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Elliot Health System Lays Off 182

When will the people in Concord learn that cutting funding is not going to bring new jobs.  The House Speakers stands by his budget.  I have lost track of how many jobs have been cut because of this years State Budget.  200 state employees and 182 at Elliot how many more will have to loose their jobs, and careers before they will do something to stop this insanity.

Elliot Health System Lays Off 182: “Elliot Health System has announced more than 100 layoffs it said are the result of cuts in the state budget.
The health care provider runs Elliot Hospital and other services in southern New Hampshire. On Monday, it announced it was joining nine other hospitals in suing the state for $250 million in cuts to the state’s largest hospitals.On Tuesday, Elliot announced it was shutting down a 24-hour medical help line, cutting expenses and laying off 182 employees.
“This is a terribly sad day in health care,” said Doug Dean, president and CEO of Elliot Health Care. “No one wants to see hard-working people, who have done nothing but perform their jobs for this community, suffer from a reduction in force brought on by the failure of the state to manage their own expenses.”

In announcing the lawsuit, the hospitals said the state assessed a Medicaid Enhancement Tax of 5.5 percent of a hospital’s net revenues, but it also reimbursed the hospitals with a payment equal to the tax. The hospitals said the new state budget continues the tax but eliminates the payment that had been used to pay the tax.

The hospitals said the cut would make it more difficult to help the neediest people of New Hampshire. Elliot said it would receive $17 million less in the first year of the two-year budget.

“The consequences of the state’s failure to pay us for taking care of the poor are truly devastating, particularly as the state changes its course from the past 20 years and walks away from needed matching federal dollars,” Dean said.

House Speaker Bill O’Brien said he is sympathetic to the hospital’s funding crunch, but he stands by the budget.

“Clearly, we don’t want to see any employees laid off in any private business,” he said. “Whether or not this was planned before or after the budget came into effect, time will tell. But certainly, we think this budget is going to return jobs to New Hampshire.” “

Retired Judges sue state over ‘Unconstitutional’ cuts to pension plan

More news on the new NHRS

(Read full article here) CONCORD — Seven retired judges are asking the N.H. Supreme Court to rule that a 2005 change to judicial pension law was unconstitutional because it breached their contracts by decreasing their pensions. The judges are also asking the state’s highest court to find that one-time pay increases of 10 percent and 1 percent they received should be included in income calculations used to determine the amounts of their pensions.

“It’s an important issue of law for New Hampshire,” said Ovide Lamontagne, an attorney representing the retired judges.

In a “cross appeal” of a lower court decision in their favor, the retired judges argue they were vested the day they became judges, and changing the terms of their pension benefits breaches the state’s constitution.

Meanwhile, two unrelated lawsuits are pending in Merrimack County Superior Court with similar arguments pertaining to changes to the state retirement system enacted by the Legislature on July 1.

In an appeal to the Supreme Court, Attorney General Michael Delaney accuses the seven judges of essentially gaming the retirement system.

“In effect, (the judges) seek to create their own ‘retirement plan’ by picking the aspects of each plan that benefit them the most,” Delaney wrote.

New Community Action events from the NH AFL-CIO

NH AFL-CIO Action Calendar
July 28 – August 10, 2011


THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2011:  Medicare Anniversary Actions


In NASHUA, 8:30-9:30 AM:
Stand Up for Medicare & Social Security
Outside 221 Main Street, Nashua, NH (Nashua office of Congressman Charlie Bass)
Questions & RSVP: Judy Stadtman, (603) 479-7217 or jstadtman@nhaflcio.org

Help send Rep. Bass the message that his vote to cut Medicare & Social Security is full of hot air! Constituents will have an opportunity to make drop-in visits with Congressman Bass’s office staff between 9:00-9:30 AM. Coordinated by NH Alliance for Retired Americans, NH AFL-CIO, and community partners. Online sign up on Protect NH Families Facebook page.


In MANCHESTER, 12:00-1:00 PM:
Happy 46th Birthday Party for Medicare
Cashin Senior Activity Center
151 Douglas Street, Manchester, NH
Questions or RSVP (required): Terry Lochhead, (603) 545-9989 or nhalliance@gmail.com
Come to the party and help protect Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security! There will be birthday cake and door prizes to celebrate the 46th anniversary of Medicare. Co-sponsored by NH Alliance for Retired Americans, NH AFL-CIO, and community partners.


In DOVER, 7/28, 12:00-1:00 PM:
Stand Up for Medicare & Social Security
Corner of Central Avenue & Washington Street
Downtown Dover, NH
Questions & RSVP: Judy Stadtman, (603) 479-7217 or jstadtman@nhaflcio.org
The attack on Medicare and Social Security is just the latest chapter in an ongoing series of politically-motivated attacks on middle class seniors and working families. Send the message that we won’t stand for it! Constituents will have an opportunity to make drop-in visits to U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s office staff to say “thank you” for her vote to protect these essential safety net programs. Coordinated by NH Alliance for Retired Americans, NH AFL-CIO, Seacoast MoveOn Council, and community partners. Online sign up on Protect NH Families Facebook page.


 Stop RTW Actions:


SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2011 – 10:00-11:30 AM
Coffee & Postcard Writing Party to Sustain the “Right to Work” Veto
Meet up at Me & Ollie’s Café
10 Pleasant Street (Market Square), Portsmouth NH
Contact: Judy Stadtman, (603) 479-7217 or jstadtman@nhaflcio.org
Stop in for coffee and conversation and fill out a few postcards to thank NH Reps who are standing with Granite State working families by supporting the Governor’s veto of the so-called “Right to Work” bill (HB 474). Drop by anytime between 10:00 and 11:30 AM – online sign up on Protect NH Families Facebook page.


SUNDAY, AUGUST 7, 2011 – 11:30 AM-1:00 PM
Coffee & Postcard Writing Party to Sustain the “Right to Work” Veto
Meet up at Me & Ollie’s Café
61 High Street, Hampton NH
Contact: Judy Stadtman, (603) 479-7217 or jstadtman@nhaflcio.org
Stop in for coffee and conversation and fill out a few postcards to thank NH Reps who are standing with Granite State working families by supporting the Governor’s veto of the so-called “Right to Work” bill (HB 474). Drop by anytime between 11:30 AM and 1:00 PM – online sign up on Protect NH Families Facebook page.


National Day of Action to Rebuild the American Dream
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011
Details of our NH action to be announced.  NH AFL-CIO will be coordinating with community partners and grassroots allies on this jobs-focused event. Folks who are interested in joining the planning and coordination team are urged to contact Judy Stadtman, (603) 479-7217 or email jstadtman@nhaflcio.org


Right to Work, Photo ID Bills Partisan, Unfair!

A great letter to the editor from Gary Patton of Hampton. He talks about Right To Work and Voter Id bill being pushing in New Hampshire.  Read Full letter here.

Do our local elected politicians fairly represent all their constituents or just the selfish interests of the Republican party?

As I see it, there is no reason for Hampton Republicans to support the so-called Right To Work bill, except to advantage their party. At present, workers cannot by federal law be forced to join a union or pay union dues. By federal law, benefits negotiated in a contract must be given to all workers, both union and non-union. Non-union employees pay an agency fee to cover the cost of negotiating the contract. On the average across individual contracts, the agency fee is significantly lower than union dues.

Republicans propose (HB 474) that the agency fee be eliminated. Under these circumstances, non-union workers get negotiated benefits for free. They are freeloaders. No incentive exists for them to join the union. Unions wither and die and collective bargaining comes to an end. When unions die, the Democratic Party is weakened and Republicans are strengthened. That’s why Republicans support so-called Right to Work.

Hampton Republican state representatives Chris Nevins, Ken Sheffert, and Fred Rice voted for so-called Right To Work, as did state Senator Nancy Stiles. To their credit, Hampton Republicans Kevin Sullivan and James Waddell voted against it

IN: Unions prepare for ‘right to work’ battle in Indiana | 2011-07-26 | Indianapolis Business Journal | IBJ.com

It looks like our brothers and sisters in Indiana will soon be fighting the Right To Work legislation as well. Hopefully they can find some Labor friendly Republicans in Indiana, like we have here in New Hampshire.

Unions prepare for ‘right to work’ battle in Indiana | 2011-07-26 | Indianapolis Business Journal | IBJ.com: “Indiana unions are rallying their members for the start of another battle like the one that led House Democrats to flee to Illinois earlier this year.

The General Assembly’s Interim Committee on Employment will consider ‘right to work’ legislation Tuesday. The measure would curb a union’s ability to require workers to join its ranks.

The study committee is expected to recommend what lawmakers should do with the measure when they return to Indianapolis in January.

The Indiana State AFL-CIO and Central Indiana Jobs with Justice began lobbying union members last week to attend Tuesday’s hearing at the Statehouse.”

Insanity: 171+ NH jobs held hostage (A repost of AFL-CIO Broadcast)

I thought this message was so important that I am re-sending it to all of you. As many of you know I am a NATCA Member and this FAA shutdown is very bad for over 1000 of my brothers and sisters nationwide.  Please take a moment and send a email to your Congressman and Senator telling them to get back to work on passing the FAA Reauthorization and Funding extensions.

  
NH Jobs Held Hostage
On Saturday, House Republican leaders shut down the Federal Aviation Administration.

More than 90,000 FAA and airport construction jobs are being held hostage—including 171 in NH.

Tell Congress: Instead of hurting the people responsible for safe, secure aviation, our elected leaders ought to be building a high-wage, high-skill economy where our middle class is strong and America thrives.

Facebook   Twitter
Brothers and Sister—

Last weekend, House Republican leaders proved just how far they are willing to go to achieve their ideological goals. 

At 12:01 a.m. Saturday morning, they shut down the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). As if bringing America to the brink of default hasn’t done enough damage already. Are they out of their minds?

Because of the extreme ideological agenda of House Republicans and their political game-playing, 4,000 workers were furloughed over the weekend and more than 90,000 jobs across the country are on the line—including 171 in NH.(1)

Meanwhile, the government is out $200 million a week in airline ticket fees that normally fund our aviation infrastructure. That loss now will be added to the national debt.

Tell your members of Congress the FAA needs to get up and running immediately. Republican House leaders’ hostage-taking needs to stop.

Republican leaders in Congress got elected by calling for job creation. But instead of creating jobs, they’re playing political games. 

They are disrupting the FAA and airport infrastructure improvements for one reason—to play to a political ideology focused on scapegoating workers. They want to take the right to democratic union elections away from air and rail workers—and they’re willing to destroy tens of thousands of good, middle-class jobs to do it.(2)

Demand Congress get the FAA back to work—without scapegoating workers.

House Republicans have proven they would rather make our economy worse to score political points than make it better to help workers. 

Otherwise, why would they halt critically needed work, lay off 4,000 FAA workers andjeopardize more than 90,000 private-sector construction jobs?

The fact is, this shutdown never should have happened—and the solution is simple: House Republican leaders need to think about what’s best for America instead of holding up an entire government agency to achieve their extreme, ideological ends. 

Tell Congress: The 171 NH workers whose jobs are on the line are counting on you to immediately fund the FAA—and America’s workers are counting on you to leave workers’ rights alone. 

With your help, we’ll send a strong message loud and clear.

In Solidarity,

Richard L. Trumka
President, AFL-CIO

P.S. Congressional Republicans haven’t just shut down the FAA. Their leader, Speaker John Boehner, has shut down debt ceiling talks with President Obama. They would rather default on our debt than have millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share. Now there is immense pressure for more responsible lawmakers to cave and pass a rotten deal that hurts working families. 

So today, at noon local time, activists across the country are planning emergency visits to congressional district offices to demand there be no cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Securityand to insist that Congress end this shutdown of the FAA.

Use this link to find a congressional office near you and get materials: 
http://pol.moveon.org/whereismydistrictoffice.html.

(1) http://go.aflcio.org/faa_shutdown_table

(2) http://go.aflcio.org/faa_shutdown_ap_article


To find out more about the AFL-CIO, please visit our website at www.aflcio.org.
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ALEC EXPOSED!!!

As previously posted ALEC is making media waves all over the country.  This is a great and very in depth look at ALEC and who supports them.

ALEC Exposed: Business Domination Inc. | The Nation: “In the world according to ALEC, competing firms in free markets are the only real source of social efficiency and wealth. Government contributes nothing but security. Outside of this function, it should be demonized, starved or privatized. Any force in civil society, especially labor, that contests the right of business to grab all social surplus for itself, and to treat people like roadkill and the earth like a sewer, should be crushed.

This view of the world dominated the legislative sessions that began in January. GOP leaders, fresh from their blowout victory in November, pushed a consistent message—“We’re broke”; “Public sector workers are to blame”; “If we tax the rich we’ll face economic extinction”—and deployed legislative tools inspired by ALEC to enact their vision. They faced pushback, but they also made great progress—and will be back again soon.Let’s examine what happened in three critical economic areas:”

Koch-funded group mounts cut-and-paste attack on regional climate initiatives | Grist

More information is surfacing on State Legislators and the “ALEC” scandal. As you can read below Rep Richard Berry (Town of Merrimack) sponsored a bill right from the legislation book of ALECs proposed laws on the RGGI cutbacks.

Read the entire story to see more on other states and the RGGI initiatives being pushed by the Koch Brother, Exxon/Mobil and more corporations.

Koch-funded group mounts cut-and-paste attack on regional climate initiatives | Grist: “In New Hampshire, it popped up in the “findings” section of a House bill that would repeal the cap-and-trade system established under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The bill’s lead sponsor, state Rep. Richard Barry (R), looked a bit like a dog caught with the family cat in its mouth when he was asked to explain the language at a public hearing; he nervously said that none of the bill’s sponsors had written this particular section, but stopped short of revealing ALEC as the source of the text. That didn’t sit well with Rep. James Garrity (R), chair of the House Science, Technology, and Energy Committee, who later explained, “Our committee does not feel that editorials belong in laws.” The matter was resolved by dropping the ALEC text, and the amended bill went on to pass the House.”

Union Wage Deductions laws proposed from ALEC???

News reports are buzzing about the “American Legislative Executive Counsel” or ALEC.  “ALEC” claims to be a “Non-Parisian” membership association for state legislators.  What is now being made public is that ALEC has been guiding many state legislators to introduce bills that would help “Corporate America”.   The list of proposed bills is so long it would take a day just to read them all to you. Here is one coming up in our New Hampshire State Legislature next year.  (Note the bills are only title as of right now)

2012-H-2059-R HB 
Relative to the withholding from wages of union dues.
Sponsors:
(Prime) DeLemus, Susan   –    Straf 01

 Without seeing the bill I would venture to guess it would read something like this:

A BILL to amend the Code of ________ by adding a section relating to the payroll deduction policy of public employers.

Section 1. {Short Title} This Act shall be known as the Public Employer Payroll Deduction Policy Act.

Section 2. {Legislative Declarations} The legislature finds and declares: A. Employee organizations have no inherent Constitutional, nor statutory right, to deduct

membership dues for any purpose by automatic payroll deductions;

B. That it is in the interest of this State’s citizens to ensure that government resources, including public employee time, public property or equipment, and supplies be used exclusively for activities that are essential to carrying out the necessary functions of government;

C. That necessary governmental functions do not include using government resources to confer the special convenience of deducting membership dues from members’ and non- members’ paychecks for any private individual or organization, public employee unions and their members;

This is a word for word copy of the proposed bill on “Public Employer Payroll Reduction Policy Act” form the ALECExposed.org site.

Would you like more proof that these laws are making it into New Hampshire House.  Take a look at HB474 the “Right To Work” bill as proposed:

RIGHT TO WORK ACT
273-D:1 Short Title. This act may be cited as the “Right to Work Act.”
273-D:2 Declaration of Public Policy. It is hereby declared to be the public policy of this state in order to maximize individual freedom of choice in the pursuit of employment and to encourage an employment climate conducive to economic growth, that all persons shall have, and shall be protected in the exercise of, the right freely, and without fear of penalty or reprise, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, or to refrain from any such activity.
273-D:3 Definitions. In this chapter:
I. “Employer” means any individual, corporation, association, organization, or entity that employs one or more persons. The term includes, but is not limited to, the state of New Hampshire and its agencies, every district, board, commission, instrumentality, or other unit whose governing body exercises similar governmental powers. The term “employer” includes, but is not limited to, employers of agricultural labor.
II. “Labor organization” means any organization of any kind, or agency or employee representation committee or plan, which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with employers concerning grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours of work, or other conditions of employment.
273-D:4 Freedom of Choice Guaranteed, Discrimination Prohibited. No person shall be required, as a condition of employment or continuation of employment:
I. To resign or refrain from voluntary membership in, voluntary affiliation with, or voluntary financial support of a labor organization;
II. To become or remain a member of a labor organization;
III. To pay any dues, fees, assessments, or other charges of any kind or amount to a labor organization;
IV. To pay any charity or other third party, in lieu of such payments, any amount equivalent to or a pro-rata portion of dues, fees, assessments, or other charges of a labor organization; or
V. To be recommended, approved, referred, or cleared by or through a labor organization.

Now look at the ALEC Version. It is almost Word For Word.

Section 1. { Title.} This Act may be cited as the Right to Work Act.

Section 2. {Declaration of public policy.} It is hereby declared to be the public policy of the State of (state), in order to maximize individual freedom of choice in the pursuit of employment and to encourage an employment climate conducive to economic growth, that the right to work shall not be subject to undue restraint or coercion. The right to work shall not be infringed or restricted in any way based on membership in, affiliation with, or financial support of a labor organization.

Section 3. {Labor organization.} The term “labor organization” means any organization of any kind, or agency or employee representation committee or union, that exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with employers concerning wages, rates of pay, hours of work, other conditions of employment, or other forms of compensation.

Section 4. {Freedom of choice guaranteed, discrimination prohibited.} No person shall be required, as a condition of employment or continuation of employment:
(A) to resign or refrain from voluntary membership in, voluntary affiliation with, or voluntary financial support of a labor organization;

(B) to become or remain a member of a labor organization;

(C) to pay any dues, fees, assessments, or other charges of any kind or amount to a labor organization;

(D) to pay to any charity or other third party, in lieu of such payments, any amount equivalent to or a pro-rata portion of dues, fees, assessments, or other charges regularly required of members of a labor organization; or

(E) to be recommended, approved, referred, or cleared by or through a labor organization.

You decide are some of New Hampshire’s Legislatures doing what is right for New Hampshire or what is right for ALEC and their corporate sponsors?

Inside ALEC, The Koch-Funded Group Behind Right-Wing State Laws | Investigations | AlterNet

An excellent article on how the Koch Brothers and ALEC are linked to Union-Busting laws.

Inside ALEC, The Koch-Funded Group Behind Right-Wing State Laws | Investigations | AlterNet: “In effect, this bill defunds public-sector unions–like AFSCME, SEIU, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association–by making the collection of member dues an onerous, costly task. With public-sector unions denatured, they would no longer be able to stand in the way of radical free marketeers who plan to profit from the privatization of public services.

Given the similarities between HB 1021 and a rash of like-minded bills in states across the country, including Wisconsin, on March 30 a public records request was sent to Dorworth’s office seeking copies of all documents pertaining to the writing of HB 1021, including copies of any pieces of model legislation the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) may have provided.”

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