact that we cannot strike as public employees. Which leaves state in an advantages position.
If by any chance that a (R) got the Blaine House next year,I know , I am really stretching it,the smartest thing that person could do is what was talked about years ago,provide a state sponsered employee contribution disability insurance. This would force unions to change! Or leave all together! (i.e. SEIU)!
Of course one has to remember on the states side is the fact that we cannot strike as public employees. Which leaves state in an advantages position.
All the more reason why a public-sector labor union like MSEA-SEIU shouldn’t be so quick to give up the few adversarial arrows in its quiver it has such as speedy grievances and arbitrations, prohibititive practice complaints at the State LRB and the NLRB, federal law suits and injuctions, etc. None of which MSEA-SEIU does much of given their political cooption by the Democratic Party of Maine. In fact, I was talking to an MSEA Field Rep the other day and he/she told me that MSEA Managment (Belcher, DeAraujo & Hiltz) frown on too many Demands for Arbitration being filed by Reps and so they have in place this internal "review" process prior to even getting to MSEA's Grievance Committee that's really all about making the Reps jump through unnecessary hoops to get a grievance to Arbitration. One Rep who has been there several years has never even been to Arbitration no doubt aware of what happens to Reps who are aggressive and litigeous on behalf of members.
I RECEIVED THIS EMAIL FROM MY STEWARD THE OTHER DAY. NOW SEE IF YOU CAN FOLLOW THE BELCHER BALL OF INCONSISTENCY HERE THAT I HIGHLIGHTED FOR YOU BECAUSE IT LOOKS LIKE SOME PEOPLE HAVE HAD ENOUGH:
At the steward training, well let me back up. The day before the appropriations committee all of a sudden decided, “ok, we’ll give you your unpaid shut down days instead of 5% across the board and oh btw, we are also going to freeze your merit increases AND those of you who have been long-time faithful employees, we’re going to give you an extra kick in the ass and take away your longevity pay and oh, btw we are also going to make all of you pay for part of your health insurance, we won’t bother to make people pay anymore for the added benefit many of you get when we pay 60% of your dependant coverage or 100% of dependant coverage if both parents work for the state, no we’re going to screw all of you so that you have to continue to pay for other people’s kids even though you don’t have kids that put any extra burden on the state insurance coverage or the school system and all the other things taxpayers with no kids pay for.”
Anyway, so the day before they did that I called over to MSEA headquarters to find out what they’re fighting for. They offered to put me through to Tim Belcher’s cell phone, I told them not to bother I didn’t really want to talk to him, but they did put me through to one of the Staff persons.
I asked him/her what they were over there fighting for and he/she said that they were trying to make sure that they did it fairly by taking the 5% from everyone and to get the health insurance over to negotiations so that the health commission could make the decision on that.
When I came down off the ceiling I asked him/her why they would do that when they have clearly said they won’t and why not put something on the table?
I told him/her that many state employees had approached me and said they would rather have the day off without pay instead of 5% cut. I also told him/her that this would save on gas to drive to work and that anyone who had a part-time job or business could work there on the unpaid day off instead of making us work the same amount of hours for less pay.
He/she said the 5% was more fair because then even essential employees would have to do it too. I told him/her that in 93 when they shut the state down and locked state workers out and then gave us 17 furlough days, the essential employees (I was one of them at the time) had to schedule 23 days off without pay to make up for the days that the other state workers were locked out.
And then I ragged at him/her about why aren’t they cutting dependant care amounts instead of penalizing the people who actually work for that benefit, why do we have to continue to pay for other people’s kids!
So anyway, he/she got an earful and said he/she would pass the information on to Tim Belcher.
So at the steward training Tim Belcher got up there and said how MSEA was over there fighting for the shutdown days instead of the 5% cut and “under the cover of darkness” the appropriations committee passed all of this stuff without negotiating with them.
My question is; where was Tim Belcher and Mary Ann Turowski when all this happened? Did they leave at 5PM and call it a day?
And that’s not what you told me you were fighting for.
Belcher also claims that he himself will take whatever cuts state employees have to take. Big whoop!
When I called over to MSEA headquarters this morning the phone rang a long time before anyone answered it and when I called back around 11, I got the machine. Apparently their phone is ringing off the hook!
I hope members are calling for Tim Belchers head!
ME TOO! AND ONCE THEY'RE DONE WITH MOE, THEY SHOULD GET RID OF CURLEY AND LARRY TOO.
Amazing, isn't it. The hits just keep on coming. recently I talked to a steward and asked why is it that you con be promoted to director positions with a GED or high school diploma yet someone who applies to work lower entry level jobs with degree's "are not qulaified. I didn't really get an answer on this, all i got was a blank stare. So if you a pet, and kiss A$$ you will do just fine yet if you actually do your job and want to be trated fairly, an call people on the double standard, we are the trouble makers. At first I was upset at the way mngt was doing things but truly, the blame falls on MSEA on not acting on members concerns.
recently, when I was in up state NY, I talked to a field rep for the teamsters and discussed this issue of the disparity of why some are allowed to move up the ranks without the "qualifications and others are not even allowed to even get an interview. He was wondering why MSEA has not been looking into this more..
It is not an uncommon occurrence in any organization (governmental or non-governmental) anywhere.
It' s called politics.
Who gets what and why?
Who got on the Titantic life boats (mostly rich English) and who didn't (mostly poor Irish)?
It's the whole reason for the rise of Civil Service laws to promote meritocracy.
But just as people don't always obey speed limits, governments don't always obey Civil Service laws or even collective bargaining agreements.
And that's where a labor union, at least one that's worth anything, can come in and play a part - assuming it hasn't been coopted by Managment.
So that Teamster fellow you spoke to was right.
The peter principle is running rampant. and even thought members go to msea, as i have done repeatedly, nothing is done as of yet
At first glance I would say yes it would seem that the MSEA Management team of Shemp Hodsdon, Moe Belcher, Curley DeAraujo & Larry Hiltz has reached its level of incompetency but then on further analysis I realize they're not doing what they do for the members, they're doing it as coopted counter-insurgents for their real rulers - the Democratic Party of Maine and so the Baldacci Administration. It's like having KGB agents running the CIA. Therefore - in that twisted sense - they're highly competent. But you know if we all keep behaving like sheep then we deserve to get sheared.
You're right, it ultimately is the members fault for not demanding our union to work for the best interest of us and not for special interest. Until more members demand this however, i see little HOPE OF CHANGE.
Chin up! All we need to do for now is convert to Fair Share status (and make more money for ourselves) to drive MSEA-SEIU's revenue down. And as more and more of us do that - MSEA will see the writing on the wall as they start withering on the vine financially and so be forced to change or die.
There is hope and I sincerely trust the hard working members won't give up...if you are able to demand an honest Procedural Audit of their past accounting practices, I guarantee you the sh!t will hit-the-fan in a number of ways. In fact, I believe the so-called "fair and impartial" challenge period is coming up, if it's not already here.
IMO, the honest members deserve better!
If audit's are done, I know a certain Quasi Governmental agency that should be audited as well. I'm sure if done, the Sh%t would hit the fan as well.
You must be right about the sh!t hitting the fan at MSEA given their silence.
A Stalinist silence before the membership storm.
More proof: where are all of MSEA-SEIU's defenders on this site?
Not here anyway.
They say nothing hoping this storm will pass.
Talk about having a mis-placed sense of Animal Farm loyalty to MSEA Managment.
Like all Animal Farm acolytes - these unthinking people are pathetic.
They are a cancer on our union who need to be cut out like the rest of the tumors.
After all, if they're not part of the solution, then they're part of the problem.
Sonny asked, "where are all of MSEA-SEIU's defenders on this site?"
I'd be willing to bet they're all having another glass of that infamous union kool-aid...
It should at least give them some liquid courage. LOL!
Talking with some employees today and they have already seen an increase in their checks from going to fair-share.
If you know any members that would like to challenge the MSEA's so-called "fee calculation process", which I know has been riddled with inflated numbers in past years, I would be more than happen to provide some tips on things they could look for...which might help save them some time.
Since the 2009 Hudson Notice should be coming out fairly soon, it might be helpful to see last year's version - [url=http://www.mseaseiu.org/forms/08-hudson.pdf]Click Here[/url].
P.S. By the way, please don't be intimidated by their fancy looking reports and letters. In the past they have had little/no detailed accountability to prove what was actually allowed as "chargeable" expenses. It's time for them to be held accountable!
JUST SO ALL UNDERSTAND, Mark took on the MSEA in trying to get their accounting out in the open back when he was a Stateworker and battling Fair Share. He may have lost that battle but the War is still going on and he can be a great Allie.
Franco-Republican said: Talking with some employees today and they have already seen an increase in their checks from going to fair-share.
The more we starve this politically coopted beast - the more likely we'll be able to get the political parasites and their counter-insurgent vipers off and out of our union.
After all, money (for us) talks and no money (for them) screams!
CHECK THIS ENTRY OUT OVER AT THE UNIONMAINE WEBSITE:
I have posted repeatedly in the “As Maine Goes” forum and every time I apply logic and intelligence to the discussion the posters there say O&(&$$$ )*&)&$$ and then they say that the Union is P*)(*%%$$ etc. When I ask a series of logical questions and invite them to discuss the issues they run away, calling names, and run out of intelligence and the ability to speak English.
There was recently a hearing on Fair Share and I don’t hear any crows of victory from Mr. Turek. I understand that even the arbitrator was becoming somewhat tired of hearing the same old arguments with no real proof. Mr. Turek seems to base all of his venom on the fact that the SEIU has someone in their employ that many years ago was convicted of a crime.
The real issue seems to be that Mr. Turek is not allowed to be the judge. He wants to punish the person forever, a punishment I reserve for child molesters. Well, there I go condemning child molesters. Yes, the SEIU has someone that was many years ago a different person, but they have proved with hard work and time that they have changed.
I refuse to give in to the Republican tricks. They want to make us afraid of everyone all the time.
We are proving ourselves better than the opposition every day and while I know I am not without flaws, the Union is not perfect, the Union is better than the “Only what I want counts!” crowd is looking for.
IS MSEA REALLY BETTER THAN OTHER UNIONS? IF SO - WHAT'S YOUR PROOF? AND SPEAKING OF REPUBLICAN TRICKS, WHAT DO YOU CALL MSEA-SEIU'S COOPTION BY THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF MAINE? NOW I PROMISE (AND I'M SURE MARK TUREK WILL TOO) NOT TO CALL YOU ANY NAMES WHILE INTELLIGENTLY DISCUSSING THESE ISSUES LOGICALLY AND IN ENGLISH.
Nice. A wonderful elevation of the debate. Mr. Turek seems to have become the Dick Cheney of Maine--no longer involved yet still the target of the union's attacks. I hope that thousands of union members are following this thread so that they can see the pathetic nature of their leadership. BTW, I have no dog in this fight.
I think more and more members are starting to see through all the MSEA Management b.s. For instance, I just got this email today from my Steward who responded to this MSEA email blast that was recently sent to all members:
“Those cuts were still allowable under Maine law because they coincided with the expiration of the current two-year contracts”
Are you kidding me! What a sham! AND now they want us to set up “tent village” like they did in the ‘90’s??!! for what, the budget is already signed!!! And obviously no matter what we negotiate it can still be all taken away with the stroke of a pen. This is so frustrating, and I haven’t had the time to start campaigning to get Belcher out, I hope someone else out there is doing so. If you hear of anything let me know.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of MSEA-SEIU BLAST E-Mail Server
Sent: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 5:38 PM
Subject: Executive Branch Bargaining Update - Union Negotiating Team Fighting for Contract Language
Executive Branch Bargaining Update – Union Negotiating Team Fighting for Contract Language
While there are many important proposals still on the table, one of the more critical issues that the Executive Branch Union Negotiating Team has proposed is no-layoff language. This proposal aims to put in writing both the Governor’s and the Legislature’s stated intent of preventing layoffs even as they approved a two-year state budget that slashes state workers’ pay and benefits
Imposed over our union’s strongest objections, the pay and benefit cuts made by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor were all done outside of the collective bargaining process. Those cuts were still allowable under Maine law because they coincided with the expiration of the current two-year contracts covering nearly 10,000 Executive Branch workers.
The Union Negotiating Team has been negotiating with management since November 2008 on successor contracts. Management so far has been unwilling to help find solutions to many of the problems that the Union Negotiating Team is determined to solve through bargaining proposals developed by MSEA-SEIU members.
Both sides have agreed to mediation and a mediator has been brought in. The mediator serves as a liaison between the Union Negotiating Team and management. Mediation began today, Wednesday, June 3.
Additional mediation dates are scheduled for June 12, 15, 16, 18, 22 and 24,
Additional mediation dates are scheduled for June 12, 15, 16, 18, 22 and 24, and also on July 1.
The Union Negotiating Team urges you and your family to stand up for the quality public services you provide by attending the MSEA-SEIU Tent City Rally on Wednesday, June 10, in Capitol Park across from the State House in Augusta. The rally is to demand contracts that prevent layoffs and contracting out, and provide fairness for our members. Set up your tents the morning of June 10. The rally will start at Noon. For details or to sign up for the rally, go to the MSEA-SEIU website at: http://www.mseaseiu.org/Story48.html
"Imposed over our Union's strongest objections"
Nuts. Their strongest objection would be to file a bad faith bargaining complaint with the NLRB in Boston for the State's take-it-or-leave-it bargaining tactic or even sue the State of Maine in Federal District Court. And don't you think MSEA Labor Lawyers Tim Belcher & Roberta DeAraujo know that? But of course that would mean MSEA Managment would have to beat up their real ruler - the Baldacci Administration - and that ain't ever going to happen given the political cooption of MSEA by the Democratic Party of Maine. So instead they blow smoke with Tent City and waste of time mediation and arbitration.
FLNext says: "I hope that thousands of union members are following this thread so that they can see the pathetic nature of their leadership."
Amen Brother! And pass the ammunition.
Since the puppet masters from SEIU have an upcoming training session, their promotional flyer is a nice example of what's wrong with MSEA:
[url=http://www.mseaseiu.org/bulletin/2009NNECSEIUSummerSchoolflierandapplica...Just Click Here[/url] for that poster.
Wouldn't it be great to be a fly on the wall at that "training" session?
This website, although tiny in comparison to AMG, does have some lively discusssions.
This, this, and this contain elements of the issues discussed in this thread.