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Corrections union deal ratified

Union Leader Staff
July 04. 2013 8:11PM

CONCORD — Teamsters Local 633, one of four unions representing state employees, has ratified a two-year contract agreement with the state.

Teamsters Local 633 represents more than 300 state employees in the Department of Corrections, including corrections officers and corrections corporals.

The deal includes the first cost-of-living pay increases in five years and helps reduce the state’s projected growth in health care costs, said Gov. Maggie Hassan.

In return, employees are agreeing to take a more active role in managing their health and health care costs. The state will switch to a site-of-service plan, where certain services employees will have the option to go to select providers or pay a deductible.

In exchange for working to improve their own health through activities such as taking a health assessment test, getting a physical, getting a flu shot or having their blood pressure checked, employees earn up to $500 a year through a health reimbursement account and a wellness reimbursement program.

The money can be used for health care expenses such as deductibles or eye glasses. Employees also agreed to contribute toward their dental plan for the first time.

The changes will help reduce the state’s future liability for the federal “Cadillac tax” on health plans worth more than $20,000 a year, scheduled to go into effect in 2018.

Employees also agreed to changes in sick-leave policies in return for a short-term disability policy.

“Our people cannot truly be safe and justice cannot fully be done without a strong and effective corrections system, and our corrections officers are the backbone of that system, providing a safe, secure and humane correctional system that respects the victims of crime and helps individuals safely move back into society when they have served their sentences,” Hassan said. “I thank Teamsters Local 633 for working with the state to reach this fair agreement that will create important health care savings for the state and provide an important boost for our corrections officers and their families.”

David Laughton, secretary treasurer for Teamsters Local 633, said the contract represents a fair compromise. “It rewards these state employees for their hard work and dedication while recognizing the difficult economic times that we all face,” he said.

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