Diana Lacey, President, pounded the gavel to open the 74th Annual SEA/SEIU Local 1984 Convention promptly at 9 a.m. last Saturday. Second Vice President Betty Thomas led the delegates and guests in the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a moment of silence to remember our fellow members who had passed away over the previous year.
Executive Councilor Chris Pappas introduced Gov. Maggie Hassan as getting New Hampshire on the right track after the disastrous agenda of Bill O’Brien and company. He said that public workers now have an ally and friend in the corner office.
The governor commended all public employees “for working day in and day out for people you don’t even know.” She also said she was pleased and honored to have proclaimed Oct. 1 as State Employee Appreciation Day, but people should appreciate public employees every day of the year.
Early on in her remarks, she addressed her vetoes of two bills that were important to SEA/SEIU Local 1984 members. When discussing HB 591, she acknowledged that workplace bullying is a real issue in state government that needs to be addressed. She reiterated that there were elements in the language of HB 591 with which she did not agree. However, she promised to work with us on any proposed legislation going forward to effectively address this issue.
Regarding SB 391, she referred to the Executive Order she issued last week that calls for the creation of a commission to review and advise on services to the at risk adolescents at Sununu Youth Services Center.
Gov. Hassan also thanked the many hard-working employees who helped enroll thousands of New Hampshire citizens who were newly eligible for Medicaid. The newly enrolled are now receiving coverage for healthcare. She mentioned this as one of the major accomplishments of her administration and mentioned those from the extreme right who remain focused on repealing the Affordable Care Act instead of focusing on the thousands of people who have been helped by its adoption.
The governor also stated she will always stand with us on the Right to Work issue and concluded by saying, “You make me proud every day. I am grateful for everything you do. I have the utmost respect for your public service.” Delegates and guests provided the Governor with a standing ovation.
Following her remarks, Governor Hassan called Richard “Dick” Molan to the front of the room. She then read a commendation she had prepared honoring Dick for his 40 years of service dedicated to NH labor issues.