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Unions face uphill battle | FLORIDA TODAY | floridatoday.com

Just interesting news on Labor out of Florida.

Unions face uphill battle | FLORIDA TODAY | floridatoday.com: “Labor unions, already in decline ¤statewide and on the Space ¤Coast, expect to lose even more ¤members in Brevard County ¤this summer as NASA sheds contract workers at Kennedy Space Center in the wake of the shuttle program’s conclusion.

Since 2007, nearly 1,000 union members — a quarter of the union work force — have lost their jobs at KSC, where about a third of the workers belong to one of eight unions. And several hundred union members likely will be among about 2,000 workers to be laid off July 22, after the last shuttle flight.”

NH House, Senate negotiating teacher tenure – Boston.com

A quick message on Education Reform in NH…..
NH House, Senate negotiating teacher tenure – Boston.com: “Under the latest version of the bill, if a teacher is denied contract renewal by a local school board, he or she could still appeal to the state board of education. Layoffs also would not be based solely on seniority if a district reduces its workforce.

Supporters argue the bill gives schools more time to decide which teachers are doing the best job. Opponents say administrators can do that now if they evaluate new teachers regularly. They also oppose a provision that eliminates the teachers’ ability to seek arbitration if it was part of a collective bargaining agreement.”


Our AFL-CIO union brothers and sisters have been holding down the fort at the State House. Now that most of our schools will be out by June 22nd, we call upon all AFT-NH members to be at the state house on June 22nd at 8 am.
Your commitment, energy and enthusiasm to protect worker’s rights must be seen by these legislators and you can let Speaker O’Brien know that his tricks won’t work.
The first 200 members to arrive will receive an AFT T-shirt show you can wear your Union solidarity proudly and stand up against these attacks.
Why be at the State House!
After three weeks, Speaker O’Brien still refuses to call the vote on HB 474 the so called right to work—for less bill. Last Wednesday, two supportive legislators asked that the speaker call for the vote. Each time he called them out of order. What is he waiting for –more time for him to twist arms and bully legislators to vote his way.
Remember, they are trying to slowly erode your union rights, your voice in the workplace and they are just getting warmed up for the all out attack. We cannot let this happen. PLEASE be at the state house on June 22nd at 8am.
We are also still asking members to call the speaker at 271-3661. Tell him to call for the vote on HB 474, put it in the calendar and give 48 hours notice and take the vote on June 22nd.  Tell him to stop playing political games.
Another action you can take is to go to http://act.ly/3s9
Please continue to spread the word about this attack on the middle class talk to your family, friends and neighbors and ask them to take action with you.
Stay connected by signing up for “AFT-NH Get Active by going to www.aft-nh.org. Visit us on FACEBOOK and follow me on twitter at 8027aftnh.
In Solidarity,
Laura Hainey
AFT-NH President
You have to see what is happening in Concord to believe it!
553 Route 3A
Ruggles IV
Bow  NH  03304

300 public workers retire ahead of pension changes | New Hampshire NEWS06

With the changes being brought on by the State Legislature, municipal workers are running for the door by the hundreds. This is just one more article showing how people do not want you to mess with their retirement so before they can change it, they are leaving.

300 public workers retire ahead of pension changes | New Hampshire NEWS06: “CONCORD — Three hundred public employees — police officers, firefighters and state and municipal workers — retired as of June 1 amid debate over their pension costs and benefits.

And more than 800 others have filed paperwork to retire in July, although many of those could change their minds now that the Legislature has finalized changes to the New Hampshire Retirement System.

The changes are meant to slow the increase in retirement costs that taxpayers have to fund in local budgets.

But they could also trigger additional costs to local communities if more workers choose to retire early. That’s because the costs of termination payouts — accrued vacation and sick time — are borne by the local municipalities.

Last week, the House and the Senate passed a compromise package hammered out in conference committee that would increase how much workers would pay into the retirement system starting July 1 and how benefits would be calculated in the future. The agreement would have the greatest impact on workers with fewer than 10 years in the system, changing how their benefits are calculated.”

Unusual agreement gets ball rolling in NH budget negotiations – NashuaTelegraph.com

This is the weekly write up from Kevin Landrigan of the Nashua Telegraph on the events in Concord this week. One large section to note is how Granite State Progress is making news about the House and Senate not giving the proper notice for public hearings.

Unusual agreement gets ball rolling in NH budget negotiations – NashuaTelegraph.com: “Democratic and liberal groups blasted Republican budget leaders for holding their first conference committee meetings without proper public notice.
Granite State Progress Director Zandra Rice Hawkins said House rules require there be at least a 24-hour period to let the public know there is a meeting.
“The extreme leadership of the New Hampshire House has continued its pattern of secret meetings, misguided policy priorities and questionable ethics,” Rice Hawkins said.
“Unfortunately, the Senate, which has been the more responsible actor this year, is implicit in this act of non-transparency. What has happened today completely goes against New Hampshire’s tradition of citizen involvement.”
The rule the group cites is 43C, which states:
“All other committee or subcommittee meetings at which decisions are made or information is received shall be advertised in the House Calendar or, if scheduled after the calendar deadline, shall be posted in the Clerk’s Office and outside the committee room at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.’’”

Also talked about is the Right To Work (Non Vote):Biding their time

Another week has come and gone without a vote in the House on the veto by Lynch of the Right-to-Work bill.
This is the third session the veto hasn’t been taken up, and O’Brien isn’t offering any tips on just when it will occur.
Granite State Progress and the New Hampshire Democratic Party sponsored a petition drive that has attracted more than 2,000 signatures calling on O’Brien to give the public 48 hours’ notice before the bill comes up.
As impressive a number as that is, good luck with achieving the mission’s goal; it isn’t going to happen.

Will the GOP debate feature questions on Right to Work?

As we grow closer to the GOP Presidential Primary, everyone (even those GOP members in Miami) are wondering what the questions are going to be in the first debate. Of all the articles I have read none of them will say who is better or worse. Most will say Mitt Romney is in the lead but with everyone so close it is wide open. The real question is what does the republicans across New Hampshire and the US really want. Do they want the Ultra Conservative Tea Party Agenda of “No Taxes, and Lower Corporate Taxes” to give more money to the top 1% of the country? Or are they moving more to the left where they can still have a retirement paid for by their company and Medicare and Medicaid? This is the Billion dollar question? Mostly because the GOP and the news media are both at a loss as to what the real people want!

At New Hampshire GOP debate, different wings of party will be on display – Politics Wires – MiamiHerald.com: “The conservative crowd wants someone eager to fight for their beliefs, no matter what the more practical politicians say. One of the big New Hampshire struggles today concerns ‘right-to-work’ legislation, which would bar future collective bargaining agreements from forcing employees to join a union or pay part of the bargaining’s cost.

Right-to-work laws are popular in the more conservative South but rare in Northeastern states, where labor unions are powerful. But conservative activists – touting the bill as giving all-important freedom to workers – were able this year to push legislation through the state House and Senate. Democratic Gov. John Lynch vetoed the bill, and an override effort is under way.

Conservatives say they’re standing up for important principles. More moderate Republicans say the right is pushing an agenda that’s oblivious to voters’ real concerns.

State Rep. Tim Copeland, R-Stratham, noted that when he was campaigning last year, going door to door, ‘right-to-work never came up once, not once.'”

As you can see the Right To Work bill is being pushed to test where people stand on “True Republican” issues. Is it really a “True Republican” issue, or is it something else? Have they made it an issue because the National Right To Work Committee is funding their campaigns? What about Republicans like Lee Quandt who oppose Right To Work. Should they be ousted from the GOP because they do not suppose one issue? Speaker Bill O’Brien has not said “yes or no” to this but take the Speakers action of removing Lee from his chair position in the State House as his true answer.

New Hampshire GOP chair Jack Kimball has,in a release dated friday that “the candidates be asked where they stand on proposed right-work legislation in the state.” Is this a “tell” of what we can expect on Right To Work if one of these GOP candidates gets elected? We will have to wait until tomorrow night to see what happens?

Percentage of Lawmakers With College Degree High – WSJ.com

This is an interesting article on how many of our State Legislatures do not have degree higher than a high school diploma.

Percentage of Lawmakers With College Degree High – WSJ.com: “At 90%, California ranks first in percentage of state legislators with at least a bachelor’s degree, followed by Virginia, Nebraska, New York and Florida, the Chronicle said. At 53.4%, New Hampshire ranked last, behind Maine, Delaware, New Hampshire and Arkansas.”

This would mean that over 200 of the elected members of our State Legislature only have a high school diploma.  I wonder what the percentage of those who actually graduated college went to school for a Law degree?  I find it funny that we have elected all of these people and they are controlling our budget and controlling jobs throughout the state.   Yet most of them would not even qualify for a new starting job in the private sector……

Economy the issue for N.H. voters – The Boston Globe

An interesting story on the Economy in New Hampshire and how it is going to play a huge part in the Presidential Primary Race.

Economy the issue for N.H. voters – The Boston Globe: “With seven GOP contenders gathering to debate for the first time in New Hampshire tomorrow night, a Globe poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center confirmed that Mitt Romney continues to hold a commanding lead over his Republican rivals, although the great majority of likely voters said they remain undecided.

But it is the slow-to-recover economy, more than the emerging primary race, that is uppermost in the minds of New Hampshire voters.

In the Globe poll, more likely voters (42 percent) said the economy was still in a downturn than said it had started to recover (23 percent).

This pessimism is especially striking in a state that has the third-lowest unemployment rate in the nation, but it reflects the fact that in the households of 35 percent of those polled at least one person had been unemployed in the past two years. Only 15 percent of those polled said they are better off financially than they were four years ago.”

Tom Fahey’s State House Dome: “O’Brien has to be wondering whether he’s done himself any good with his handling of the right-to-work issue”

Tom Fahey in today’s Union-Leader

“(NH House Speaker Bill) O’Brien has to be wondering whether he’s done himself any good with his handling of the right-to-work issue.

During the five-plus weeks he’s tried to win votes for a veto override, organized labor has become more agitated and angry; he’s been accused of manipulating the process; anti-right-to-work businesses have bought full-page ads; and activists have charged that the national Right-to-Work campaign engaged in illegal election activity here. That’s not to mention bitter splits within the Republican caucus.

After Deputy Whip Rep. Shawn Jasper accused right-to-work opponent Rep. Matt Quandt of drinking on session days, Quandt’s friends began pointing out that O’Brien’s allies go out and down a few, too.

So now it’s about which side drinks too much? That should boost the Legislature’s public image.”

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