There are no words to express the immense sadness surrounding Sabrina Galusha’s tragic death this week. This is especially true at New Hampshire Hospital, where Sabrina worked in food service and where her father, Mark, dedicated years of service before his retirement.
As they always do, the members of Chapter 4 and the NH Hospital family are coming together to assist the Galusha family in this terrible time.
“All of us here at New Hampshire Hospital are remembering a sweet, free-spirited woman who had a smile for everyone she met.” recalls Laurie Aucoin, Chapter 4 President. “Sabrina Galusha will be missed by many.”
On top of dealing with Sabrina’s death, her family is also facing the financial burden of her funeral costs. Please join in coming together to help the Galusha family.
Thank you for helping in any way you can.
Most provisions remain in place, though a few will expire June 30
The current Executive Branch contract expires on June 30. However, because the contract has an “evergreen” clause, the majority of the contract remains in place. That said, any items with a sunset date of June 30, 2017, will expire.
The biggest provision set to expire at the end of this month is the Health Assessment Test (HAT) and Healthy Rewards program. This only means if you’d like to take advantage of the HAT (which earns you $200 on a HRA debit card) or Healthy Rewards (which can earn you up to $300 in gift cards for completing certain activities), you’ll need to do so by June 30.
That $200 earned by completing the HAT will not expire until Dec. 31 of this year. Retailer gift cards earned through Healthy Rewards don’t expire at all, and all newly issued Visa debit cards earned through that process don’t expire for three years.
The big takeaway here is that if you haven’t done this yet, you’ll want to get to it as soon as possible. You can read more about the Healthy Rewards program here.
Correction: This post initially stated that COBRA coverage would sunset, which is incorrect. COBRA is a federal program that exists outside of the collective bargaining agreement. What is set to sunset is a clause to provide one month of state health coverage for employees who are laid off.
There’s a picket-line rally tomorrow at 12:30 in Newington
This month, union workers at Westinghouse Electric Co. in Newington were locked out of work after failing to reach a contract agreement with their employer. Their sticking point? Affordable health insurance for their families. Now, these hard-working Granite Staters are left without any health insurance or without income to support their families. This is unacceptable.
We know that the only way working people win is when we stand together, so we need to stand by the members of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 651. There’s a rally Friday at 12:30 p.m. at 178 Shattuck Way in Newington.
Just as SEA members did for our friends at Fairpoint and Market Basket, we’re asking you to join these workers on the picket line on Friday. If you can’t be there and you’d like to help, you can also make a donation to help these workers through GoFundMe.
Want a printable version? Click here for a PDF.
Today, the Public Employee Labor Relations Board (PELRB) ruled 2–1 in opposition to SEA/SEIU Local 1984’s Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) filed against the state. We filed a ULP in disagreement with the state’s assertion all unions had to go to impasse after the Troopers and Teamsters declared.
At this time, we are reviewing all available options. The ultimate goal—as it has always been—is to get back to the bargaining table to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement for the dedicated state workforce.
“Our goal is to negotiate a contract that ensures we have the best possible workforce to serve the citizens of New Hampshire,” said Richard Gulla, President, SEA/SEIU Local 1984. “Our members—who plow our roads, keep our streets safe and care for our elderly and mentally ill—do important work. That’s why we filed this ULP. We need a contract that helps them do their jobs, take care of their families and keeps us competitive. Despite the PELRB’s decision, we will continue fighting for a contract on behalf of New Hampshire workers.”
In a dissenting opinion, former Sen. Mark Hounsell writes in favor of SEA/SEIU Local 1984, stating the State should be ordered back to the bargaining table to resume negotiations.
“…the State’s refusal to continue to meet the SEA and the NEPBA at the bargaining table to discuss common terms and conditions as demanded is a clear violation of the State’s bargaining obligations, and the State has committed an unfair labor practice as charged.”
While all five unions have approached collective bargaining from various angles, we are all in the same place in terms of reaching a contract deal.
We hope Gov. Sununu will work with us to get back to the table and provide a suitable contract for New Hampshire state employees.
Runoff will be held on June 8 Council meeting
There’s a special election at the upcoming Council meeting on June 8 to fill the remainder of a three-year term on the SEA/SEIU Local 1984 Board of Directors. Click here to read more about the June Council meeting.
This special election will fill the board seat vacated when Cindy Sanborn-Dubey moved out of state. Since Cindy was just elected last year, this term will expire in 2019. Four candidates filed the necessary paperwork to appear on the ballot:
Floor nominations are also allowed for this special election. However, any such candidates will not have their names on the ballot and must run as write-in candidates.
Free barbecue dinner and special election on the agenda
The next quarterly Council meeting is just around the corner on Thursday, June 8. In addition to a special election for the Board, the meeting will include a free barbecue dinner cooked up by members of Chapter 1.
The meeting itself will begin with registration at 6:30 p.m., but the barbecue will start an hour earlier, at 5:30 p.m., in the courtyard behind the meeting location, 29 Hazen Drive. If that’s not enough of a draw, we’ll have a door prize of four tickets to Canobie Lake Park.
Child care is available, but you must contact Kristen Mulcahy at email@example.com no later than May 26.
All chapter presidents are reminded that you and all duly elected councilors are responsible to attend Council meetings, and as such should make every effort to attend. If you have any new business to bring before the Council, please notify Linda Fraser at firstname.lastname@example.org by June 1. You can find the agenda for the June Council meeting here.
Republican previously served three terms representing District 16
The SEA/SEIU Local 1984 Board of Directors has endorsed former District 16 state Sen. David Boutin in the special election set for July 25.
Boutin served as the state senator from District 16 from 2010–16. Before that, he had two stints in the House of Representatives. In his time in the Legislature, he’s been an open-minded, outspoken advocate for the residents of Bow, Hooksett, Candia, Dunbarton and Wards 1 and 12 in Manchester. SEA/SEIU Local 1984 member Pam Sullivan of Hooksett said after meeting with Boutin, it was clear he was the best choice to represent District 16.
“In his time as state senator, David Boutin has consistently made decisions based on impact for New Hampshire rather than personal ideology,” Sullivan said. “He listens to his constituents and extends his hand across the aisle to fight for issues that matter to Granite Staters.”
All SEA/SEIU Local 1984 political endorsements begin with the Political Education (Poli Ed) Committee, which any member can be a part of. The Poli Ed Committee meets with candidates and makes a recommendation to the Board of Directors for endorsement.
In the case of this endorsement, the committee met with the three major candidates in the race, including the two Democrats, and ultimately settled on Boutin as the best choice. Poli Ed passed that recommendation on to the board, which approved the endorsement late last week.
Boutin is the only Republican running in the special election, which is set for July 25. Because there are two Democrats in the running, there will be a primary on June 6. The special election came about due to the death of Sen. Scott McGilvray, the longtime NEA president who died just months into his first term in the Senate.
If you’d like to support David Boutin in his Senate bid, you can start right away: he needs help distributing yard signs to supporters. If you can help, meet at Tucker’s in Hooksett at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Would you like to know more about the Poli Ed Committee? You can send an email to committee Chair John Hattan and attend a meeting.
Act now: Finance Committee closing in on final budget proposal
As the Senate Finance Committee continues work on its version of the budget, state retiree health care has remained a major concern. This concern was not alleviated by the committee’s vote this week along party lines to adopt a plan that still raises health care costs for many state retirees.
There’s still time to make a difference, so we need you to contact your senator and the members of the Finance Committee.
The plan adopted by the Senate Finance Committee is the same one the House Finance Committee approved. It would exempt some retirees—those who were born before Jan. 1, 1949 —from paying a premium for health insurance. However, drawing such a line would mean someone could miss being exempted if they were born on Jan. 1, 1949 instead of Dec. 31, 1948. The plan may be an improvement from Gov. Chris Sununu’s proposal, but it still places an unnecessary burden on state retirees.
Many of you have made calls and sent emails, but we need to keep the pressure up. We need you to reach out to the members of the Senate Finance Committee, as well as your own senator, as soon as possible. Tell them the state must keep its promise to the retirees who worked for decades in service of their state. Putting the burden of rising health care costs on fixed-income seniors isn’t only unfair, it’s just plain wrong.
We’d like you to join in welcoming the newest member of the SEA/SEIU Local 1984 staff, David Holt.
As the Lead External Organizer Holt, joins the SEA after working as an organizer with Protect New Hampshire Families, fighting so-called Right to Work legislation.
“Unions mean being able to stand together – to have a fair say in the wages, benefits, safety and environment in your workplace. They allow working people to bargain for their resources, time, skills and creativity. I’m proud to be a member of SEA as the Lead External Organizer.”
Before becoming an organizer, Holt spent 12 years in the software industry and as a Project Manager for Tyco International.
A New Hampshire native, Holt currently lives in Somersworth with his two dogs, Sephin and Petey. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with friends and family. He’s also very active in his local community fighting for social and economic equality.
Currently, Holt is working on a campaign aimed at helping members increase involvement in the SEA community. His ultimate campaign goal is working toward the common good for all our neighbors.
“I look forward to working hard on behalf of local workers while fighting to improve the quality of life for both union and nonunion members.”
Want to introduce yourself? Send David a note!