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Joyce Craig Garners Endorsement Of Manchester Firefighter Unions

Manchester, NH – Today in front of Manchester Fire’s Station 8, the Queen City’s two firefighter unions weighed into the contentious race for Mayor with their endorsement of former Alderman Joyce Craig.

“Manchester is in desperate need of a new vision for our city and its fire department. Over Mayor Gatsas’ tenure, staffing at the department has been reduced while the city has experienced a continuous increase in call volume and hazardous situations. As a 31 year veteran of the department, I am increasingly alarmed by the dangers and long term effects our firefighters face as they perform their mission to protect life and property. Simply stated we need a change and it must originate from the top,” said James Michael, President of the Manchester Association of Fire Supervisors, IAFF Local 3820. 

“Our members pride themselves on their effective and efficient answering of every call, to every home and every business in need. We see firsthand the lack of efficiency and effectiveness in running our city, most recently through Mayor Ted Gatsas’ tall tale of saving Station 9 in his underfunded budget. As a lifelong resident of our city, I can say that smoke and mirrors does not result in a clear vision for our community. It is time that a change come to City Hall, and today we announce that Joyce is our choice as the next Mayor of Manchester,” said Jeff Duval, President of the Manchester Professional Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 856.

“I am proud to receive the support of the Manchester Association of Fire Supervisors and the Manchester Professional Firefighters Association. Our firefighters risk their lives to respond to an increasing amount of emergency calls and hazardous situations with outstanding professionalism and dedication. I also want to thank our firefighters for their leadership and service implementing the Safe Station program. They have opened their doors to more than 2,000 people seeking help for substance use disorder. I look forward to working with our public safety officials to address our challenges and move Manchester forward,” said Joyce Craig, Candidate for Mayor of Manchester.

Joyce Craig is running against the current Mayor of Manchester, Ted Gatsas.  This election rematch is shaping up to be a very tight race.

The firefighters have not held anything back when talking about the failed leadership of Mayor Gatsas.  In his campaign announcement, Gatsas proclaimed he “saved a fire station from closing,” The firefighters quickly tamped that out in their statement.

“The people of Manchester are tired of Teddy’s tall tales. Mayor Gatsas’ claim to having ‘saved a fire station from closing’ skirts the fact that the Mayor’s proposed budget underfunded the Manchester Fire Department from the start. Chief Goonan and his administration warned the Board of Mayor and Aldermen repeatedly that restricting his budget would result in station closures,” said the Manchester Professional Fire Fighters Association and the Manchester Association of Fire Supervisors in a joint statement.

“Not until the final warning came and sufficient plans were presented did the Board act to keep Station 9 open in an emergency meeting. Mayor Gatsas’ careless delays and ignoring public safety professionals’ warnings put lives at risk, and now he wants the credit for fixing a problem he created. Enough is enough,” the firefighters added.

Be sure to follow the NH Labor News for more updates on the Manchester Mayoral Race.

National COSH and Local Groups Join Nationwide Fight – backed by Jon Stewart – for 9/11 Survivors and Responders

More Than 72,000 Nationwide Could Lose Benefits,  Medical Aid if Congress Fails to Act

2,000+ at Risk in Florida, but Presidential Candidate Marco Rubio Has Not Signed on to Bipartisan Bill 

PHILADELPHIA – The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) and local safety and health groups across the nation are backing a nationwide fight to renew aid for survivors and responders to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Council said today. 

“The 9/11 attacks were an assault against our entire nation, and taking care of those affected is a national responsibility,” said Barbara Rahke, chair of the National COSH Board of Directors and executive director of the Philadelphia Project on Occupational Safety and Health (PhilaPOSH). More than 1,000 9/11 survivors and responders live in Pennsylvania. 

“Survivors who worked or lived near the site of the attacks – and those who came to assist in the days and weeks afterwards – were exposed to a stew of concrete dust, asbestos and other toxins which create long-lasting health hazards,” said Rahke. “Our response has to last just as long.”  

In addition to the lives lost on 9/11, others have since died as a result of toxic exposures at the disaster sites. In addition, tens of thousands of survivors and responders have been diagnosed with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. 

Last week, New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) Executive Director Charlene Obernauer joined former Daily Show host Jon Stewart and firefighters, first responders and family members in Washington DC to lobby for renewal of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act. On Sept. 11 2015, NYCOSH released ”Health and Hardship: Stories from 9/11’s Unsung Heroes,” a report documenting the ongoing health problems faced by 9/11 responders.

If Congress fails to act, legislation that currently aids more than 72,000 survivors and responders will expire in 2016. A bipartisan coalition is co-sponsoring the bill to renew aid. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a presidential contender, has yet to endorse the legislation, although more than 2,000 9/11 survivors and responders live in Florida and are part of the World Trade Center Health Program – more than any state outside of New York and New Jersey. 

“I’m sure Sen. Rubio is pretty busy in Iowa and New Hampshire right now,” said Jeanette Smith of the South Florida Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (South Florida COSH).“But I hope he’s aware of how many people in Florida were affected by the 9/11 attacks – and how important it is to stand up for workers, survivors and their families.” 

To date, Sen. Rubio has not responded to a questionnaire, distributed to all presidential candidates, from Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act.  The legislation currently has bipartisan support from 46 sponsors in the Senate and 173 in the House.

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) is a sponsor of the Zadroga Act, along with a bipartisan coalition that includes 10 members of Congress from Florida from both political parties.

Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act has published a “Take Action” tool on their website, Renew911Health.org, which allows visitors to look up their Senator and member of Congress to find out his or her position on the legislation.  The tool also shows how many affected and injured individuals live in each state and Congressional District. 

The “Take Action” tool can be downloaded and installed by other organizations supporting the campaign to aid 9/11 survivors and responders. Those affected include: 

  • More than 72,000 currently enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Program, living in all 50 states.
  • More than 33,000 survivors or responders who have been diagnosed with at least one injury or illness as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, including such chronic conditions as asthma, obstructive pulmonary disease, and gastroesophageal reflux disease.
  • More than 4,000 responders and survivors who have been diagnosed with cancers caused or made worse by 9/11. This number will grow larger in the years to come, making it especially crucial to continue medical monitoring for those who might be affected.

9/11 survivors and responders live in all 50 states and in 429 out of 435 Congressional districts.

National COSH links the efforts of local worker health and safety coalitions in communities across the United States, advocating for elimination of preventable hazards in the workplace. For more information, please visit coshnetwork.org.  Follow us at National Council for Occupational Safety and Health on Facebook, and @NationalCOSH on Twitter.

PFFNH and Berlin IAFF #1088 Proud to Receive Much Needed SAFER Act Grant

PFFNH Logo (Concord/Berlin, NH)- The Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, along with the IAFF Berlin Professional Fire Fighters Local #1088 are proud to announce that the Berlin Fire Department has received a 2015 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Act Grant. This federal grant, issued through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/Federal Emergency Agency, enables the city of Berlin to hire 4 additional full time fire fighters to the department.

In 2013, the city of Berlin left four fire fighter positions unfilled. This has caused years of dangerous staffing levels. With this grant, the department will be able to run four shifts of five fire fighters. This level of staffing will maintain that the “two in-two out” rule under OSHA regulations is in compliance. Berlin is the only full time fire department in all of Coos County, and serves the needs of almost 10,000 residents. This SAFER Act Grant pays for the hiring of 4 full time fire fighters in the city of Berlin for a total of two years, or three if they choose to hire a veteran.

“I’m pleased that with this federal grant, our department will be able to safely and effectively continue to serve the city of Berlin. For too long we were operating at dangerous staffing levels, but with four additional fire fighters we are able to provide the level of service our citizens deserve,” stated Roland Berthiaume, President Berlin L#1088.

The Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, and Berlin Professional Fire Fighters L#1088 are grateful that the city of Berlin will see an increase in public safety and thank Governor Hassan, North Country Elected officials, and the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation for all of their efforts in making this grant possible.

Claremont Workers Share Their Story On The Attitude With Arnie Arnesen

Over the past few weeks the NH Labor News has been covering a story out of Claremont, NH where the town is refusing to settle on a contract with the town employees. (Claremont Workers Six Years Without a raise)

The police officers (AFSCME council 93 members) and the firefighters (PFF-NH) have been going back and forth with the town for years now.  They are now in their 6th year without a contract.  Six years with no pay raises.  Six years of watching their paychecks shrink due to rising retirement costs by the state and always increasing inflation.

To make matters worse, the town is giving thousands of dollars in raises to the department heads.  They say it is because they need to keep these valuable employees.  I guess that means they do not value the people who are there protecting the streets at night, or protecting the town by putting out fires.

Arnie Arnesen Radio

Arnie Arnesen, host of ‘The Attitude’

AFSCME Council 93 released a new radio ad informing everyone in the Claremont area what is happening in their town.  After the ad was released, State Rep and AFSCME member Andrew O’Hearne has been pushing the message on local radio talk shows.  Yesterday O’Hearne and Brian Rapp (IAFF) went on the Attitude with Arnie Arnesen to talk about the struggles they have had with the town of Claremont.

Below is the edited audio from The Attitude with Arnie Arnesen interviewing Brian Rapp and Rep Andrew O’Hearne.

( Editor’s note) I would like to thank Arnie Arnesen and her team at ‘The Attitude’ for highlighting this very important story from the NH Labor News. 

Senator Shaheen A Proven Fighter For New Hampshire By PFF-NH Pres. Dave Lang

Shaheen and Lang

Senator Shaheen and PFF-NH President Dave Lang

When an emergency strikes in New Hampshire, fire fighters respond to the call, no matter what the situation is. Every day, fire fighters and paramedics go to work and get the job done. In New Hampshire, we are lucky to have a leader that acts the same way.  Jeanne Shaheen has a long history of working hard here in New Hampshire, and on our behalf in the Senate.

As fire fighters know, it is not just hard work alone that makes you effective. It is the thoughtful, prepared, and unwavering way you approach matters that makes you effective. Strong, steady, and determined is the way Senator Shaheen works. She cares most about positive outcomes and less about credit. I’ve always found that the people who are more concerned with getting results than they are with getting credit are the ones who get the most done. Jeanne Shaheen is that kind of person.

In the past few months alone we’ve seen Senator Shaheen score big wins for New Hampshire and the entire country on a wide range of issues. Along with the rest of New Hampshire’s delegation, she successfully pushed for disaster funding for parts of our state that were devastated by flooding earlier this summer. She successfully fought for resources to continue funding the Berlin Prison in a key piece of legislation that was passed in July.  From protecting jobs at the shipyard in Portsmouth to helping secure the new KC-46A tanker at Pease, her efforts will have a significant economic impact on the region and boost Pease’s role in our national security efforts. She has been there time and again for our men and women in uniform.

While she is focused on our state she is a national leader in making our country stronger. She is on the verge of passing a historic energy bill that would help our country save money, create jobs, and lower pollution. She has pushed for government reforms to end wasteful spending on programs like useless catfish inspection programs. Her bill to provide additional veterans benefits for same sex military couples – named after Charlie Morgan, the late chief warrant officer in the New Hampshire Army National Guard – cleared a major legislative hurdle a few weeks ago. And she has been a tireless advocate for our veterans who have wrongly had to deal with an absurd backlog at the VA while they wait for their claims to be processed.

When fire fighters and paramedics are called upon we use the following thought process: assess what’s happening, develop a plan, and make the bad stop happening. We do not ask what neighborhood you come from, or whether you are rich or poor: we just act. Jeanne Shaheen has done this her entire career fighting for New Hampshire.

Jeanne Shaheen has accomplished a lot for our state. She may not always be the first to brag about everything she has done, but that shouldn’t discount from her leadership skills, her tireless work ethic, and her ability to get things done in a place as dysfunctional as Washington. As a first responder, I know that a lot of times the most important work is done behind the scenes, quietly out of the limelight, to make our communities safer, better places to live. That’s exactly what Jeanne Shaheen has done in the Senate on behalf of New Hampshire, and we should all feel very fortunate to have her looking out for us in Washington.

David Lang

President, Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire


This op/ed was also published in the Seacoast Online.

Rolling Stone Should Apologize For Putting Tsarnaev On Their Cover

UPDATED 7-18 at 5pm

After this post was originally posted around noon people came to me in every way they could. I got emails, twitter messages, and comments on my facebook accounts. They were all saying that I was wrong. I was judging the book by it’s cover since I openly admit that I refused to read the article. Someone even pointed out to me that judging a book by it’s cover is a covert form of bigotry. I am totally guilty of that.

The article is more about the bright and talented young man who did a 180 and rejected his way of life. Many people told me that the point of the article was to shock people and make them understand that this could (and has happened) to anybody.

I do have a better understanding of the article and its message I still feel that they should not have put his face on the cover of their magazine. They could have written the article (which is creating a lot of discussion) without using his face on the cover. The fact that he is on the cover makes him seem like a rock god not a killer.

While I no longer feel that Rolling Stone is trying to glamorize Tsarnaev (as I do in the original post), I do think that putting him on the cover was in very bad taste and I think an apology to the people would go a long way. This is Rolling Stone not a news magazine like TIME or NEWSWEEK. The cover of Rolling Stone is a reserved place for pop icons.

I invite you to join our conversation about this on our facebook page and tell us what you think.

I would also encourage you read Susan The Bruce’s blog called The Face Of Evil. It is a perfect counter-point to what I said below.

# # # # # # # #

(Below is the original post from earlier in the day)

After hearing about the Rolling Stone cover (click here to see it because I am not posting it), I told myself I was not going to talk about it. We all know that would never happen.

I am completely disgusted by the actions of Rolling Stone putting the Boston Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover of their flagship magazine. It is a completely tasteless action by the magazines editors. The International Association of Firefighter hit the nail right on the head with their statement.

“The cover picture and story by Rolling Stone canonizing one of the terrorists who murdered and maimed Americans is despicable. Journalism is one thing. This kind of blatant glorification of a murderer in the name of selling magazines is just wrong.”

“We fully support the statement and efforts of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts and IAFF Boston Local 718, which represent the incredible men and women of the Boston Fire Department who responded to that massacre, in condemning Rolling Stone and its parent company for their irresponsible judgment and complete lack of compassion for all those affected by the bombings.”

This is just another slap in the face of the hard working public servants in the greater Boston area. To glamorize Tsarnaev only encourages more actions like the marathon bombing to gain fame.

After the bombing the ‘Boston Strong’ theme became a national phenomenon. It solidified a city, a state, and a nation with the notion that terrorist attacks will not bring us down. After Tsarnaev was captured in a boat in Watertown, people throughout the country offered their thanks and support to the police and fire departments in Boston.

This is why it is so appalling to the people who live around Boston that Rolling Stone would glamorize Tsarnaev in this way. When we see the face of Tsarnaev, we think of the horrific images of people bleeding in our city streets. We think of firefighters carrying injured people to hospitals. We think of the hard work and dedication of our public servants who shut down the city to capture Tsarnaev. The memory of all the good people who helped on that tragic day are good ones however, the thought of the person who caused all that needless suffering does not deserve to be remembered.

I stand with the The Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts who are making a call for Rolling Stone to officially apologize for putting Tsarnaev on the cover of their magazine.

As firefighters who responded to the Boston Marathon Bombings we witnessed first hand the emotional and physical trauma that unfolded that day. The persons accused of this heinous crime are not victims. They have not been failed. They are cowards. They killed four people, including a child. They caused disabling permanent injury to hundreds, and changed the lives of countless families forever.

The decision by Rolling Stone Magazine to publish a empathetic
looking photo of the living suspected terrorist in an obvious attempt to gain sympathy for him, or worse, simply sell their magazine, is an insult to every one of the real victims from that day.

Your Executive Board has voted to boycott Wenner Media LLC to include their publications of Rolling Stone, US Weekly and Men’s Journal, until an appropriate apology is offered to the real victims of the Marathon Bombings.

This is the time when we should be helping the true victims heal from their emotional and physical injuries from that day. If the insensitive decision by Rolling Stone Magazine and Wenner Media has caused further pain to just one victim – then that is one too many.

Please join me in sharing this Boycott with your family and friends.

After September 11th we all became New Yorkers. After the Boston bombing we all became Boston Strong. Remember the heroes not the villains.

The Professional Firefighters of NH Call for Continued LGC/NHMA Changes

Concord, NH – David LangPresident of the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, today issued this statement regarding the recent leadership changes at the Local Government Center and urges a real institutional change to follow.

Late in the day on Friday the LGC/NHMA announced their Board had changed leadership through the replacement of their current Executive Director with George Bald former DRED Commissioner. Media accounts over the weekend reported key LGC Board as saying the reason for the change was to foster a better relationship with the state’s regulators, as opposed to fostering institutional change within their organization.

“We believe a change such as this was necessary and a step in the right direction, however gauging the comments of key LGC Board members, leads us to believe this to be more window dressing than honest change,” said David Lang, President. “We call on the members of the Board and the senior management of the LGC/NHMA to be held responsible for the current situation. Real institutional change at all levels of this troubled organization need immediate attention and to be addressed and finalized,” Lang continued.

Mr. Lang offered the following comment on the temporary assignment of George Bald. “Mr. Bald has an opportunity to force honest institutional change, and it requires him to demand full transparency, ending the practices of the past, and to follow the decision of the hearing officer and the law,” said Lang. “Absent his ability to do that, subjects the taxpayers, retired, and active employees to further misuse and abuse.”

“Should Mr. Bald wish to clean up this mess, then he can count us in to help him. The Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire will not rest until the taxpayers, retired, and active public employees are made whole and transparent institutional change has occurred.”

The Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire represent approximately 2,000 active and retired fire fighters and paramedic across New Hampshire from 42 local unions.

This Thanksgiving (and every Thanksgiving) Unions Are Giving Back

The “union-avoidance” industry isn’t taking the election results lying down.  The Andrew Breitbarts of the world are already busy spinning the Hostess Brands liquidation and Wednesday’s planned protest in Los Angeles.  (If you’re wondering: there may be delays on surface streets around LAX – but the protest is not expected to impact any air travel.)

In these days leading up to Thanksgiving, you’re probably going to hear a lot of other anti-union stories in the media.  (The union-busters have a lot of money to spend on PR.)

What you’re probably not going to hear is how union members nationwide are celebrating the holiday.  A quick sampling:

  • In Palm Beach, Florida, labor unions are part of “The Big Heart Brigade”.  Last Thanksgiving, the Brigade fed 100,000 people – and they are hoping to feed even more, this year.   “Several local unions have already donated time and funds to help, including Plumbers and Pipe Fitters (UA) Local 630, Ironworkers Local 402, Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 728, Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 3181 and Machinists (IAM) Local 971.”
  • Feed The Community Day

    Near Los Angeles, ILWU Local 13 is holding their 15th annual “Feed the Community Day”.  They will be distributing 1,500 turkey baskets with all the trimmings to help feed low-income families in surrounding communities.

  • Throughout the country, IAFF Locals are giving coats to kids through “Operation Warm”. IAFF Local 157 is distributing more than 2,000 coats to needy children in Oklahoma City, OK.  IAFF Local 215 is giving away almost 1,000 coats in Milwaukee, WI.  In New Jersey, IAFF Local 2657 is donating 350 coats.  In Pennsylvania, IAFF Local 10 plans to give a new coat to every single child who attends George Washington Elementary School, after firefighters noticed that most students didn’t have anything warmer than a hooded sweatshirt (87% of the school’s families live at or below the poverty line).
  • And of course, Hurricane Sandy relief efforts will continue through the holiday.  Nationwide, union members are contributing to various Hurricane Sandy Relief Funds.  Union members in the hardest-hit areas will continue to do what they have been doing for weeks: cleaning up, fixing up, and taking care of the people around them.

This Thanksgiving, let’s give thanks for our union brothers and sisters.  Our union family is not just standing behind us in our workplaces – unions are giving back to our communities, making things better for families in need.



NH Labor News 9/2/12: PFF-NH Ride in Honor of Sarah Fox, New Jobs in NH, Unions Have Been Fighting For Workers For Many Years, Northern Pass Protests, and more

Remembering Sarah: Riders honor former Portsmouth firefighter’s fight with cancer – Fosters: “ringing awareness and support together in one huge effort, bikers, firefighters, friends and law enforcement came out to remember late Portsmouth firefighter Sarah Fox, who passed away last December after battling cancer.

“It was easy to get involved with this,” Al Coutois, owner of Seacoast Harley-Davidson, said. Riders came from the stores three locations including North Hampton, Rochester and Everett, Mass., entering the parking lot in one massive parade of bikes around 12:30 p.m.

“The how and why was easy. We got to know Sarah when she was here,” Coutois said. Fox had attended the event herself just last year.”

N.H. future bright for job seekers: State officials see promise in manufacturing, health care, tourism within next several years – Fosters: “DOVER — For job seekers in New Hampshire, advanced manufacturing, health care and tourism are among the industries that hold promise within the next several years, according to state officials.

Manufacturing, in particular, has become a major focus in the state, which is poised to add hundreds of new jobs in the field of advanced manufacturing in coming years.

However, securing those jobs will likely require a higher degree of training and education than the manufacturing jobs of the past, according to Michael Power, of the state’s Office of Workforce Opportunity.

“That’s our key,” Power said. “That’s our economic strength. Manufacturing pays the highest wage … and it’s huge. It’s a career path.””

For many in NH,1 job is not enough | New Hampshire NEWS02: “New Hampshire has averaged 84,500 residents considered underemployed monthly — including 35,300 working part time but wanting full-time work, according to federal figures for the year ending in June.

“That’s a sign of how difficult this economic downturn has been for everybody,” said Dennis Delay, an economist at the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies in Concord.

“Frankly, employers are still somewhat reluctant in certain sectors of the economy to hire people,” Delay said. “If someone is working for you part time, as an employer, you’re not obligated to pay for their health care.””

Erica Bryant: Brave local workers fought for your rights | Democrat and Chronicle | democratandchronicle.com: “I can’t tell you the names of the men wearing the gas masks in this 1933 photograph. Or the men who joined them unprotected, even though their demonstration of support for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America was likely to be met with chemical weapons.

The photo was taken toward the end of that union’s long war against sweatshop conditions and starvation wages in Rochester’s garment factories. By that time, just two factories were holding out against recognizing the union and its demands for a 40-hour work week and increased wages.”

Hundreds protest Northern Pass | New Hampshire NEWS06: “More than 200 demonstrators gathered in the park across from Colebrook Town Hall to sing protest songs, listen to political speakers and make their views known.

The $1.1 billion project, being proposed by Northeast Utilities and Hydro-Quebec, would run a high-power transmission line across 180 miles of land from Pittsburg to Deerfield. It would use 140 miles of existing rights of way owned by Public Service of New Hampshire and 40 miles of new rights of way. ”

Garry Rayno’s State House Dome: Bill eyed to prevent failures that led to hepatitis C spread | New Hampshire NEWS0604: “COMMUTER RAIL: The Business and Industry Association will host a forum on commuter rail Sept. 17 at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord.

In partnership with the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, the Nashua Regional Planning Commission and the New Hampshire Economic Development Association, the forum is titled “Commuter Rail in New Hampshire — Economic Catalyst or Multi-Million Dollar Mistake?”

Voter ID won’t stop your vote | SeacoastOnline.com: “As Rep. Donna Schlachman, D-Exeter, said: “If just one person does not show up to vote due to confusion over Voter ID requirements, this law has done harm. In a country noted for low voter turnout, the last thing we need is the perception that it will be harder to cast a ballot in 2012.””

Annual NH Labor Day breakfast features Lynch, national union official: “New Hampshire’s AFL-CIO Labor Day breakfast will feature Gov. John Lynch and the organization’s national secretary-treasurer.

National AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler will be the keynote speaker at Monday’s breakfast. She will recognize contributions by New Hampshire workers and emphasize the labor movement’s commitment to creating good jobs. She also will discuss the choices posed by the upcoming election.

Besides Lynch and Shuler, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and congressional candidates Ann Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter are scheduled to attend.

The breakfast is at 9 a.m. at the St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Manchester.”

Remember the Bread and Roses

NH Labor News 5/25/12: PolitiFact Says O’Brien is Wrong on Jobs Claim, MHT Teachers Reject Contract, Education Reforms, LGC and More

Something to thing about.
This is the power that labor has!

PolitiFact: Wishful thinking, but O’Brien gets it wrong on jobs claim – NashuaTelegraph.com: ““There’s 400 more people working in health care today in New Hampshire than when we passed the budget.”
– Rep. William O’Brien, R-Mont Vernon, speaker of the House of Representatives, on Monday, May 7, in an interview with The Telegraph editorial board.
Our ruling
The health care industry was a bright spot during the recession, but job estimates show that it didn’t rebound from the state budget cuts the way O’Brien reported. The most recent state estimates show that jobs in the health care industry, combined with social assistance, have remained flat or even decreased – not gained – since April 2011, when the House initially passed the budget. And since the state budget took effect in June 2011, the industry has lost about 700 jobs. There is one measure that shows some growth, but it was only a snapshot and doesn’t cover the time period O’Brien was talking about. Based on the most authoritative numbers that include the most recent data, we rate this claim False.”

Failed teachers deal opens state review | New Hampshire NEWS06: “MANCHESTER — A provision in a tentative agreement turned down by members of the Manchester Education Association may affect city contracts with other unions and how they fund the New Hampshire Retirement System.

Although the MEA provision is basically moot because the teachers voted down the tentative agreement, it did lead to a legal ruling from the state Retirement System noting retirees are not permitted to cover their own contribution to the state retirement fund as well as the employers’ share. “

Focus on extremes hurts common good – NashuaTelegraph.com: “Rather than valuing the incredible contribution of our public school teachers and continuing the hard work of fixing what might be failing in our schools, conversations now tend toward scapegoating teachers for our growing frustration as we lose job security, retirement security and employer-paid benefits. If we can no longer find an employer to pay our health coverage, why should public servants have these benefits?
Rather than insisting that we all have the security of health care and retirement benefits after a lifetime of work, we cede our future to those who desire greater instability.
Those who attack our public servants under a “liberty agenda” forget America’s greatness rests in its dedication to the “common good.””

Great Work by the members of the IAFF from Maine and New Hampshire for risking their live to save us all!

Firefighters on submarine hit intense heat, smoke | The Kennebec Journal, Augusta, ME: “KITTERY — Firefighters who confronted a blaze inside the nuclear submarine USS Miami encountered a dark, hellish atmosphere of intense heat and heavy smoke, two firefighters at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard said Thursday.

Assistant Fire Chief Glenn Whitehouse and firefighter Dan Tice said each crew sent into the 360-foot ship had only a few minutes to deal with the fire before they had to pull out and be replaced by others with fresh oxygen tanks.

They said it took time and effort just to navigate the narrow maze of submarine hallways in order to reach the forward section of the ship, where the fire was burning. The hallways were so narrow it was difficult for firefighters to pass each other. Then the heat and the dwindling oxygen supply in their air packs forced them to leave and be replaced by another crew.

“That’s why the guys were taking a beating,” Tice said. “We went through probably 75 shifts like that.””

NH education, business leaders aim to work more closely, better prepare students for jobs – NashuaTelegraph.com: “Local business leaders and education officials gathered at Nashua Community College to identify problems and talk about possible solutions to fixing the gap between education and manufacturing in New Hampshire – the state’s largest job sector.
Representatives came from the state Department of Education, the New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the state Business and Industry Association and the New Hampshire High Technology Council, as well as many employees and owners of small businesses.
Gov. John Lynch said state businesses need skilled workers, especially in manufacturing, and that the way to guarantee that is through education.”

GOP has pro-business agenda | SeacoastOnline.com: As for the cutting of higher educational funding, none of us wanted to cut our university system’s budget, but there was no choice. Democrats joined Republicans in not proposing any new taxes or any increases in existing taxes to avoid these or any other cuts. Dartmouth College, a private institution, when faced with financial problems during the same period, chose to cut some 30 non-core classes which were favorites of professors but not popular with students, and thus financial losers. That was a rational action on their part. Why is it when Dartmouth cuts $100 million from its budget over two years it is considered good management, but when UNH does similar cuts, those encouraging streamlining are branded as anti-education? Fiduciary responsibility is fiduciary responsibility, whether in the private sector or the public sector. There is no evidence that the quality of education at either Dartmouth or UNH has been diminished by the streamlining that has occurred. It should be pointed out that UNH President Huddleston is doing the best he can faced with an intransigent faculty union. Most states are faced with having to make cuts in their state university systems. N.H. is no different.

Insurers cite 3-year-old claim, refuse to pay LGC legal costs | SeacoastOnline.com:CONCORD — Insurers for the Local Government Center are refusing to pay more than $1 million in LGC legal bills because, they allege, the costs to defend ongoing allegations by the state mirror a lawsuit filed by the state firefighters union three years ago.

The disputed legal costs are for the LGC to defend against a Secretary of State complaint alleging the LGC failed to return $100 million in surplus funds to member municipalities and formed illegal shell companies in Delaware. The state also alleges the LGC improperly invested member money in risky investments and skimmed money from insurance pools to create a workers’ compensation program, from which only some members can benefit.

The LGC, which provides municipal health and liability insurance, filed suit against its insurance providers on Feb. 24 for refusing to pay legal bills associated with the state allegations and stated the cost will exceed $1 million. In spite of that, the LGC released a subsequent statement to its municipal members announcing that “like all responsible nonprofit organizations,” it “carries liability insurance.”

Risk Pool Measure Now in Hands of Negotiators | New Hampshire Public Radio: “Lawmakers will look to come to terms on how to regulate groups that sell insurance to New Hampshire cities and towns.

Some are concerned the House-passed plan could be hard on taxpayers.

This legislation comes on the heels of a Secretary of State investigation into the practices of New Hampshire’s largest public risk pool the Local Government Center.”

House, Senate school funding plans to be scrutinized | New Hampshire NEWS06: “CONCORD — Constitutional lawyers will parse every word in House- and Senate-proposed constitutional amendments on education funding over the long holiday weekend.

Key lawmakers hope the work may lead to a compromise between House and Senate leaders and the governor’s office before Thursday’s deadline.

If a compromise is reached, the House and Senate will have to approve it by 60 percent majorities to place the question on the general election ballot in November, where it will need two-thirds of the voters to be approved.

“This issue is bigger than any one of us,” said Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro. “That is why I continue to feel optimistic we will get this done.””

Education funding amendment panel: We’re not done yet | Concord Monitor: “House and Senate lawmakers working on a compromise over a constitutional amendment on education funding find themselves trying to balance the legalese desired by each side without creating a text that looks like gobbledygook to voters on the ballot in November.

The committee of conference tasked with negotiating the amendment reconvened for less than five minutes yesterday to tell those in attendance they haven’t quite figured it out and need to spend more time talking with attorneys. On Tuesday, the committee met for about a half hour to make brief opening statements. They have until next Thursday to sign a deal to take back to their respective chambers.”

Senate panel votes against new round of base closures – Fosters: “WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Senate panel on Thursday rejected the Pentagon’s call for another round of domestic military base closings as it completed a far-reaching, $631 billion defense budget for next year.

Members of the Armed Services Committee unanimously backed the budget, including New Hampshire Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, and Kelly Ayotte, Republican, and Maine Sen. Susan Collins, another GOP member.

Speaking before Congress in February, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta made the case for two new rounds of military base closures, beginning 2013 to 2015.

In order to close or consolidate military bases in the United States legislation from Congress is required to create a bipartisan Base Closure and Realignment Commission, which then studies the problem and makes recommendations to the president and the defense secretary.”

Campaign disclosure: Locally, nationally – Fosters: “The problem with Citizens United is not that it allows endless money to flow into Super PACs. It is that it does not hold donors accountable for that money.

Should the New Hampshire Legislature fail to do that on a local basis, it will have left a gaping hole in the law.

The voting public has a right and a need to know who is lobbying for whom or what. Allowing donors to anonymously hide behind a Super PAC or local advocacy group’s moniker should be a political sin, one not allowed by law.”

Now in Penn. they are going straight for the collective bargaining rights of the teachers.

After Cutting School Funding, Pennsylvania Republicans Are Going After Teachers Themselves « Main Street: “The Senate Education Committee in Pennsylvania is planning to fast-track a bill that could end collective bargaining rights for school employees.

Here’s how they’re doing it. First, in his first two budgets, Governor Tom Corbett and his allies cut almost a billion dollars from public education in Pennsylvania. Like his corporate-backed brethren Scott Walker and John Kasich, Corbett repeated the lie that the cuts were necessary because the state was broke, while ignoring the millions in lost revenue from corporate tax loopholes.

The second step is to use the funding “crisis” – the crisis that they created with their deep and unnecessary cuts – to attack the rights of teachers and other school employees. The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Republican Senator Jeffrey Piccola, is planning to amend House Bill 1307 to allow the state to cancel current collective bargaining agreements in “financially distressed” school districts.”


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