The workers responsible for maintaining the University of Maine’s buildings, infrastructure and facilities across nine campuses held a demonstration on the Orono campus Friday, August 25th. U-Maine’s employees in the skilled trades have been paid far below the standards of the private sector for years, with a median income around the 25th percentile for comparable blue collar positions. UMS management will not acknowledge that the University has a wage and hiring problem, even as morale sinks to all-time lows and many positions remain unfilled. Recently, for example, a job was posted for a Master Electrician with hourly wages of only $16-$17 per hour, while the state average is above $24 per hour. Friday’s protest sought to publicize the University’s insistence on treating Service & Maintenance employees as second-class citizens with substandard wages.