Municipal Government, National, New York

Maine State Workers Agree to End Union Shop for 6% Raise

August 17, 2017

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

Augusta, ME – The union representing more than 9,500 state workers has agreed to a tentative contract that would allow non-members they represent not to pay agency fees. The deal, which members of the Maine State Employees Association have until Aug. 30 to ratify, would give them a 6% raise over two years. State negotiators had offered only a 1% raise if the union kept agency fees. “We fought off a lot of take-backs,” D executive director Rod Hiltz told the Bangor Daily News. “We were able to deliver decent wage increases to our members. That was our number-one priority.” More than one-fifth of the workers Local 93 represents now pay the agency fees, which Gov. Paul LePage has long sought to eliminate in order to undermine public-sector unions’ power. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 93, which represents about 800 corrections officers and mental health workers, took the 1% raise instead. Giving up those fees, said Jim Durkin, an AFSCME regional political director, “allows individuals to get a free ride from the union and it drastically depletes union resources, which impacts our ability to provide our members the representation they need and deserve. Right-to-work is designed to cripple unions and take them out of the game.” Read more

August 17, 2017

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