Unstoppable Together for April 3

In this edition …

This week at the State House

The House and Senate are each set to meet in session this week. The House, with the crossover deadline approaching on Thursday, are meeting in session on Wednesday and, if necessary, Thursday. The Senate will meet only on Thursday, as it starts to vote on some of the House bills that crossed over earlier.

The biggest item of the week is the budget, which the House is set to vote on. Another bill of interest is SB 140, which would change the makeup of the Retirement System investment committee. That bill has a public hearing Tuesday, April 4, at 2:30 p.m. in room 306 of the Legislative Office Building. Both the House and Senate have a raft of hearings this week. You can see the details in the full calendars below.

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Retiree health care, SYSC at risk in budget

Actions you can take as House prepares to vote on budget

Last Tuesday, the House Finance Committee approved the budget (HB 1) and the so-called budget trailer bill (HB 2). With the bill now set to move on to the full House for a vote, there are two key areas of concern: plans for the Sununu Youth Services Center (SYSC) and changes to retiree health care.

One issue with the budget process is that it’s fluid, meaning things can change. After the House approves the budget, it moves on to the Senate, which has the benefit of updated revenue projections. That could mean more — or less — money to work with. Regardless, we’re going to go a bit into detail on each proposed change, and the action you can take right now.

“Now’s the time to stand up and advocate for yourself and your peers,” said Karen Crowley, a registered nurse at SYSC and president of Chapter 21. “Everybody needs to come together as one and start fighting for the things we’re losing. We didn’t vote for losing our retirement or losing our jobs. We need to get together and talk to our lawmakers about it.” (Continue reading)

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Senate approves CCSNH health care bill

Thanks to your efforts, bill overcomes “ITL” recommendation

On Thursday, the Senate approved SB 215, a bill that would allow CCSNH to re-enter the state health plan. The bill is only enabling legislation, meaning that it would allow the state and CCSNH to consider the change.

The change would likely be very good for CCSNH — which has struggled with increasing health care costs — and its employees. Despite this obvious benefit, there was still some opposition. After the bill was initially passed by the Senate, it was sent back to the Finance Committee where it received a recommendation of inexpedient to legislate (aka, ITL). That’s where you came in. (Continue reading)

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ICYMI: SEA files unfair labor practice complaint

Public Employee Labor Relations Board sets date for pre-hearing conference

Click the image above to watch a video of SEA President Rich Gulla on why we filed an unfair labor practice complaint.

On March 24, SEA/SEIU Local 1984 filed an unfair labor practice complaint against the state and Gov. Chris Sununu related to collective bargaining. We have a few updates on the process, but our goal remains the same: to get Gov. Sununu’s bargaining team back to the table.

“I said this last week and I’ll say it again: the position the state is taking is unprecedented,” said SEA President Rich Gulla. “We’ve never before been forced to go to impasse, and we don’t intend to do so now. We believe we should be able to sit down with the state and reach an agreement that is best for the state and its dedicated employees. We’re not ready to throw up our hands and declare impasse.” (Continue reading)

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