Members of the executive branch master bargaining team met with SEA members Wednesday for an informational meeting on the status of state contract negotiations. The meeting took place at the Teamsters Hall in Manchester, the second such meeting in two weeks, with the first coming last week in Berlin.
Those in attendance heard from bargaining chair Jim Nall and SEA Bargaining Administrator John Howard about what’s happened so far in bargaining, and what we can expect going forward. The meeting included plenty of give and take, with much thoughtful feedback from members.
Joanne Tramontozzi, an SEA member who works as a real estate appraiser for the Department of Revenue, said the meeting was helpful and encouraged her to get involved in the contract campaign.
“At first today, I thought, if the state’s not going to treat us better, I might as well retire and go look for a new job,” she said. “Then they kind of got the fighter side of me going, I’m willing to write letters and stuff like that.”
“We (state workers) are disrespected so much that I don’t know if I really want to stick around much more,” she said. “But I will write letters to the governor and see what happens.”
Tramontozzi said the meeting provided more insight into what’s going on with bargaining. For example, she wasn’t impressed by what she heard about the state’s Manager of Employee Relations Matt Newland.
According to the bargaining team, Newland and other state negotiating team members have frequently been condescending and disrespectful, most notably during the sub-unit negotiations when he told bargaining committee members that he did not have to explain why the state was rejecting their proposals.