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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday Columns

Shira Schoenberg's Capitol Beat in the Concord Monitor: lots of politics.

Tom Fahey's Under the State House Dome in the Union Leader: not online. Is it in the print edition?

Kevin Landrigan in the Nashua Telegraph: lots of politics, but he also provides some behind the scenes reporting on the negotiations going into the state employees' new contract proposal.
Negotiating tactics

How tough did Lynch have to get in order to gain agreement on a final contract with the State Employees Association?

Answer: Not very. It's clearly in SEA's best interest to reach a deal on furloughing state workers to avoid what would have been as many as 500 employee layoffs.

SEA President Gary Smith was under some pressure as an ex-corrections officer who was trying to deliver for his members a pay increase to make up for the loss of 15 minutes of daily overtime pay they had been getting for a morning briefing.

But Lynch couldn't and wouldn't go along with a pay increase for a small group at the same time he was making more than 10,000 state workers put up with the equivalent of a 6 percent pay cut by taking 19 days off without pay over the next 21 months.

Lynch gave up making all workers join a point-of-service health plan that would have reduced the state's administrative costs. In exchange, the union accepted one more furlough day.

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