Associated COLT Staff of The Universities of Maine
June 2, 2003 at U.S.M.
Our union in action!
ACSUM organized two pickets, held on June 2 at USM, to protest the results of almost a year of trying to negotiate a new contract with the University. Currently, four bargaining units representing 3,000 UMS employees are unsettled.
The first picket took place at the ribbon-cutting ceremony of USM's new bioscience building on Falmouth Street, with Governor John Baldacci giving the dedication speech. Chancellor Westphal and members of the BOT were also present.
About 50 picketers came out in support of equity and world-class wages and salaries. ACSUM represented employees were there. AFUM represented faculty were there including Cooperative Extension faculty. AFT representatives were there, also, as well as UMPSA represented professionals, MEA staff and leadership, Teamsters, USM students and alumni. Picketers came from cooperative extension, UM, UMF, and USM.
USM adminstration requested campus police presence. One administrator would not cross the picket line until the event was over.
After the ceremonies were over, Governor Baldacci came over and spoke briefly with MEA President Rob Walker, MEA Executive Director Mark Gray, and ACSUM President Loraine Lowell.
A second picket was held at the Woodbury Campus at noon, as the BOT
gathered there for lunch. This line, made up of about two dozen picketers,
included UMS employees represented by ACSUM, UMPSA, and Teamsters. Picketers
represented UM, UMF and USM campuses, and were thrown out of the
UMPSA Vice President Jeff Dorman and ACSUM President Loraine Lowell spoke to the BOT during the public session. Ms. Lowell's comments can be found at http://www.acsum.org/june22003.html
You can also go to http://www.maine.nea.org/dir2/umprotest.htm and see how the MEA covered the event.
Special thanks go to MEA Publicity Officer Keith Harvey for the photos that appear in this update.