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AFT and National Nurses United Praise New CDC Ebola Guidelines For Healthcare Workers



Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new Ebola guidance for U.S. healthcare workers.  AFT and National Nurses United have been pushing for more restrictive guidance to protect the millions of healthcare providers in the US.

After the news broke AFT President Randi Weingarten released the following statement:

“At hospitals throughout our nation, nurses and healthcare professionals are doing everything they can to be ready to care for whoever comes through their doors. The CDC’s new guidance for healthcare workers and the positive actions taken by the Obama administration fall directly in line with what our members called for last week: infection-control protocols and worker-preparedness plans; dedicated, specially trained teams of willing staff; and the proper equipment for nurses and healthcare professionals working in America’s hospitals.

As the second-largest nurses union in the United States, the AFT is working to keep our communities safe and healthy. That is why we are calling on the CDC to issue additional Ebola guidance for non-hospital healthcare settings and expanded guidance to guarantee wages and benefits for quarantined healthcare workers—so workers won’t have to choose between safety and living expenses. And we renew our call for hospitals to incorporate the voices of nurses and healthcare workers in the development and implementation of Ebola protocols.

We look forward to being a partner with the CDC to expand and improve guidance on Ebola or any other health issues facing America.”

The National Nurses United released the following:

National Nurses United today welcomed the call in the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for “rigorous and repeated training” for nurses and other health workers responding to the Ebola virus as NNU has been urging for two months, but said some substantial questions and concerns remain.

“It is clear from the abrupt change in position of the CDC in some areas that the registered nurses have moved the country and the CDC as the nurses champion protection for their patients and articulate the vulnerabilities for themselves. Nevertheless, the optimal standards should be in place tomorrow and, regrettably, they will not be,” said NNU Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro.

With still significant questions regarding the most effective personal protective equipment, and the ongoing lack of any mandate on the hospitals to comply with the highest standards and protocols, “it is clear that nurses are going to have to continue to fight every step of the way to demand that every patient, every nurse, every frontline healthcare worker has the protection they need,” DeMoro said.

“The governing theme must be the precautionary principle, the highest safety standards in the face of this virulent disease, so that no nurses, other frontline health workers, or patients have to put their lives in jeopardy,” DeMoro said.

DeMoro noted that the call for continuous training, especially in group sessions with everyone practicing putting on and taking off the protective equipment, echoes a key demand of nurses.

“Most hospitals continue to fall far short of that standard,” she said. A national NNU survey, which now has nearly 3,000 responses from nurses in over 1,000 facilities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia found that 84 percent of nurses say their hospital has not provided education on Ebola with the ability for nurses to interact and ask questions.

Second, DeMoro called the guideline that any protective equipment leave ‘no skin exposed,’ a “direct testament to the courage of Briana Aguirre,”  the Texas Presbyterian Hospital RN who “made the incredibly brave decision” to publicly disclose that the suits at her Dallas hospital left exposed the necks and other skin of nurses who cared for Ebola-infected patients.

“Briana will be remembered as the Karen Silkwood of our time,” DeMoro said.  The gap in the suits was also revealed in a statement from Aguirre and other Dallas RNs released by NNU last week.

However, the CDC guidelines remain unclear on the most effective protective equipment, and, significantly, have their own gaping hole in the option offered to hospitals to select which protective equipment to use “based on availability” and other factors.

DeMoro called that loophole “an open invitation for hospitals to choose the cheapest protective equipment that will continue to put nurses and other health workers at considerable risk. Years of experience with our private hospital industry have demonstrated that far too many hospitals routinely put their budget goals and profit margins ahead of public safety, including in access to protective equipment.”

“We are contacting the CDC for specifics on the proper protective equipment and whether it meets the precautionary principle and the highest standard, in particular, full body coverage that prevents any blood or viral penetration,” DeMoro said.

Finally, she noted, “CDC readily admits it is not a regulatory agency. It has no authority to compel hospitals to comply with any guidelines.

“That is why we will continue to insist that Congress and the White House should mandate all hospitals meet the optimal uniform, national standards and protocols in order to safely protect patients, all healthcare workers and the public,” DeMoro said.

The public is invited to join that call by signing an NNU petition online at:


Shea-Porter Announces TIGER 2013 Grant Agreement Reached for Northcoast Railroad

Carol Shea-Porter_Official.2010-300x288

ROCHESTER, NH – Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) announced that a Transportation Investment Generating Economy Recovery (TIGER) 2013 grant agreement has been formally reached for the New Hampshire Northcoast Rail Improvement Project.  The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) has awarded $1.4 million to be used to make repairs and improve sections of the rail line between Ossipee and Rochester.

In 2013, Congresswoman Shea-Porter and the entire New Hampshire delegation urged then-DOT Secretary Ray LaHood to support NHDOT’s competitive grant application for the New Hampshire Northcoast Railroad Project, which will enable the railroad to expand its freight service on the line and operate it more efficiently.

“The Northcoast line connects to the national freight rail network via Boston and is a vital transportation link for the Granite State. These repairs will complete a multi-year effort to modernize the rail line in partnership with local communities and the private sector,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter.  “We must invest in the transportation infrastructure necessary to move the New Hampshire economy forward, and I will continue to fight to bring more TIGER grant dollars to our state.”

The full text of the letter follows:

May 29, 2013

The Honorable Ray H. LaHood, Secretary
United States Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC  20590

Dear Secretary LaHood:

We write in support of the Transportation Investment Generating Economy Recovery (TIGER) V grant application submitted by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) for the upgrade and repair of 42 miles of main line rail between Rochester and Ossipee, NH in Strafford and Carroll Counties.

The New Hampshire Northcoast Railroad is a short-line freight railroad that provides service through Rochester, Ossipee and the southeastern and central regions of New Hampshire.  The Northcoast line connects to the national freight rail network via Boston and is a vital link for an economically-distressed area of our state.  Industrial sector companies depend on services from this railroad, but are impacted by low weight limits that necessitate additional shipments and deter some suppliers from using the line.  

NHDOT is applying for support to repair this section of rail to allow car shipments of up to 286,000 pounds, the North American standard, to travel the full length of this corridor.  These repairs will complete a multi-year effort to modernize the rail line undertaken in partnership with the local community and the private sector.  The upgrades to the track will improve safety and reliability while enabling increased speeds for trains traveling through the corridor.  The higher weight limit will enable existing customers to more efficiently access markets and help spur economic growth in the region.

We support NHDOT’s competitive grant application for the New Hampshire Northcoast Railroad Project and urge your serious consideration of this proposal.  Thank you for your attention to this matter.


Jeanne Shaheen                                                              Kelly A. Ayotte
United States Senator                                                    United States Senator

Carol Shea-Porter                                                           Ann McLane Kuster
Member of Congress                                                       Member of Congress

NH Auto Dealers And Sierra Club Offer Tips For Energy Savings


vert_white_bg[1]NHADA and NH Sierra Club Team Up to Offer Tips to NH Businesses 

BOW, NH – Perhaps it’s something as simple as LED lights.  Or maybe an energy audit can reveal significant savings.  Either way, local business owners aren’t waiting for the state’s energy debate to bring lower electric rates – a new movement is underway to find cost savings through new technology.

On Thursday May 15, 2014, local business owners will highlight specific energy savings to showcase that owners can save money and protect the environment. As large energy users, New Hampshire Auto Dealers have been at the forefront of the search for savings through efficiency.  The NH Sierra Club has supported solutions for business leaders. Both groups intend to share their ideas to benefit others, such as energy efficiency, LED lighting, weatherization and alternative energy. The speakers will quantify the costs savings and the benefit of innovative funding tools.


For example, an energy overhaul recently completed at NHADA headquarters is expected to save nearly $10,000 a year in expenses while dramatically cutting emissions.

On hand will be representatives from various NHADA members who have undertaken alternative energy and energy efficiency projects. Many of these projects took advantage of innovative incentives and funding sources to kick start their projects and make energy efficiency and costs savings a reality.  They include: representatives from AutoFair Companies (Manchester Nashua Stratham), AutoServ Dealerships (Tilton), Lambert Auto Sales (Claremont), Seacoast Volkswagen (Greenland), Townline Equipment (Plainfield), Weed Family Automotive (Concord)

What: NHADA / NH Sierra Club Energy Savings Tips

Who:  New Hampshire Business Owners

When: Thursday, May 15, 2014

Time: 10:30 Am  to 11:30 Am

Where:   NH Automobile Dealers Association, 507 South Street in Bow, NH

National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) Condemns Government Shutdown

control tower

control towerWASHINGTON – The National Air Traffic Controllers Association today condemned the shutdown of the federal government and called on Congress to end it immediately.

As a result of the shutdown, 3,000 of NATCA’s aviation safety professionals, vital to the daily function, maintenance and safety of the National Airspace System (NAS) have been furloughed. 

“It is unacceptable that thousands of our aviation safety professionals have been forced to stay home due to partisan posturing in Congress,” said NATCA President Paul Rinaldi. “I implore Congress to reach an agreement to end this shutdown, which is hurtful to our nation’s aviation system, our economy and the American people.”

During the shutdown, air traffic controllers are working without pay, but essential support staff specialists have been furloughed. Rinaldi said this is akin to a surgeon performing an operation without any staff to prep the room, clean the equipment or provide support during the surgery. In addition, controllers who train new hires will be unable to continue much of the training process. This could result in high controller attrition as frustrated trainees fall further behind in the training process. Controller hiring was already frozen due to sequestration.

Below are just a few of the thousands of projects that will be delayed or halted due to the government shutdown and furloughing of aviation safety professionals.

  • A delay in the opening of a new runway at Chicago O’Hare Airport.
  • A flight inspection scheduled for Janesville, Wis., Airport has been shut down due to the furlough of key personnel. Without an inspection, the approach into the airport will eventually be declared inoperative. This results in inefficiency for air traffic controllers and pilots, and a reduction in the margin of safety.
  • Thousands of certification projects performed by NATCA Aircraft Certification Engineers are now suspended.
  • A halt in the ELD Power Cable Replacement at Dallas Fort Worth Airport (DFW). The cable supplies power to the navigational aids on the diagonal runways at DFW. Construction planned for January will now be delayed for an undetermined amount of time.
  • A hold on hundreds of Aircraft Certification Office projects. This will result in a delay in the approval of safety related equipment modifications to aircraft going through the certification process.
  • A stop for work on Airworthiness Directives, NTSB safety recommendations and other vital safety related work performed by Aircraft Certification Engineers. This could delay the issuance and implementation of mandated safety fixes to aircraft.
  •  A delay of all projects affecting surveillance radars that feed the 100 busiest airports in the NAS.
  •  A halt in the development and implementation of navigational aids for a new runway at Fort Lauderdale airport.
  •  A halt on several runway safety projects, including glide slope relocation at Long Beach, Calif.
  • A delay in major mechanical upgrades scheduled for three air traffic control En Route Centers.

NATCA MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Dunn, 315-796-1560

Kuster, FEMA to Host Fire Fighter Grant Workshops Across New Hampshire

Ann-Kuster (1)

Kuster, FEMA to Host Fire Fighter Grant Workshops Across New Hampshire

Workshops aim to help local fire departments obtain critical equipment, resources

CONCORD, N.H.  – This week, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) is encouraging fire fighters across New Hampshire to attend grant workshops to help them obtain equipment and resources necessary to keep local communities safe. The workshops, hosted in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will help fire department officials prepare their grant applications to the federal Assistance to Firefighter Grant program (AFG), which helps fire fighters and first responders acquire protective gear, emergency vehicles, and other critical equipment and resources.

“Each day, our emergency responders put their lives on the line to keep us safe,” Kuster said. “I eagerly await the opportunity to support these applications and to make sure New Hampshire’s fire fighters are equipped to serve our communities at the highest level.”

FEMA officials will host three workshops throughout the week – one in Lancaster (on monday 9-23) and two in Concord. All workshops are open to all fire departments and other emergency response agencies across New Hampshire.

Thursday, September 23, 1:00 p.m.; and 6:00 p.m.
Concord Fire Academy
98 Smokey Bear Road, Concord, NH

Additional information about the AFG program is available here. For more information about the AFG workshops, please call Kuster’s Concord office at (603) 226-1002.

Governor Hassan Directs Flags to Half-Staff on Wednesday, Proclaims 9/11 Remembrance Day

Maggie Hassan

Maggie HassanGovernor Maggie Hassan has directed flags to half-staff on Wednesday, September 11, 2013, and proclaimed Wednesday as a Day of Remembrance in honor of the tragic terrorist attacks 12 years ago.

“We will never forget the events of September 11, 2001, one of the darkest days in our nation’s history, but a day that demonstrated our collective resilience in the face of great tragedy,” Governor Hassan said. “We remember the innocent victims of those senseless terrorist attacks, holding them and their families in our thoughts and prayers. We honor the first responders and all of the brave men and women who rushed into the burning towers or sacrificed themselves in a Pennsylvania field to protect the lives of people they never met. And we remain forever grateful for our men and women in uniform and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that our country can be safer and our freedom can be stronger. We remember these people and these events so that we can rededicate ourselves to the principles that make our state and country so strong, the principles that unite us in our resolve to be free.”

To pay tribute to those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, and in the ensuing conflicts, Governor Hassan will speak at three remembrance ceremonies: the Beech Street School 9/11 Remembrance Program in Manchester, the American Legion Post 33 Patriot Day “We Will Remember” September 11 Commemoration in Meredith, and the American Legion Post 35 Global War on Terrorism Monument Unveiling and Rededication in Hampton.


NH Congresswomen Weigh In On The So-Called “Full Faith and Credit Act”

Ann kuster head shot LG

Carol Shea-Porter_Official.2010-300x288WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives voted on H.R. 807, a bill that would ensure Chinese bondholders are paid before American soldiers in the case of a government default.

After the vote, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter issued the following statement:

“I strongly oppose this deeply irresponsible legislation. Middle class families can’t pick and choose which bills to pay, and neither should Congress. 

“H.R. 807 guarantees that if Republicans push our nation into default, bondholders from China and the Cayman Islands would be paid before America’s veterans, Medicare providers, and small businesses. 

“Instead of playing chicken with our nation’s credit rating, Congress should act responsibly and pay the bills that it has incurred.  I, once again, call on Speaker Boehner to appoint budget conferees so Congress can compromise on a sensible budget that ends sequestration, helps create jobs, and responsibly reduces the deficit.”

Congresswoman Annie Kuster also released a statement after her vote:

Ann kuster head shot LG“This bill is nothing more than a plan to default on our nation’s obligations, plain and simple,” Kuster said. “It sets the stage for yet another manufactured crisis that would prioritize payments to China and other foreign creditors over our obligations to seniors on Medicare, veterans, and the men and women of our Armed Forces.”

“Rather than simply bracing for default, both parties need to work together to reduce the deficit in a balanced way that will help create jobs, grow the economy, and strengthen the middle class,” Kuster added. “As we do, Congress must reassure creditors and the American people that our government will continue to meet its obligations and avoid a catastrophic default. Any suggestion that we would even consider doing otherwise would be irresponsible, undermine confidence in our government, and put our credit rating at risk.”


TODAY: Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers, Educators to Call for Repeal of Misguided Education Voucher Law

Concord – Thursday, a broad coalition of New Hampshire educators, taxpayers and concerned citizens will hold a press conference calling for the repeal of the misguided Bradley-O’Brien education voucher law. The reckless legislation which passed last year despite bipartisan opposition would divert taxpayer funding from public schools into an account for private and religious schools.

Earlier this year, the New Hampshire House passed a responsible repeal of the damaging legislation. The repeal is scheduled to be voted on in the state Senate next week, and speakers will detail efforts currently underway to ensure the Senate votes to protect public education including a petition launched this morning at NHDP.org/Protect-NH-Public-Schools.

What: Coalition of New Hampshire taxpayers, educators, and concerned parents will call for repeal of the misguided Bradley-O’Brien education voucher law

Who: Scott McGilvray NEA New Hampshire President, State Representative Lorrie Carey, and Bill Duncan, President Defending New Hampshire Public Education

When: Today, Thursday, April 11 at 12:00 Noon

Hassan Applauds House For Passing FY 14/15 Budget, However There Is Still Work To Do

Maggie Hassan

CONCORD – Governor Maggie Hassan released the following statement today on passage by the House of Representatives of their FY 14/15 budget:

“Today’s passage of the House budget plan is another step forward in the legislature’s budget process. I appreciate the hard work by members of the House to develop their plan, and in many cases their funding priorities align with those in our balanced budget proposal, especially in taking steps to address our strained mental health system and to restore investments in New Hampshire’s community colleges.

“However, significant work remains in order to finalize a responsible, balanced budget that reinvests in the priorities needed for job creation and innovative economic growth. The House budget as it stands falls short of our balanced budget proposal in key areas that are critical for strengthening our economy and improving the health and well-being of our people.

“The cuts made to our restoration of university system funding put at risk the proposed tuition freeze at our public universities, making it more difficult for our young people to afford a higher education in New Hampshire.

“A top priority of our budget proposal was to begin to reverse the last legislature’s tax increase on hospitals, which is straining their operations and hindering our ability to move forward with strengthening our health care system. Unfortunately, the House budget goes in the opposite direction, relying more heavily on hospital taxes to pay for the general fund.

“I also have concerns that the back-of-the-budget cuts to Health and Human Services, combined with optimistic caseload levels, will force cuts to critical services. And cuts to school building aid will hurt the ability of our local school districts to provide the educational facilities our children need.

“The House budget recognizes that a number of these changes from our budget proposal are problematic, which is why it includes language calling for restoration of these funds if SB 152 is passed. We can address the challenges of the House budget by moving forward with a plan to license one high-end, highly regulated casino that will help us invest in our priorities. I look forward to continuing the dialogue with members of the House as they consider SB 152, and to working with both chambers to ensure that the next budget responsibly lays the foundation to build a stronger, more innovative New Hampshire.”

Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter Calls For Action on Sequester!

Shea-Porter Speaks to US HOUSE

Congresswoman Shea-Porter speaks to the floor of the US House about working together to stop the automatic sequester cuts that are looming.  This friday is the deadline and yet the US House has not held a vote on either of the submitted bills that could stop this from happening.

Congresswoman Shea-Porter is right. Congress must act now to avoid these economy crushing cuts.  Working families throughout the country will be harmed by their inaction in Washington. This inaction will only solidify the belief that the Republicans in Congress is only out for themselves and are willing to once again hold the country and the economy hostage for their own gains.

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