When Ironworkers Local 7 member Grant Provost became the union’s business agent in Maine in mid-2018, business was pretty slow to say the least.

Workers for the publicly funded agency Child Development Services rallied on Monday, May 2, outside the CDS Reach office in Portland to demand respect for the essential services they provide.

The Maine Department of Labor has officially launched a pilot peer workforce navigator program, a partnership with the Maine AFL-CIO, Maine Equal Justice, Food AND Medicine, Prosperity Maine, and Gateway Community Services. The Maine AFL-CIO workforce navigator program will connect Maine workers to good union jobs and apprenticeships, child care and transportation as well help them secure unemployment benefits as they transition to their next careers.

After nearly going on strike earlier this week, on Wednesday members of United Steelworkers Local 4-9, who work at the Sappi Mill in Skowhegan, ratified a new three-year contract containing the strongest economic package for members since Sappi purchased the mill in 1995. During this process USW 4-9 members were able to increase purchasing power, keep out-of-pocket costs for health insurance in check, protect pensions and build union solidarity. 

It’s been a year since the labor-backed American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) became law. The American Rescue Plan guaranteed that more than a million union retirees, including thousands of Mainers, received their full earned pensions instead of pennies on the dollar.

The Maine Legislature’s Labor and Housing Committee voted 8 to 3 on Wednesday to recommend passage of LD 1969, which will create good quality clean energy jobs and advance equity in the renewable energy industry. The bill faces further votes in the Maine House and Senate.

LD 1969, sponsored by Rep. Scott Cuddy (IBEW 1253), requires contractors on large renewable energy projects (solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, hydro, etc) to pay prevailing wages, which ensure that workers are paid decent wages and benefits that are customary for each occupation in an industry.

The Bath Marine Draftsmen’s Association (UAW 3999) at Bath Iron Works have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract. BMDA will hold a vote for members on the proposal this Saturday, March 19th. Union leaders say the agreement includes raises, potential cost of living adjustments, a higher 401k match, a ratification bonus, more schedule flexibility and a better vacation policy.

The Part-time Faculty Association of Maine (PATFA-AFT 4593) has reached a tentative agreement on a new contract with the University of Maine System that increases wages and improves working conditions. PATFA represents about 2,000 part-time faculty members in the UMaine System.

“This contract has been a slow negotiation, but it improves the working conditions of adjunct faculty in a number of ways,” said PATFA President Michele Cheung, who teaches at University of Southern Maine and led the PATFA negotiation team.

The tentative agreement includes:

Nurses at Maine Medical Center in Portland made history last year when they voted to form their first union with the Maine State Nurses Association/NNU. Since then, the nurses have already won significant victories at the bargaining table over the past several months as they negotiate their first contract. They have secured tentative agreements ("TAs") from their employer on foundational issues like union recognition, just cause, health and safety, new nurse orientation, protection from discrimination, and grievance and arbitration procedures.