AUGUSTA, Maine — Negotiations are set to begin soon on labor contracts for thousands of Maine state workers after the current agreements end June 30.
The talks will start as lawmakers try to close a budget gap and repay debts to the state pension system — and also as a sour taste remains in union members’ mouths over sacrifices they made with shutdown days and benefit cuts needed to balance the state’s recession-plagued budget in 2009.
The bulk of the workers affected are the 10,000 in the Executive Branch covered by the Maine State Employees Association, Local 1989 of the Service Employees International Union. The MSEA also represents some judicial branch workers and some legislative branch employees.
It’s too early to say what the key issues will be in talks.