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SEA joins Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

march

When Martin Luther King Jr. was killed in Memphis in 1968, he was leading an initiative called the Poor People’s Campaign to demand economic justice for all. Now, 50 years later, a revival of his Poor People’s Campaign is under way, and SEA/SEIU Local 1984 is proud to support this bold initiative.

We’re joining with community allies and faith groups in pursuit of a moral revival, challenging systemic racism, poverty, the war economy and militarism, and ecological devastation. Our nation’s distorted moral narrative must change and it starts with us. Our collective efforts have already had a rippling effect: when state employees were fighting for a contract from Gov. Chris Sununu, these same allies and faith groups stood beside us and urged the governor and his team to consider the issue from a moral perspective. Working together, we can impact not only our workplaces but our communities as well.

The SEIU international union is supporting this campaign and is encouraging Locals to get involved. In May, the SEA’s Board of Directors voted to support the campaign, as well. In the coming months, we’ll be participating in actions as part of the Poor People’s Campaign and we invite you to join us!

Please contact David Holt at dholt@seiu1984.org to find out how you can get involved, and visit the Poor People’s Campaign website for more information.

 

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Featured member discount: Save on heating fuel

Editor’s note: We’ll be highlighting different member benefits every few weeks, starting today with this opportunity to save on heating fuel.

The weather is finally starting to heat up, but it’s actually a good time to think about heating your home. That’s because SEA/SEIU Local 1984 members get an extra discount when joining Our Town Energy Alliance. This membership-based group works with local vendors to save you money on heating fuels, including oil, propane and kerosene.

Right now, SEA/SEIU Local 1984 members who are new to Our Town Energy Alliance can save $10 off the annual fee (normally $30) for the first year. Most enrollment programs for the 2018-19 season end June 30, so you’ll have to act quickly. New members will need call 603-435-3077 to sign up, and provide this code SEIU1984. You can find more information on the program at www.otchoice.com.

If you have an idea for a new discount or benefit, you can send an email to memberdiscounts@seiu1984.org.

 

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Save on fun at theme parks this season

Canobie

SEA/SEIU Local 1984 members are entitled to discounts at several regional theme parks, including Canobie Lake Park, Six Flags New England, Story Land (available at the end of May) and Water Country. Theme parks are a blast, but costs can add up quickly. Discounts like these make it a bit easier to bring the whole family along for the fun.

All tickets, with the exception of Story Land, can be purchased at the SEA office, and we accept payments in cash, check or charge. You can find more information on these discounts on our Member Discounts page.

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Health Buzz: Working rate holiday coming soon

Occasionally, when those covered by the state employee health plan spend less than anticipated, employees get what’s known as a working rate holiday. What this means, in short, is that subscribers can expect to see more take-home pay in the May 25 paycheck. The amount varies just a bit depending on your normal deduction.

This is all made possible by state employees making good use of programs such as Vitals SmartShopper and Anthem’s Health Assessment Test to bend the cost curve downward. So, good work!

The following is the message sent to state employees about the working rate holiday:

Active employees, not including New Hampshire Trooper Association employees, enrolled in a HMO or POS health plan as of March 31, 2018 will receive the health benefit working rate holiday in the May 25th paycheck in an amount equal to 1.29 times the employee’s normal biweekly health plan deduction.  Employees will see their normal biweekly deductions under Deductions on their paycheck remittance detail. You will also see the health benefit working rate holiday credit as a negative deduction amount, labeled HLTHHOLE. A negative deduction is, in fact, a payment that will increase your gross pay and therefore taxable income.

Employees who have any questions regarding the health benefit working rate holiday should contact their human resources and/or payroll staff.

 

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Legislative wins for CPSWs and state retirees

SEA celebrates win for CPSWs and continues push for caseload standards

SEA celebrates the significant milestone that the state legislature achieved today for Child Protective Service Workers in passing SB 592. The bill funds 25 new CPSW positions, including eight designated specifically as resource workers, and two supervisor positions. Two clerical worker positions have also been added to help CPSWs with their administrative burdens.CPSW

“Our CPSW members worked really hard to make sure legislators understood the critical urgency to fund more positions,” said President Richard Gulla of SEA/SEIU Local 1984. “This funding is the next significant step in addressing the need to lower caseloads to manageable levels in order to best serve New Hampshire’s children and their families. That’s not something we’re going to stop fighting for.”

The bill also requires the Department of Health and Human Services to submit a specific appropriation for additional child protective service worker positions in its biennial budget request so it can meet nationally accepted caseload and workload standards.

The bill received bipartisan support and is now waiting Governor Sununu’s signature.

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COLA victory for state retirees

The SEA applauds the passage of HB 1756. The bill grants a $500 one time allowance for those in the retirement system that have been retired for at least 5 years prior to July 1, 2018 with at least 20 years of service and have a pension lower than $30k.Retiree

“Given that the House and Senate committees at one point both recommended that this bill be killed, I congratulate the m
embers whose advocacy influenced the revival of this bill and ultimately this win,” said President Richard Gulla of SEA/SEIU Local 1984. “This is the first increase retirees have received of any kind in the past eight years and we hope that in the future we can achieve more permanent allowances.”

The bill is now waiting Governor Sununu’s signature and we urge him to sign this legislation and give our lowest pensioners some relief.

 

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Filing period for elections is approaching

If you’re interested in running for federal, state or county office this fall, the filing period is just around the corner. This year, New Hampshire will hold elections for U.S. House of Representatives, governor, Executive Council, state House of Representatives, state Senate, and county-level positions.

If you’d like to have your name on the primary ballot for any of these, you’ll need to file between June 6 and June 15. You can find more information about filing for office on the Secretary of State’s website.

We’d like to hear from any members of SEA/SEIU Local 1984 – or family members – who are interested in running. If you’re interested or have questions, please send an email to bhawkins@seiu1984.org.  

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Senate Approves Contract Funding

 

Last night, the Senate amended a bill, HB 1817, to include funding for the tentative agreement that SEA/SEIU Local 1984 has negotiated with the state.

“Given the legislative time constraints that we’ve been under, I give tremendous credit to Bargaining Senate members who took the time to come in on short notice last week and cast their vote,” SEA President Richard Gulla said. “Members who elected their colleagues to represent them can feel confident that the SEA Senate weighed all the pros and cons of the tentative agreement before deciding to send it to members.”

Thursday was the last session day in which the House or Senate could make a change to a bill outside of the committee of conference process. On Monday the Senate Finance Committee recommended SEA’s tentative agreement for funding, which was a necessary step in progressing toward a funded contract.

The situation should be resolved by May 24, the last day for the legislature to act on committee of conference reports.  In the interim, it is up to the members to decide whether to ratify the agreement.

 

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What exactly are committees of conference?

New Hampshire’s legislative process is lengthy and gives the House and Senate-wide latitude to amend legislation as they see fit. If one or both chambers approve an amended version of a bill, they’ll ultimately need to agree on the final version if they want it to reach the governor’s desk.

If the House and Senate can’t simply agree – the legislative term is concur then they’ll need to form a committee of conference to hash out the differences between the two bills. We’re now seeing the first of the committees of conference formed in the Legislature, with many more to come.

The committees need to meet and finalize their reports by May 17, with a deadline of May 24 for the Legislature to act on those reports. The list of 2018 committees of conference are updated here.

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Tentative agreement site visits

The following are tentative site visits for the Executive Branch tentative agreement:

Thursday, May 24

11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. – DMV Concord

Noon – Laconia DHHS district office

1-3 p.m. – South Street DOIT

1:30 p.m. – Sununu Youth Services Center cafeteria

2 p.m. – Laconia Designated Receiving Facility

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Executive Branch 2018 Tentative Agreement Info

We will post regular updates to this page related to the tentative agreement, including expected regional meeting dates and details.

To learn more about the tentative agreement, please visit our FAQ page.

To read the tentative agreement in full, please access it here. Please note that the individual dates listed on each article reflect the culmination of the past year and half of negotiations.

To read the factfinder’s report, please click here.

To find a list of site visits and regional meetings on the tentative agreement, please click here.

Please note: This Fact Finder’s report is being provided for reference only. The fact-finding process acted as the catalyst that led the governors office to realize that offering no cost-of-living adjustments was an untenable position. This report was used as a tool by the bargaining teams to reach a Tentative Agreement, and at this point, the report has no legal significance, even though it is an important footnote in the history of these negotiations. At this stage, regardless of the action taken by the members on the ratification vote of the Tentative Agreement, the report is not subject to a vote by the members, and cannot be imposed by the Union or the State unilaterally.

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