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Thu December 17, 2009
MSEA President says enough is enough
By Gretchen Millich
Lansing, MI – The President of the Michigan State Employees Association says the union will take five unpaid days next year, rather make concessions that would affect new hires.
The Michigan State Employees Association represents about 4,300 state workers spread throughout all 19 state departments. The union has been told by state officials that members will have to take five unpaid days to help resolve a projected budget shortfall.
Union president Scott Dianda says the state's proposal to raise health care premiums and co-pays for future workers was unacceptable, "We don't want to take a concessionary package because it just divides the membership. It divides our membership to the point where it's two-tiered system. You have somebody that's working side-by-side with some else and one is getting more benefits, the other one is getting less."
The state is looking for a total of $50 million in concessions from all bargaining units. A tentative agreement with the Service Employees International Union Local 517M would reduce benefits for new hires.