We want to ensure A&R members that we are working diligently to secure a good wage package for the one year reopener which will cover July 2024 – June 2025. As a refresher, the current A&R contract runs from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2025 and includes a “reopener” provision for the final year of wages, meaning that wage increases (including steps) for the one year period covering July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2025 are subject to collective bargaining and yet to be determined. Virtually all of the state employee union contracts have similar reopener provisions, with identical timing. As a result, A&R is participating in preliminary discussions with the other unions of SEBAC as a coalition. At this time, we see bargaining as a coalition providing us a stronger, more unified voice. Our goals are relatively simple: to secure a one year wage increase that includes steps/top step payments, for all our members and to get this done on time for implementation in June/July 2024. Any agreement reached with the State would need Legislative approval to be effected this year, so negotiations are in part driven by the Legislative session, which runs this year February 7th through May 8th. We will keep you informed as developments unfold.