CCSNH staff members represented by SEA/SEIU Local 1984 this week ratified a tentative contract agreement with the college system.
The new contract includes many small changes, including a small wage increase but also increases in health care contributions. Members of the bargaining team said contract negotiations were difficult, due to the stark fiscal situation the system finds itself in. Layoffs have affected all campuses, and the threat of more layoffs loomed over these negotiations.
“It’s the best contract that we were going to get, given the financial shape our system is in,” said Wendy Parent, the chapter president at Lakes Region Community College and a bargaining team member.
Michael Burnham, the president of the staff chapter at Nashua Community College, agreed.
“The potential layoffs is what we were worried about, and our goal was to stand together and protect as many jobs as possible,” Burnham said.
Burnham said this contract shows how important it is that chapters keep membership high, as there is strength in numbers. He said the bargaining team was able to push back against some of the more potentially painful proposals from the system.
“It’s important to know that we saved a lot in the contract, and the union helped make that happen,” Burnham said.
“We try to hammer home as much as possible that strength is in numbers, and we need to continue to build membership so we can continue to stay strong,” he said.
The new contract has not been signed yet, but in the meantime you can find the tentative agreement here.