Once the state budget was approved, legislators headed off to summer vacation. The thing everyone seems to have forgotten is that state employees never got a contract. Gov. Chris Sununu continues to say no to state employees – the people he depends on every day to keep New Hampshire running.
State employees deserve a fair contract, and we will continue to fight until we get one. Here’s a brief update on where we are, what we’ve been doing so far, and most importantly, how you can get involved.
Where we are now. Bargaining with the state is currently in the “fact-finding” phase. Fact-finding comes when negotiations and mediation fail to yield a contract agreement. In fact-finding, each side provides arguments to a neutral party, who in turn prepares a report that each side can either support or reject. If either side rejects that report, then it’s back to negotiations. You can see a visual representation of this process here.
What we’ve been doing. Our contract expired on June 30. And while most of the terms and conditions remain in effect, our bargaining team has continued to work to get a contract – first through mediation and now in preparing for fact-finding. We’ve held calls with contract action team members (CAT), are developing visibility events and planning Union Pride days in your worksite. We’ve ordered buttons for these Union Pride days. In addition, President Gulla has been vocal about Gov. Sununu’s unwillingness to cooperate with state employees. See Pres. Gulla’s interview with the Union Leader here. See his video statement here.
What’s next (how you can take action). We need to keep the pressure up on Gov. Sununu, and to do that, we need as many members involved as possible. Here’s how to help.
We have a long road ahead of us, but as always, we’re committed to fight for you. Thank you for your continual hard work and service to the state of New Hampshire.
On July 17, SEA/SEIU 1984 President Rich Gulla held a garden dedication ceremony on 207 North Main Street in Concord to Operation Santa Claus.
For over 50 years, Operation Santa Claus (OSC) has provided New Hampshire’s most vulnerable children with gifts during the holiday season. Starting with delivering gifts to 14 children when the program began in 1960, OSC now provides gifts to more than 3,000 children over the holidays.
Individuals recognized at the ceremony were Becky Baker, Chair of the Operation Santa Claus committee and Phil Burt, Chapter 45 President. Chapter 45 will maintain the garden.
About Operation Santa Claus
Operation Santa Claus is a non-profit organization run by members of the State Employees’ Association/SEIU Local 1984. The program began in 1960 when Councilors from the State Employees’ Association voted to help children in need during the holidays. In December of that year, fourteen children received gifts delivered by State Troopers. Over the years, the program has grown exponentially and now provides gifts to more than 3,000 NH children over the holidays.
The success of the OSC program is due to the generous efforts of individuals throughout the state of NH. Employees at many state agencies, individuals, and businesses sponsor children and families each year. If you have participated in the program before, we thank you and hope you will be able to help out again. If you have not helped before, there are no words to describe how good you will feel when you shop for your sponsored child(ren) or write that check.
Ken Muske, of Chapter 37 is the newest member of the SEA Board of Directors. Muske won in a special election during a quarterly meeting of the Council on June 8.
Muske was one of four candidates for the position, filling a seat vacated when Cindy Sanborn-Dubey moved out of state. Muske serves as a steward at his workplace, Employment Security based in Portsmouth.
Concord, N.H. – July 11, 2017 — SEA/SEIU Local 1984 announced this week the hiring of Lauren Smith as communications administrator.
Smith, who joined the organization in May, has a background in corporate, nonprofit and crisis communications. She will lead the union’s communications department – managing member communication and political messaging.
“I’m thrilled to join the organization that represents so many hard-working Granite Staters,” said Smith. “Members of SEA/SEIU Local 1984 keep our state running – from the Department of Transportation to the Department of Corrections to New Hampshire Hospital. It’s an honor to be a part of the team fighting for the individuals who support everyone in the state.”
Prior to joining SEA, Smith worked for public relations agencies in Portsmouth, N.H. and Minneapolis, Minn. A Midwest native, she attended Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, earning a B.A. in both advertising and history.
“Lauren’s talent and natural affinity in communication strategy have already been a huge asset to our organization,” said SEA/SEIU Local 1984 President Rich Gulla. “In the last few years, we’ve seen remarkable amounts of anti-labor legislation. I’m excited to see her thoughtfulness and insight in leading our union through this era of misinformation.”
About The State Employees’ Association/SEIU Local 1984
SEA/SEIU Local 1984 represents over 10,000 public and private-sector employees across the Granite State. First formed in 1940 as a social organization, the SEA won passage of New Hampshire’s Public Employee Labor Relations Law in 1975. Since then, the union has negotiated hundreds of contracts with state, county, municipal and private-sector employers. The SEA affiliated with the Service Employees’ International Union in 1984. With 2 million members, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas.
This Coverage Update is to inform you that effective June 6, 2017, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield of New Hampshire began covering the 3-D-digital mammograms for members of the State of New Hampshire Anthem BlueCross BlueShield medical plan.
Under the State’s Anthem plan, the cost of a mammogram is not subject to your deductible, nor should you be balanced billed for the service. If you have been billed for a mammogram, contact Anthem Member Services at (800) 933-8415 for more information.
Please note the following:
To celebrate our hard-working staff, the SEA/SEIU Local 1984 office will close today at 1 p.m. for the holiday. Our office will reopen on Wednesday, July 5 at 8 a.m. If you need immediate assistance during this time, please contact President Rich Gulla at 603.856.4463.
Today, our contract expires.
After months of bargaining, all Gov. Sununu can say is, “no.”
On June 28, 2017, our bargaining team met with the state for one last attempt in securing a contract. However, Gov. Sununu has shut the master bargaining team down at every turn – refusing any wage increases and responding with outrageous demands in return.
Wage increases? “No.” Keeping health care cost-saving incentives? “No.” The master bargaining team is even facing opposition in changing the capitalization of certain letters in the contract. Gov. Sununu’s team keeps saying “no.”
The governor and his team have made it clear they have no intention of working together to better the working conditions of state employees. They’re refusing to do anything to aid in recruitment and retention, dismissing improved standards for part-time workers, and threatening to end aspects of our preventive health care – even though it’s mutually beneficial. They’re willing to threaten the health and safety of state employees just to “get a win” for the governor.
We thought our top elected official would eventually work with us. We believed he had his employees’ best interests at heart. Our master bargaining team has worked tirelessly for over 10 months to develop a contract that benefits both state employees and the people they serve. We’re disappointed this administration doesn’t see the value in the individuals who keep this state running.
When it comes to helping real people—the people he depends on—Gov. Sununu’s favorite word is no.
SEA/SEIU Local 1984 is currently accepting self-nominations for the annual election. In order to have your name appear on the printed ballot, nominations must be received by 5:00 p.m. on September 28, 2017. Please send all completed forms to SEA/SEIU Local 1984, 207 North Main Street, Concord, NH 03301.
On Sunday, October 29 voting will take place for the following positions:
If you are interested in running for any of the positions listed above, please follow the instructions on the nomination and notice form, linked here.
Elections will take place during Convention at Attitash Grand Summit Hotel in Bartlett. Nominations will begin on Saturday, October 28 at 2:00 p.m. and elections will take place starting at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, October 29.
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.