Preble Street Workers Ratify Pay Increases in First Contract

After a year of organizing and negotiating Preble Street workers have finally ratified their first contract agreement that includes wage increases, better benefits and safer working conditions. In June of 2019, workers at the social service nonprofit that serves veterans, low-income Mainers and people experiencing homelessness voted 90-11 to form a union represented by MSEA-SEIU Local 1989. Over the past year, members filled out surveys, drafted proposals, met with management, had union cupcakes with their clients, had button and t-shirt days to show their unity and stuck together to make changes at work. The new contract will ensure:

  •  All starting wages will be raised to a minimum of $15 per hour. 
  • .25 per hour step increase for all staff with 3 years or more seniority 
  • Annual wage increases of 3.5% and 2.5% 
  • The formation of a committee to address safety issues at the facilities
  • Appropriate training for all staff. 
  • Up to 40 hours per year of paid time off for per diem staff

“We have come far despite hurdles none of us could have possibly predicted. We stood united and fought for ourselves and for our clients,” the union wrote in a memo. “Now we are looking forward to have the security of our contract behind us every day at work, looking forward to continuing to build on what we have won and the knowledge that WE DID THIS TOGETHER!”