Goodbye, 2020; WELCOME 2021!
Message from the President, Richard Gulla
On behalf of all of us in the SEA, it is my pleasure to wish you and your family a joyous holiday season and a happy, healthy, and safe New Year.
First of all, I would like to thank you for your continued support of one of the state’s finest organizations. I am deeply impressed with the dedication and resolve you have demonstrated during this pandemic.
This year, units like Strafford County Nursing and Strafford County Corrections have seen good wins with new contracts. And we also celebrate the newly-organized Rockingham Nursing Home with its first contract. And while CCSNH Staff NHRS also reached agreements, we cannot forget that our largest unit, the State Employees, still work diligently for our citizens despite being out of a contract.
Together, even amidst the chaos of 2020, our members have worked hard and contributed so much!
Thank you for your dedication and commitment to our shared goals. The 2021 new year means a lot; it’s time to move on and embrace what’s next. May all your goals be achieved, and all your plans be a success.
Richard Gulla, President SEA/SEIU Local 1984
Chapter Leadership Opportunities Open to all Members in 2021
Have you ever wanted to explore a leadership position within your chapter? Have you held previous roles or enjoyed working on a committee? If you’d like to learn more, now is the time. Join us for our first Zoom Leadership training on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
Training will include presentations from special guests on:
- How to run a meeting
- Robert’s Rules
- POP – Process, Outcomes, Purpose
- Taking minutes
- Executing Chapter Audits
- How to successfully hold Zoom and Google meetings
If you have ever been interested in a leadership role, now is your chance to register here.
Master Bargaining Update as of 12/10/20
The State’s bargaining team and the union committee have met several times over the last seven weeks to where the members of the union side have made their initial presentations. The group representing the SEA has presented a majority of its proposals, and SEA sub-units have also met with the State and presented their submissions. On Tuesday, December 15th, the parties will meet again for master contract bargaining. We expect that the remaining teams from the union committee will finish their presentations. The SEA master team expects the State team to return to the table with its proposals from the employer and responses to the union’s requests in the first weeks of January.
Coronavirus Update: Eight Ways to Stay in a Paid Status during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Remaining in a paid status is a crucial thing for every employee. Receiving full wages each pay period not only ensures you have money to pay your bills each month but going into an unpaid status may have other detrimental effects that you haven’t considered. Falling into an unpaid leave status can affect whether or not you continue to accrue benefits and seniority. It may also impact your years of service and amount earned with regard to retirement, and in some cases, it could even lead to your termination. Therefore, it is in your best interest to remain in a paid status if you have to take leave due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are some helpful tips to help you do that, and for more detailed information, please visit our website.
- Remote Work
- FFCRA Leave
- Paid Administrative Leave
- Contractual Leave
- Short-term Disability
- Shared/Supplemental Sick Leave
- Worker’s Compensation
2021 Legislative Session
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the General Court is conducting legislative activities remotely except for publicly noticed sessions in the House or Senate Calendar. During this time, the State House and Legislative Office Building remain closed to visitors. The 2021 sessions for both the House and Senate will be on January 6, 2021, at 10:00 a.m.
Operation Santa Claus, Over 3000 Children Served!
On Monday, December 7, 2020, the volunteers from Operation Santa Claus, Department of Health and Human Services Associate Commissioner Lori Weaver, and SEA President Rich Gulla presented the NH National Guard with their annual gift donations in support of this 60-year holiday tradition.
“This year, COVID-19 has caused undue hardships, both financial and emotional, to so many here in New Hampshire,” said the State Employees’ Association President Rich Gulla. “All our volunteers work so hard on this program, and as a result, it allows families the ability to provide some much-needed holiday cheer to their children during these unprecedented times.”
Over 3000 children and families will have a Merry Christmas due to all of your efforts. Thank you so much for all of your hard work and dedication. You certainly are Santa’s little helpers!!!
IN THE NEWS/NH UPDATES
NH Veterans Home and the DOC Struggle Amidst COVID-19 Outbreak
The New Hampshire Department of Corrections has called for the National Guard to help deal with staffing shortages. More than 50 active COVID-19 cases have been reported within the prison system this week.
The NHDOC is training the National Guard to fill staffing vacancies associated with COVID-19 at the New Hampshire State Prison for Men. Their most recent posting of active cases reported 55 cases, 27 staff, and 28 residents.
We have received confirmation this week in a similar situation that the NH Veterans Home is also utilizing The New Hampshire National Guard to cover shifts due to the staff shortage from the COVID-19 outbreak. Currently, there are 59 cases, 28 staff, 31 residents, 76 recovered, and just last week, two of their oldest residents, one at 100 and the other at 102 years of age, have passed due to COVID-19 infections.
Steward’s Committee Update
Stewards are the face of our union to management and members. We are working hard through training and with the Steward Committee to provide every steward with the tools and professionalism necessary to represent our Union and members appropriately. However, we are asking for help.
Please join us in assisting new stewards with their questions and concerns by attending the Steward Committee meetings, held every third Thursday of the month, now via Zoom, at 05:30 P.M. All stewards are welcome to participate in the discussions. To attend, please register here.
We are also trying to fill all our steward vacancies. We are asking all Chapter Presidents to assist us with this process by verifying all steward positions are filled, and if there are any vacancies to nominate a Union member to fill them. Please contact Beth Aborn for questions at email@example.com.
We can only succeed when we organize and work together.
Conservative Committee: SEA Conservatives Are in an Excellent Position to be a Powerful Influence
New Hampshire voters selected Republican candidates to lead the legislature. With a clear majority in the New Hampshire House and Senate, Republicans will take over leadership in both chambers. The takeover means that it is less likely Governor Sununu will veto as many legislative efforts and may allow SEA conservatives an opportunity to move on some of the SEA legislative priorities, not to mention our ability to secure a contract.
Here’s How You Can Help.
- Join our next Conservative Members Committee meeting on Zoom on 1/12/21 at 5:00 PM.
- Connect with legislators in your district. If you don’t know who they are, you can find them here.
- Donate to SEAPAC, our Political Action Fund. As little as $1.00 a month helps. The link is here.
For more information or if you have any questions, please contact Mason Petit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Campaign for Public Good: Call for Auction Items!
SEA’s Campaign for Public Good is holding a virtual auction in 2021 to raise funds for the NH Food Bank. We are asking for your help. If you know someone that owns a small business or provides services of any kind, ask if they would be willing to contribute. A snow plowing service could donate a free driveway plow; a photographer could donate a framed photo or a free session; anything will help. If you have items or services, you would like to contribute to the auction. Please contact David Holt at email@example.com.
Returning for 2021, Knitting for a Cause
Knitting for a cause returns in 2021 with virtual zoom how-to’s. Get your patterns and your needles ready. The need is great, and it’s fun too! Share your talents for the greater good!
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
New Year, New Book Club!
Want to start 2021, right? Do something fun for you. Join our book club! Beginning January 4, Social Activities will be creating an SEA Book Club to meet Mondays at 6 pm via Zoom. The Book Club will be selecting a book at our first meeting, so come with suggestions! Interested members should contact David Holt at email@example.com.