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August 7, 2012

Labor board dismisses MSEA complaint

The Maine Labor Relations Board has dismissed a complaint from the Maine State Employees Association, which had argued that the state didn't have the right to hire contractors and reorganize state agencies after a contract expired last year.

MSEA argued that the provision allowing the state to take such action had expired along with the contracts while the board said that to find otherwise would have run contrary to MLRB's long-established case law, according to a press release from the governor's office.

While the MLRB rejected the complaint on Monday, it gave the state's largest labor union the right to file an amended complaint. The board's chief had previously dismissed a similar complaint in April, citing failure to state a violation of law.

The state's attorney, Julie Armstrong, said the ruling sent an important message about the state's authority, which could have been challenged in future contract negotiations had the board recognized the complaint.

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