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Take Action To Message Your NH State Senator Voicing Your Opposition To Right To Work

YES, THAT IS CORRECT; THE SO CALL RIGHT TO WORK IS BACK!
It hasn’t even been a year!

The SENATE COMMERCE Committee made the recommendation of ought to pass on SB 107-FN: prohibiting collective bargaining agreements that require employees to join or contribute to a labor union by a vote of 3 to 2. It now moves to the full Senate on March 3, 2015.

Over the past two years hundreds of NH citizens voiced opposition to this bill with only a handful of people speaking in support. This attack on working people like you is led by out-of-state interests such as the National Right to Work Committee and ALEC. Don’t let the voice of NH residents to be silenced.

Pass the word to friends and family members. These Senators need to hear from you. Simply put this is a union-busting bill and an attack on our public employees and middle-class families.

Please share this with colleagues so they know the seriousness of these attacks. So let’s GET ACTIVE and let these state Senators hear our voices.

Thank you for taking action!

In Solidarity,

Laura Hainey
AFT-NH President

Union Members Helping Each Other By Supporting Them In Your Local Elections

aft sqaureAFT-NH 2015 TOWN MEETING GUIDE

Union Members Helping Each Other

Your fellow Union members across the state have union contracts being presented to voters in March. You can help by voting. They are counting on your support. It is also important we support school and municipal budgets to avoid harmful layoffs or loss of programs and services. Remember, if your town is voting on March 10th, you can register to vote on Election Day. If you will be out of town, please be sure to get an absentee ballot by contacting your town clerk. Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, March 10th         Election Day  (Senate Bill 2 Districts)

 

Fremont (Ellis School Support Staff) AFT #6223            YES on Articles 4 and 5

(Para-educators, secretaries and custodians)

Voting Locations and Polling Hours

Ellis School, 432 Main Street, Fremont

Polls are open from 7:00am – 8:00pm

 

Hudson PSRP’s   AFT #6245                                              YES on Articles 2, 4 and 5

(para-educators and café employees)

Hudson School Secretaries

Voting Locations and Polling Hours

Hudson Community Center, 12 Lions Ave, Hudson

Polls are open from 7:00am – 8:00pm

 

Oyster River Paraprofessionals and Support Staff AFT #6213

(paraprofessionals and cafeteria employees)

                                                                                  YES on Articles 5 and 7

Voting Locations and Polling Hours

Durham          Oyster River High School              7:00am – 7:00pm

Lee                  Lee Safety Complex                        7:00am – 7:00pm

Madbury       Madbury Town Hall                     11:00am -7:30pm

 

Timberlane Support Staff Union AFT #6530               YES on Articles 2, 6 and 7

(paraeducators)

Voting Locations and Polling Hours

Atkinson   (Community Center, Rte. 121)        7:00am-8:00pm

Danville   (Community Center, Rte. 111)         8:00am-7:00pm

Plaistow   (Pollard School, Main St.)            7:00am-8:00pm

Sandown   (Sandown Town Hall, Main St.)     8:00am-8:00pm

 

Tuesday, March 3rd        Traditional  School District Meeting     

Campton Educational Support Personnel Association, AFT #6004 

Campton Elementary School District Meeting     7:00pm

 

Tuesday, March 10th         Traditional Town Meeting (Evening)        YES on Article 11

Hillsborough Town Employees, AFT #3912 

Hillsborough Town Meeting

Tuesday, March 10th

7:30pm

Hillsboro-Deering Middle School

 

Wednesday, March 11th        Traditional    School District Meeting 

Henniker Community School Support Staff, AFT #6314     YES on Article 4

Henniker Community School

Wednesday, March 11th

Henniker School District Meeting     7:00pm

 

Saturday, March 14th         Traditional Town Meeting    YES on Articles 20 and 21

Pittsfield Town Employees, AFT #6214

Pittsfield Town Meeting

Saturday, March 14th

10:00am

Pittsfield Elementary School

 

Here is a PDF copy of this post for you to print and bring with you for reference or share with your friends and family. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Terri Donovan at terridd@metrocast.net.

AFT-NH Testimony On HB 551 A Bill To Prevent Diversion Of Business Income To Tax Havens

aft sqaureLaura Hainey, President of the New Hampshire American Federation of Teachers (AFT-NH), spoke out in favor of HB 551, a bill to “prevent diversion of business income to tax havens.”  Read her official testimony submitted to the Ways and Means Committee.

Dear House Ways and Means Committee Members:

AFT-NH represents 4,000 employees in NH, mostly public employees who work in your cities, towns and school districts. The members of AFT-NH are teachers, Para educators, secretaries, librarians, cafeteria staff, and custodial staff. Some of us are police officers who work to ensure safe and orderly communities. Our members work in higher education preparing new generations of citizens and leaders. And our members provide vital public services in towns all over New Hampshire. In short, AFT New Hampshire members ensure the safety and well-being of our fellow citizens and help build stronger communities throughout our state.

AFT-NH asks that your support HB 551-FN, relative to preventing diversion of business income to tax havens.

New Hampshire, along with 22 other states, already requires multinational corporations doing business in New Hampshire to treat all of their affiliates and subsidiaries in the United States as one entity that is taxed as such. This practice, known as combined reporting, limit’s companies’ ability to move taxable income from one subsidiary to another across states to avoid a particular state’s corporate tax.

Companies doing business in New Hampshire, however, can still avoid paying tax by shifting income overseas to offshore tax havens–places such as the Cayman Islands that have very low or nonexistent taxes. Companies use a variety of strategies to accomplish this and state loss millions every year in taxable corporate revenue. Here in New Hampshire a study by the U.S Public Research Interest Group (PIRG) estimated that we had a revenue loss of $98 million in 2011.

To prevent overseas tax haven abuse, states can close the “waters edge” loophole and require companies not only report income in other states but also the income stored in tax havens as part of their combined reporting. This bill HB 551-FN, relative to preventing diversion of business income to tax havens does just that. Montana and Oregon have enacted legislation to treat a proportionate share of the income that corporation’s book to know tax havens as domestic income and have collected millions in additional tax revenue. The US PIRG study estimated that a similar change in New Hampshire’s combined reporting requirements would yield $26.1 million in additional revenue for the state.

Tax reforms that close corporate tax loopholes are especially popular, commanding overwhelming support. Americans want to see corporations pay their fair share, rather than see cuts in education or major entitlement programs and this remains true across party lines.

Cracking down on tax haven abuse is a step toward fairness. Closing the corporate tax loopholes that simply help the rich get richer, while most Americans are paying more in state and local taxes, will tilt the playing field toward fairness.

In closing please support HB 551-FN, relative to preventing diversion of business income to tax havens.

Laura Hainey (AFT-NH): Right To Work Weakens Collective Bargaining And Hurts All Workers

 

I am here today to ask that you defeat HB 402-FN: establishing the Franklin Partin right-to-work act.

aft sqaureAFT-NH represents 4,000 employees in NH, mostly public employees who work in your cities, towns and school districts. The members of AFT-NH are teachers, Para educators, secretaries, librarians, cafeteria staff, and custodial staff. Some of us are police officers who work to ensure safe and orderly communities. Our members work in higher education preparing new generations of citizens and leaders. And our members provide vital public services in towns all over New Hampshire. In short, AFT New Hampshire members ensure the safety and well-being of our fellow citizens and help build stronger communities throughout our state.

Keep in mind, a union cannot unilaterally require nonmembers to pay their fair share. The employer and the union must negotiate and agree that workers are required to pay their fair share for representation.

Right now, either private or public employers and employees can freely negotiate to make sure everyone who benefits from a union contract pays their fair share of the costs of obtaining and protecting those benefits. But a “Right To Work” (RTW) law would allow the government to interfere unfairly in the freedoms of private and public employers and restrict the right to negotiate with their employees. Employers should be free to negotiate contracts without government intrusion.

Despite its misleading name, this type of law does not guarantee anyone a job and it does not protect against unfair firing. It only weakens collective bargaining rights and limits workers’ freedom to demand respect, fair pay and safety on the job. It tilts the balance even more toward big corporations and further rigs the system at the expense of middle-class families.

We all know there is no evidence to suggest that passing a RTW bill will improve our economy or create jobs for NH’s working families. As a matter of fact, I know you’ve heard that RTW legislation creates more jobs, presumably because a state becomes more attractive to employers when unions are not present or are weakened. The research does not support this point of view.

The so called RTW proposal hurts everyone. By many measures, the quality of life is worse in states with so-called RTW laws. Wages are lower, poverty and lack of insurance are higher, education is weaker—even infant mortality and the likelihood of being killed on the job are higher.

Lower Wages and Incomes

  • The average worker in states with RTW laws makes $1,540 a year less when all other factors are removed than workers in other states.1
  • Median household income in states with these laws is $6,437 less than in other states ($46,402 vs. $52,839).2
  • In states with RTW laws, 26.7 percent of jobs are in low-wage occupations, compared with 19.5 percent of jobs in other states.3

Less Job-Based Health Insurance Coverage

  • People in states with RTW laws are more likely to be uninsured (16.8 percent, compared with 13.1 percent overall; among children, it’s 10.8 percent vs. 7.5 percent).4
  • They’re less likely to have job-based health insurance than people in other states (56.2 percent, compared with 60.1 percent).5
  • Only 50.7 percent of employers in states with these laws offer insurance coverage to their employees, compared with 55.2 percent in other states. That difference is even more significant among small employers (with fewer than 50 workers)—only 34.4 percent of them offer workers health insurance, compared with 41.7 percent of small employers in other states.6

Higher Poverty and Infant Mortality Rates

  • Poverty rates are higher in states with RTW laws (15.3 percent overall and 21.5 percent for children), compared with poverty rates of 13.1 percent overall and 18.1 percent for children in states without these laws.7
  • The infant mortality rate is 15 percent higher in states with these laws.8
  • Less Investment in Education
  • States with RTW laws spend $3,392 less per pupil on elementary and secondary education than other states, and students are less likely to be performing at their appropriate grade level in math and reading.9

Higher Rates of Death on the Job

  • The rate of workplace deaths is 36 percent higher in states with these laws, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.10

In closing, industries locate in a state for many reasons, but RTW laws are not among them. Factors like workforce productivity, availability of skilled workers, transportation, closeness to markets and materials, quality of life and proximity to research universities are the keys to economic growth. We need to create good jobs throughout the state, but an RTW law will not persuade companies to move here.

Please recommend ITL on HB 402-FN: establishing the Franklin Partin right-to-work act.

In Solidarity,

Laura Hainey

AFT-NH President

 

1 Economic Policy Institute, http://www.epi.org/publication/right-to-work-michigan-economy/.

2 U.S. Census Bureau, Table H-8. Median Household Income by State, www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/data/historical/household/2010/H08_2010.xls.

3 CFED, Asset and Opportunity Scorecard, http://scorecard.assetsandopportunity.org/2012/measure/low-wage-jobs.

4 Kaiser Family Foundation, www.statehealthfacts.org.

5 Ibid.

6 Ibid.

7 Census Bureau, POV46: Poverty Status by State: 2010, related children under 18, www.census.gov/hhes/www/cpstables/032011/pov/new46_100125_04.htm;

Table 19. Percent of Persons in Poverty, by State: 2008, 2009 and 2010, www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/data/historical/hstpov19.xls.

8 Kaiser Family Foundation, www.statehealthfacts.org.

9 National Education Association, Rankings & Estimates–Rankings of the States 2011 and Estimates of School Statistics 2012, December 2011, www.nea.org/assets/docs/NEA_Rankings_And_Estimates_FINAL_20120209.pdf ;

CFED, Asset & Opportunity Scorecard, http://scorecard.assetsandopportunity.org/2012/measure/math-proficiency-8th-grade , and http://scorecard.assetsandopportunity.org/2012/measure/reading-proficiency-8th-grade .

10 AFL-CIO, Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect, April 2012, www.aflcio.org/Issues/Job-Safety/Death-on-the-Job-Report .

AFT-NH Legislative Update 2-16-15: The Governor’s Budget, Dividends Tax, And Right To Work

Things are moving at the State House. The governor presented her budget on Thursday, with the theme of:  “Responsible Budget Builds on Bipartisan Progress to Encourage Innovation, Expand Middle Class Opportunity, Support Job-Creating Businesses, and Attract and Retain More Young People”. This year there will be many hard decisions that will need to be made and they will not be easy ones.  

We know that in New Hampshire we have few revenue sources and we have a regressive tax system, meaning that citizens that have the least to spare pay the most. To read more on this click here. When reviewing bills AFT-NH keeps in mind that we support incremental, common-sense reforms designed to make NH’s existing tax system fairer and to produce the revenue needed to preserve the public services essential to NH’s residents, businesses, and visitors.  All of this is vital to our shared economic success.

AFT-NH is supporting the following bills which will bring in necessary revenues while closing loop-holes in our current tax system:

  • HB 634-FN-A; relative to applying the interest and dividends tax to trusts, increasing exemptions, and extending the tax to capital gains; and relative to homeowners property tax relief and
  • HB 551-FN, relative to preventing diversion of business income to tax havens

The Governor’s presentation of her budget is the first step in a long process. The budget will now move to the House where they will hold hearings and recommend a budget for the full House to vote on. Once this is done it will be the Senate’s turn. During all of this I am sure there will be many closed door meetings to try to reach some agreement.  The final step is the Committee Of Conference, where the House, Senate and the Governor will work on a final recommendation to be voted on by both chambers. This final vote will take place in late June.

There have been many bills on Common Core And State Assessments.  Just like last year, AFT-NH understands that local school districts are in different stages of development with regards to Common Core and assessment.  Therefore, for any new standard to work we need to ensure that:

  • There needs to be planning time for understanding the Standards and time to put them into practice,
  • We need opportunities to observe colleagues implementing Standards in class,
  • Provide teachers with model lesson plans aligned to Standards,
  • Ensure textbooks/other curricula materials align with Standards,
  • Communicate with parents on the Standards and the expectations of students,
  • Develop best practices and strategies along with coaching to help teachers teach content more deeply,
  • We need to ensure all districts have the equipment and bandwidth to administer computer-based assessments,
  • Make sure we have fully developed curricula aligned to Standards and available to teachers,
  • Assessments need to be aligned to Standards indicating mastery of concepts,
  • Professional development and training in the Standards need to be offered,
  • We need to develop tools to track individual student progress on key Standards.

To read AFT-NH the full statement on Common Core and state Assessments click here.

There were also several bill hearings on raising the minimum wage this past week. Here are a few facts gleaned from the hearings:   

Those earning minimum wage in NH who would benefit from an increase–

72% are not teens, they’re 20 or older

36% are 30 or older

59% are women

14% have children

32% work full time

New Hampshire workers cannot make ends meet on today’s minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

With a full-time schedule, minimum wage workers earn less than $300 a week. After buying groceries or paying the rent, there’s little or nothing left to buy other basic necessities like heat, clothing, or gas for the car.

The Granite State is consistently recognized as a top place to live, work, and raise a family. But for minimum wage workers, it’s a real struggle to get by, let alone afford the basics.

New Hampshire’s low-wage workers work hard, play by the rules, and deserve a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

The public agrees: the time to raise the minimum wage is now.

Poll after poll shows widespread support among the public for an increase in the minimum wage.

Public Policy polling results released January 15, 2014, found 60% of NH voters support increasing minimum wage to $10/hour, with only 29% opposed.

AFT-NH asks that the House Labor Committee make a recommendation to pass in increase in the minimum wage here in New Hampshire. It time we stand up and doing something that would benefit nearly 76,000 New Hampshire workers –or 12% of the labor force.

This coming week there are several hearing on the so called ‘Right To Work’.

The so called ‘Right to Work’ (RTW) proposal hurts everyone.  By many measures, the quality of life is worse in states with so-called “right to work” (RTW) laws. Wages are lower, poverty and lack of insurance are higher, education is weaker—even infant mortality and the likelihood of being killed on the job are higher.

We all know there is no evidence to suggest that passing a “Right To Work” bill will improve our economy or create jobs for NH’s working families. As a matter of fact, I know you’ve heard that Right to Work legislation creates more jobs, presumably because a state becomes more attractive to employers when unions are not present or are weakened. The research does not support this point of view.

RTW laws create a loophole in our labor laws that allows workers who decide not to be a part of a union to fully benefit from union representation—including higher wages, benefits, training, safety and protection from unfair discipline—without having to pay a single penny for it. That’s unfair to their co-workers who play by the rules and pay their fair share. And it weakens all workers’ ability to stand up for themselves and each other. That’s why these laws are called “right to work for less” laws.

We must also ask whether it the place of state government to tell private companies what they can and cannot agree to with a union?  Please take the time to consider the implications on the current working relationships in the workforce which for the most part have been productive and collegial. Why upset this balance?

AFT-NH will be asking the both chambers to defeat this and any legislation that either erodes or repeals NH’s collective bargaining laws for public employees.

In Solidarity,

Laura Hainey

AFT-NH President


Have you visited the AFT-NH Facebook page and clicked “Like Us”? Please do so today!
You can also follow us on Twitter at @8027aftnh.
Late breaking news appears on Facebook!

Upcoming hearings for the week of February 16, 2015

Tuesday, February 17

Senate COMMERCE, Room 100, SH

2:20 p.m. SB 107-FN, prohibiting collective bargaining agreements that require employees to join or contribute to a labor union.

Senate EDUCATION, Room 103, LOB

9:00 a.m. SB 25-FN, relative to epinephrine administered in schools.

9:30 a.m. SB 152, requiring the state police to disclose the results of a criminal records check to school officials.

10:00 a.m. SB 190-FN, relative to payment of costs for career and technical education center programs and administration by the department of education, and establishing a tax credit against business profits taxes for donations to such centers.

10:30 a.m. SB 227, relative to calculating the cost of an adequate education.

11:00 a.m. SB 228-FN-L, relative to the maximum total education grant, adjustment of stabilization

Senate WAYS AND MEANS, Representatives’ Hall, SH

9:00 a.m. SB 113-FN-A-L, relative to video lottery and table gaming.

COMMERCE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS, Room 302, LOB

1:15 p.m. HB 596-FN-L, relative to health insurance plans of public employers.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY, Room 204, LOB

10:30 a.m. HB 568-FN, requiring a supervisory law enforcement officer to arrest a law enforcement officer when the supervisor knows that the law enforcement officer has committed a criminal offense.

11:00 a.m. HB 669-FN-L, requiring law enforcement agencies to report on the receipt of certain equipment and grants from the federal government and on the deployment of tactical teams.

EDUCATION, Room 207, LOB

10:00 a.m. Executive session on

HB 116, relative to the renomination of teachers,

HB 124, relative to the implementation of new college and career readiness standards,

HB 126, establishing a commission to study issues related to students receiving special education services while attending a chartered public school,

HB 142, relative to student social media policies by education institutions,

HB 206, relative to non-academic surveys or questionnaires given to students,

HB237, requiring vocational education centers to prioritize science, technology, engineering, and mathematics curricula as a condition for funding,

HB 243, changing the definitions of “focus school” and “priority school” in the school performance and accountability law,

HB 253, relative to the requirements for filing a charter school application,

HB 283, requiring school districts to establish a policy permitting a pupil’s parent or legal guardian to observe his or her classes, and

HB 302, requiring a public hearing prior to the submission of a grant application by the department of education.

2:30 p.m. HA 1, for the removal of certain state officials in the department of education.

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ADMINISTRATION, Room 306, LOB

11:00 a.m. HB 488, relative to an abusive work environment and the health and safety of public employees.

FINANCE, Rooms 210-211, LOB

Budget presentations as follows:

2:45 p.m. Department of Education

FINANCE – (DIVISION II),Room 209, LOB

11:15 a.m. Work session on HB 651-FN-L, transferring the portion of special education costs directly related to health issues to the department of health and human services.

LABOR, INDUSTRIAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, Room 307, LOB

In Representatives Hall

1:00 p.m. HB 402-FN, establishing the Franklin Partin right-to-work act.

WAYS & MEANS, Room 202, LOB

10:30 a.m. HB 386-FN-A, reducing the rate of the business profits tax.

Wednesday, February 18

10 am House in session

Thursday, February 19

10 am Senate in session

EDUCATION, Room 207, LOB

9:30 a.m. HB 604, relative to the use of mixed use school buses by special education pupils.

10:00 a.m. HB 519, establishing a committee to study department of education policies affecting dyslexic students.

10:30 a.m. HB 471, relative to the powers of the state board of education and the duties of school boards.

11:15 a.m. HB 507, relative to teacher personally identifiable data.

1:00 p.m. HB 520, establishing privacy protections for student online personal information.

1:45 p.m. HB 527, establishing guidelines for school districts relative to the use of school resource officers.

2:15 p.m. HB 375, relative to providing information about effective forms of child discipline to parents.

2:45 p.m. HB 555, relative to participation of chartered public school students in school district cocurricular activities.

3:15 p.m. HB 578-FN, relative to state board of education compliance with unfunded federal education mandates.

LABOR, INDUSTRIAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, Room 206, LOB

10:00 a.m. HB 600-FN, relative to paid sick leave for employees.

10:45 a.m. HB 658-FN, prohibiting collective bargaining agreements that require employees to join a labor union.

Friday, February 20

EDUCATION, Room 207, LOB

9:30 a.m. HB 603, relative to student exemptions from assessments, questionnaires, or surveys.

9:55 a.m. HB 566-FN-L, relative to consolidation of school administrative units.

10:20 a.m. HB 611-FN, requiring legislative approval of all agreements, contracts, grants, or waivers involving the department of education or the state board of education.

10:45 a.m. HB 610, relative to a school board vote on the reassignment of a pupil.

11:10 a.m. HB 474, relative to grounds for denial of a chartered public school application.

11:35 a.m. HB 424, relative to the accessibility of assessment materials.

1:00 p.m. Executive session on

HB 322, relative to protection of personally identifiable data by the department of education,

HB 323, relative to the administration of the statewide assessment program,

HB 332, relative to school district policy regarding objectionable course material,

HB346, relative to criminal history records checks for school employees and volunteers,

HB 375, relative to providing information about effective forms of child discipline to parents,

HB 424, relative to the accessibility of assessment materials, HB 507, relative to teacher personally identifiable data,

HB 520, establishing privacy protections for student online personal information, and

HB 527, establishing guidelines for school districts relative to the use of school resource officers.

WAYS AND MEANS, Room 202, LOB

9:00 a.m. HB 551-FN, relative to preventing diversion of business income to tax havens.

10:00 a.m. HB 630-FN-A, establishing the New Hampshire video lottery.

11:00 a.m. HB 680-FN-L, relative to establishing the rate for and the collection of  the education property tax and establishing a homestead exemption from the education property tax.

2-11-15 AFT-NH Legislative Update: Combating Revenue Shortfalls With New Legislation (HB 634) And More

This past week the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on HOUSE BILL 634-FN-A;AN ACT relative to applying the interest and dividends tax to trusts, increasing exemptions, and extending the tax to capital gains; and relative to homeowners property tax relief. AFT-NH spoke in support of this bill.

Dramatic revenue shortfalls are having a devastating effect on funding for public services at the state and local levels. While our economy is now growing, the recent economic downturn, sometimes called the Great Recession, has limited our communities’ ability to provide the healthcare, schools, colleges, public safety and transportation that people take for granted in good years but that they increasingly rely on in bad times.

HB 634 will generate as much as $100 million in revenue each year once fully implemented, while providing approximately $25 million annually to cities and towns with the creation of a dedicated funding source for general revenue sharing. These are revenues which are much needed in New Hampshire. This revenue could also help to offset the increases in local property taxes that communities were forced to impose when the state no longer contributed its share to the NH retirement system for local government workers.

This bill would also increase the income eligibility thresholds for the Low- and Moderate-Income Homeowners Property Tax Relief Program (LMIHPTR) from $20,000 to $27,500 for single taxpayers and from $40,000 to $55,000 for married couples. This bill will help keep low income homeowners in their homes.

The House Education Committee held a hearing on HOUSE BILL 625-FN-A; AN ACT relative to public charter schools. This bill establishes a state public charter school commission to administer the approval and operation of public charter schools in the state. The appointed committee members would be the only entity to oversee charter schools and approve them. There are many flaws in this law and we hope that the House Education Committee will recommend defeating this bill. What we need are laws and regulations requiring full transparency in how charter schools operate and making them directly and openly accountable to the public for student performance and their admissions and enrollment policies.  We need stronger policies mandating respect and support for teacher and staff voice in school policy and program, identification of potential conflicts of interest via disclosure requirements, and the use of public funds in the same rigorous manner required in our public schools.

There is still time to take action on House Bill 116: relative to the re-nomination of teachers. This bill reduces from 5 to 3 consecutive years of teaching required for a teacher to be entitled to notification and a hearing if the teacher is not reappointed. This bill falls under our objective of “AFT-NH will stand up and fight to ensure that teachers and school staff are well-prepared, are supported, have manageable class sizes, and have time to collaborate so they can meet the individual needs of every child.”

AFT-NH believes that all teachers deserve due process when being non-renewed.  Due process is the right to a legitimate reason, or “just cause,” before a teacher can be fired and requires a notice and an impartial just cause hearing before termination. We are asking to be treated fairly and without prejudice.

A Red Issue Alert went out last week about the above bill and if you have not taken action there is still time by clicking here.

In Solidarity,
Laura Hainey
AFT-NH President

Have you visited the AFT-NH Facebook page and clicked “Like Us”? Please do so today!
You can also follow us on Twitter at @8027aftnh.
Late breaking news appears on Facebook!

UPCOMING HEARINGS

Tuesday, February 10

Senate COMMERCE, Room 100, SH
1:15 p.m. SB 47, repealing the payment of subminimum wages to persons with disabilities.

Senate EDUCATION, Room 103, LOB
9:00 a.m. SB 157-FN, establishing a civics education requirement as a condition for high school graduation.

9:40 a.m. SB 195-FN, requiring instruction in cursive handwriting and memorization of multiplication tables.

10:00 a.m. SB 204-FN, repealing the education tax credit program.

COMMERCE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS, Room 302, LOB
11:30 a.m. Executive session on HB 686 establishing a single payer health care system and making an
appropriation therefore,

EDUCATION, Room 207, LOB
10:00 a.m. Executive session on
HB 218-FN, relative to additional funding for third grade proficiency in mathematics,
HB 301, allowing a parent to elect not to include their child in the unique pupil identification system or other information database maintained by the department of education,
HB 536, relative to payment for special education services for chartered public school students and relative to federal funds for chartered public schools,
HB 537-FN-L, relative to the calculation of the school administrative unit budget,
HB 562-FN-L, repealing the limitation on the total education grant distributed to a municipality in a fiscal year and reducing the stabilization grants to certain municipalities,
HB 577-FN-A-L, establishing a children’s savings account program,
HB 625-FN-A, relative to public charter schools,
HB 635-FN, relative to aid to school districts for costs of special education, and
HB 676-FN-A, establishing a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics scholars program.

1:00 p.m. HB 538-FN-L, relative to the implementation of new statewide education annual assessments.

1:30 p.m. HB 581-FN, requiring schools to continue the education of a child during the child’s suspension or expulsion.
Executive session on all pending legislation may follow.

ELECTION LAW, Room 308, LOB
1:00 p.m. Subcommittee work session on
HB 393-FN, including the distributing of model acts to elected officials as lobbying and requiring disclosure of compensation or reimbursement received by elected officials from such lobbyists for attendance at an event,

FINANCE – (DIVISION II), Rooms 210-211, LOB
1:30 p.m. Work session on HB 539-FN, establishing an early learning incentive fund in the department of education.

3:30 p.m. Work session on HB 563-FN, relative to funding for chartered public school pupils.

LABOR, INDUSTRIAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, Room 307, LOB
10:15 a.m. HB 411, prohibiting the payment of subminimum wages to persons with disabilities.

11:00 a.m. HB 496-FN-L, prohibiting public employers from using criminal history in employment decisions.

1:00 pm in REPRESENTATIVES HALL:
HB 392-FN, relative to the minimum hourly wage,
HB 163, establishing a state minimum hourly rate, and
HB 370-L, enabling counties and municipalities to establish minimum wage rates, and
HB 684-FN, establishing a state minimum hourly rate.
Executive session on all pending legislation may follow

MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT, Room 301, LOB
2:00 p.m. Executive session:
HB 397, relative to the duties of public servants,

WAYS AND MEANS, Room 202, LOB
9:00 a.m. Revenue projections.
1:00 p.m. HB 599, relative to the economic revitalization zone tax credit program.

2:00 p.m. HB 438-FN-A, exempting proprietorships from taxation under the business profits tax.

2:30 p.m. HB 437-FN, exempting proprietorships from taxation under the business enterprise tax.
Executive session on all pending legislation may follow.

Wednesday, February 11

10 am House in session

Thursday, February 12

CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY, Room 204, LOB
11:00 a.m. HB 590-FN, relative to the accountability of public officials.

2:30 p.m. HB 442, changing references to “law enforcement officer” to “peace officer” in the Revised Statutes Annotated.
Executive session on all pending legislation may follow.

EDUCATION, Room 207, LOB
10:00 a.m. HB 142, relative to student social media policies by education institutions.

10:30 a.m. HB 206, relative to non-academic surveys or questionnaires given to students.

11:00 a.m. HB 243, changing the definitions of “focus school” and “priority school” in the school performance and accountability law.

11:30 a.m. HB 302, requiring a public hearing prior to the submission of a grant application by the Department of Education.

2:30 p.m. HB 317, relative to contracts between schools and school districts.

2:55 p.m. HB 237, requiring vocational education centers to prioritize science, technology, engineering, and mathematics curricula as a condition for funding.

3:20 p.m. HB 332, relative to school district policy regarding objectionable course material.
Executive session on all pending legislation may follow.

FINANCE, Room 210-211, LOB
10:00 a.m. Executive session:
HB 539-FN, establishing an early learning incentive fund in the department of education,
HB 563-FN, relative to funding for chartered public school pupils,
HB 651-FN-L, transferring the portion of special education costs directly related to health issues to the department of health and human services,

LEGISLATIVE ADMINISTRATION, Room 203, LOB
9:00 a.m. HB 300, requiring state employees and state public officials to obtain prior permission to attend meetings and hearings of the general court.

Tuesday, February 17

COMMERCE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS, Room 302, LOB
1:15 p.m. HB 596-FN-L, relative to health insurance plans of public employers.

EDUCATION, Room 207, LOB
2:30 p.m. HA 1, for the removal of certain state officials in the department of education.
Executive session on all pending legislation may follow.

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ADMINISTRATION, Room 306, LOB
11:00 a.m. HB 488, relative to an abusive work environment and the health and safety of public employees.

LABOR, INDUSTRIAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, Room 307, LOB
1:00 p.m. in REPRESENTATIVES HALL:
HB 402-FN, establishing the Franklin Partin right-to-work act.
Executive session on all pending legislation may follow.

Thursday, February 19

LABOR, INDUSTRIAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, Room 206, LOB
10:00 a.m. HB 600-FN, relative to paid sick leave for employees.
10:45 a.m. HB 658-FN, prohibiting collective bargaining agreements that require employees to join a labor union.
Executive session on pending legislation may follow.

AFT-NH Legislative Update 2-3-15: Kicking Off The Session

AFT NH Legislative Update

The 2015 session of the NH State legislature is underway and as always, there are many bills to follow and monitor.  Some legislative proposals will garner our support but others will earn our enmity and opposition as we defend the interests of our members and of working people in New Hampshire.  As we review proposed bills, we will determine our support or opposition based upon the basic legislative objectives listed below:

Education

  • AFT-NH will stand up and fight for neighborhood public schools that are safe, welcoming places for teaching and learning.
  • AFT-NH will stand up and fight to ensure that teachers and school staff are well-prepared, are supported, have manageable class sizes, and have time to collaborate so they can meet the individual needs of every child.
  • AFT-NH will stand up and fight to make sure our children have an engaging curriculum that includes art, music and physical education

Retirement

  • AFT-NH will stand up and fight for universal access to secure retirement plans into which the state of NH and its cities and towns pay their required yearly contributions.
  • AFT-NH will stand up and fight to ensure all workers are covered by retirement plans that provide consistent and adequate income to maintain a reasonable standard of living.
  • AFT-NH will stand up and fight to ensure earned retirement benefits are fully funded and safeguarded from market volatility or changes in employers’ economic situations.

Public employees

  • AFT-NH will stand up and fight for first-rate public services that support communities and keep them safe, healthy and vibrant.
  • AFT-NH will stand up and fight to ensure public employees are well-prepared and supported so they can provide the high-quality services our communities depend on.

Collective bargaining

  • AFT-NH will stand up and fight for collective bargaining laws in the state of NH and will work to defeat any and all legislation that either erodes or repeals NH’s collective bargaining laws for public employees.

Revenues

  • AFT-NH will stand up and fight for incremental, common-sense reforms designed to make NH’s existing tax system fairer and to produce the revenue needed to preserve the public services essential to NH’s residents, businesses, and visitors, and vital to our shared economic success.

Charter Schools Accountability

  • AFT-NH will stand up and fight for laws and regulations requiring full transparency in how charter schools operate and making them directly and openly accountable to the public for student performance and their admissions and enrollment policies.  We need stronger policies mandating respect and support for teacher and staff voices in school policy and program, identification of potential conflicts of interest via disclosure requirements, and the use of public funds in the same rigorous manner required in our public schools.

So far this session the House Education Committee heard testimony on HB 116: relative to the renomination of teachers. This bill reduces from 5 to 3 consecutive years of teaching required for a teacher to be entitled to notification and a hearing if the teacher is not reappointed. This bill would falls under our objective of “AFT-NH will stand up and fight to ensure that teachers and school staff are well-prepared, are supported, have manageable class sizes, and have time to collaborate so they can meet the individual needs of every child.”

AFT-NH believes that all teachers deserve due process when being non-renewed.  Due process is the right to a legitimate reason, or “just cause,” before a teacher can be fired and requires a notice and an impartial just cause hearing before termination. We are asking to be treated fairly and without prejudice.

A Red Issue Alert went out this week about the above bill and if you have not taken action there is still time by clicking here.

They are also many bills moving through both chambers in regards to Common Core and state assessments. These bills would fall under the objective of; “AFT-NH will stand up and fight to make sure our children have an engaging curriculum that includes art, music and physical education.”

If these Standards and assessments are to work we need to ensure that in each district the following are in place when implementing the Standards:

  • There needs to be planning time for understanding the Standards and time to put them into practice,
  • We need opportunities to observe colleagues implementing Standards in class,
  • We must provide teachers with model lesson plans aligned to Standards,
  • We need to ensure textbooks/other curricula materials align with Standards,
  • We must communicate with parents on the Standards and the expectations of students,
  • We must develop best practices and strategies along with coaching to help teachers teach content more deeply,
  • We need to ensure all districts have the equipment and bandwidth to administer computer-based assessments,
  • We need to make sure we have fully developed curricula aligned to Standards and available to teachers,
  • We must be certain that assessments are aligned to Standards indicating mastery of concepts,
  • We need to have professional development and training in the Standards, and
  • We need to develop tools to track individual student progress on key Standards.

With regards to assessments, AFT-NH believes in assessments that support teaching and learning, and that are aligned with curriculum rather than narrow it.  Assessments should be focused on measuring growth and continuous development of students instead of arbitrary targets unconnected to how students learn. Assessments should be diverse, authentic, test for multiple indicators of student performance and provide information leading to appropriate interventions that help students, teachers and schools improve.  Assessments should not be designed to deliver sanctions that undermine students, teachers and schools.  Development and implementation of such tests must be age appropriate for the students, and teachers need to have appropriate computers to administer such assessments.

Further, AFT-NH believes that assessments designed to support teaching and learning must contribute to school and classroom environments that nurture growth, collaboration, curiosity and invention—essential elements of a 21st-century education that have too often been sacrificed in favor of test prep and testing itself.

The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on SB 1 reducing the rate of the business profits tax.This bill would fall under AFT-NH’s objective to “stand up and fight for incremental, common-sense reforms designed to make NH’s existing tax system fairer and to produce the revenue needed to preserve the public services essential to NH’s residents, businesses, and visitors, and vital to our shared economic success.” AFT-NH has concerns with this bill. We have heard over and over that there is a $30 million shortfall in this current budget. With a hole of $30 million why would you cut roughly another $30 million in this biennium budget? How will this amount be made up or where in the budget will cuts be made?

Keep in mind that the state of New Hampshire already underfunds catastrophic special education aid to district by capping it at 72%.  With this cap of 72% the state has downshifted roughly $8 million onto communities.  There has been a moratorium on Building aid which has hindered many districts from complete upgrades, making repairs to buildings or building new schools. Remember:  50% of our school buildings are over 60 years old and many need infrastructure upgrades necessary for a 21st century learning environment.

Lastly, what are the assurances that by reducing the business profits tax jobs would be created?  I see this as only leading to reductions in the public services that all citizens of New Hampshire rely upon.

In Solidarity,
Laura Hainey
AFT-NH President

AFT-NH Red Alert: Standing Up Against Timberlane Regional School District Budget Cuts

A special message from AFT-NH

aft sqaurePLEASE ATTEND THE 2015 DELIBERATIVE SESSION

Thursday, February 5, 2015, 7:00 pm
at the Timberlane Regional High School Gymnasium
Registered voter check-in will begin at 6:00 pm in the TRHS Cafeteria

The Timberlane Regional School District is under attack at the deliberative session on February 5th.  Students and staff will suffer serious consequence if this cut passes. The District is comprised of the following towns: Atkinson, Danville, Plaistow and Sandown.

We know based on public comments made by Arthur and Donna Green (budget committee and school board members) there will be a motion to cut the proposed school budget by at least $2.8 million or more.

The naysayers rely on the fact that we won’t show up—but we will when the education of our children is at stake.

If you live in the Timberlane Regional School District, PLEASE attend your deliberative session and support the school budget. Some of the threatened cuts suggested run so deep as to significantly impact programs, loss of positions and user fees for bussing, music and athletics.   The proposed budget has already been significantly reduced resulting in only a 0.58% increase. Yes- just above a one-half percent (1/2%) increase. There is no room for a cut of this magnitude without a diminishment of programs and significant loss of teaching and paraeducator positions.

Talk to your friends, neighbors and colleagues and ask them to attend the meeting! Your voice matters and you can control the destiny of your schools and protect public education in your town.

Please reach out to your local union leadership in the Timberlane Teachers’ Association and the Timberlane Support Staff Union on ways you can help.

Stand Up For Your Schools!

In Solidarity,

Laura Hainey
AFT-NH President

Teachers throw support behind Martha Fuller Clark

NEA-NH and AFT-NH show solidarity and stand united behind the candidacy of Sen. Martha Fuller Clark (D-Portsmouth)

martha fuller clark campaign(Portsmouth, NH) The state’s largest teachers’ unions are in solidarity behind Sen. Martha Fuller Clark’s re-election campaign, said Clark’s campaign in a statement released today.

“I’m very grateful to New Hampshire’s teachers for their continued support,” Clark said. “We need to continue to fund and support our public education system until New Hampshire’s schools are the envy of the nation and the world. The surest way to build a durable economy for our future is to educate the workforce that our employers need at all education levels.”

Senator Fuller Clark, whose political career has been marked by a consistent commitment to primary and secondary public education, has long enjoyed the support of New Hampshire’s teachers. In the last legislative session, Clark championed renewed funding for school building aid and introduced the first legislation designed to restore funding to the state’s university and community college systems – efforts that drove the new funding that allowed for tuition freezes and cuts across New Hampshire’s higher education system.

Senator Martha Fuller Clark (D-Dist. 21) is currently serving her eighth year in the Senate after serving in the state’s House of Representatives from 1990 through 2002. Clark was the Democratic nominee for Congress in New Hampshire’s 1st congressional district in 2000 and again in 2002. Today, Sen. Clark serves as Vice-Chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party and, as a member of Democratic National Committee; Clark serves on the Resolutions Committee. In 2008 and 2012, she was a co-chair of the NH Committee to elect Barack Obama, a superdelegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, and was a member of the United States Electoral College in 2008, when she cast one of New Hampshire’s four electoral votes for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Since 1973, she and her husband, Dr. Geoffrey Clark, have lived in the Portsmouth where they raised their three children, Caleb, Nathaniel, and Anna.

AFT-NH Hosts “Working Women Speak Out” (Videos)

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This election is extremely important to working women and their families.  Ensuring that we elect representatives who support women in the workplace was what the Working Women Speak Out event was focused on.

Issues facing working women are the same issues effected every Granite Stater this election.  AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Liz Shuler said, “Women’s issues are shaping up to be the second biggest issue of this election.” Working women are facing enormous challenges in our struggling economy. “Women still only make $.77 cents on the dollar compared to man, and that is a shame,” said Shuler.  In her speech, Shuler focused on reelecting Governor Hassan, Senator Shaheen, and Congresswoman Annie Kuster who all support raising the minimum wage and equal pay for equal work.  Shuler also talked about the need to pass “paid sick leave” for all workers, especially since most low wage jobs, like waiting tables, provide no paid time off when your sick.

View Liz Shuler video on YouTube

AFT-President Randi Weingarten also spoke at the event and focused how poverty and education effect working families. “Nearly half of all public school students are living below the poverty line, and one-in-four (25%) of all children nationally are living in poverty,” said Weingarten.  She also talked about how we need to ensure that we are properly funding our public school system. “The only reason we passed a nation budget was because the Republicans were embarrassed after they shut down the government,” said Weingarten. “How dare they say they support children when they cut public school budgets to give tax breaks to the 1%.”

(Randi also spoke in detail about the effects of spending caps like the one in Nashua in separate post here.)

View Randi’s speech on YouTube

Kelly Torosian, an IBEW 2320 member and an Executive Council member of the NH AFL-CIO, took a few minutes to update the crowd on the ongoing FairPoint strike. Torosian asked for people to show their support for workers standing on the picket line by donating gas cards and grocery store gift cards.  After hearing about the current struggle of striking workers, Weingarten stated, “AFT will donate $5,000 dollars to the FairPoint workers strike fund.”

The crowd of 70 people gave a standing ovation to Governor Hassan as she entered the room, showing their support for her strong leadership in the corner office.  “Building a strong innovative economy starts with a strong public schools system,” said Hassan.  Governor Hassan also spoke about the need to “restore and improve the state minimum wage.”

Hassan also brought attention to the importance of keeping Democrats in control of the NH House and not letting Bill O’Brien regain control.  As Speaker, O’Brien cut funding to public schools, the University of New Hampshire system, and repealed the New Hampshire Minimum Wage law.

Governor Hassan also talked about the importance of having access to quality healthcare and provide low income workers with healthcare through the Medicaid Expansion. “As of this week 20,000 Granite Staters now have healthcare thanks to the Medicaid Expansion,” said Hassan.

View Governor Hassan’s speech on YouTube.

Congresswoman Annie Kuster also talked about the Bill O’Brien House and her opponent Marilinda Garcia, who was one of the select few to be a part of  O’Brien’s leadership team.  Kuster talked about her work in Congress to help working families by pushing for expanded access to healthcare, raising the minimum wage and passing a national Paycheck Fairness law.  Kuster noted that while she supports legislation that would help working women, her opponent, wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, opposes raising the minimum wage, and paycheck fairness is unneeded legislation.

Garcia also wants to abolish the Department of Education that would virtually eliminate the federal student loan program, even though Garcia currently owes tens of thousands of dollars in Sallie Mae student loans.

View Rep. Annie Kuster’s speech on YouTube.

Laura Hainey, President of AFT-NH organized the event and spent a couple of minutes talking about working to ensure that Speaker Bill O’Brien does not regain power in Concord.  As President of AFT-NH, Hainey knows first hand the devastation that another O’Brien legislature would do to the public schools system in New Hampshire.

View Laura Hainey’s speech on YouTube.

Senator Shaheen was unable to attend the event due to a scheduling conflict — she was in Northern New Hampshire campaigning with Sen. Elizabeth Warren — her daughter Stacy gave a short speech on her behalf.  Stacy Shaheen talked about how hard her mother is working for the people of New Hampshire. “My mom is a workhorse,” said Shaheen.  “She has been working for the people of New Hampshire for a long time.”

Working families in New Hampshire need more representatives like this strong, women leaders.

Talk to your friends, neighbors and family members about how important this election is and then encourage them to vote on Nov. 4th.

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