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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

City should consider a fire-based EMS – NashuaTelegraph.com

This is an excerpt from the LTE from James Kirk President of the Nashua Fire Fighters Association

City should consider a fire-based EMS – NashuaTelegraph.com: “As the city of Nashua looks to the future and ponders a long-term, sustainable Emergency Medical Service provider, they need not overlook Nashua Fire Rescue.

There is no doubt Rockingham Ambulance and the private contractor-based model served the citizens of Nashua well for the last several decades.

But can the residents of Nashua count on this model in the future? Public safety should not be dependent on the ups and downs of the economy, nor should it hinge on the management of a private company.

Throughout the country, state and region, fire departments staff and operate the emergency ambulance response to their communities. This model ensures local control, better coverage, lower response times and a higher level of patient care.

The city has requested proposals from ambulance services that hope to provide emergency services starting Oct. 1. It is not realistic to think the city would be able to organize a fire department-based EMS division in such a short period of time”

APWU Condemns USPS Proposals to Destroy Collective Bargaining, Crush Postal Workers

Shortly after we start to turn around the State Legislature in Wisconsin, now the Federal Government is going after the Postal Employee’s and their right to Collectively Bargain.

After you follow the link and read the entire article take a minute to contact your legislator and tell them to support HR 1351. This bill would help eleviate the post office’s overfunding of their retirement system and would give back 5.5 Billion per year!

APWU Condemns USPS Proposals to Destroy Collective Bargaining, Crush Postal Workers: “APWU President Cliff Guffey has condemned USPS legislative proposals that would destroy the collective bargaining rights of postal workers and interfere with the union’s contract, which Postal Service and the APWU agreed to in March.

Guffey made the statement in response to USPS announcements [PDF] that it would seek congressional support for legislation to eliminate protection against layoff from collective bargaining agreements; remove postal workers from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), and separate USPS employees from federal retirement programs.

“The APWU will vehemently oppose any attempt to destroy the collective bargaining rights of postal employees or tamper with our recently-negotiated contract,” Guffey said. “Crushing postal workers and slashing service will not solve the Postal Service’s financial crisis.

“As we have pointed out many times,” he added, “postal employees are not the cause of the crisis.”

Constituents blast Rep. Guinta over debt ceiling | New Hampshire NEWS06

Its hard to be a Congressman…..

Constituents blast Rep. Guinta over debt ceiling | New Hampshire NEWS06: “DOVER — U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta met with a raucous crowd yesterday at the Dover Senior Center, where constituents sounded off on everything from Medicare to subsidies for oil companies to the raising of the debt ceiling.

The meeting, one of many the freshman Republican representative from New Hampshire’s 1st congressional district has scheduled this month while he’s back in the Granite State, provided a cross section of how many are feeling. No clear consensus emerged about any one topic, and many vented about the state of the nation.

One major point of contention was Medicare, the government program that provides health insurance coverage for those 65 and older. At issue is what will happen in the future as health care costs rise.”

Try to keep your lunch down..An OP/Ed from Speaker O’Brien

For those who believe that the State Budget was good and necessary and will stimulate the economy You will love this article. For the rest of us this is another attempt by Speaker O’Brien to prove to the people outside his Free State and Tea Party followers that what he is doing is the right thing. ALL IN THE NAME OF FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY.

I am tired of reading about “Fiscal Responsibility”. There is no logic in the fact that if you Cut State Revenue streams and cut jobs of over 1000 workers across the state that it is good for the economy. How is putting more people on the street or on unemployment better for the people in the state. No matter how you try to spin it your logic is flawed. When state or Federal Government spends money that is how local business prosper. Local Business bids on those contracts and hire local workers to complete those jobs. Then those workers who may have been out of work before are now spending their hard earned money in stores in their local communities. That is how you stimulate the economy. That is what the past Legislatures have been trying to do by spending a little out of their means.

The speaker also talks of reducing over “100 taxes and fees” that were created from the past two legislatures. The only official tax that was reduced was the ten cent cigarette tax. We all know how that worked, a loss of revenue for the state (posted here). Reducing the fee’s for car registrations, people are saving 20$ a year per car? I am sure you have hundreds of New Hampshire residents running up to thank you for saving them 20$ a year.  Then there are the cuts to the New Hampshire Retirement System and the School Funding.  Both of which created massive holes in city budgets will ultimately require the cities and towns to raise their taxes.

So your right Speaker O’Brien you did not raise taxes, the Cities are raising taxes.

William O’Brien and Lynne Ober: Hospitals and the state budget | New Hampshire OPINION02: “Inheriting a budget deficit of $895 million and coming off more than 100 tax and fee increases from the prior Legislature, this Legislature faced a daunting choice: raise taxes and watch our economy lose jobs, employers and economic opportunity, or have the state live within its means. We chose to make the tough decisions to reduce state spending to a fiscally responsible level, despite some short-term pain, all New Hampshire residents will share the long-term benefits.

Across the state, the various interests who have come to expect a never-ending supply of state taxpayer funds are dealing with the difficult reality of a budget that reduces spending by 11 percent. During the last two budget cycles, Republicans repeatedly warned that with such massive growth by Gov. John Lynch and the Democrat majority, many groups were building expectations and dependencies that were simply unsustainable.

Just like in Washington, these warnings fell on deaf ears. Also like Washington, the Democrats’ response was more spending, more taxes and more borrowing.”

State Politics: AG’s office investigating Mont Vernon voter records | New Hampshire NEWS06

As reported last week, rumors are flying about Speaker O’Briens son may have violated election laws.

AG’s office investigating Mont Vernon voter records | New Hampshire NEWS06: “CONCORD — The Attorney General’s Office has been asked to investigate the handling of voter records kept in Mont Vernon, hometown of Speaker of the House William O’Brien.

Town resident Joyce Cardoza filed a complaint this week after reading news reports that O’Brien’s son Brendan was registered to vote in both his hometown and in Lewiston, Maine, where he attended college and ran for public office in 2009.

Cardoza, a registered Democrat, noted that Speaker O’Brien’s wife Roxanne is one of three supervisors of the checklist who handle voter registration matters. State law requires local election officials to take specific steps to notify officials in a voter’s previous town of a change in registration.”

PATCO STRIKE 30 years later

By Matt Murray

  Aug 3rd is a date I will never forget for two reasons.  Today is my Mom’s birthday (happy birthday mom), and today is anniversary of the PATCO Strike.  Today marks the 30th anniversary of day that 17,000 Air Traffic Control Specialist went on Strike.  After a three day standoff with President Regan, almost 13,000 controllers were fired on the spot. (updated at 10:30, A great editorial was published in the NYT on the strike click here to read)

While PATCO is long gone, their spirt still remains.  From the ashes of PATCO an new Union began to form.  After many years of struggling on June 11 of 1987 the National Air Traffic Controllers Association was certified as the sole representative for FAA air traffic controllers.

Now 30 years later the FAA and NATCA work together to solve issues within the largest and most complex air traffic system in world.  Today NATCA Controllers work together to move seven million air traffic operations a year.

I just wanted to take a moment from our busy live to reflect on some of the sacrifices people have made in the name of Labor.  13,000 Air Traffic Controllers lost their jobs, their retirements, and much more when they took a stand.  They stood for better working conditions, and were trying to negotiate a contract with a 36 hour work week due to the high stress of air traffic control.  These are some issues that we are still fighting today.  Now NATCA works to help create the new technology that will help air traffic controllers continue to provide the public safety they have for fifty plus years.

For those who would like to know more about PATCO and NATCA here is the link to PDF book called “Against the wind”, a history of NATCA.

PS please take a moment to read about NATCA’s current struggle with FAA funding from a few days ago.  http://nhlnn.blogspot.com/2011/08/furloughs-for-4000-faa-employees-to.html

War money better spent on education – NashuaTelegraph.com

An interesting letter to the editor on funding the State of New Hampshire college system.
War money better spent on education – NashuaTelegraph.com: “So far, we in New Hampshire have contributed a total of $5.1 billion to the Iraq/Afghanistan wars. That is enough to fully fund a four-year education for all incoming students for the next 20 years.
New Hampshire ranks 50th in the nation for state spending on college and university education – very firmly in last place. At a time when a college education is increasingly crucial to employers, the New Hampshire Legislature has cut the state’s contribution to our university system by about 45 percent.
Is this part of the Legislature’s “jobs program”? Our young people, forced to go out of state to seek higher education, will seek and find their jobs out of state as well. Every ill-spent dollar we squander on war is a dollar we aren’t investing in the future of our state and its people.
Re-read that opening paragraph! The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost New Hampshire enough to give all of its students a college education for the next 20 years!”

I Call Them Heroes Everyday, Not Just On SEPT 11th

Today marks the anniversary one of the most horrific moments in our nations history. Many other blogs have been asking “Do you remember where you were on September 11th?.” I am sure we all remember what we were doing.  Those images of the airplanes being flown into the World Trade Center are forever imprinted in our memory. My question to you is “What else do you remember about September 11th?”

I remember the look of fear in my wife’s eyes as we watched in horror at the events of September 11th.  I remember faces of the people at ground zero running for their lives in a cloud of smoke and falling debris as the buildings began to collapse around them.  I remember seeing the police and firefighters rushing into those same collapsing building to search for people lost in the smoke.

Over the next few days we as Americans went through a significant shift. We continued to mourn the loss of those who died, while we rallied behind those brave men and women of the FDNY and NYPD. They continued to search the rubble for missing people. We began to refer to these brave men and women as the Hero’s of 9/11. We vowed never to forget.

Now 15 years later the image of those three firefighters raising the American Flag of the remains of the World Trade Center, is one of the most memorable images of September 11th.  But now something else has happened. Those same brave firefighters are still called Heroes on the days surrounding 9/11, and called “Union Thugs” the other 364 days a year.

What has happened? What has changed in America that we went from buying FDNY shirts and hats, and donating money to the International Association of Firefighters to making them enemies of the country?

Why is government trying to demonize these brave heroic men and women.

So on this day, remember all of September 11th. Remember over 3000 men and women who died tragically. Remember those 600 first responders who also died as Heroes. The courageous men and women who put lives of others ahead of their own. Remember this when people refer to Firefighters and Police Officers as Union Thugs. They have and always be this countries HEROES. That is something we should never forget.


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