Dec 23, 2014 12:00 AM
NH Executive Council grapples with five-year, $13 million Fairpoint contract
CONCORD - The state Executive Council has a ticklish contract before it approaching the Christmas holidays - a five-year, $13 million with strike-plagued, Fairpoint Communications.
Administrative Services Commissioner Linda Hodgdon is recommending Fairpoint be continued as the state's longstanding, landline and wireless provider.
A selection committee favored Fairpoint among four telecommunication firms bidding for the work.
But the deal emerges just as Fairpoint management has come under strong words from Gov. Maggie Hassan along with US Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Congresswoman Annie Kuster, all D-NH.
All three have urged Fairpoint CEO Paul Sunu to take greater efforts to compromise with the striking union whose 2,000 workers in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont are in their third month off the job.
Union executive Glenn Brackett charges Fairpoint with only insisting upon $700 million in contract givebacks that amount to workers giving up to 20 percent of their income to support health care and pension coverage.
The union has countered with three proposals the most extensive amounting to $210 million in employee contributions.
Fairpoint executives insist they have always been willing to compromise and remain open to future talks.