MORA Meeting Minutes
June 14, 2006:
MINUTES MORA June 14, 2006
Attending: Jonathan Lepoff, Carol Eckert, Peter Doran, Desi-Rae Mason, Ivan Most, Ruth Lawson-Stopps, Leslie Walleigh, Michael Rowland, Ginger Jordan-Hillier, Bill Coffin, John Newton, Kim Lim, Leslie Manning, Steve Greeley, and Terry Hathaway
Guests: Phyllis Cohn, American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and Jim McGrath, Office of Elder Services, Maine Department of Health and Human Services
Jonathan Lepoff called the meeting to order at 10:03 A.M. in the Bureau of Labor Standards, 3rd floor conference room, Hallowell.
Introductions were made.
Approval of May 10, 2006 Minutes: Peter Doran made a motion to accept the minutes as written. Michael Rowland seconded the motion. Vote, unanimous.
Peter will work on getting Ann Backus for the September 13th meeting.
Presentation on Older Workers. Jim McGrath showed a video on older workers. This was a “60 Minutes” Mike Wallace segment on the older workforce. Phyllis Cohn, Communications Director, of AARP-Maine, did a presentation entitled “Best Practices for a Mature Workforce: Are You Ahead of the Curve?” She highlighted that by 2012, 19 percent of the workforce will be 55 and older. Employers will be faced with a labor shortage as baby boomers represent nearly 50 percent of the U.S. workforce.
Jim explained the “Silver Collar Award”, which is awarded annually to companies who are “senior friendly”.
Discussion involved the possibility of Maine partnering with AARP for cost drivers, one of MORA’s priorities. Peter suggested a follow-up from Jim and Phyllis regarding concerns in research for an occupational safety and health collaborative.
Finance Committee – Carol Eckert. Carol will send to Terry and Leslie Manning the revised Request for Proposals to be awarded by December 31, 2006. The Research Committee, which is a subcommittee of the Finance Committee, is composed of Carol Eckert, Leslie Manning, Jonathan Lepoff, and Burt Wartell, Maine Labor Group on Health (MLGH). Peter Doran made a motion to accept the guidelines for Request for Proposals. Jonathan Lepoff seconded the motion. Vote, unanimous.
John Newton is a member of the Board of Directors, Maine Labor Group on Health. The goals are to meet with labor people, public health people, and environmental people as well as to broaden discussion among union workers in Maine. There is a planning meeting to be held this August. MLGH should talk to MORA to find out what MORA has done.
Data Committee – Desi-Rae Mason. Nothing to report at this time.
PDAG Update - Leslie Walleigh. At the last PDAG meeting, the group had a presentation by Adam Fisher, Assistant to the Commissioner, Maine Department of Labor (MDOL), on accessing the MDOL’s web site. The PDAG membership listed on the web site is outdated and needs to be revised. Also, the “Legislative Report” is not on the web site. Also, there was discussion regarding placing a monthly theme on occupational safety on the web; such as, “healthy vision month”. This could be looked at as a model and come up with recommendation for the web. The MDOL would carry the theme through the department’s web site and coordinate with SafetyWorks! information.
Kim Lim did a presentation on the New England Surveillance Occupational Review.
There was also ongoing discussion regarding the quality of Worker’s Compensation data. Leslie Manning added that public rulemaking could take place and there would be a public hearing; members could testify at the public hearing. Workers’ Compensation has what they need to process the claims, but we don’t get the quality of data on this end. For example, “occupation” shows up on the reporting form, but when it gets here, it is not shown. It should be a mandatory field. John Rohde is the legal counsel for the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board.
Avian Flu Update – Mike Rowland. Mike provided an update on a meeting he attended. Representatives include the State of Maine veterinarian, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Maine Center for Disease Control, Bob LeClair (Safety Officer), and the Maine Migrant Health Program. Possibilities for spread of Avian Flu include a person arriving in the United States from a foreign country or wild bird route (birds flying over) or groups of workers exposed to the bird population with no personal protective equipment. DeCosta has been pro active in this regard.
There is a set of protocols of what to do with bird die-off; monthly testing, a certain percentage of the die-off is tested immediately. There are sites for transporting dead birds and composting. The majority of workers, approximately 80 percent, are non-English speaking. Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and Center for Disease Control (CDC) that the population be immunized against seasonal influenza now incase there a “run” on vaccines in the fall.
The first campaign will be a questionnaire for baseline date for 250 bilingual workers administered by the Maine Migrant Health Program. Bob LeClair has gotten Personal Protective Equipment for workers to wear when they are disposing of dead birds. Leslie Manning said that chicken manure has a shelf life of 11 miles to get it off the tires.
Other. Mike Rowland has been awarded a two-year fellowship at Columbia University regarding farm workers.
Next Meeting. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 13, 2006.
Adjournment: Jonathan adjourned the meeting at 12:15 PM.