January 10, 2017
Honorable Daniel Innis, Chairman
Senate Commerce Committee
107 North Main Street
Concord, NH 03301
Re: Written Testimony in Opposition to Senate Bill 11
Dear Honorable Chairman Innis and Members of the Committee,
First, I would like to thank Senator Innis and the Committee for this opportunity to speak this afternoon. My name is Adam Marcoux, and I reside in Nashua with my wife, 2 children, and one due in April. I am a lifelong resident of Nashua, a product of the Nashua School District, and a graduate of Keene State College. I care deeply about the future of our state and do not want to see legislation that will negatively impact working families in NH.
I have been employed by the Nashua School District since 2008 where I was a first and fifth grade teacher. Since August 2016, I have served as President of the Nashua Teachers’ Union. I am here to speak against Senate Bill 11, an act prohibiting collective bargaining agreements that require employees to join or contribute to a labor union – a so-called Right to Work Act. I have read the bill and it is hard to understand what would make this good public policy or that it is addressing any problem that exists in our state. I can attest that agency fee has not been an issue in Nashua and we have no problems as a result of having this provision.
As President of the Nashua Teachers’ Union, I was elected to provide a service to the teachers, para-educators, secretaries, and food service workers of the Nashua School District. I am required, by law, to negotiate, in good faith, a contract for more than 1500 employees of all 4 bargaining units. I am required, by law, to represent an employee in disciplinary proceedings. I am required, by law, to represent and file grievances on behalf of employees. Like any other business or service, I charge a fee for said services in the form of Union dues, or for non-members, Agency fees.
Under Senate Bill 11, non-members would no longer have to pay Agency fees, but still be afforded the benefits of the negotiated contract and the protection of progressive discipline. No one is forced to be a member of any Union in the State of New Hampshire. However, just like I am charged a service fee to use the Everett Turnpike in the form of tolls, or just as I am charged property taxes for City and State services, or just as I am expected to pay the parking meter on Main Street to park my car, so should the people who benefit from the time and energy my Executive Board, Board of Directors, Negotiating Teams, and I put into negotiating contracts, filing grievances, and defending their rights.
I would ask that the Senate Commerce Committee reject this legislation. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Adam A. Marcoux
President, Nashua Teachers’ Union
American Federation of Teachers, Local 1044