With the pound of a gavel, Ken Roos, First Vice President, convened the 73rd Annual SEA/SEIU Local 1984 Convention promptly at 9 a.m. last Saturday in Executive Councilor Chris Pappas’ backyard – Manchester.
Following the formalities of adopting and accepting the rules of order for the day and the introduction of the convention’s Parliamentarian, Attorney Jake Krupski, and approving last year’s minutes, Councilor Pappas welcomed the delegates to the convention. “The thing that has impressed me most since my time on the Executive Council this year has been the caliber of our state employees,” he said. “At every turn, at every agency I go to, I see people with skills, with knowledge, with compassion for delivering our mission of state government and doing so in an effective way. … I can’t thank you enough for all that you do.” To see a video of Councilor Pappas complete remarks click here.
The agenda continued with two more guest speakers – Governor Maggie Hassan and Dave Lang, President of the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire.
In her remarks, Governor Hassan complimented the state’s workforce repeatedly referring to the workers as ‘dedicated and hard-working state employees.’ “Throughout the recession you pitched in, you gave up pay raises, you paid more for your healthcare and you did more with a whole lot less as the state work force dropped by 1100 positions,” she said. “And, despite those challenges you remained committed to serving the people of NH. Your efforts have helped maintain our high quality of life…With this in mind it is critical that we work to provide you with the supports you need and you deserve. You can watch the Governor’s address to the delegates in its entirety here.
David Lang, the last of the guest speakers was also complimentary to NH State Employees. Lang, the chair of the NH Retirement Security Coalition (NHRSC), spoke of the ongoing struggle to hold onto the retirement benefit promise that has been made to public employees. The NHRSC, a group of NH labor unions working collaboratively for the common purpose and cause of preserving this benefit, needs the help of members at large. “We have a great legislative plan; a legal plan; and a political strategy,” he said. “We are fighting for your benefits.” He challenged the delegates. “Even with this great plan,” he said. “We are going to fail without you. I am asking you all to participate when you’re asked to make that phone call to your legislator; when you are asked to attend a hearing; when you’re asked to hold a sign. At the end of a long hard public service career, you deserve a secure retirement.”