As an employee of the State of Maine, I am part of a team.

Our team, which determines if a citizen of Maine qualifies for Social Security disability benefits, consists of four components: clerical support, examiners and adjudicators, supervisors and contractual professionals (medical doctors and psychologists).

As a team, we request, summarize and analyze medical evidence before making our decision. From the premature newborn to the 62-year-old citizen, we work as a team to render a decision that affects that citizen’s financial and medical future.

Part of our goal as team is to make timely and correct decisions. As an agency, the pride we have for our work has been recognized on a national level. Time and time again, we as a team have earned awards for quality, timeliness and productivity. Generally, we are in the top 15 out the possible 51 state disability determination agencies across the nation.

As team members and State of Maine employees, we realize the need to share in the sacrifices made necessary by today’s economics. As employees, however, we have a question: Do Gov. Paul LePage and members of his staff fully understand our roles in ensuring quality public service to Maine citizens?

Team members work together to be winners. Distractions such as the stalemate in negotiating the contract with the Maine State Employees Association, is not team playing. It’s time to wrap up negotiations and get on with the job of providing quality public service to all of Maine citizens.

Robin Upton-Sukeforth

Litchfield


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