As First Vice-President of the State Employees Association’s Board of Directors, I want to remove confusion surrounding issues involving the NH Liquor Commission generated by recent news stories, social media posts and email chains initiated by a handful of misinformed individuals.
Below are the four main issues that I would like to clarify:
The Board wants to send a strong message to the State: after decades of ignoring liquor employees’ safety pleas, their pleas won’t be ignored anymore. Because the Commission has a history of firing employees who act as whistleblowers, the SEA understands that many current members do not want to publicly denounce the NHLC and risk their livelihood. Regardless, we’ve received many messages of support, asking us to keep fighting. And we will.
Attempts have been made to convince members that we released confidential information to the media, such as security footage and sensitive information about cash deposits. This is false. We have no control over stores’ video footage, never released it and the information about bank deposits have long been known and acknowledged publicly.
President Gulla rose through the ranks from clerk to manager at NH liquor stores during the course of his nearly 20-year career. He is still a state liquor employee and a member while he serves as president. Based on Robert’s Rules of Order, the Board cannot vote to exclude a member from the process. Recently, a member improperly released confidential information about confidential personnel matters relating to President Gulla’s employment. Because members must be able to trust that confidential personnel information will always be held in confidence, the Board has directed our legal team to take appropriate action to address the inappropriate disclosure of confidential information. The Board holds their ethical and fiduciary responsibility in high regard.
As the SEA publicly expressed in the June 20 article in the Union Leader, “we respect an individual’s right to their opinion.” Members are welcomed and encouraged to express opposing viewpoints. We are a democratic organization and democracy means a plurality of voices and finding unity within that diversity. The SEA also makes regular attempts to connect with members. For example, in an outreach effort to a handful of chapter 54 members he met at the June Council meeting, President Gulla sent a notecard and copies of books that had been distributed at last year’s Convention. This simple gesture was later twisted to cast President Gulla’s act as an attempt to bribe members with gifts. We will not tolerate the intentional spread of lies and half-truths aimed at breaking down the solidarity the SEA has built for the past several decades.
The SEA has long known that the Commission bullies and intimidates its employees into silence, else they be fired. Now the Commission is using the same tactics against the SEA. These tactics include barring the SEA from visiting retail stores, cancelling the July 26 Labor-Management Committee and engaging in blatant union-busting communication with the members and general public. At a time when member concerns are at an all time high, we cannot find a plausible reason to explain why liquor officials would choose to cancel any opportunities for dialogue. This fight will be long but we are ready to use all legal avenues to stomp out the intimidation culture that is pervasive at the NHLC.
On June 21, 2018, the Board passed four motions: to authorize a show of solidarity in support of NH State Liquor Store employees; to ratify President Gulla’s actions at the Keene liquor store; to use necessary legal recourse to remedy the improper disclosure of confidential information; and to communicate with our elected officials and their appointees to address employee safety at the liquor stores.
Oftentimes when one commits to doing what is right, they will face opposition. This opposition has reaffirmed our commitment to continue to ensure employee safety and push for policy changes and training aligned with IRS regulations. The messages of support we have received from state employees across agencies has furthered strengthened our resolve to this commitment.
We’re all part of one union. We will replace confusion with clarity, not just internally but with the NHSLC as well.
First Vice President Ken Roos
SEA/SEIU Local 1984
To see the original document please click here.
Discounted Manchester Monarchs tickets are back for SEA/SEIU Local 1984 members. Members receive great prices on tickets to selected games from the minor league LA Kings affiliate throughout the season. If you’ve never been to a game, it’s never more affordable and certainly worth checking out.
In addition to the great action on the ice, the team offers fun giveaways and events all season long – including indoor fireworks – and kids can line up post game for high fives from all the Monarchs players.
You can see the selected games and get your tickets by clicking here.
On Tuesday, SEA/SEIU Local 1984 proudly presented a check to the state’s Public Works Memorial Committee toward its fundraising efforts to construct a memorial honoring public works employees killed in the line of duty.
“We represent so many public works employees that the decision from the Board of Directors’ to support this project only made sense,” said President Richard Gulla. “When the board made this decision, I had really hoped it would inspire others to contribute as well and I’m really pleased to say that our donation prompted our retirees to donate $500 from their chapter funds. I hope it inspires others.”
NH Department of Transportation Commissioner Victoria Sheehan and Director of Operations David Rodrigue were present to receive the $5,000 check.
“We’re thrilled to accept this check. It gives us the additional boost we need to bring this project to fruition,” Commissioner Sheehan said. “This generous donation really shows the SEA’s dedication toward member safety and remembering those whose lives were taken too early.”
The donation brings the total donations to $44,000 of the $80,000 that the committee needs to raise, with individual donations continuing to trickle in. “We have every intention of breaking ground in August,” Rodrigue said. “No gift is too small and anyone who wants to support us, please visit the NH Public Works Employee memorial page, which can be found on the DOT homepage.”
The winning proposal for the memorial, shown below, includes four granite slabs to represent the four seasons in which public works employees toil surrounding by 24 shovels to represent the 24 hours they are called to work. The memorial will be built outside of the NH Department of Transportation on Hazen Drive in Concord.
The SEA represents public works employees from the state Department of Transportation and municipalities including Ashland, Laconia, Hampton, Exeter, Seabrook, Rochester, Franklin, Meredith and North Conway.
Individuals can donate at www.gofundme.com/nh-public-works-memorial.
Program is offered free for SEA/SEIU Local 1984 members and their spouses
Do you have a plan for retirement? Whether you’re a few years into your career or a few years from retirement, it’s always a good idea to make sure you’re on the right track.
The popular Retirewise workshop series, presented by MetLife and SEA/SEIU Local 1984, is set to return this September in Concord. The four-part series, which is free for SEA members and spouses, will help you create a realistic plan for retirement.
The series begins Sept. 13 and continues over the following three weeks. Space for the workshop is limited to 35, so you’ll want to act quickly if you want to take part.
You can sign up for the series and find more information here.
Transition to Medicare Advantage plan will happen on Jan. 1
At its June 20 meeting, the Executive Council approved a change to the insurance plan for retired state employees, shifting the nearly 10,000 Medicare-eligible state retirees to a Medicare Advantage plan. The change will take effect on Jan. 1 and is expected to offer $11.8 million in savings for the state. In the meantime, the state will work with Anthem to get important information to retirees.
The state has provided a frequently asked questions document for the change, which you can find here. The Monitor also answered some of the questions that came up when state officials met with Chapter 1 members at a recent meeting. You can find that Monitor article here.
As a reminder, the SEA has a staffer to help with health benefits questions. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The new collective bargaining agreement between the state and SEA/SEIU Local 1984 covering Executive Branch employees has been signed and is now in effect. You can find information on the new agreement below:
Contract: You can find a signed version of the new contract here.
Short-term disability plan: You can read more about the state’s new short-term disability plan here. You can find a frequently asked questions section here. Please note that question #14 will be changed to show that all leave usage is available, not just annual. This will go into effect Jan. 1.
Health rewards: Anthem’s Healthy Rewards is once again active. You can find information here.
More information: Our informational page on the tentative agreement, which includes frequently asked questions and other information on the TA, has been archived here.
If you have questions on the new contract, or are interested in getting involved in the upcoming round of bargaining, you can email Randy Hunneyman at email@example.com.
Free barbeque dinner starting at 5:30
The SEA/SEIU Local 1984 June Council meeting is set for June 14th at 7 p.m, registration begins at 6:30 p.m. The location for the meeting is the DES auditorium at 29 Hazen Drive in Concord. There will not be a satellite location elsewhere.
Our expected guest speaker is Andru Volinsky.
Chapter 1 members will be hosting a barbeque starting at 5:30 p.m.
The annual Stay and Play weekend returns! We welcome you and your guests to join us the weekend of July 20-22 at Pemi River Campground in Thornton.
This year will be our best year yet and we want you all there whether you come for the whole weekend or just for the a day.
Food: A special catered BBQ dinner on Saturday – bring desserts or appetizers to share (all other meals are on your own).
Activities: We’ll have a free live band on Saturday night playing in the pavillion, and we’ll bring along some games. The campsite offers plenty to do, including swimming, boating and mini golf (additional fees may apply).
Theme: Yup, this year we’ve got a theme! It’s going to be Holidays in Summer, so you’re encouraged to decorate your campsite for your favorite holiday! We’ll keep the theme going with a Yankee swap (keep gifts around $20).
The cost is $10 per adult per night or $15 per family for each night you stay. If you’re coming only for the BBQ, cost is $5.
Save your spot by RSVPing today at http://bit.ly/SEAcamping2018.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can get involved, and visit the Poor People’s Campaign website for more information.