By Kevin Landrigan
New Hampshire Union Leader
CONCORD — Gov. Chris Sununu and officials with Teamsters Local 633 announced Friday they’ve reached a tentative, two year contract for the state’s corrections officers.
Under the agreement, workers would get 4% pay increases, one next year and another in 2021 and it also addresses overtime, longevity, health care and other benefits.
It will cost the state $2.5 million and there is money set aside in the current state budget for collective bargaining agreements.
“I am pleased that we were able to come together and reach an agreement that both recognizes the tremendous work of our State employees and protects the interests of the State’s taxpayers,” said Sununu. “Both sides negotiated in good faith, and achieved a fair compromise that delivers a true win-win for the State and its hard working employees. This is truly the New Hampshire way, and I extend my sincere thanks to the Teamsters and the state employees they represent for their hard work in getting us to this point.”
The negotiating committee of the union unanimously approved the deal that still must be ratified by the rank and file.
“While this was a lengthy negotiation, I am pleased with the results. Our members will be voting on this contract in the very near future. I want to thank Governor Sununu for getting personally involved in these negotiations and for his support in reaching a compromise agreement,” said Jeff Padellaro, principal officer with the union.
The deal permits corrections officers getting double time for overtime in excess of 16 hours each week and increases longevity pay from $350 to $400.
Corrections Commissioner Helen Hanks said this agreement should help fill a chronic shortage of corrections officers throughout the system.
“New Hampshire’s corrections officers provide an invaluable service to the state of New Hampshire,” said Hanks. “Corrections officers in surrounding states and in federal facilities have historically earned higher wages comparatively, the result of which has been chronic shortages and vacancies. The benefits and wage increases included in this contract agreement will undoubtedly assist our recruiting and retention efforts.”
Sununu still has to resolve negotiations with three other unions that represent state workers.
The State Employees Association represents the lion’s share of workers throughout state government.
The New England Police Benevolent Association represents probation and parole officers along with Fish and Game Department union employees.
The New Hampshire Troopers Association represents state troopers.