Concord, NH – Last evening the SEA/SEIU Local 1984 Master Bargaining Team presented the details of a potential tentative agreement to the organization’s Collective Bargaining Senate (CBS). Following Collective Bargaining Advisory Committee Chair, Jim Nall’s presentation of new changes to the contract, the standing room only crowd rewarded the team with a standing ovation.
Following a lengthy Q&A session, the CBS overwhelmingly voted to adopt the proposal as a Tentative Agreement and to send it out to the general membership for a vote with the recommendation to ratify.
“This team worked long and hard to get to this point,” said Jim Nall. “I can tell you this is the best team I have ever had the pleasure of working with. They dug in, they gave each point due diligence, and they kept their cool throughout this long process. And, I assure you the fruit of their labor is not a concessionary Tentative Agreement .”
“I congratulate the members of the bargaining team for a job well done,” said Rich Gulla, SEA/SEIU Local 1984 president. “I think few people realize the level of commitment that serving fellow union members in this capacity takes. It takes countless hours of their time; it involves hundreds of hours of research and discussion; and it involves potentially difficult conversations with the state’s team. I salute each member for their dedication and the Tentative Agreement they have brought forward.”
“I would also like to commend the state’s Bargaining Team for their efforts,” said Gulla. “Working together, the respective bargaining teams arrived at a fair contract that supports state workers for their many daily contributions to the citizens and visitors of the state. The Tentative Agreement will now go to our members at large and if it is expediently ratified, the changes will be incorporated in the Governor’s budget proposal.”
Governor Maggie Hassan issued the following statement:
“Our hard-working state employees and the critical services that they provide make a positive impact on the lives of New Hampshire’s citizens each and every day. Despite a smaller workforce with fewer positions and a higher vacancy rate since 2008, they continue to serve our citizens well and do more with less in the face of ever-tightening budgets.
“This is a fair agreement for both employees and taxpayers that will provide modest cost-of-living raises for employees that will be included as part of our upcoming biennial budget. In addition, we have maintained the coordination of health care that strengthens the well-being of state employees and helps generate significant savings for the state, while protecting both parties should a potential ‘Cadillac tax’ on health insurance benefits cause undue financial impact.
“This agreement is another important step toward maintaining fiscal responsibility while supporting our hard-working state employees, and I thank the SEA leadership team and state negotiators for their good-faith efforts to find common ground and reach a deal that is fair to all parties.”
Key points include:
- A 2% wage increase in January 2016; and a 2% wage increase in January 2017
- No increases in healthcare deductibles, co-payments or prescriptions
- The immortalization of lay-off procedures
- A small increase in dental contributions, which will result in significantly increased coverage
- An increase in term life benefits at no cost to employees
- Moving longevity pay from December to November
- A footwear reimbursement for applicable positions of up to $200 per two year contract cycle
The agreement is subject to ratification by a vote of SEA membership, and the changes will be incorporated in the Governor’s upcoming budget proposal.
The Tentative Agreement will now be mailed to all members of the SEA/SEIU Local 1984 Executive Branch bargaining unit with a ballot for their vote. SEA/SEIU Local 1984 represents the majority of state employees