For Immediate Release
June 20, 2013
CONCORD - The State of New Hampshire has reached a two-year contract agreement with the New England Police Benevolent Association (NEPBA), one of four unions representing state employees. The agreement, ratified by all five NEPBA Locals in New Hampshire, will provide the first cost-of-living pay increases to these state law enforcement professionals in five years and help reduce the state's projected growth in health care costs.
The NEPBA represents members at the Department of Fish and Game, the Department of Corrections, and the Liquor Commission law enforcement division.
"The first responsibility of state government is to keep our communities safe, and New Hampshire's dedicated law enforcement professionals are working hard every day to ensure public safety," Governor Hassan said. "After years of budget cuts and layoffs, this fair agreement will create important health care savings for the state and help our law enforcement professionals make ends meet for themselves and their families. I greatly appreciate the good faith negotiations of the NEPBA and look forward to continuing our efforts to keep the people of New Hampshire safe."
Members will receive a 1.5 percent raise effective July 12, 2013; a 2.25 percent raise effective July 11, 2014 and a 2.25 percent raise effective January 9, 2015.
In return, employees are agreeing to take a more active role in managing their health and health care costs. The state will switch to a site-of-service plan, where for certain services employees will have the option to go to select providers or pay a deductible. In exchange for working to improve their own health through activities such as taking a health assessment test, getting a physical, getting a flu shot or having their blood pressure checked, employees earn up to $500 a year through a health reimbursement account and a wellness reimbursement program. This money can be used for health care expenses such as deductibles or eye glasses. Employees also agreed to contribute toward their dental plan.
The changes will help reduce the state's future liability for the federal "Cadillac tax" on health plans, scheduled to go into effect in 2018.
Employees also agreed to changes in sick-leave policies in return for a short-term disability policy.
Ron Scaccia, the Chief Negotiator for the New England Police Benevolent Association, said, "Once again the State of New Hampshire has come to its employees and asked them for assistance in battling the ever increasing costs associated with health care, and once again the loyal employees who work for the State have agreed. In accepting the changes in health care which will cost the employees higher deductibles and paying for dental insurance, the State will realize over 10 million dollars in savings while the employees will receive very modest increases in salaries, the first they have had in over 5 years. It took over six months of hard work by both sides to come to an agreement that is fair for everyone, the State, the employees, and the citizens of New Hampshire. It is an honor for me personally to represent some of the finest State Employees that New Hampshire has."