The Maine State Employees Association has filed a complaint with the Maine Labor Relations Board, alleging the state is hiring private contractors to do jobs that should be done by union members. Gov. Paul LePage's office said the complaint is a political move.
The complaint says the union contract requires the state to negotiate with the union before hiring non-members, according to the Portland Press Herald. Not following this rule takes pay away from union members and undermines the union's ability to collectively bargain, according to the complaint. Adrienne Bennett, LePage's spokeswoman, said the office believes the labor board will find no fault with the state's actions, and that the move is part of the union's efforts to sway legislators on several labor bills. The state and union have been battling over a new contract for over a year.
The union has filed a complaint against the state before. Last month, the labor board ruled that MSEA's complaint that the state did not negotiate in good faith had enough merit to go to a trial before the board. The board, however, dismissed several other allegations. A trial date has not been set.