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NEA-NH Recommends Beth Roth For Executive Council District 3

Concord, NH – Today, NEA-New Hampshire, the state’s largest public sector union, announced their recommendation of Beth Roth in the race for Executive Council District 3.

“Beth Roth has a long history of supporting public education,” said NEA-NH President Scott McGilvray. “Beth serves as an adjunct professor with the University Systems of New Hampshire and is a UNH alumni. Her background gives her a unique perspective on the wide range of issues facing students and their families, and we know Beth will be a tireless advocate for educators in New Hampshire”

“I am incredibly honored to receive the recommendation of NEA-NH,” said Roth. “I understand how important accessible and quality public education is for working families and communities, and the integral role educators play. As an Executive Councilor, I will support NH teachers and students to make sure all Granite Staters have the opportunity to receive a good education.”

A recommendation is the fullest and most complete level of support NEA-NH can give a candidate.

NEA-New Hampshire is the largest union of public employees in the state. Founded in 1854, the New Hampshire State Teachers Association became one of the “founding ten” state education associations that formed the National Education Association in 1857. Known today as NEA-NH, and comprised of more than 17,000 members, our mission to advocate for the children of New Hampshire and public school employees, and to promote lifelong learning, remains true after more than 150 years. Our members are public school employees in all stages of their careers, including classroom teachers and other certified professionals, staff and instructors at public higher education institutions, students preparing for a teaching career, education support personnel and those retired from the profession

NEA-NH Recommends Lee Nyquist In Senate District 9 Primary

CONCORD – Community leader, town moderator, and attorney Lee Nyquist received the recommendation of the National Education Association of New Hampshire (NEA-NH), New Hampshire’s largest public sector union. 

“Lee Nyquist knows first-hand how a high quality public education can change a student’s life for the better,” said Scott McGilvray, NEA-NH President. “That’s one of the many reasons why we are excited to recommend him. We know that as a state senator, Lee will work tirelessly to ensure that our educators and support staff have the resources they need to help every child reach their full potential.” 

“As the first in my family to attend a four year college, thanks in very large part to dedicated public school teachers, the recommendation of NEA-NH is an honor I am very grateful to have,” said Lee Nyquist. “As a state senator I look forward to working to build partnerships between school districts and employers for vocational training programs, continuing the tuition freeze in the UNH system, and to working to ensure that our educators and support staff have the resources they need to help so many children have brighter futures.” 

Nyquist and other candidates go through a vetting process that includes a education and labor questionnaire that is then reviewed by the Government Relations Committee. The committee is made up of  “teachers, education support professionals and retired members appointed by the NEA-NH president and approved by the Executive Board,” explained NEA-NH spokesman George Strout.  

A recommendation is the fullest and most complete level of support NEA-NH can give a candidate.  

“The process is designed to find out, face-to-face, where candidates stand on our issues, and then recommend to our members the candidate who the Committee believes would best serve our students, our members and public education.  The Committee does not look at issues beyond public education and public sector collective bargaining rights,” Strout added.

Nyquist is currently in a contested primary against businesswoman Jeanne Dietsch who recently made headlines on the NHLN for burning the AFP’s Right to Work Pledge.

The winner of the primary with then go on to face Senator Andy Sanborn who referred to raising the minimum wage as a “war on employers,” voted against the medicaid expansion and is a strong proponent of Right to Work legislation.

Jay Kahn Receives Two Big Education Endorsements In NH Senate District 10 Race

Jay KahnJay Kahn, Democratic candidate for the New Hampshire State Senate in District 10, is a higher education administrative professional for 43 years, 28 of them spent in the Monadnock region at Keene State College.  For that reason, he feels extra proud to announce his candidacy has earned the endorsement of the American Federation of Teachers-New Hampshire (AFT-NH) and the recommendation of the National Education Association of New Hampshire (NEA-NH).

The American Federation of Teachers-New Hampshire is the largest affiliate of NH AFL-CIO and represents a broad cross-section of teachers, paraprofessionals, police, public employees, and higher education faculty.  Like AFT on the national level, AFT-NH champions “fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for our students, their families and our communities.”

According to AFT-NH President Douglas Ley, Jay Kahn is the strongest candidate in the Democratic primary for State Senate District 10.  “Jay Kahn is the candidate best poised to carry forward the work of retiring Senator Molly Kelly, continuing her tradition of firm advocacy for working people and working families in New Hampshire.”

NEA-New Hampshire, the state’s largest public sector union, announced their recommendation of Jay Kahn for Senate District 10 today. A recommendation is the fullest and most complete level of support NEA-NH can give a candidate.

“I am honored to earn the recommendation of NEA-NH for the state senate seat in District 10.  Over my 43 years in higher education, I have dedicated myself to working with faculty and staff to transform the lives of students.  Now I pledge to stand together with NEA and businesses across the state to fortify the pipeline of qualified students into our NH workforce,” said Kahn.  “Retaining high school and college graduates in the state is crucial to our workforce and economic goals.  This includes retaining and attracting teachers and support staff, and giving them the support needed to inspire students and develop creative approaches to teaching and learning.” 

“We know Jay is looking out for students and families from his focus on creating more paid internships to encourage students to stay in NH, and a public higher education tuition freeze for two years, so prospective students can better budget,” said Scott McGilvray, NEA-NH President. 

NEA-New Hampshire Announces Recommendation of Hillary Clinton for President

Hillary Rodham Clinton addresses the representative assembly at the 154th Annual Meeting, 95th Representative Assembly at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center Tuesday July 5, 2016. (SCOTT ISKOWITZ/RA TODAY/ NEA Public Relations All Rights Reserved)

Hillary Rodham Clinton addresses the representative assembly at the 154th Annual Meeting, 95th Representative Assembly at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center Tuesday July 5, 2016. (IMAGE – SCOTT ISKOWITZ/RA TODAY/ NEA Public Relations — All Rights Reserved)

CONCORD – Following Hillary Clinton’s remarks to the more than 7,500 delegates at the National Education Association’s 95th Representative Assembly, NEA-New Hampshire, the state’s largest public sector union, announced their recommendation of Hillary Clinton for President.

“We are proud to join with educators from across the Granite State in recommending Hillary Clinton to be our next President and continue to work in partnership with her to create stronger public schools and a brighter future for the next generation of students,” said Scott McGilvray, President of NEA-New Hampshire  

“There is so much at stake this election for New Hampshire students and teachers. Donald Trump has continued to put forth reckless policies that would hurt so many students across our state, like eliminating the Department of Education–a move that would strip students with special needs of resources and protection, deprive schools in rural New Hampshire of funds, and eliminate the federal Pell Grant that makes college accessible for thousands of our graduates.”

“As President, Hillary will make sure that teachers are supported and heard at the highest levels of government. She has been a champion for our nation’s children her entire life and with her vision, we can ensure that every student in New Hampshire has the opportunity to succeed and every teacher has the tools he or she needs to make that success a reality.”

Hillary Clinton on Teachers

The National Education Association of NH Recommends Van Ostern For Governor

NEA-NH Button 201X201Today, the National Education Association-New Hampshire (NEA-NH), the state’s largest educator and public employee union, strongly recommended Colin Van Ostern for Governor of New Hampshire.

“Colin Van Ostern has a proven record that New Hampshire educators and families can trust,” said Megan Tuttle, NEA-NH Vice President and Pembroke teacher. “From working to lower tuition costs to championing full-day kindergarten, Colin Van Ostern is an advocate for educators and students, alike. As our next Governor, Colin will continue moving New Hampshire forward, so that everyone has a chance to succeed – not just those at the top.” 

“We’re honored to receive the endorsement of NEA-NH that represents 17,000 hardworking New Hampshire educators,” said Pat Devney, campaign manager for Colin Van Ostern. “As Governor, Colin will fight to lower tuition costs, expand full-day Kindergarten, and work to ensure that New Hampshire offers a world-class education. We must continue to move New Hampshire forward and we’re proud to earn the support of eight local labor unions in that effort.” 

Van Ostern has previous picked up the endorsement of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2320, and the Teamsters Union Local 633.

Many in the labor movement remember how as Executive Councilor, Van Ostern took a stand against Fairpoint Communications showing his support to the thousands of workers who were on strike.  Van Ostern blocked the renewal of Fairpoint’s multi-million dollar contract with the State of New Hampshire and refused to renew it until the strike was settled.

UNH Staff Begins Organizing Effort with NEA-NH

NEA - NH LogoCONCORD, NH, June 9, 2016: NEA-New Hampshire announced today that the University of New Hampshire Professional, Administrative, and Technical staff and Operating Staff are now in the process of organizing with NEA-NH under the guidelines of RSA 273-A.

7_unhlogo_web_hrEarlier this year, the staff at Keene State College voted to organize with NEA-NH into three associations; Keene State College Administrative Staff Association (KSCASA), Keene State College Staff Association (KSCSA), and the Keene State College Directors and Supervisors Association (KSCDSA).

“When employees organize to exercise their legal right to collectively bargain, they see better job security, working conditions, benefits, and increased democracy in the workplace as compared to non-organized employees in the same profession,” said Scott McGilvray, President of NEA-New Hampshire.  “We are excited and honored to have this opportunity to work with the hard-working and dedicated staff of this great university.”

“Organizing into a professional association gives us a voice. It guarantees we have a seat at the table as decisions that have a direct impact on the University campus we love so dearly are made.  It gives us the ability to stand up for the dignity of our colleagues and sustain the caring community we have at UNH,” said Monique Couillard, former UNH Operating Staff Council Chair.

“Our counterparts at Keene State College recently completed their organizing efforts, and we hope to obtain the same protections, representation and benefits that come from collective bargaining as they now enjoy,” continued Couillard.

For more than 150 years, NEA-NH has been a strong advocate for the children of New Hampshire and for public school employees.

“The fundamental questions are these:  Do we want an equal voice at UNH? Do we want a seat as equals at the decision-making table? Organizing would provide us that legally protected seat.  Our belief is that being organized will help to protect and improve the strength and integrity of our campus community,” said Penny Gould, Sr. Program Support Assistant and OS Council member. “I want to help give a voice to choice on our campus, and am looking forward to learning as much as I can about how a relationship with NEA-NH will benefit the UNH staff.”

Public School Champion, Carol Shea-Porter, Receives Endorsement From NEA-NH

Today, NEA-New Hampshire announced their recommendation of Carol Shea-Porter for the 1st Congressional District race.

Rochester, NH—NEA-NH, the largest public employee union in New Hampshire, representing 17,000 educators, has endorsed Carol Shea-Porter for re-election to Congress in New Hampshire’s First District.

“We’re supporting Shea-Porter because she is a tireless defender of public education,” said Scott McGilvray, NEA-New Hampshire President. 

“What matters now is that we elect leaders who will stand up for students, educators and working families. We need leaders who will support public education and public school students,” continued McGilvray. “We must elect leaders like Shea-Porter who share our vision for the future and who will help protect our right as working Americans to have a voice in our workplace. 

During her last term in office (2013-14), Shea-Porter advocated for the passage of the Strong Start for America’s Children Act and denounced the GOP budget cuts to the federal Head Start program.  

In 2013, Shea-Porter co-sponsored the REPAY Supplies Act,” that provides tax deductions to teacher who purchase supplies for their classrooms. The Classroom Expense Deduction allows teachers who pay out of their own pockets for classroom supplies like books, software, and rulers, to claim a $250 above-the-line deduction on their tax returns. The bipartisan Reimburse Educators who Pay for Academic Year (REPAY) Supplies Act of 2013 would have permanently extend the Classroom Expense Deduction. 

In 2014, Shea-Porter was recognized for her work advocating to children by the Campaign for Children, naming her a “2014 defender of children.

Every child in New Hampshire, from a Head Start toddler to a graduating high school senior, deserves a first-class education. In New Hampshire’s first district, we need a leader who will fight for public education. It is a top priority that we work together to support our teachers and students. That is why I am proud to have again earned the endorsement of NEA-New Hampshire,” said Shea-Porter.

NEA-NH Makes A Powerful Recommendation In District 2 Executive Council Race

NEA - NH Logo(CONCORD, NH) New Hampshire’s largest public employee union, the National Education Association of New Hampshire, just threw their weight behind Andru Volinsky in his campaign to for Executive Council.  

Founded in 1854, NEA-NH has grown to represent over 17,000 public employees throughout the state with one mission: “to advocate for the children of New Hampshire and public school employees, and to promote lifelong learning.”

NEA-New Hampshire’s President Scott McGilvary announced NEA-NH’s recommendation of Andru Volinsky in his run for the New Hampshire Executive Council in District Two, which includes Rochester, Dover, Concord, Keene, and a number of other New Hampshire communities.  

“Andru Volinsky has been supporting teachers and the interests of public education since the days of the Claremont School Funding Suit.  We are proud to stand with him in his race for the Executive Council,” said McGilvray

Volinsky was one of the three lawyers who represented the Claremont School District in their fight against the State for adequate school funding.  The Claremont decision forced the State to reevaluate how they disperse state funds to local schools and increased the stated contributions by over 8%.

WMUR reports that “[Volinsky] is currently representing the City of Dover in its lawsuit against the state contending that the cap on state adequacy money to school districts violates the state constitution.”

Mr. Volinsky, upon learning of the recommendation, said, “There are few greater honors than to be recognized by an organization you respect as much as I respect the NEA.  I shall cherish this recommendation.”

The NH Union Leader Attacks Manchester Teachers, NEA-NH Responds

250_mea45-150x150“LET US hear no more about underpaid Manchester teachers laboring without a contract.” So goes the opening statement of a recent Union Leader editorial. It goes on to admonish teachers for not willingly taking a pay cut while continuing to work as hard or harder than many would think possible. But as is often the case, whether it be in an editorial or an article, the paper skews facts in an effort to paint Manchester teachers as greedy and ungrateful when this isn’t the case.

The fact of the matter is that roughly one half of all Manchester teachers rely strictly on a cost of living adjustment (COLA) to increase their salary. Those on the schedule receive an agreed-to increase for the previous year’s service, plus the same COLA. Detractors say that this is a guaranteed raise for 14 years. It isn’t. It’s the mutual agreement made between the district and its teachers that allows for the district to slowly pay teachers what their years of schooling, training and credentialing warrant.

For those no longer receiving these steps, the proposed COLA does not meet the rate of inflation. The proposed COLA for this contract was 1 percent, while the threeyear average of the rate of inflation, on which our dastardly tax cap is based, equates to roughly 2.14 percent.

So right out of the gate teachers who have given their careers to the children and future of the city are increasing at less than half the average rate of inflation. This doesn’t even factor in the increase of insurance premiums, copays, prescriptions or deductibles.

The Union Leader likes to lump all of the numbers together. You see, it looks better for their contention that we’re sucking the city dry. We aren’t. The reality of the situation is that some plans call for a 7 percent premium, while another calls for a 14.5 percent premium. The end result of the four-year contract would have called for three different rates: 17.5 percent, 22.5 percent, or 25 percent, depending on the plan a teacher uses. About 60 percent of teachers who currently pay 7 percent would in four years pay 22.5 percent, more than tripling what they pay for their premium.

This is on top of paying four to five times more for a doctor’s visit, quadrupling ER visits, and doubling prescription costs. In the interest of full disclosure, that’s only one of our three major plans, the others have different issues and concerns, but this being the most widely used, it makes sense to focus on it.

Carrying this concept forward, a teacher on the top step of the schedule with a master’s degree would realize an increase of $674. Assuming they have a family and use the more popular plan, the increase in their insurance premium (including a one-year offset) would be $1,025.64. That’s a loss of $351, and they haven’t gone to the doctor, filled a prescription, or had an urgent care or ER visit. If their family of four averages one visit to the doctor a month, and one prescription a month, the total net loss is minimally $591. This is their thank you for dedicating their careers to the children and future of Manchester.

In year two, that same dedicated teacher would see a salary increase of $680 with an insurance increase of $1,500. Year two’s loss equals $819. Year three? They would finally see a gain, of roughly $323.73. And in year four that increase would be $88.13. Over the life of a four-year deal, that teacher would have seen an average yearly increase of $102.97 or one-tenth of a percent on their current salary. Is it greedy to think that we could do better for those who do nothing more than prepare the children of this city for their, and our, future? I don’t think it is.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and this picture shows that there is more to the issue than just glossed-over numbers. There isn’t a problem in this city that isn’t linked to the education of our children. Conversely, there isn’t a positive outcome in this city that isn’t linked to the education of our children. As the city continues to diminish the importance of education, we must ask what it means for our tomorrow. One need only read the recent report done by the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies to see the dangerous path we’re going down. Righting the ship requires making education a priority, and that begins with respecting our teachers.

Benjamin Dick is president of the Manchester Education Association and an English teacher at Memorial High School.

Linda Tanner A Real Candidate For Working Families

One of the goals of the NH Labor News is to help Granite Staters get to know the candidates who are running for office in New Hampshire. We focus on candidates who support working families, particularly those candidates who are working to rebuild the middle class and strengthen our rights as workers.

This week’s focus is on State Senate District 8 candidate Linda Tanner.

Linda Tanner NH Senate Candidate District 8
Background Information for Rep. Linda Tanner

Linda is longtime community activist, teacher, and coach. Linda has dedicated her entire life to helping others and improving her community. For over 30 years as a teacher and coach at Kearsarge Regional High School, Linda worked tirelessly to help her students succeed in and out of the classroom. During her career at Kearsarge, she served as a Department Chair, worked with the School to Work program and developed a state championship tennis program. She was honored by the NH Interscholastic Athletic Association for her years of service and elected to the NH Coaches Hall of Fame for Girls Tennis. She received her Bachelor of Science in Health Education from East Stroudsburg University and her Masters from Dartmouth College. In 2012 she was elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives from Sullivan County, District 9.

 

As a public school teacher, were you involved with your local union?

I was president of my local association, the Kearsarge Regional Education Association for three terms. I participated on many negotiation teams, worked with members on issues at the local level, and worked with management towards better working conditions. I am a lifetime member of the NEA NH and have their endorsement for this campaign.

 

As a former teacher, I am sure you have a lot to say about the current public education system. Can you give me two things you would like to see changed?  And are these changes that you can enact from the NH Senate?

Public education has been under attack by those who would privatize education, eliminate compulsory education, and eliminate teachers’ unions. I ran for my House seat because I wanted to stop these political maneuvers that were undermining what, I feel, is the most valuable institution for maintaining democracy.

I think there is a great deal we could do to promote and fund our public education system in New Hampshire. I definitely feel the move from the punitive No Child Left Behind to the Common Core is a move that will help students. The Common Core sets standards but does not dictate pedagogy, deals with progress instead of achievement or failure and is the right course towards improvement and consistency. Just like other programs, it needs to be tweaked and re-visited. I would like to see educators who are working in the schools as teachers have a larger input into programs and initiatives.

As a high school teacher, I worked with a school-to-work program for the average student to encourage them towards further education and give some basic instruction in job skills. I taught Health Occupations Co-op for several years. I feel this is a very valuable program that should be expanded to teach not only content but job skills such as being on time, being able to speak to people, shake hands, show respect for co-workers and your product.  Recently I visited the Job Corps Training facility in Vermont. We are currently building a facility in Manchester. This type of program, which targets low income youth, is vital to providing vocational training in a setting that also emphasizes those job skills. It gives an opportunity for young people to better their position and at the same time provide workers for key jobs in our State.

As a Senator I will work to help New Hampshire schools become a model system that supports innovation, is relevant to the world of work and careers, and maintains rigorous standards for all school children.

 

You are running for the NH Senate Seat in District 8 that is currently held by Sen. Bob Odell. In what ways are you similar or different from Sen. Odell?

I found my voting aligned in many areas with Senator Odell.  I voted to repeal the death penalty, expand Medicaid, and deal with the issues around the Medical Enhancement Tax. However, Senator Odell voted against returning the period for teachers to be fired without cause or hearing from 5 to 3 years, voted against medical marijuana, and voted for the repeal of automatic continuation requirement for public employees’ collective bargaining agreements. These are three examples of bills he opposed that I would have supported.

IMG_0067This Senate seat has been, under Senator Odell, a moderate vote in a 13 to 11 Republican majority. My election to the seat will balance the parties at 12 all, which would make a major shift – especially on Labor issues. Medicaid expansion has a clause that requires renewal during this next session. Both Republican candidates have stated that they will try to repeal the Medicaid expansion, fight ‘Obama Care,’ and make NH a ‘Right to Work State’ as a priority. If either of the candidates opposing me wins this seat: Medicaid will be repealed, leaving thousands without medical insurance; and ‘Right to Work” for less will be passed along with other legislation that will hurt working men and women.

 

The current minimum wage is $7.25 and the GOP-led legislature repealed the NH Minimum Wage law. What would you do as Senator to help push NH toward a real living wage? Last year, one proposal was to raise the state minimum wage over two years to $9.00/hour. Do you think $9.00 is the right number? Or do you think it should be $10.10 as the POTUS is pushing, or even higher? 

First, we need to reinstate a NH Minimum wage that was repealed under the Republican leadership of Speaker O’Brien. I served on the House Labor Committee in this past term. The bill that was introduced should be reintroduced in this next term. This bill offered modest increases over time and originally had a provision for further increases based on economic indicators. I think we need to have a bill that will pass both The House and Senate. I hope to be one of those Senators to move this piece of legislation forward.

Do you have any legislation that you would like to see or have ideas on proposing if you are elected?  

I want to defend against the so called ‘right to work’ bills. If those bills pass it will let non-union workers benefit from our hard work in negotiations without paying their fair share. It’s a union-busting tactic.

I want to ensure fairness in workers’ compensation laws for those hurt on the job – so if they can’t work, they will still be able to keep their homes and survive. At the same time, I want to see how we can reduce the rate for employers. I want to establish a minimum wage and increase it above the present $7.25 so everyone has the dignity of a decent wage. I want to protect workers from pay cards and title loans that are stripping away hard earned money with excessive fees and astronomical interest rates. I want to offer solutions for the current lack of affordable and accessible elderly and work force housing.

 

If you could pick one issue from your campaign to highlight, what issue would that be?  

I am a person who is running for this Senate seat not to be someone special or advance a radical agenda but to work on legislation that will help the working men and women of this State. I taught for 35 years in the NH public schools and over that time, you see the communities, the State, through the lives of your students. I know the successes, the struggles, and the heartbreaking issues many of our citizens face. I want to be their voice in the Legislature.

 

Why should the labor community support your campaign?  

I am a lifelong union member. As a teacher for 35 years and continuing through retirement, I have been a member of the National Education Association. During my years at Kearsarge Regional High School, I was President of my local for three terms. I served on many negotiations and collective bargaining teams working for high quality education, good working conditions, livable salaries and benefits.  I proudly served as a State Representative for Sullivan County and as a member of the House Labor Committee.  I have the experience, knowledge and the political will to help the working men and women our State.

 

What can people do to help your campaign?

I can’t win this election alone. The opposition is well-funded and as committed to winning this seat as we are. I need your help to win this election. I need your vote and I need you to talk with family, friends, co-workers and neighbors to urge them to vote for me. Also, with this large, rural district, we need funds for mailings, ads, and signs. Any amount you can send to us will help us get our message out.

Please see our website lindatanner.org for more information

 

 

 

 

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