On Monday, Sept. 4, a large contingent of SEA/SEIU Local 1984 members turned out for the annual NH AFL-CIO Labor Day breakfast in Manchester. The event always draws a great lineup of speakers, and this year was no exception. Our own President Rich Gulla was among the speakers, and even got a shout-out from headline speaker Sen. Bernie Sanders.
We’ve been talking more about union pride lately, and on this day we had it on display for all to see. We’re proud to be union, because we know we’re in this for the greater good, to make a better life for our families and colleagues. Thank you all.
The ongoing devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey has impacted many in the Gulf Coast region, including many SEIU members in the Houston area. It’s times like this that we need to come together, as we often do as union members.
If you are not an SEIU member you can:
Members of SEIU Texas are severely affected by Hurricane Harvey. Read the story of one member’s experience below.
When Hurricane Harvey hit my neighborhood last Friday night, the air pressure rattled the doors and windows to my home so hard that I was worried the wind would break through. My husband Ambrose and I have been taking care of our two teenage daughters and an elderly family friend, and the situation is still scary.
It has been one big scavenger hunt for supplies. Some stores here are open but don’t have much to sell. I want to keep my family as comfortable as possible, but I’m worried about the shortage of gas and that the demand for generators and food could make things very difficult for us.
It’s times like this when being united with two million members in a strong union matters. We must band together and use our power in numbers to provide support and relief to our brothers and sisters with me here in Texas.
Members close to the storm are depending on one another — sharing supplies, information and resources. We’re getting the word out that all residents affected by Hurricane Harvey are eligible for immediate, emergency disaster relief regardless of immigration status. Moments like this, where our union brothers and sisters are facing extreme hardships, demonstrate why it’s so important that we stand together in an organization like ours.
While the wind damage has been severe, I feel lucky that we didn’t get as much rain as Houston or other parts of the area. Our union is a family, and we stand together when times are tough. To my SEIU brothers and sisters, I ask you please make a donation to the SEIU Disaster Relief Fund today: https://action.seiu.org/page/contribute/harvey-relief
Unit Secretary, Bay Area Medical Center
Corpus Christi, TX
Gov. Sununu grants raises to attorneys, still denies raises for other agencies
This week, the Executive Council approved salary increases for attorneys in the state Attorney General’s office. The raises range from 1.5 percent up to 4 percent, for an average increase of 2.7 percent.
In making the case for the raises, Attorney General Gordon MacDonald writes that the package of raises “is intended to retain the individuals who are the backbone of this office and will be its future.”
If only Gov. Sununu could somehow apply this idea of retaining (and recruiting) good employees across all state departments! Maybe then, we could ease the amount of overtime needed at the Department of Corrections or lessen the caseloads of child protection workers. Public employees didn’t get into this line of work for the money, but as they fall further and further behind, more are forced to leave for just that reason.
We need to raise our wages.
Last Thursday we saw a whole lot of union pride on display, and it wasn’t just pride in SEA/SEIU Local 1984.
When members of Chapter 45 (DHHS) gathered for a photo at the Main Building, there were a couple of unions represented. Member Roxanne Hunter brought along her sister Valeri Rodriguez, who’s a grand lodge representative for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
“She’s here visiting from Arkansas, and she’s big into her union,” Hunter said. “I was actually on vacation too, because she was visiting, but I told her I was going to come in and left it up to her.”
There’s a lot to love about this story. 1. That Hunter came in for a show of union pride and solidarity while on vacation (1-A being that Hunter brought her adorable dog, Starski, too). 2. That even 1,500 miles from home, Rodriguez was happy to take the opportunity to show her pride in being a union member. Thanks to both of you this gesture, and thanks to 2nd Vice President Tammy Clark for relaying this story to us.
Tomorrow, and every Thursday until the Executive Branch gets a new contract, we’ll be continuing with our union pride days. Be sure to wear your SEIU purple and a button or sticker. If you still need a button or sticker, you can request one at bit.ly/SEAbuttonOrder. If you haven’t already, send along a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet at us at @seiu1984 or post it on our Facebook page.
This is a list of candidates for officer and director for the SEA/SEIU Local 1984 Board of Directors. The election will be held at the annual convention in October. You can find more information on convention here.
One position – two-year term
“I am writing to tell you that I am excited to run for another term as your President. I am grateful for the confidence you have shown me.
We are living in uncertain times, with challenging state legislators, a Governor who does not recognize the worth of workers, and a Federal government that is in disarray. We are building a flexible organization that will be ready to face these challenges. I feel confident I am the person to lead us through what lies ahead. I am so very proud of your leadership and what we have done together in three short years. I ask for your vote and continued support.”
One position – two-year term
Ken Roos (Chapter 16)
“I would appreciate the opportunity of serving the membership of our growing union if you elect me to another term as your First Vice President. I am a strong voice for those who feel they don’t have a voice!”
One position – two-year term
John Hattan (Chapter 45)
“I currently am a member of the Organization Committee and also work/volunteer to assist with ballot counting. I currently chair the Poli-Ed Committee and have always worked very closely with Tammy Clark and Mary Fields.”
One position – two-year term
Cindy Perkins (Chapter 37)
“1) I can spell and use traditional grammar. 2) I have kept minutes on an as-needed basis and I take pride in being accurate and very quick. Minutes shall be completed and submitted within one week of each meeting to allow for review at leisure.”
Dawn O’Brien (Chapter 2)
“I am proficient in transcribing, spelling, and use of traditional/non-traditional (slang, abbreviations) grammar. My proficiency with Microsoft Office excels standards as I use these programs daily. I will do my best to ensure that all minutes for the meetings will be transcribed, reviewed and submitted within 3-4 days of each meeting to allow ample time for the committee’s review. I have been a part of a very active union family for 10 and I believe that this background provides me with the knowledge needed for a successful and resourceful Union Board Member.”
One position – two-year term
Avis Crane (Chapter 5)
“I started State service in 1976 (41 years), and have been an SEA member since May 1, 1978 (39 years). I have served as a Chapter Councilor or Alternate Councilor, as well as Chapter Treasurer, for most of those years, first for Chapter 45, then for Chapter 5. I have also served on the Finance Committee since 1985, plus many years on the Constitution and Bylaws and Retirement Committees, and now on the IT Advisory Committee. Also, I started the original Dues Assistance committee, served a term on the Board of Directors back in the 1980s, and served one and a half terms on the Collective Bargaining team. I have been serving as the Association’s Treasurer since December 2015.”
Three positions – three-year term
James Nall (Chapter 9)
“Chairman master barg. Exec. Branch – Ch 9 VP – steward – Chairman Dues Assistance – Board Director – Chairman state LMC – Member Health Benefits Comm. – Councilor.”
Phillip Burt (Chapter 45)
“I believe I possess these qualities and why I want to serve as a Director: Integrity, decisiveness, commitment, willingness to listen, remaining open and engaging and will ask and seek out information. I learn from my mistakes. I am committed to our mission our objectives and our members. As a long time member, activist, public employee I am certain I have the skills and knowledge to serve in standard you would expect from a Director on the Board.”
Corey Dearborn (Chapter 21)
“Union steward, Chapter 21 vice president and councilor, worksite LMC, current B.O.D., Fight for $15 committee, Master Bargaining Team, Sub-Unit Bargaining Team, C.A.T. member, delegate to the 2016 Quadrennial. Being on the Board of Directors was very important to me. I enjoyed being a part of the leadership of our union. I believe I’m a strong voice for our membership and will always fight for what’s right.”
One position – three-year term
Following President Trump’s announcement of banning transgender Americans from military service on July 26, 2017, President Rich Gulla released the following statement.
SEA/SEIU Local 1984 condemns the remarks made by President Trump this morning. Anyone who signs up to risk their life for their country should be respected, not discriminated against. Policy based on bigotry has no place in 2017 – and we stand in solidarity with transgender Americans both here in New Hampshire and across the county.
Any SEA member who wishes to be involved in promoting LGBTQ rights, please contact Mikayla Bourque, Chairman of the Lavender Caucus at email@example.com.
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.