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December 28, 2023

Maine Service Employees contract will include 9% pay increase for 2024

The Maine Service Employees Association, Local 1989 of the Service Employees International Union, reached a contract agreement with the state employees union to provide workers with a 9% pay increase next year and other benefits. 

The agreement covers executive branch employees in operations, maintenance and support services, administrative services, professional-technical services and supervisory services.

Employees will receive a 6% pay increase beginning Jan.1, an $800 payment in February of retroactive raises and an additional 3% pay increase starting in July. 

The contracts also include a child care reimbursement of up to $2,000 for certain workers, increased mileage reimbursement, student loan/debt program and increased longevity pay after five years of employment. It also increases vacation time and longevity pay, starting at five years of service and more. 

“The votes have been counted. The new contracts now reflect all the tentative agreements and the state’s last, best final offer that members voted on,” said Dean Staffieri, president of MSEA-SEIU Local 1989. “We were encouraged that the contracts include a written agreement with the Mills administration to complete, negotiate and implement a new classification and compensation plan in 2024."

Two studies cited by the union show that in 2020 and 2009 state workers were underpaid by 15%, on average, compared to their public and private sector counterparts in Maine and New England. 

Staffieri said that the Mills administration also committed to additional negotiations based on the findings of the study on ways to address the 15% state employee pay gap.

Job classification and compensation negotiations will start by Jan. 31. 

The union negotiations team decided to hold the ratification vote this month because the Legislature’s funding authorization for the new contracts would have expired Dec. 31.

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