State Proposed All But One of Fact-Finders Recommendations, Unions Refuse to Give an Inch
Concord, NH – Today, Governor Chris Sununu issued the following statement after union negotiators refused the State's proposal that included all but one item in the Fact Finder's report:
"It is shocking that union negotiators refused to accept the State's proposal, which heavily favors union requests and provided employees with higher wages and benefits, even beyond what the Legislature funded," said Governor Chris Sununu. "The report released today is fair; however, the State cannot in good conscience agree to re-open an old contract that had previously been agreed upon by all parties. Union leadership is standing in the way of a benefit and wage increase for hard working state employees."
The contract proposed by the State offered a 1.16% wage increase in both 2020 and 2021, with nearly $11 million in additional benefits. This was the same wage increase found to be fair by the Fact Finder, without renegotiating the old contract.
Additionally, under the proposal the State agreed to absorb increased costs associated with the following health care benefits: a 6.1% increase in Active HMO Health Plan rates, a 7.0% increase in Active POS Health Plan rates, a 10.7% increase in NHTA HMO and POS Plan rates, a 2.5% increase in Active Dental Plan rates, and a 4.0% increase in Non-Medicare Eligible Retiree Health Plan rates.
The proposed contract would have also increased hazardous duty and direct care pay; expanded insurance coverage to cover developmental disorders for children and changes to step therapy; and expanded employee discounts at State recreational areas to allow a discount for one guest.
The proposed contract is estimated to have cost $11 million in FY20 and FY21 – $5 million more than had been allocated by the Legislature for a state employee contract in the recently passed state budget.
Earlier today, Governor Chris Sununu announced that the State of New Hampshire has reached a tentative contract agreement with the Teamsters Local 633, which represents State corrections officers.
"Governor Sununu's decision to meet the Teamsters in the middle showed a willingness by both parties to negotiate in good faith," said Liz McCormack, Manager of Employee Relations for the State of New Hampshire. "This approach has proven to work as it has delivered a fair compromise that benefits the employees the Teamsters represent. This same constructive approach should be taken by other union negotiators so that their members receive a similar positive result."