A Message from the UPEA President

Greetings and Salutations, members of UPEA!

I hope this message finds you well and in good spirits.

My, we’ve certainly had an interesting spring season and the beginning of summer looks to be a bit more of the same.  COVID-19 has put our lives on hold and hopefully we will slowly make a comeback to some normalcy, whatever that may be.

I would like to thank our UPEA Staff, Todd, Kendle, Christy, Hannah, and Sam, for their tireless commitment to our membership. They are our voice at the legislature and they continue to keep track of bills that affect all areas of our employment.

As your president, I strongly encourage ALL members to get involved in UPEA Standing Committees.

Here is a list of committees:

  • Insurance and Retirement
  • Human Resource Policy and Rules
  • General Council
  • Grievance Appeal and Representation
  • Legislative
  • Membership Services and Public Relations
  • Articles and Bylaws
  • Resolutions

Committees have several options for attendance at meetings. You can call in by phone, Google Hangouts and Zoon.  You do not have to be there in person to attend. Information about the individual committees can be found on the UPEA web page at UPEA.net.

UPEA was successful during the last legislative session in gaining a 3% pay raise.  However, due to the challenge of COVID-19, the legislature has returned to the FY20 base budget and asked all appropriations subcommittees to present a 2%, 5% and 10% budget cut scenario. UPEA has created a Task Force that will keep state employees in the forefront so that we are not forgotten. We will continue to keep employees informed as to what is happening in the interim legislative meetings.

During the past few months, sheltering in place has been a challenge for us all. The challenge that I have heard most about is loneliness.  If it is getting to be too much to handle, please reach out. Likewise if there is someone you have not heard from recently, reach out to them. Make that phone call to ask if they need anything, such as: grocery shopping, maybe a lunch delivery, or simply ask with sincerity how they are doing.  Really listen to the conversation, sometimes it is more about what they are not saying, rather than what they are saying.

Thank you for the opportunity to be your UPEA President.  My dream of becoming president started 15 years ago and I am excited for the upcoming year.

If you need anything at all, please reach out to me. My personal email: loricharboneau@comcast.net

Please take care of yourselves during this difficult time as we transition to a new normal.

All my best,