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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

Senator Stiles say she will support the Gov on SB 88

From the Seacoast online

Even though Stiles acknowledged that she did vote in favor of SB 88, she explained that at that time she had not heard from the police chiefs on the matter. Now she has. The governor wisely vetoed the bill, and it’s up for a vote to override the veto on Sept. 7.
The audience last night was pleased to hear from Stiles that she is indeed listening to the chiefs’ concern and, in light of that, is taking a new look at her position.
Think about it: if a gang member simply sees someone from a rival gang, under SB 88 that person could then claim he felt threatened and shoot his rival. This constituent of Stiles very much appreciates her reconsideration and her listening to the police chiefs, who would themselves be threatened if the veto is overridden.
This is not a gun rights issue, it’s about greatly increased use of deadly force. Let’s hope Stiles votes to sustain the veto on Sept. 7.

NH workers’ deadline to vote approaching – Boston.com

NH workers’ deadline to vote approaching – Boston.com: State Employees’ Association President Diana Lacey wrote union members in an email Monday to be sure ballots are postmarked no later than Wednesday.

Lacey asks workers to vote to ratify the contract even though their share of health care will rise. She said the alternative to not approving the deal will be worse.

The contract is one of three tentative agreements that together would save the state nearly $50 million and avert the need to lay off potentially 500 workers in September. Lacey said laying off that many people would force the state to reduce or eliminate critical services.

NH gov lobbying against deadly force law expansion

If you live in Manchester, you could open the door to a great surprise….

NH gov lobbying against deadly force law expansion: MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Gov. John Lynch is headed to the streets of New Hampshire’s largest city to talk about why lawmakers should kill a bill that expands the state’s deadly force law.

Lynch, Manchester Police Chief David Mara, Attorney General Michael Delaney and other members of law enforcement will tour a Manchester neighborhood Monday and talk about their concerns if the Legislature overrides Lynch’s veto of a bill that expands a person’s right to use deadly force without first attempting to retreat.

Lynch says the bill would increase the potential violence in public places and make it harder to prosecute criminals.

Jobless rate up as public workers out – NashuaTelegraph.com

Welcome to the “New” New Hampshire where the State Legislature is “Slashing Budgets and Killing Jobs”. This week the unemployment numbers were released for the month of July and SURPRISE the unemployment in New Hampshire has risen by 3/10s of a point this month.

“The state’s jobless rate shot up to 5.2 percent fueled by a one-month loss of 9,100 jobs in local government.
Unemployment was 4.9 percent in June.
The one-month jump in the jobless rate was the largest in more than two years.”

Thats right folks over 9,100 jobs have been lost this month alone in State and Local governments. Why you may ask? I think we already know that answer.  The radically reduced state budget! As soon as the budget was released and took effect on July 1st the State announced that they would have to lay off over 200 people and eliminated over 800 more jobs that were currently vacant. This 5.2% number does not include the state employee’s who are now out of work. 
Well who wants to take credit for the unemployment rate now? Are we going to hear the Speaker continue to tell us this is the best thing for New Hampshire? 

“House Speaker William O’Brien, R-Mont Vernon, acknowledged the job loss was likely the result of tight local and state budgets.
“While it’s certainly disappointing to see that a number of New Hampshire residents have lost their jobs, there is good news in that our private sector is showing robust job growth,” O’Brien said in a statement. “We are now in the middle of a difficult transition as federal, state and local governments move away from unsustainable spending levels.”

With 3,300 more workers without a job this month Speaker William O’Bien continues to tell us this is what is best for New Hampshire. While he does admit that some of this “loss was the result” of the draconian slashing of the state budget which has also created an additionally negative trickle down affect on our county and municipal employees that have also received cuts due to cuts at the state level. I think what he does not seem to understand is that people are worried about feeding their families and keeping a roof over their heads – and his desire to balance the budget on the backs of working people is wrong.
Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley said it best: 

“Their out-of-touch tea party agenda that puts cigarette companies first and working families last isn’t working for New Hampshire.”

Oh but wait there is more! Thats right, these numbers are for only JULY, that was before the state shifted the medicare taxes away from hospitals and sent massive shockwaves through the hospitals in the area.  Most of the hospitals in New Hampshire have already reported massive layoffs:

“Several hospitals including Southern New Hampshire Medical Center in Nashua announced layoffs to cope with a dramatic cut in state aid to hospitals. Most of those job losses, however, did not occur until this month and will be reported on in September.”

Thats right, expect another jump in unemployment next month as the hospitals downsize roughly 1,000 workers across the state. These hospital layoff combined with the typical seasonal layoffs could create the biggest jump in New Hampshire unemployment in recent history!

Jobless rate up as public workers out – NashuaTelegraph.com

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.”

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