Quarterly Council Meeting, June 2014

In this post…

DES Chapter 50 Hosts Quarterly Council Meeting
Chapter 1 Member Pleas for Belknap County Workers
SEA/SEIU 1984 Director Shares the Long and Winding Road to Sub-unit Agreement
Plymouth State Adjuncts Share Experiences with Council
DHHS Labor Management Committee Making Strides
Members Discuss Successful Legislation
Guest Speaker Captures Council Audience
Neither Rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep Postal Workers from their appointed rounds. But Staples will.
Executive Branch Contract Campaign Explained at Council Meeting

 

DES Chapter 50 Hosts Quarterly Council Meeting

We’d like to give a big shout out to the members of Chapter 50 who graciously hosted the SEA/SEIU 1984 quarterly Council meeting last Thursday evening.  Chapter 50 members were at the doors of the secure building greeting members and allowing them access to the building and giving directions to the auditorium.  Many thanks to them for allowing us to use this wonderful meeting space.

(Back to top)

 

Chapter 1 Member Pleas for Belknap County Workers

The evening was fast-paced and packed full of information.  Immediately following the standing agenda items, Thea Aloise of Chapter 1 gave an impassioned plea to the members to please support the members at Belknap County Nursing Home. She told of the excellent care her husband receives at the institution and that the workers should receive their wage increase. We have reported about this situation before. You can learn more about it here.

(Back to top)

SEA/SEIU 1984 Director Shares the Long and Winding Road to Sub-unit Agreement

Rich GullaNext up, SEA/SEIU 1984 Board member, Rich Gulla shared some of his experiences along the long road that employees have traveled to arrive at a TA in their sub-unit negotiations.  Rich and other NHSLC workers have accompanied SEA Field staff members to Liquor Stores across the state to educate members about the TA. Rich spoke with many retail employees who were anxious to become members of SEA/SEIU 1984 so they could vote for the TA. “There’s strength in numbers. I can tell you that it works to be unified. The NH State Liquor Commission’s membership is really swelling.” The NH State Liquor Commission is now at 92% membership.  “I’m very proud of my fellow workers and colleagues,” he said.

The NH State Liquor Commission is currently in the process of collecting ballots for the TA that was reached.

(Back to top)

Plymouth State Adjuncts Share Experiences with Council

KrisanKrisan Evenson shared some of her experiences with organizing Plymouth State Adjunct Professors (also known as Teaching Lecturers). The road to securing their first contract was bumpy and prolonged, as most first contracts are, but it has been worth the effort for the members. She reported a more respectful relationship with management since becoming a bargaining unit. “I am already seeing a difference with just one semester down,” said Krisan. “We now have regular meetings with the Provost and are having a dialogue with management, which is so important. This has all happened since we organized.” She shared that having a positive relationship with management is not widely shared at other campuses around the country. “We’re so happy we could get on board with you (SEA/SEIU 1984). It’s been a blast.”

Phil Inwood, also a Teaching Lecturer at Plymouth State spoke about his work promoting and explaining health coverage available through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). “People were so grateful to get the information,” he said. “Working with other organization partners, we had Healthcare fairs and other sign-up events. I am very proud and encouraged that SEA worked so hard to help people in this way.”

Phil shared that he now has health insurance through the ACA marketplace. “I hadn’t had health insurance myself in six years,” he said.

(Back to top)

 

DHHS Labor Management Committee Making Strides

Next on the agenda was a group of member presentations that related to worksite issues that are being resolved through a Labor Management Committee (LMC).  Mary Fields from DHHS spoke about the positive steps that are being taken in conjunction with the agency’s LMC.  She shared that “We have been tackling a lot of meaty topics at our LMC meetings, including bullying,” said Mary. “Commissioner Toumpas wants to work with us as a partner on the bullying bill.  He is looking for the common ground between workers and management.

Mary shared other issues that are being discussed at the LMC, including the rising numbers in DHHS case workers’ case loads.

These and others matters can be worked on and hopefully resolved through an active, healthy and respectful Labor Management Committee. If you have a worksite concern, reaching out to a member of your LMC is a great first step to resolving it.

(Back to top)

 

Members Discuss Successful Legislation

Brenda Thomas provided the history of HB591, which came from a resolution the SEA/SEIU 1984 convention passed in 2013.  The resulting bill, which passed and will go to the Governor for her signature, came about through the efforts of a small but determined member work group who researched similar legislation that is being introduced around the country. Brenda thanked Marie Morgan who was very involved with this project and has since retired from active public service at the NH Dept. of Education.  “As far as we know, this is the first legislation to pass in the country,” said Brenda. “We had a wonderful past state employee sponsor the bill – Representative Dianne Schuett.”

HB591 was supported by the vast majority of both chambers’ members and now goes to the Governor to sign it into law. We are hopeful the Governor will act in support of the employees whose physical and mental health could be adversely affected by bullying in the workplace.

Corey Dearborn from Sununu Youth Services Center (SYSC) told the Council about the successful passing of SB391, which revitalizes the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board.  Among other positive changes, this includes the addition of a worker representative on the board; and in the future, the Director of SYSC will need to be nominated. The nominee will then go through the Governor and Council process to be accepted for the position.

(Back to top)

 

Guest Speaker Captures Council Audience

NHRS Board of Trustee’s Member Germano Martins Shares His Perspective on Retirement Issues

Germano presenting on NHRSSEA/SEIU 1984 Director, Germano Martins addressed the Council wearing a different hat – that of a member of the Board of NHRS Trustees. Germano represents employees’ interest in the NH Retirement System.  “We used to have a really good balance on the Board. We had eight employees, two legislators, a chair that was appointed by the Governor, and a couple more positions,” he said. “Things didn’t stay that way, though. In 2008, we had the financial crisis. After that they made some very opportunistic changes to the composition of the Board to lessen the number of employee representatives.” Germano would like to see the board return to the model that existed before the great recession.

“Your retirement is not a gift,” Germano said. “We pay for it every other week in our paychecks.”

Germano’s presentation provided a wealth of information about the function of the Board of Trustees.

The Council gave Germano a standing ovation at the conclusion of his presentation.

 

(Back to top)

Neither Rain, nor Snow, nor Sleet, nor Hail Shall Keep the Postmen from their Appointed Rounds, but Staples Is Trying.

First VP Ken Roos addressed the Council last Thursday evening about the situation thousands of postal workers are currently facing. They are being replaced by satellite locations at Staples retail centers. Read our previous article for more details.

Following Ken’s address, which included reading a draft resolution to support postal workers by entering into a boycott of Staples, the Council voted unanimously to accept the resolution.  Another way to support our union brothers and sisters in the APW Union, is to tell Staples how you feel by signing onto the petition at this link:   http://stopstaples.com/.

(Back to top)

 

Executive Branch Contract Campaign Explained at Council Meeting

Diana Lacey and Collective Bargaining Team Chair and Director, Jim Nall presented an overview of the timeline, strategies, and events that will ramp up this summer in preparation for the Executive Branch Contract campaign. The Collective Bargaining Committee has created a detailed plan to secure a contract that will help retain and recruit public employees by offering the resources workers need to continue to provide top notch service to the citizens of the state. Not only will this campaign emphasize the important role public workers play in conducting the day-to-day business and services of the state, it will also highlight the need for our legislators to act responsibly and compassionately when they are creating the next budget.  Continuing to balance budgets by cutting human resources is no longer a realistic option…not if we wish to continue to provide even basic services that benefit all NH citizens and visitors, including vulnerable populations.

“Political Sub-Division Units, Higher Ed units, and others should pay attention, too,” said Diana Lacey.  “This will be our template moving forward.”

If you would like to be part of this movement for forward progress there are many ways to participate and contribute.  Click here to read more.

(Back to top)

Did you like this? Share it:

Comments are closed.