Governor John Lynch and SEA President Diana Lacey announced today that the State of New Hampshire and the State Employees Association have reached a tentative agreement on a two-year contract that will help achieve the $50 million in personnel-related savings required by the state budget. Reaching the $50 million requirement through layoffs alone would have required up to 500 layoffs.
"I am very pleased we have been able to reach a tentative agreement with the state employees. Through this collective bargaining process, we've worked together with employees to achieve significant budget savings and reduce the need for additional widespread layoffs," Governor Lynch said. "This agreement makes real progress in addressing the rising cost of health care, which is a benefit to our taxpayers and our employees."
"This agreement strikes an important balance between the state's budgetary goals and the long-term well-being of the state employee workforce. We worked extensively with the state negotiating team to find the right mix of savings and health care innovation to reach this agreement, while at the same time improve employee rights. I am proud of the collaboration we have jointly given to this round of contract negotiations," said Lacey.
The tentative agreement reached yesterday focuses on increased employee investment in their health and in their health care benefit. The agreement strengthens the partnership with employees regarding health care, giving state workers a greater say on health care issues and promoting savings through wellness programs. Among other provisions, the agreement includes restoration of modified bumping and the inclusion in the contract of state seniority rules. There are no cost of living raises contained in the agreement.
"I would like to thank the members of the state negotiating team, led by Tom Manning, and the SEA team for their hard work and collaboration in reaching this agreement," said Governor Lynch
The agreement must be voted on by State Employees Association members before it can take effect.