Community college employees get raises in return for absorbing more medical bills

  • Published in Local News

CONCORD —  The Board of Trustees of the Community College System of New Hampshire has unanimously ratified the collective bargaining agreement that was overwhelmingly approved by the 850 employees of the seven colleges — including those of the Lakes Region Community College in Laconia, who are represented by the State Employees' Association (SEA).

The contract applies to full and part-time professional, administrative, technical and operating personnel as well as ...

CONCORD —  The Board of Trustees of the Community College System of New Hampshire has unanimously ratified the collective bargaining agreement that was overwhelmingly approved by the 850 employees of the seven colleges — including those of the Lakes Region Community College in Laconia, who are represented by the State Employees' Association (SEA).

The contract applies to full and part-time professional, administrative, technical and operating personnel as well as full-time faculty members. Adjunct faculty formed a collective bargaining unit a year ago and are in the process of negotiating thier first contract.

The contract increased the compensation for every labor grade in the salary matrix by $1,000.

Beginning in January 2013 the employees' bi-weekly contributions to their health insurance premiums will rise by $5 to $35 for a single plan, $45 for a two-person plan and $55 for a family plan. Copays for doctor visits will increase by $10 to  $20 for a primary care physician and $30 for a specialist. The prescription copays will also increase, from $5 to $10 for generics, from $10 to $25 for preferreds and from $15 to $40 for non-preferreds for a 30-day supply. Mail order is mandatory for maintenance prescriptions supplied for more than three months. Copays for mail order medications increased from $1 to $5 for generics, from $20 to $40 for preferreds and from $30 to $70 for non-preferreds.

Changes to compensation and health insurance take effect on May 4.

Betty Clerkin of Great Bay Community College, who served on the SEA negotiating team, said that the contract was the result of 10 months of negotiations. "While it would have been nice if we could have brought or compensation up to the same level as the other New England community colleges and had no increase to the health insurance ," she said, "that is not realistic in these economic times." Clerkin called the contract "fair and reasonable."

The contract,  the second negotiated between the community college system and the SEA, expires on June 30, 2013.