Governor Reaches Tentative Agreement with Union to Benefit State Employees Who Are Laid Off

October 15, 2013

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, Oct. 15
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage and the Maine State Employees Association (MSEA) reached a compromise Tuesday that will benefit federally funded state employees who are laid off because of the federal government shutdown. Today’s announcement comes eight days into negotiations with MSEA and after multiple meetings.

“We are very pleased that the union came to the table and agreed with our proposals to help our state employees who have been impacted by the federal shutdown,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “This is an agreement in concept, but it provides these employees with the security they will need if they get laid off.”

The union agreed in concept with the Governor’s proposals for the state to pay for employees’ health benefits during their lay-off period; for the state to waive the requirement that employees must search for work during the time they are collecting unemployment; and for employees to be paid with accrued vacation or leave time if the federal government does not provide them with back pay after the shutdown ends.

“We have been working closely with the union since last Friday, and we appreciate that they recognized this is an unprecedented situation that required creative solutions,” said the Governor. “When we can work together to benefit our hard-working state employees, not to try to score political points, we all win in the end.”