A tentative contract agreement between New Hampshire and the union representing corrections officers will provide a 4 percent pay raise next year.
The contract, which stipulates another 4 percent increase in 2021, will also give employees expanded overtime, longevity, health care and other benefits, according to a news release from the governor’s office.
The estimated cost of the contract is $2.5 million in general funds in fiscal 2020 and 2021.
Jeff Padellaro, Principal Officer Teamsters Local 633, said the tentative agreement achieves the key demands of union members and was unanimously supported by the negotiating committee.
“While this was a lengthy negotiation, I am pleased with the results,” Padellaro said in the news release from the governor's office. “Our members will be voting on this contract in the very near future. I want to thank Governor [Chris] Sununu for getting personally involved in these negotiations and for his support in reaching a compromise agreement.”
The union membership still needs to ratify the agreement.
“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 States’ taxpayers,” Sununu stated in the news release. "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 benefits and wage increases will help address staffing issues, Department of Corrections Commissioner Helen Hanks said in the news release.
“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.”
According to a report published by WMUR, Teamsters Local 633 in September announced it was endorsing state Sen. Dan Feltes, a Democratic challenger to Sununu in next year’s gubernatorial election.