Concord, NH, March 5, 2015 – SEA/SEIU Local 1984 announced that the NH state employees voted to ratify a new two-year collective bargaining agreement with the state.
By an overwhelming 95% majority, the members accepted the terms of the agreement that was reviewed and recommended by the union’s Collective Bargaining Senate on February 5.
Key points in the new two-year contract include:
- A 2% wage increase in January 2016; and a 2% wage increase in January 2017
- Changes in healthcare to save the state $10 million over the life of the contract
- An increase in dental contributions
- An increase in term life benefits
- A provision that employees who are funded by federal dollars would be furloughed rather than laid off if the federal government shuts down
“I am pleased the members have ratified the terms of the collective bargaining agreement,” said Rich Gulla, President of SEA/SEIU Local 1984. “I believe this is a fair contract and we owe our Master Bargaining Team members a great deal of credit and gratitude for the many hours they devoted to the negotiations process. I also wish to thank the state’s bargaining team for their efforts to craft an agreement that works for our members and works for the state of New Hampshire.”
“The next step in the process is for the legislature to fund the agreement in the 2016-2017 state budgets,” said Jim Nall, the chair of the SEA/SEIU Local 1984 Collective Bargaining Advisory Committee.
“In our last contract negotiations, we agreed to many changes that saved the state millions of dollars in health benefits for state employees,” Nall said. This contract continues those savings which will lower state expenditures by $10 million during the next biennium.
“We are looking to the legislature to pass a budget that supports the diligent and reliable state employees who work every day to make our state great,” Gulla said. “For instance, the amazing employees at the Department of Transportation have provided high quality public services this winter in keeping our roads safe and passable for millions of NH citizens and visitors. This not only ensures public safety, it also allows the thousands of NH businesses and our state, counties and municipalities to carry on with minimal disruption during severe weather conditions. This is just one example of the dedication and value of services provided by the men and women who have devoted their working careers to state service.”
The new contract provides modest wage increases while providing changes to help make the state more efficient and ultimately saves money in a tight budget cycle.
“I thank the SEA members for ratifying this agreement and everything that they do for the people of New Hampshire, and I look forward to working with legislators from both parties to ensure that this agreement is reflected in our biennial budget,” Governor Hassan said in a statement released this afternoon.