News for Sept 23


TOP STORY

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Annual Leave Accruals 

Governor Sununu has signed an exectuive order that dictates the following:

1.      State employees may accrue annual leave above the maximum limits established in Article 10 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

2.      The accrual of annual leave above the maximum limits will end on January 1, 2021.

3.      All annual leave balances above the maximum limits established in Article 10 of the CBA will expire on July 1, 2021.

-Important- State employees who have accrued extra annual leave over the maximum limit(s) established in Article 10.1 of the CBA will need to use all of the additional leave prior to January 1, 2021 to avoid losing their normal monthly accruals. Employees are advised to schedule the use of extra leave balances between now and December 31, 2020.  Please do not delay and submit your leave requests as soon as possible. Should there be issues with getting your leave requests approved, please contact your local SEA steward or elected leaders right away so they can assist with the situation. 

You can also email the SEA at rhunneyman@seiu1984.org or call 271-3411 Ext. 129 if you need additional assistance

Honoring RBG’s Legacy on Labor Rights

The late, honorable Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg passed away from complications of cancer on September 18, 2020. Her legacy looms large in light of the 2020 General election and current attacks on workers’ rights. 

RBG championed labor rights, and issued majority and dissenting rulings on labor rights as recently as 2018. In a dissenting opinion, RBG stated firmly that employees should have the right to collectively sue an employer – one of the basic tenets of labor organizing.

Honor her legacy by committing to vote this November. 

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NH State News

30% of primary votes cast via absentee ballot

Voter turnout for the primary was up compared to 2018. Over 304,000 Granite Staters voted in the primary, and almost 30% of those votes were cast via absentee ballots. In 2018, only 4% of voters cast absentee ballots. Absentee ballots made up the majority of votes in the following communities:  Randolph, Sanbornton, Hanover, Orford, Durham, Lyme, Rye, Sandwich, Conway and New Castle.

The monumental increase of absentee ballots is largely due to recent changes in voting policy, which allows any NH voter to request an absentee ballot due to fear of contracting COVID-19. 

For more information, NHPR broke down absentee voting statistics by districts, political affiliation, and compared results to the 2016 NH primary. 

It is impossible to know how COVID-19 will affect our communities in November. Requesting a ballot now guarantees voters one option for voting, and is not impacted by closed polling stations, sanitation guidelines, or community rules. Requesting an absentee ballot does not prevent you from voting in person. It also does not permit you to vote twice.  Request an absentee ballot here.


NH Legislature fails to override a single Sununu veto

Despite calls, protests, and rallies, the NH Legislature failed to override two of Gov. Sununu’s    most harmful vetoes. If they had been successful, NH workers would have been guaranteed 12 weeks of paid family leave following the birth or adoption of a new child. Workers would also have access to 12 weeks of paid medical leave.

SEA members and other NH demonstrators were also hoping to overturn a veto on HB 731, which would have raised the minimum wage to $10/hr by 2021. New Hampshire is the only state in New England to default to the federal minimum wage – just $7.25/hr. Every other minimum wage worker in the region makes at least 44% more than NH workers. 

Governor Sununu has issued a record amount of vetoes while in office, all while denying Granite State employees a contract.


Call to Action

We want to hear from NH SEA/SEIU 1984 members!

Governor Chris Sununu’s vetoes are directly impacting lives in New Hampshire. In 2020 alone, he has rejected legislation that would help improve healthcare, employment, public safety and sustainability including, but not limited to: raising the minimum wage from $7.50 to $10 in 2021, paid family and medical leave insurance, and many laws which would have protected voters from the COVID-19 virus. 

Have you been impacted by Governor Sununu’s vetoes? Help us educate Granite State voters on Sununu’s veto record, by sharing how YOU have been personality affected, before the November 3 election. Fill out this form or reach out directly to Britta Petersen (britta.petersen@SEIU.org or 917-596-8609) to tell your story.


Union Updates

Upcoming: Master Bargaining Team Meeting

A Zoom meeting of the Collective Bargaining Senate (CBS) is being called on Thursday September 29th at 6:00 PM to review, discuss, and vote on the list of recommendations on state unit collective bargaining subjects and issues compiled by the CBAC.  (Per: SEIU Local 1984 Board Policy: Section MASTER COLLECTIVE BARGAINING B3, b. Page 4)

This is a very important meeting and the following member positions are considered as members of the CBS.

MEMBERSHIP – state unit Collective Bargaining Advisory Committee members; state unit Chapter Presidents; state unit Stewards; state Master Bargaining Team members; SEA Board of Directors; the chairperson of each state sub-unit bargaining team; state unit Chapter Councilors and staff as ex officio members.

If you are a member of the CBS, you will be receiving an email invite to the zoom meeting.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Randy Hunneyman at rhunneyman@seiu1984 or call 271-3411 ext 129


NEEDED: 100 Volunteers

Next Wednesday, September 30. We need AT LEAST 100 dedicated members to join us for a phone banking session.The 2020 General election is 41 days away, and we need your help to elect over 80 pro-labor candidates across NH.

You will be calling your fellow members to encourage them to vote for candidates that support labor and workers’ rights. 

YOUR labor rights are on the ballot! Register to volunteer here.


Election 2020

Unions unite behind Dan Feltes

Unions have caught media attention following the NH Gubernatorial Primary. Both the NH-NEA and SEA/SEIU Local 1984 have voiced support for gubernatorial candidate, Dan Feltes, adding to a growing body of support for the Democratic candidate.

According to his campaign, Dan Feltes has been endorsed by 17 labor unions. The New Hampshire Troopers Association cited tense relations with the Governor and his “refus[al] to accept the third-party fact-finder’s recommendation” when they announced their endorsement. The Association previously endorsed Gov. Sununu in 2018. 


Endorsement Slate, General Election 2020 

SEA/SEIU Local 1984 has released a slate of endorsed candidates for the 2020 General Election. 

We want to emphasize the importance of casting a vote for every office on the ballot – from local commissioners to the President of the United States. Advocacy for workers’ rights begins at the local level, and with over a dozen fellow union members running for office, this election allows you to elect candidates who can make a difference in your local communities. 

Download your copy of our endorsement slate from our Election 2020 page.


Member Candidates in the News: Mark Brave for Sheriff

Candidate Mark Brave on Saturday in Dover, NH about his candidacy and commitment to equity in the Stafford County Sheriff’s department. 

Mark tol supporters that if elected, he would be the first black Sheriff in the history of New Hampshire. He spoke of the 48 recommendations for police reform that Gov. Sununu recently endorsed, which includes body cameras, diversity training, and an oversight board. Mark believes NH is “moving in the right direction”. 

Members living in Stafford county can vote for Mark Brave in the 2020 General election! Click here to request your absentee ballot today. 


Labor News

Payroll tax deferment

Payroll Tax Deferment- The SEA does not support employer’s defer payroll taxes through the end of the year. As you may have heard, the Trump administration has created the ability for employers to defer payroll taxes (FICA, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security) until the end of the year in an attempt to create relief for cash strapped employers. 

However, none of these taxes are forgiven, but are instead merely extended to the end of the year, and employers do not actually save money. Although the SEA is not aware of any of its represented units using this program, the SEA is generally against the program. Only in very rare circumstances will the program benefit employees or the employer, but would certainly create a large expense at the year’s end, which may create significant hardship.


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