We succeeded in defeating, once again, the so called “’right to work—for less” bill. Over the past two years hundreds of NH citizens voiced opposition to this bill with only a handful of people speaking in support. This attack on working people like you is led by out of state interests such as the National Right to Work Committee and ALEC.
We succeeded in defeating a bill that would have permitted audio and video recording of a public official while in the course of performing his or her official duties. All employees, both public and private, should have a reasonable understanding that when they are performing their jobs that they are not intimidated or harassed and should have a safe working environment.
We succeeded in passing a bill relative to the filing with a registry of deeds of a fraudulent document purporting to create a lien or claim against real property. As public employees just wanting to do our jobs we should not have to worry that someone unhappy with us could go the county’s Register of Deeds and file a million dollar false claim against your property.
We succeeded in defeating retirement legislation that would hurt public employees even more that the bad legislation passed by the Republicans in the 2010-2011 sessions. AFT-NH believes that:
- Security in retirement is something every worker deserves after a long, successful career in public service. These workers, after dedicating their working life to educating children, enforcing the law, fighting fires and helping our communities run every day, have earned a benefit that must allow them to retire with dignity.
- The benefit should ensure a predictable cost for the employers and employees, and it should create, and sustain, a high-quality workforce that is attractive to younger workers to invest a lifetime in public service, in turn adding value to the state’s economy.
- In exchange for a lifetime of service, workers need to rely on defined and predictable retirement security that is protected against inflationary pressures. Their benefit should ensure sound investment options and strategies that will result in post-retirement stability, even against the economic concerns of today.
- Public sector workers need to be able to look forward to long productive service. Retirement security should be defined through investments and contributions made over a long-term investment horizon.
- Instead of encouraging the idea that working for the public sector is less valuable than working for the private sector, New Hampshire’s retirement system benefit for public workers should set a standard, and be something larger employers in New Hampshire should emulate.
- Public service should be viewed as a respectful vocation; a commitment by workers of service and dedication to their home state. It is service that adds value to the quality of life for NH citizens and visitors. Public service is an investment in New Hampshire and retirement security creates a financial cornerstone of the NH economy.
We were not totally successful with the following but will be advocating for comparable bills to pass in the upcoming session.
AFT-NH supported bills that would have increased transparency within charter schools. We need laws and regulations requiring full transparency in how charter schools operate and making them directly and openly accountable to the public for student performance and their admissions and enrollment policies. We need stronger policies mandating respect and support for teacher and staff voices in school policies and programs, identification of potential conflicts of interest via disclosure requirements, and the use of public funds by charter schools in the same rigorous manner required in our public schools.
AFT-NH supported a bill that would make sure we have the necessary resources, staff development and support in moving forward with Common Core and Smarter Balance. If these Standards are to succeed, 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.
- We need to provide teachers with model lesson plans aligned to Standards.
- We must ensure textbooks/other curricula materials align with Standards.
- We must communicate with parents on the Standards and the expectations of students.
- We need to develop best practices and strategies along with providing coaching to help teachers teach content more deeply.
- We need to ensure all districts have the equipment and bandwidth to administer computer-based assessments.
- We must make sure we have fully developed curricula aligned to Standards and available to teachers.
- We must be work to align Assessments to Standards indicating mastery of concepts.
- We must insist that professional development and training in the Standards be offered.
- We need to develop tools to track individual student progress on key Standards.
To read AFT-NH full statement click here.
AFT-NH supported the passage of SB 322: relative to the renomination of teachers. It is time we move back to supporting our teachers in New Hampshire. Three years is long enough to deny teachers their due process when non-renewed. When decisions with such high stakes are being made, all staff should be given reasons why, and should be given time to improve through an improvement plan.
AFT-NH supported bills that would have increased School Building Aid from the state for local districts. Keep in mind that 50% of our school buildings are over 60 years old and many need infrastructure upgrades necessary for a 21st century learning environment. We also supported a bill that would lift the current cap of 72% on catastrophic special education funds and fully fund it.
We were not successful in passing our real pension reform bill, SB 364: relative to group II service retirement allowances and relative to establishing a supplemental savings plan in the retirement system. If nothing is done, New Hampshire will be in a situation where 30 years down the road, we are going to have public employees – at the end of a career – eligible to apply for food stamps, and other social services. This puts a strain on working families by forcing our public employees into social services. This is financially irresponsible for New Hampshire and undignified for our public employees.
If you have any questions or concerns please email me at email@example.com.
To read the full listing of EDUCATION BILLS click here
To read the full listing of LABOR BILLS click here
To read the full listing of RETIREMENT BILLS click here
To read the full listing of MISCELLANY BILLS click here