Maine Turnpike asks workers to give up triple pay, ability to ‘cash out’ vacation

Posted Nov. 15, 2011, at 6:58 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine Turnpike Authority is asking union employees to give up triple pay on holidays and to start contributing more to health insurance costs as its negotiates new contracts.

Director Peter Mills said if the agency gets concessions from two unions representing workers, anticipated toll increases in 2013 could be reduced.

The two unions represent nearly 300 of the agency’s 462 workers. The current contracts expire Dec. 31.

Union representatives tell the Portland Press Herald workers should not be punished for the alleged ethical lapses of previous managers.

Former director Paul Violette resigned in March amid questions about lavish spending and financial misconduct.

The agency also wants to end longevity bonuses for longtime employees and the ability to “cash out” unused vacation and sick pay.