THE SO CALLED RIGHT TO WORK—FOR LESS DEFEATED!
On a 12 to 12 vote the State Senate defeated the ‘SO-CALLED’ RIGHT TO WORK—‘FOR LESS’ bill (SB 107.) 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.
AFT-NH would like to thank the following Senators for standing with working families!
Martha Fuller Clark
However, the full House will be voting on their version of the bill this coming Wednesday. The Labor Committee recommended ‘Ought to Pass” on HB 658-FN, prohibiting collective bargaining agreements that require employees to join a labor union. This bill comes from Wisconsin and Scott Walkers play book. It excludes Police Officers and Firefighters. I think the statement by Representative Doug Ley sums it all up: “…Furthermore, the decision to carve out exceptions for police officers and firefighters was justified on grounds of the need for unit cohesion. That same logic can apply to any workplace including those where employers and labor organizations agree to allow the union to recover the costs of negotiating for and defending non-union employees. Such interference in the freedom to contract is unacceptable to the minority.”
AFT-NH is calling on all Representatives to overturn the Committee recommendation and make a recommendation to defeat this bill and any other bill that either erodes or repeals NH’s collective bargaining laws for public employees.
On a side note: Scott Walker will be in New Hampshire on March 14th. The NH AFL-CIO is putting together “Stand Up for America’s Middle Class Visibility Action”, from 8:30 am to 10:30 am. If interested in attending please call NH AFL-CIO, (603) 623-7302 and ask for Dan Justice.
This Wednesday and Thursday the full House will be voting on over 246 bills, it will be a very busy two days. Here are some of the bills that they will be voting on that might be of interest:
HB 323, relative to the administration of the statewide assessment program. The House Education Committee recommended that this bill pass. The bill changes when local school districts administer the required state assessments. Currently we have to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11th grades; this would change to testing only in the 4th grade, 6th grade, 8th grade and 11th grade for the state assessments. Keep in mind that AFT-NH believes:
When assessing students, we need to make sure these tests inform teaching, not impede teaching and learning. All children deserve a rich, meaningful public education that prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and challenges that await them as they become contributing members of a democratic society. Growing our nation’s future citizens and workers is a serious undertaking that calls for a thoughtful focus on teaching and learning. Since the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act, the growing fixation on high-stakes testing has undermined that focus, putting at grave risk our students’ learning and their ability to meet the demands of the 21st-century economy and fulfill their personal goals.
We believe 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, not sanctions that undermine them. Development and implementation of such tests must be age-appropriate for the students, and teachers need to have appropriate computers to administer such assessments. We are calling for a moratorium on the high stakes testing—for students, teachers and schools, that are linked with Common Core assessments, until an implementation plan is developed in partnership with teachers, parents and the community and is field tested in classrooms in each district.
Further, we believe 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. We know that collaboration with educators is necessary to ensure that high-quality instruction and content are given their proper emphasis.
AFT-NH ask that all Representatives consider the above when voting on any bill that deals with students assessments at the local or state level.
The full House will also be voting on many bills that deal with educational standards. We ask that you keep in mind the following:
If any standards 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,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,
- Professional development and training in the Standards need to be offered,
- We need to develop tools to track individual student progress on key Standards.
We also know that:
States and districts must work with teachers to develop a high quality curriculum and professional development, provide teachers with the time needed to try out new methods of teaching to the standards in their classrooms, commit financial resources to ensure success, and engage parents and the community.
The House will be voting on HB 507, relative to teacher personally identifiable data.This bill adds provisions relating to the protection of teacher personally identifiable data and adds in language that no school shall record in any way a school classroom for any purpose without school board approval after a public hearing, and without written consent of the teacher and the parent or legal guardian of each affected student. AFT-NH supports the House Education recommendation to pass this bill as amended.
And then there is HB 491:relative to immunity for school personnel using reasonable force to protect a minor.This bill permits a teacher or other person entrusted with the care or supervision of a minor or pupil to use reasonable force to end a disturbance, to maintain safety, or to remove the pupil or minor from the premises under certain circumstances. AFT-NH supports the House Education Committee’s recommendation to pass this bill.
The last two bills have to do with revenues and funding of charter schools. First the House Ways and Means recommended that HB 551-FN, relative to preventing diversion of business income to tax havens, be defeated. AFT-NH is opposed to defeating this bill and would ask that the recommendation be overturned and a recommendation to pass be voted on.
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, limits 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 taxes 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 the State loses millions every year in taxable corporate revenue.
To prevent overseas tax haven abuse, states can close the “water’s edge” loophole and require that companies not only report income in other states but also the income stored in tax havens as part of their combined reporting. A 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 is 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.
And lastly, the House Finance committee recommended that HB 563-FN, relative to funding for chartered public school pupils pass with an amendment. The amended version is less harmful than some of the other proposed amendments, yet AFT-NH has serious concerns with this bill. This increased funding to charter schools comes from the adequacy fund. In turn this leaves less for public schools. If the state truly supports charter schools then they would find a way to pay for it by not robbing Peter (public schools) to pay Paul (charter schools). They would come up with a dedicated fund just for charter schools and find the revenue to support it without dipping into any other dedicated fund.
AFT-NH asks that the Committee’s recommendation be overturned and a recommendation to defeat this bill be voted on.
If you have any questions or concerns please email me at email@example.com or call 603-661-7293.
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Upcoming hearings for the week of March 9, 2015
MONDAY, MARCH 9
FINANCE, Kennet High School Auditorium, 409 Eagles Way, North Conway
6:00 p.m. HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2016 and June 30, 2017, and HB 2-FN-LOCAL, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures. *Please note time change.
FINANCE, Derry Town Hall, 14 Manning Street, Derry
5:00 p.m. HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2016 and June 30, 2017, and HB 2-FN-LOCAL, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures.
FINANCE – (Division I), Room 212, LOB
Operating Budget presentations as follows:
9:30 a.m. Public Employees Labor Relations Board.
10:00 a.m. Department of Labor.
10:30 a.m. Developmental Disabilities Council.
TUESDAY, MARCH 10
FINANCE – (DIVISION II), Room 209, LOB
10:00 a.m. Work session on HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2016 and June 30, 2017, and HB 2-FN-A-L, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures.
SENATE TRANSPORTATION LOB 103
1:00 p.m. SB 234, relative to police details on public ways.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11
10 am House in Session
Senate EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ADMINISTRATION, Room 101, LOB
9:20 a.m. SB 164, relative to the independent investment committee in the New Hampshire retirement system.
THURSDAY, MARCH 12
9 am House in Session
10 am Senate in Session
FRIDAY, MARCH 13
WAYS AND MEANS, Room 202, LOB
9:00 a.m. Full committee work session to consider revenue items contained in HB 2.
MONDAY, MARCH 16
FINANCE – (DIVISION I), Room 212, LOB
1:30 p.m. Work session on HB 2-FN-A-L, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures.
TUESDAY, MARCH 17
FINANCE – (DIVISION I), Room 212, LOB
9:30 a.m. Work session on HB 2-FN-A-L, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures, and
HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2016 and June 30, 2017.
THURSDAY, MARCH 19
FINANCE – (DIVISION I), Room 212, LOB
9:30 a.m. Work session on HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2016 and June 30, 2017, and HB 2-FN-A-L, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures.