Oct 7, 2014 8:23 AM
New, surprise leader for NH State Employees Association
CONCORD – State Liquor Commission store manager Rich Gulla emerged as the new president of the largest public employee union in the state representing roughly 10,000 state workers.
Gulla upset incumbent Diana Lacey by four votes to lead the State Employees Association which is a local chapter of the Services Employees International Union.
Lacey, a two-term incumbent, had been expected to win another three-year term after having run the union and helped secure the first, across-the-board pay raise for state workers in four years.
At times, Lacey had battled with Gov. Maggie Hassan, a one-term Democrat, most recently in her unsuccessful fight to secure legislation that banned bullying of state workers. Hassan had vetoed that bill maintaining it would lead to more lawsuits and worsen moral in the workplace.
Lacey, a consultant with the Department of Health and Human Services, will remain on SEA's executive committee.
The union has already named members of its panel that will negotiate the next contract for state workers that would begin in mid-2016.