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Statement on State Budget Passage

Following the passage of New Hampshire’s state budget on June 22, SEA/SEIU Local 1984 released the following statement.

The cynical budget passed by the New Hampshire House and Senate last week abandons the Granite State’s most vulnerable residents.

Gov. Sununu’s budget prioritizes business tax cuts over promises made to state retirees. It puts tax cuts to profitable corporations before funding staff for the women’s prison. It makes tax cuts instead of funding an adequate number of case workers at DCYF to protect our most vulnerable children. This budget is an alarming step in the wrong direction – giving tax breaks to the top 3% while shoving the costs on the remaining 97% of residents.

As New Hampshire residents suffer from the devastating impacts of this budget for years to come, we must continue to remind ourselves this is not right. It’s not right to cut taxes for big businesses instead of funding workforce training programs.  

The governor claims “New Hampshire is on a pathway to prosperity.” Yes, the only groups who “prosper” in this budget are those at the top. Our elected officials need to remember New Hampshire is run by Granite Staters – and Granite Staters are exactly who this budget is leaving behind.

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Stay and Play weekend returns in August

Fun family camping trip on the Pemi River back for a fourth year

The Stay and Play weekend returns from Aug. 18-21.

The Stay and Play weekend returns from Aug. 18-21.

It’s about that time — the SEA’s annual Stay and Play weekend is nearly here! We welcome you and your guests to join us the weekend of Aug. 18–20 at Pemi River Campground in Thornton. Family-friendly activities are available all weekend, including a community barbecue Saturday night.

Cost: $10 per adult per night if you pay in advance at the SEA office. If you pay on-site, the cost is $15 per adult per night.

Activities: That $10/$15 fee helps cover the expense of renting space for the event. It also helps us provide some fun, free activities for everyone – including a movie night and scavenger hunt. The campground itself also has a playground and lawn games for free. There are other activities, such as mini golf and kayak and tube rentals, that cost extra. You can check out all the campground offers here.

Community BBQ: Bring your own meat and a side dish to share for the Saturday night dinner. There will be ham, turkey, “redneck corn” (corn on the cob cooked in a cooler), and watermelon provided, as well as at least one grill to cook on.

If you’re going to join us, you’ll need to register online at http://bit.ly/seacamping. We’ll see you at the campground!

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Help the family of Sabrina Galusha

Sabrina

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.

  1. Make a donation on GoFundMe.
    A fundraiser has been set up here.

  2. Make an in-person donation.
    The business office on the second floor at NH Hospital will be collecting donations for the family. The office is open from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. Checks can be made out to Mark Galusha.

  3. Attend the memorial bake sale.
    On Friday, June 16 New Hampshire Hospital staff will hold a bake sale in memory of Sabrina from 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Chet Batchelder Conference Room. 100% of the proceeds will go to the Galusha family.

Thank you for helping in any way you can.

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Let’s stand up for locked-out union workers

There’s a picket-line rally tomorrow at 12:30 in Newington

LockoutThis 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.

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Executive Branch bargaining timeline

Bargaining Timeline_updated 071417

Want a printable version? Click here for a PDF.

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Labor board dismisses SEA’s unfair labor practice complaint

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.

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Four candidates on ballot for Board election

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:

  • Kristy Blanchette, Chapter 45
  • Phillip Burt, Chapter 45
  • Andrew Troisi, Chapter 54
  • Kenneth Muske, Chapter 37

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.

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Quarterly Council meeting set for June 8

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 kmulcahy@seiu1984.org 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 lfraser@seiu1984.org by June 1. You can find the agenda for the June Council meeting here.

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SEA endorses Boutin in Senate race

Republican previously served three terms representing District 16

SEA/SEIU Local 1984 President Rich Gulla, left, poses for a photo with former Sen. David Boutin, center, and First Vice President Ken Roos.

SEA/SEIU Local 1984 President Rich Gulla, left, poses for a photo with former Sen. David Boutin, center, and First Vice President Ken Roos.

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.

 

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Call senators about retiree health care changes

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.

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