Maine state workers demonstrate for new contract

Posted June 26, 2011, at 9:39 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine state employees were joined by union firefighters, teachers, millworkers and others from across Maine in support of the state workers as they negotiate a new contract.

Saturday’s demonstration at the State House in Augusta drew an estimated 300 people. Gov. Paul LePage’s administration has rejected the Maine State Employees Association’s proposal for a two-year extension of their current contract, which the union says would not result in any additional costs.

Demonstrators say state workers and other public employees have already absorbed pension cutbacks and personnel reductions to help the state weather tough fiscal conditions. Department of Transportation crew leader Tony Gonzales said all Maine workers, public and private, deserve to be treated with respect.

The administration has defended rollbacks in state pensions as a means to avoid increasing long-term debt.

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