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The NH House Want to Remove All Impartial Aspects of State Labor Relations Board

What would do you if you dispise Labor Unions and whenever legislation (Right To Work, or Repeal of Collective Bargaining) fails?  If you are the Speaker of the NH House you start by stacking the deck against the State Unions.  Just like the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), New Hampshire has its own Public Employee Labor Relations Board ( herein referred to as NH PELRB).  Currently RSA 273 establishes a board that handles issues that arise when Labor Unions and Employers come to impasse or are unable to resolve their disputes.  I want to make this very clear, the board is ment to be a neutral third party to resolve these issues.  If the Speaker and his anti-union buddies get his way, that will no longer be the case.

The bill I am referring to is HB 1513. “This bill modifies membership requirements for the public employee labor relations board.”  What it should say is ‘this bill removes the neutrality of the board’.  Let me explain.   Currently RSA 273-A-2 specifically says who shall be assigned to the NH PELRB.

I. There is hereby created a public employee labor relations board consisting of 5 members, appointed by the governor and council. Two members shall be appointed who shall have extensive experience representing organized labor. Two members shall be appointed who shall have extensive experience in representing management interests. One member, who shall be the chairman, shall be appointed to represent the public at large, and shall not hold elective or appointive public office, or elective or appointive office, or membership in, organized labor at the time of his appointment or during his term. 

I know it is wordy so I will sum it up. The NH PELRB is a 5 member board with 2 members with Labor Representation background, 2 members with Management background, and 1 will represent the Public at Large.   The RSA continues by adding alternates with 1 from Labor, 1 from Management, and 2 from the Public.  This means that the board is equally represented by both sides and one member who is the tie-breaker who represents the public.  Now lets look at what they want the board to look like now.

I. There is hereby created a public employee labor relations board consisting of 5 members, 2 of whom shall be appointed by the president of the senate, 2 of whom shall be appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, and one of whom shall be appointed by the executive council. Each member shall be a legal resident of the state of New Hampshire and shall own or shall have previously owned a business in New Hampshire. No person who is currently, or was previously, employed by the federal government or a state or municipal government shall be a member of the board. Members of the board may be removed by the governor and council for cause.

So now they have completely removed the Labor Reps and replaced them with “Business Owners”.  They have also restricted any person who has or previously worked for the Federal Government.  The worst part of all of this is how the members are appointed.  Before they were appointed by the Governor and the Executive Council.  Now the members are appointed by the SPEAKER of the House (2) and Senate President (2) and the Executive Council (1). Why would they do this? It is a power play against the Unions.  By allowing Speaker O’Brien to choose his buddies who are business owners they will be a lot less (if at all likely) to side with the Unions when it comes to a dispute.  It also removes our current Democratic Governor from being allowed to appoint members to the NH PELRB.  Also by removing the Labor Representatives it also changes what constitutes a quorum. Currently a quorum could not be reached unless a least one member from either Labor or Management was present.  Now you only need three people.

This is just another way that Bill O’Brien and his buddies are out to destroy Labor in New Hampshire.



About The New Hampshire Labor News

The New Hampshire Labor News is a group of NH Workers who believe that we need to protect ourselves against the attacks on workers from the State and Federal Government. We are proud union members who are working to preserve the middle class. The NHLN talks mostly about news and politics from NH. We also talk about national issues that effect working men and women here in the Granite State.
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