AIDS Project director resigns -- The Maine Archive on the Queer Resources Directory

Saturday, March 22, 1997

AIDS Project director resigns

Staff Writer
©Copyright 1997 Guy Gannett Communications
The executive director of The AIDS Project has resigned, because he says he is unprepared to deal with the social service agency's new union.

Stephen T. Moskey joined The AIDS Project last July. The union, which is not affiliated with any national organization, formed this month.

''I had no experience in managing a union shop,'' Moskey said Friday evening. ''I already had a job-and-a-half as executive director of The AIDS Project . . . to be executive director and to manage that (union) process was simply not one that I thought I could take on.''

Moskey said he was baffled that the 15 staff members chose to form a union.

''I developed a very close personal working relationship with each staff person,'' he said. ''I was as surprised by that development as anyone else . . . There were no tom-toms, no earth tremors about this. It came quite unexpectedly.''

Paul Lavin, The AIDS Project's housing coordinator and a representative of the new union, said the group wants to ensure that ''the work environment gets all of the employees' input so it isn't a top-down kind of arrangement.''

Lavin explained that the 12-year-old AIDS Project has grown rapidly, particularly during the past two years.

''There's been a lot of turnover in the last two years,'' he said. ''I've only been there a little bit more than two years, and I have the second-highest seniority in the Portland office.''

''The organization is getting big enough that in order to have a guaranteed voice in the agency regarding the terms and conditions of employment, and in the general working environment of the agency, we would best be served if we could act as a collective entity.''

Moskey said he leaves the organization in good shape and is proud of his achievements with The AIDS Project.

When he took over last July, the agency had an $80,000 budget shortfall and had laid off its coordinator of volunteers and cut the job of development director.

Moskey, who holds a master's degree and doctorate from Georgetown University, stabilized the organization's finances. He said The AIDS Project has no debt.

He also said he expanded the agency's programs, ''including an innovative physical fitness program for people with AIDS.''

Moskey also changed the agency's organizational structure.

Moskey joined The AIDS Project from Aetna Life & Casualty Co., where he was director of consumer issues in the corporate affairs division.

He replaced Deborah Shields, who resigned after the board of directors issued an ultimatum that she either change her management style or leave.

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