Keene State College campus safety officers have unionized and are being represented by the Manchester-based Teamsters Local 633.

The Teamsters Local 633 represents 4,300 members throughout New England.

The department of campus safety is now in the process of certifying the union with the state, electing officers to run the union and negotiating contracts with KSC.

According to the KSC website, there are 20 staff members. Not all campus safety officers joined the union.

Sargent with the department of Campus Safety Joel Huntley commented on why the majority of officers voted for unionization.

“I’ve heard a few complaints about inequities, pay scales, pay ranges and lack of respect. I’m not sure how the union is going to correct that.” 

Huntley continued about his feelings toward the union.

“I guess my feeling is if I didn’t like [the job] that bad, I would move on. Everyone else has the opportunity to do that as well. Some of the members of the department have been here for ten, fifteen years, so it can’t be that bad.”

Huntley continued, “It’s probably no secret among the department and several members of the college community at large that I’m very against the union. I’m not for it. I don’t see the purpose of it. I don’t believe it’s going to solve anything. I guess it remains to be seen.”

Director of Campus Safety Amanda Guthorn declined to comment.

Additionally, there are currently two official unions on campus represented by NEA-NH, including the full-time faculty (KSCEA) and the adjunct faculty (KSCAA).

Other staff members at KSC are unionizing as well and are in the beginning stages of formalizing the bargaining unit. The staff union is named the KSCSA.

Program Manager for the Provost and member of the KSCSA Kimberly Schmidl-Gagne said, “We will learn from campus safety and their processes. We are learning a lot from the faculty who are already unionized and how they approached negotiations and how they govern themselves, how they make decisions within their unit and then work with the administration. I think that everybody [understands] that we have a long way to go. We need to be patient and learn and help each other.”

“I hope that this gives them a voice in their governance process and allows them to make decisions about their own benefits, wages and negotiate on what is best for them,” she continued.

In May, staff members held a forum represented by NEA-NH that included campus safety officers. Staff members moved forward in unionizing with NEA-NH, while campus safety officers voted in a three to one margin to be represented by the Teamsters Local 633.

According to the Keene Sentinel, the N.H. Public Employee Labor Relations Board issued a decision in late July allowing all full-time and part-time KSC campus safety employees to hold an election to form their union.

According to the Teamsters Local 633, Keene State Public Safety Officer Victor Malavet said, “We felt like this was the right time for us to Organize, and the Teamsters reputation for professionalism and getting the job done made it clear who we would choose as our advocate.”

KSC President Anne Huot made a statement about campus safety’s efforts to unionize.

“The work of our Campus Safety staff keeps our students, faculty and staff safe, and it is critical to the college. We greatly appreciate their efforts. We are aware of the steps our Campus Safety staff are taking to unionize, and we look forward to working with them,” Huot stated.

Other KSC faculty agreed with Huot’s statement.

“There is a lot of support for what campus safety does for our community. The administration looks forward to working with them,” Director of Strategic Communications and Community Relations Kelly Ricaurte said.

According to the Teamsters Local 633, they are now in the process of assembling the necessary information to begin negotiations.

Veteran Business Agent Kevin Foley has been assigned to negotiate the first ever Teamster contract for this group.

“I look forward to working with theses brave men and women. Local 633 has and continues to set the standards for working conditions in the area of public safety. The days of take it or leave it are over, the Keene State College safety officers deserve a strong Teamster contract and it is my goal to deliver that for them,” Foley said.

Jacob can be contacted at

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