July 3, 2013

LePage, workers' union strike 2-year labor deal

The Associated Press

AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage and the union representing about 8,000 state workers reached a tentative contract agreement Wednesday after more than 2 years of negotiations.

click image to enlarge

Gov. Paul LePage

AP Photo / Robert Bukaty

The Maine State Employees Association said the 2-year agreement is fair and provides both sides with something they wanted.

Union general counsel Timothy Belcher said the deal includes modest raises but declined to discuss the particulars before providing details to the union rank-and-file.

"We would have liked to have had more, but it allows us to get a contract moved forward," Belcher said.

In a statement, LePage's office said the agreement eliminates excessive provisions that cost taxpayers money and includes job security provisions for workers who don't want to pay union fees.

LePage's office said wage and merit increases were part of the deal.

"I appreciate the hard work by all state employees serving the people of Maine," LePage said. "We have been successful in making state government more transparent, more efficient and more focused on customer service for both citizens and businesses."

The MSEA membership must still ratify the deal. The new contract would be effective through June 30, 2015.

The union says the agreement would apply to roughly 8,000 state workers.


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