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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

State Contract Talks Frustrating to Both Sides

The Concord Monitor and Union Leader update ongoing negotiations between the Governor's Office and the State Employees Association.

In the Monitor, Shira Schoenberg reports that both sides have narrowed down the areas left to decide.
Diana Lacey, lead negotiator for the SEA, said it was the responsibility of the governor's office to accept a deal.

"The $25 million has been on the table for months," Lacey said. "At this point we're wondering, is the governor going to choose to take the million-dollar deal or choose to go forward with 750 layoffs?"

But Manning said the union has backed away from an existing deal.

"The union's walking away from major provisions of the tentative agreement," Manning said.

Both sides agree that the sticking points are health care and pay for corrections officers, which relates to a plan for furloughs. (more)
In the Union Leader, Jim Fennell writes that both parties are taking a day to look at the other side's latest ideas.
Lacey said the state's negotiating team left the table with the intent of using today to review a counter proposal the union offered up Friday. Lacey said it's good a sign that the state is willing to consider compromise, but she thinks time was wasted by waiting four days to start the review process.

Union leaders, meanwhile, will spend part of the day hearing a presentation on the point-of-service health plan the state wants all employees to be enrolled in. (more)

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