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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

SEA leaders urge defeat of state contract

Leaders of the State Employees Association are urging their members to reject the contract negotiated with state officials last week. James Pindell has reaction at NH Political Report.
"After serving in Iraq, in the fight against terrorism, I didn't appreciate coming back and being terrorized by the Governor and the Legislature," said Chapter 22 President Bruce Vanlandingham.
In the Union Leader, Mark Hayward reports that the bargaining unit is more concerned with the furloughs for 10,000 state workers than with the 750 possible layoffs if no deal is reached.
"It's not a good contract. It's not a good deal for the employees," Barwell said, minutes after 162 members of the bargaining senate voted last night. He said the voice vote was overwhelming, but not unanimous.

Barwell said the contract will be mailed on Thursday to members, and they can begin discussing it.

Diana Lacey, the head of the bargaining team, said the cuts do not provide enough job security for state workers and affect all public services provided by the state.
In the Concord Monitor, Shira Schoenberg gets reaction to the recommendation from the Governor's Office.
Colin Manning, spokesman for Lynch, said he still hoped union members would ratify the agreement.

"We continue to believe that it's important that state employees be allowed to vote on a contract that could save hundreds of jobs," Manning said.

"It is our hope that they approve this contract and that we can implement a well-structured furlough program and avoid laying off hundreds of state employees."
If the full union membership rejects the agreement, both sides could return to the bargaining table, or Governor Lynch could begin making layoffs to reach the $25 million in savings mandated by the state budget.

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