The 2015-2017 contract negotiations officially began between the State of NH’s team and the Executive Branch Master Bargaining team on October 15. During that session, the two sides of the table discussed and agreed to “ground rules.” Ground rules include dates, times, frequency, location of meetings; the structure of sessions; the bargaining environment; among other things.
The teams will be meeting at least weekly, until a Tentative Agreement is reached.
“We were pleased to begin negotiations in October, which is really when we are supposed to begin by statute,” said the Master Bargaining Team Chairman, Jim Nall. “It is encouraging that Governor Hassan agreed to engage in the process before the remainder of the budget process. We were appreciative of her willingness to begin earlier this time.”
Over the last few cycles, contract negotiations were not complete until late in the budget process; leaving both the workers and the state vulnerable to the ramifications of the legislature trying to fit funding into a nearly completed budget. “It is great to feel that we are not an afterthought, this time,” said Nall.
Proposals have been crossing the table and are being discussed by both sides. We will update you when there is something concrete to report.