After a “long and arduous journey,” negotiators with the four unions representing public employees have reached tentative contract agreements with the state of New Hampshire.
Governor Chris Sununu announced the deal Monday afternoon, saying that “while neither side got everything it wanted, both sides kept faith with the process, negotiated in good faith, and achieved a fair compromise that delivers a true win-win for the State and its hard working employees.”
The four public employees unions--the State Employees Association, the New England Police Benevolent Association, the N.H. Troopers Association, and Teamsters Local 633--have been in negotiations since last spring. Employees have been working under the terms of a contract that expired June 30th, the close of the last fiscal year.
“After a long and arduous journey we are happy to finally get an agreement with the State of N.H. that shows some respect for the hard work, dedication, and loyalty to the critically needed law enforcement personnel of the State of N.H.,” says Ronald Scaccia with NEPBA.
Under the terms announced by Sununu, employees represented by the SEA, NEPBA and Troopers Association will receive a 1.5 percent pay raise this year, and a second raise of 1.5 percent in 2019. State corrections officers represented by the Teamsters will get a 9.1 percent increase starting this summer.
According to a press release, employees agree to make certain changes to sick and bonus leave policies that will reduce administrative costs.
“We’re there in principle, but we are not quite across the finish line yet,” says Rich Gulla, president of the SEA. “They are still hammering out details, and I’ll be happy when that is finally completed.”
The contracts will cost an estimated $13.5 million in general funds. All four deals will need to be ratified by union members, and then by the N.H. Legislature.