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About Matt Murray

Matt Murray is the creator and an author on the NH Labor News. He is a union member and advocate for labor and progressive politics. He also works with other unions and members to help spread our message. Follow him on Twitter @NHLabor_News

Economics And Politics Clash Over NH Tax Revenue Forecast | StateImpact New Hampshire

I just wanted to share this article with you all.  This is very in depth article about how the Tax System in New Hampshire.  This has been a political fight over the last few years.  In the last election, republicans pushed for a “balanced budget” without raising taxes.  The fundamental problem is that since NH has been against tax increases over the last decade they have not kept up with inflation.  Without correcting this problem our State Budget will continue to be pushed down.  Add that with the minor tax cuts that reduce the State Revenue, like the 10 cent tobacco tax cut, the problem is only multiplied.  Eventually we will eventually have to raise taxes or face more and more cuts to our schools, our roads, and our safety professionals.

I encourage you all to read this article an decide for yourself.

Economics And Politics Clash Over NH Tax Revenue Forecast | StateImpact New Hampshire: “Yesterday, StateImpact liveblogged the Joint Economic Session.  Members of the House and Senate Finance and Ways and Means Committees gathered for hours to hear economists offer projections on where the global, national, and state economies are headed in 2012.

Admittedly, it was pretty dry stuff.  And we were ready to do what we’ve done with our other economic forecast liveblogs–just wait until an interesting trend or factoid pops up, and highlight it for you.

Then, economist Dennis Delay with the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies brought up the idea that the state has a structural deficit.”

A Charter School Check-In | New Hampshire Public Radio

For those who may have missed it Laura Hainey was on NHPR the other day. You can listen to the radio spot by clicking here

A Charter School Check-In: “Since the state received eleven and a half million dollars in federal money for charter schools last year, there has been a flurry of activity, including in Nashua where two charter schools are in the works. Meanwhile, though many former foes now support charter schools, questions remain on such issues as admission policies, accountability, and how teacher unions fit in. Today we’ll look at how charter schools are doing and where they’re heading.


Michael Brindley – Education Reporter at the Telegraph of Nashua. He has written extensively on the issue of charter schools.

Laura Hainey – President of the American Federation of Teachers, New Hampshire.

Eileen Liponis – Executive Director of the New Hampshire Public Charter School Association, a member organization of charter schools.”

‘via Blog this’

NHLNN Daily Clips: Right To Work has huge political impacts, NH Union Leader will endorse GOP on Sunday….

The New Hampshire
Labor News Network
Daily Clips for 11/26/11

Right-to-work law curbing unions becoming greater political issue – Business – Ohio.com: “Labor leaders failed to win legislation making it easier to organize a union after Democratic allies triumphed in the 2008 elections. Next year’s voting could spawn instead a law letting workers opt out of unions.

Republicans in Congress are pursuing so-called right-to-work legislation barring agreements between unions and employers that make union membership and payment of dues a job requirement. Supporters are also pushing for Indiana and New Hampshire to join 22 states that already have such laws.

“There is a very strong likelihood that a Republican Congress and a Republican White House would pass a national right-to-work law,” said Gary Chaison, a labor-law professor at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. “It should be expected from a Republican Congress that, in terms of national jobs growth, sees unions as part of the problem rather than part of the solution.””

NHLNN: Right TO Work is Not about Freedom!

NH’s Most Influential Paper to Make GOP Primary Endorsment Sunday – ABC News: “The New Hampshire Union Leader, the Granite State’s most influential paper, will announce which GOP candidate it will endorse in Sunday’s paper.
The paper tweeted the pending endorsement this afternoon, teasing the announcement: “Which primary candidate will get the Union Leader’s endorsement? Find out in this week’s NH Sunday News.””

State mulls private model for pensions | SeacoastOnline.com: “A legislative committee formed to study public pension reform is exploring the idea of eliminating the current pension system and establishing a defined contribution system modeled after 401k programs in the private sector.

The New Hampshire Retirement System has a $3.7 billion unfunded liability, which it attributes to market losses and municipalities’ 16-year “pension holiday,” when the NHRS was deliberately unfunded. The retirement system is funded by employees, hiring municipalities and returns on investments.

“Investment returns have historically provided the bulk of funding for pension benefits,” according to the NHRS.”

Redistricting: City Would Share Rep with Belmont | Laconia Daily Sun: “CONCORD — A plan to redraw the districts for the New Hampshire House of Representatives would ensure Belknap County of its 18 representatives but change the electoral map by combining Laconia as well as six of the 10 towns in new districts, leaving two of the current six districts unchanged. New Hampton and Center Harbor would remain together, as would Sanbornton and Tilton.

The plan, prepared by Representative Steve Vaillancourt (R-Manchester), clerk of the House Special Committee on Redistricting, was presented to the committee and distributed to all representatives last week.”

Winds of Change blowing in the Wrong Direction
Last November’s state election results clearly showed New Hampshire voters wanted a change, but with half of the Legislature’s term expiring we are left to wonder whether the change voters wanted was the one they got.

Last week, the state Ballot Law Commission ruled to uphold President Barack Obama’s right to appear on the Democratic presidential primary ballot. This ruling provoked a shockingly angry response from a group of Republican state legislators who were in attendance. They accused the commission’s Republican chairman of treason and a wanton disregard of the U.S. Constitution.

NHLNN:Reps Behaving Badly….

The Associated Press: Former US Labor head Reich addresses Occupy crowd: “Anti-Wall Street activists began rebuilding their tent encampment on the steps of the University of California, Berkeley student plaza Tuesday and cheered wildly when former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich implored them to take a moral stand against the very rich owning so much of America’s wealth.
The daylong strike and peaceful demonstrations against big banks and education cuts culminated in some 4,000 people rallying at the Reich speech on the steps of the same student plaza that first launched the Berkeley Free Speech Movement in the 1960s.
“The days of apathy are over folks,” Reich, a professor of public policy at UC Berkeley, said to a roaring crowd at Sproul Hall. “We are losing the moral foundation stone on which this country and our democracy were built. There are some people out there who say we cannot afford education any longer, we cannot provide social services for the poor … but how can that be true if we are now richer than we have ever been before?””

Happy Veterans Day

I would like to take a few moments to talk about Veterans.  Let me start by saying THANK YOU to all of the Veterans who are currently serving and those how have served in the past.  You service and dedication to our country is unmatched, and in my opinion under emphasized.  Veterans put their lives on the line to protect the USA and everything we hold dear.  For that we cannot say Thank You enough.

 Just yesterday the US Senate passed the “Vow to Hire Heros Act of 2011”.  This bill would give a tax credit to businesses who hire out of work Veterans.

(Source NPR) Some 240,000 veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are out of work. The Senate bill would provide tax breaks of up to $9,600 to private employers who hire them.
The tax credits are the first sliver of President Obama’s $447 billion jobs package to actually win bipartisan approval in the Senate. Obama says service members who fought for their country shouldn’t have to fight for jobs when they come home.

Since this is a Labor Blog, lets explore the relationship between Veterans and Unions.  The Labor Unions  in this country have always been a strong supporter of Veterans and encourage the hiring of Veterans.  Veterans are well know for their dedication and work ethic.  Two things that Labor Unions are also know for.  In a statement about Labor Day the Department of Veterans Affairs released this statement:

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) workforce of more than 300,000 – including more than 90,000 who are Veterans – knows one of its objectives as it observes Labor Day is to help young Veterans find jobs.
Union members are about two-thirds of VA’s workforce and Shinseki praises five national unions and their leadership for ongoing support of Veterans and VA’s Veteran employees. VA is one of very few federal agencies to have maintained a National Partnership Council (NPC) with its unions since 1994.

As you can see the VA knows how important the relationship between Unions and Veterans is.  There are many other programs that Labor Unions help create to help young Veterans returning from service get jobs.  One of these programs is the Trade Unions “Helmets to Hardhats” program.

(The Helmets to Hardhats program is)a partnership between the Building Trades, the signatory Construction Industry Employer Associations and the U.S. Military — military veterans are transitioning back to civilian life with quality career training and employment opportunities within the building and construction industry. Helmets to Hardhats is designed to ease the difficult passage into civilian life for military families, providing the best career opportunities, pay, and benefits to those who have earned the nation’s support through their years of service.
The program is proving to be a great fit, for both returning servicemen and women and the unionized construction trades. Veterans receive the best training in the trade of their choice and an opportunity for a well-paying union career while the construction industry receives quality, hard-working apprentices, ready for the challenges of the building trades. 

The building trades are not the only Labor Union who has been there to help our Veterans.  The United States Postal Service at one time was the largest employer in the U.S.  In 2007 the USPS employed over 680,000 people and of that 25% were Veterans. (Note 8% of total workforce were disabled Veterans).  While I applaud the Senate for passing the “Hire Hero’s Act”, what about the Veterans who currently work for the Postal Service? They are in jeopardy of loosing their jobs unless Congress takes action.

The Postal Service announced in August that it wants to reduce the workforce by 220,000, and is seeking authority to lay off as many as 120,000 workers.
If 120,000 postal workers were laid off, approximately 26,000 veterans would be affected. (source)

We need out members of Congress to take action to save the jobs of these hard working Veterans in the Postal Service.  Below is an ad from the American Postal Workers Union and National Postal Mailhandlers Union asking for your help to stop these drastic cuts to the Postal Service.  You can also find out more at Save Americas Postal Service ( http://saveamericaspostalservice.org/index.html).

Once again Thank You to all Veterans on this Veterans Day (and every day)!

NH Labor News, O’Brien Whining, Occupy NH, NHRS

New Hampshire Labor News for 11/8/11. Talks of O’Brien whimpering after Sen Shaheen make jokes at his expense. News on the NHRS, Hampton School Board, Occupy NH

Video of Shaheen Speech in Wyndam

O’Brien, Bettencourt bash Shaheen comments | New Hampshire NEWS06: “CONCORD — New Hampshire’s Republican leaders on Monday harshly criticized comments Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, made about state House Speaker William O’Brien during a New Hampshire Democratic Party dinner.

“What is really getting old is Speaker O’Brien ignoring the needs of this state in order to pursue an extreme right-wing agenda,” Shaheen said Saturday at the Jefferson Jackson Celebration in Windham. “It’s time to put an end to his war on working families. It’s time to put an end to his gay bashing. It’s time to put an end to his war on women’s health. It’s time to put an end to Bill O’Brien’s career in politics.”

Election Day polling places in Nashua – NashuaTelegraph.com: “Tuesday is Election Day in Nashua. All polls will open at 6 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.
Here’s a list of where residents can vote:”

Court got it right in pension ruling: “The agency balked at releasing that information, citing its obligation to protect the privacy interests of the former municipal, county and state workers. Instead, it produced a list containing the amounts paid to more than 23,000 individuals who collected a pension that year, but they were only identified by classification: police, fire, teacher or other employee.
That list showed 11 individuals earned a pension in excess of $100,000 in 2009 – eight police officers, two firefighters and a state employee – and that 75 collected more than $80,000. The retirement system also released the average annual pensions for firefighters ($33,533), police officers ($31,980), educators ($20,830) and other employees ($11,697).”

WHS grad starts petition to support faculty: “HAMPTON — A Winnacunnet High School graduate has started an online petition to show his support for the school’s faculty and staff and to urge School Board members to back off on their mandate to have core subjects taught year-round.

Michael Portrie said he started the petition last week because he has been troubled by the recent controversy between faculty and the School Board. As of mid-day Monday, it had attracted 179 signatures, many with comments.”

NH students rise to top of national debt list: “A new report says college students in New Hampshire graduated with more loan debt last year than anywhere else in the country.

The report comes as students face further tuition hikes and reductions in financial aid due to budget cuts enacted this year — and it’s fanning the political debate over higher education funding in the Granite State.

New Hampshire college and university graduates in 2010 had on average $31,048 in debt, the most in the country, according to the study by the Project on Student Debt. New Hampshire also has the second-greatest proportion of students with debt, 74 percent. “

Occupy comes to Conway tonight | Conway Daily Sun: “According to the Occupy New Hampshire website, “The movement is inspired by popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, and aims to expose how the richest 1 percent of people are writing the rules of an unfair global economy that is foreclosing on our future.”

The movement has spread to over 100 cities across the U.S. and over 1,500 cities world wide, according to Conway rally organizer Andy Davis of Albany.

“It’s an opportunity for local folks to make our voices heard,” said Davis who has attended Occupy Boston with his family. “Somebody once compared democracy to a horse — it only stays healthy if you exercise it regularly.”

Rep. Quandt’s pre-buy oil bill heats up House | SeacoastOnline.com

Rep Lee Quandt is fighting for working families in New Hampshire. This article talks about the bill he proposed to protect people from business’ who take money for pre-paid oil then close up shop. People are left with no oil and no money. In a time when every penny counts why would people be against protecting the hard earned money of the consumers?

Rep. Quandt’s pre-buy oil bill heats up House | SeacoastOnline.com: “EXETER — It’s been almost two years since more than 300 pre-paid oil customers at Flynn’s Oil lost half a million dollars when the company unexpectedly closed, and the New Hampshire pre-buy oil contract law remains unchanged.

A bill aimed at changing the law has taken some hits and doesn’t appear to have the support of the Republican-dominated House of Representatives.

When House Bill 581 goes before the House in January, Rep. Lee Quandt, R-Exeter, said he is prepared to fight for it as originally proposed, but he added he is prepared to lose that fight.

“We can fight it all day long, but we don’t have the numbers to support it,” Quandt said. “The best thing we can do is record the vote so everyone in the Seacoast can see who is voting against it.”

The bill Quandt worked on with the Attorney General’s Office would have required oil companies to put 75 percent of their pre-buy oil contract money into an escrow account, so consumers can be reimbursed if something goes wrong with the company.”

‘via Blog this’

Local 7 Ironworks celebrate Vetrans in Topping Out Helmets to Hardhats Ceremony.

This is a message from Shawn Cleary BA for the Iron Workers, Local 7. I have also included a short Video of Shawn presenting an award to two of the apprentices who helped to build the Service Credit Union as part of the Helmets to Hardhats program.

Helmets to Hardhats places quality men and women from the Armed Forces into promising building and construction careers through organizations like the Iron Workers Union.

Acceptance into the building and construction trades is the first step to a great future. Careers in the building trades enable current and former military members to earn while they learn and get rewarded for hard work. Being a member in the building and construction trades entitles qualified candidates to competitive salaries with consistent raises, pension plans, excellent medical benefits and flexibility when it comes to taking time off.

Most candidates will enter an apprenticeship program where they learn a trade through on-the-job training, supplemented by classroom instruction at state-of-the-art training facilities. Through the Iron Workers Local 7 Apprentice Training Program there is no charge for the training and apprentices are  paid for the time they are working. An apprentice’s pay increases periodically over the course of the program and as the apprentice becomes more skilled. Many apprenticeship programs, including the Iron Workers have arrangements allowing individuals to obtain college credit for classroom work. Upon graduation, apprentices become  journeymen — a craftsperson recognized for his or her knowledge and ability in the selected trade.

Shawn Cleary

Business Agent/Industry Analyst

Iron Workers Local 7

Visit us on Facebook 

New Hampshire Wants To Work Rally in Portsmouth 10/15/11

A message from our friends at Protect New Hampshire Families and the New Hampshire AFL-CIO. They are working to organize a public event entitled:
New Hampshire Wants To Work

Saturday, October 15 · 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Prescott Park

State & Marcy Streets
Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Created By

More Info
Support New Hampshire’s middle class by telling politicians in Concord & congress that it’s time to stop the reckless attacks on working families and start taking realistic steps to create good jobs, now! The event will take place rain or shine.

The New Hampshire Wants to Work event is coordinated by Protect NH Families and labor & community partners as part of a national week of action for good jobs. For more information, contact Judy Stadtman, jstadtman@nhaflcio.org.

F-35 Key to NH’s Economic Future

BAE formerly the Sanders corporation is unveiling their new F-35 at their Nashua manufacturing plant.  Once testing is completed it will lead to almost 5000 jobs and 550 million in revenue to the state….

F-35 Key to NH’s Economic Future – Nashua, NH Patch: “The F-35 program is supported by more than 1,300 suppliers in 47 states and Puerto Rico that contribute to more than 127,000 U.S. jobs and upwards of $12.6 billion in annual economic impact.

For New Hampshire, that translates to more than 4,800 jobs and $550 million in local revenue, said Arseneault, employment figures and economic impact numbers expected to increase as the program reaches full-rate production.

“This program was built on affordability, which depends on economy of scale. Currently we’re building 32 aircraft a year, but we need to get up to about 20 per month to keep that economy of scale,” Rubino said. “That’s why it’s critical to maintain state funding.””

With No Child Left Behind Waivers, Obama Turns Some Education Powers Back to States – NYTimes.com

With No Child Left Behind Waivers, Obama Turns Some Education Powers Back to States – NYTimes.com: “Mr. Obama invited states to reclaim the power to design their own school accountability and improvement systems, upending the centerpiece of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law, a requirement that all students be proficient in math and reading by 2014.

¶ “This does not mean that states will be able to lower their standards or escape accountability,” the president said. “If states want more flexibility, they’re going to have to set higher standards, more honest standards that prove they’re serious about meeting them.”

¶ But experts said it was a measure of how profoundly the law had reshaped America’s public school culture that even in states that accept the administration’s offer to pursue a new agenda, the law’s legacy will live on in classrooms, where educators’ work will continue to emphasize its major themes, like narrowing student achievement gaps, and its tactics, like using standardized tests to measure educators’ performance.”

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