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Maine Corrections, Mental Health Workers Get Hazard Pay Bump

Gov. Janet Mills’ administration has agreed to a temporary pay increase for public-sector workers in state mental health and correctional facilities during the COVID-19 crisis.

Around 800 workers represented by AFSCME Council 93, affiliated with the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, will receive increases from $3 to $5 per hour in so-called hazard pay depending on their responsibilities.

Council 93 spokesman Jim Durkin says most of the workers will receive the $5 hike.

“Based on the nature of their work and the fact that it involves direct care in mental health facilities and direct care and custody of inmates,” he says.

Durkin says the union didn’t have to fight for the increases. He says management officials at all levels, from human resources staff to the governor, supported the increase.

“We are extremely grateful to Governor Mills for taking this immediate action,” AFSCME Council 93 Executive Director Mark Bernard said in a written statement.

Ed is a Maine native who spent his early childhood in Livermore Falls before moving to Farmington. He graduated from Mount Blue High School in 1970 before going to the University of Maine at Orono where he received his BA in speech in 1974 with a broadcast concentration. It was during that time that he first became involved with public broadcasting. He served as an intern for what was then called MPBN TV and also did volunteer work for MPBN Radio.