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Jackie Cilley to address Professional Firefighters of New Hampshire at their 12th Biennial Convention

Jackie Cilley to address Professional Firefighters of New Hampshire at their 12th Biennial Convention

Convention in Concord will include representatives from across the state from 42 locals 

BARRINGTON – Jackie Cilley, Democratic candidate for Governor, is scheduled to address the Professional Firefighters of New Hampshire at its 12th Biennial Convention on Tuesday, May 8, at 11:30 a.m.

Considered one of the voices of public safety in Concord, the PFFNH is the state association of the International of Fire Fighters, AFL-CIO-CLC, and is comprised of 42 local unions representing firefighters and paramedics from across the state.

“The motto for this year’s convention – In Prosperity, Adversity, and the impossible: Fire Fighters Ready to Lead – really resonates with me, and I am honored to have been invited by the Professional Firefighters of New Hampshire to speak to their members,” said Cilley. “I’ve seen these brave men and women place the needs and safety of the citizens of New Hampshire ahead of their own interests and I have great respect for the work they do on our behalf day in and day out.

“When I say defending and promoting workers’ rights is why I am running, these are the people I am thinking about. These are the people who we rely on and who represent what works with government. They deserve our support, and as governor I promise to stand with them to ensure they are provided the protection they provide us.”

NH Lobby Day Against Right To Work April 4 and 5


Right to Work Senate Hearings – Your Help Needed

The worse-than-the-first right to work bill, HB 1677, has been scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Commerce Committee next week on Wednesday, April 4th. And Speaker O’Brien’s back-up right to work bill for state employees, HB 383, will be heard in the Senate’s Executive Departments and Administration Committee one day later, on Thursday.

This is your LAST CHANCE to speak out against these bills.  If you or your friends and neighbors want to make your voices heard, please come to our labor lobby day on Wednesday. We’ll be gathering at the America Votes office at 4 Park Street at 8 a.m.

Can’t make it during the day on Wednesday but still want to help out? We will be phonebanking members on Wednesday, asking them to talk to their Senators about  what these bills are and why they need to oppose them. Join us in our Hooksett office from 5 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday evening. For more information, please call Judy Stadtman at 479-7207 or the NH AFL-CIO at 623-7302.

Can’t come on Wednesday? We will be holding a second, smaller lobby day on Thursday. Same time, same place.

Our strength is our solidarity. Help us show the NH Senate a strong united labor movement!


Labor Lobby Day
Wednesday, April 4th, at 8 a.m.
4 Park Street, Concord

Labor Lobby Day
Thursday, April 5th, at 8 a.m.
4 Park Street, Concord

Good News Out Of Wisconsin, Makes A Better Case Against NH House Legislation

Yesterday, a Federal Judge in Wisconsin threw out sections of the Act 10 amendment that removed collective bargaining rights on the workers in Wisconsin.  While this was not a complete win for the workers, it does make a statement.

The court sided with state officials in upholding limitations on what can be bargained, but found the two other provisions violated the union members’ equal protection and First Amendment rights, considering that the same rules did not apply to unions for public safety workers such as police and firefighters. 

“So long as the State of Wisconsin continues to afford ordinary certification and dues deductions to mandatory public safety unions with sweeping bargaining rights, there is no rational basis to deny those rights to voluntary general unions with severely restricted bargaining rights,” wrote U.S. District Judge William M. Conley.”

What they did say is that you cannot say one union is different from another.  If you say that Public Safety Unions have rights to bargain, then all Unions have the right to bargain.  They did however say that the State maintained the right to limit what could be bargained. Therefor unions will not be able to bargain over pay.

Peg Lautenschlager, the attorney for the Wisconsin State Employees Union, called the decision a “great victory” for her client.  

“Obviously, we’re thrilled,” Lautenschlager said. “The collective bargaining part is a disappointment. But the notion that a federal judge has said to Scott Walker that he’s gone too far on this law is fabulous.”

Peg is right! This is a reason to celebrate.  The courts have stated that Governor Walker went to far.  This could also has implications in other states as well.  What does this mean to current legislation being pushed in the New Hampshire House?

However, Conley found that the two other changes – annual recertification and the ban on automatic dues deduction – violated the First Amendment rights of the affected workers. 

“The court would be remiss not to at least note the likely burden the annual recertification process imposes on the members’ speech and association rights,” he wrote.

This statement alone could mean that if the NH House passes HB1645 it is likely that it would be overturned in a court of law.  HB 1645 includes provisions similar to Act 10 that mandate a de-certification vote initiated by the employer.  With significate and recent federal case law to back it up the argument could here in NH that HB 1645 is unconstitutional.

Do we  really want to spend more of New Hampshire’s valuable time and resources to fight this battle in court.  I think the State Legislature should look at this recent ruling and what it would mean to the current batch of collective bargaining laws amendments.  It would be in the best interest of the State and the Taxpayers of New Hampshire to reject these laws now.  The ball is in your court NH Senate!

Full Article

The IBEW Needs Your Help To Stop The NH House From Forcing 186 Workers Out Of Their Jobs


Over the last year we here at the NH Labor News have followed many pieces of legislation in Concord. We have talked a little about HB 1238 and what it would mean to the people who work for PSNH. Today, the NH AFL-CIO and the IBEW have come together to oppose HB 1238. This bill threatens the jobs of over 150 hard working IBEW members and their families. I am passing along this message and a call for action. We need you to call your legislators and tell them to oppose this bill. Remind them that they were elected to create new jobs, not to destroy the jobs we currently have.

From the IBEW 1837:
PSNH Generation Facilities Threatened by House Bill 1238

March 26, 2012 – This Wednesday, March 28, the New Hampshire House of Representatives is expected to vote on a bill that may be devastating to many members of IBEW 1837 and to the union itself.

IBEW Local 1837 is in complete agreement with PSNH in their opposition to House Bill 1238, a bill that could affect 186 jobs for our union members at generation facilities owned by the Company. These are good-paying union jobs, and many other non-union positions could also be impacted.

House Bill 1238 could force PSNH to sell off or retire PSNH fossil, hydro, or biomass generation assets. This amended bill would have far-reaching consequences for the entire state, and could impact the ability for PSNH to provide cost-effective electricity to New Hampshire electricity customers. Some of these facilities could be sold to foreign companies and others might be shut down altogether. You can read the amendment to HB 1238 by clicking here.

IBEW 1837 members are being urged to call their State Representatives immediately to urge them to vote NO on House Bill 1238. Below are talking points they can use to help discuss the issue with them. You don’t have to be an expert on energy policy to let your elected representatives know that you oppose this bill. It’s bad for working families and bad for New Hampshire.

You can find your legislators and how to contact them by clicking here.

Today, the New Hampshire AFL-CIO officially came out in opposition to the bill. State AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie recognized that this is really a discussion about jobs.

“While House Bill 1238 will do nothing to lower electric rates and may actually cause them to increase, it puts at risk hundreds of good-paying jobs at generation facilities throughout the state and could have a devastating ripple effect on jobs in the surrounding communities,” said President MacKenzie.

“Working families in New Hampshire need the support of their elected representatives in Concord. House Bill 1238 continues the unfortunate trend of many elected officials doing exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time for our state’s workers,” MacKenzie continued. “I urge legislators on both sides of the aisle to reject House Bill 1238.”

You can find your legislators and how to contact them by clicking here.

Hampton Area District Meeting Monday 3/26

District Meeting with Sen. Stiles
Monday, March 26th 5:00 PM
Winnacunnet High School
1 Alumni Drive
Hampton, NH

Laws have been proposed in the NH Legislature to weaken collective bargaining and make NH a “Right to Work” state. Please join your brothers and sisters in the labor movement and other concerned members of the community to discuss this proposed legislation.
Call NH AFL-CIO to RSVP: 623-7302

Senator Stiles is a key vote in the NH State Senate. Please take a few minutes to call and ask her to please
vote against any and all Right to Work bills and stand with NH’s Middle Class families in the New Hampshire State Senate. Call her at: 271-3093

A few reminders for this week…

I wanted to give you all a reminder of some of the actions going on in NH this week.  As many of you are probably already aware the New Hampshire labor unions and Protect New Hampshire Families are hosting a lobby day(s) Tomorrow Wed. March 7th from 8:30-5 and Thursday March 8th 8:30-5.  We are gathering at the State House to protest the passage of many anti-worker bills.

For example
HB1677 a modified Right To Work bill
HB1645 which will lead to Employer-led decertification voting
HB1206 which cancels any contract if a new contract is not reached prior to expiration
HB1663 which would take away exclusive bargaining rights for public workers

HB1237 which creates more interference between the State Legislature and Employee/Employer negotiations.

Please join us in our fight against these bills.  We will not be the only people at the State House on Wed/Thurs.  A very concerned group of women’s rights activists will also be at there.  They are fighting against the bill that would allow businesses to forbid paying for contraceptives under their insurance plan. A similar amendment was refused in the US Senate last week.

Also there are many school districts that will be voting on local school district contracts in the coming weeks.  AFT-NH has eight in the next two weeks.
Henniker Community School Support Staff, AFT Local #6314 AFT-NH, AFL-CIO Wednesday, March 7th
Campton Educational Support Staff Association, AFT Local #6004, AFT-NH, AFL-CIO 
Thursday, March 8th
Hillsborough Town Employees, AFT Local #3912, AFT-NH, AFL-CIO  (*New Local-1st Contract!) Tuesday, March 13th
Farmington School Custodians, AFT Local #6212,  AFT-NH, AFL-CIO  Tuesday, March 13th
Hudson School Secretaries, AFT Local #6260, AFT-NH, AFL-CIO 
Tuesday, March 13th
Oyster River Paraprofessionals and Support Staff, AFT Local #6213,  AFT-NH, AFL-CIO (Durham, Lee and Madbury) Tuesday March 13th
Timberlane Teachers’ Association, AFT Local #4796, AFT-NH, AFL-CIO 
Tuesday, March 13th (Atkinson, Danville, Plaistow and Sandown)
Pittsfield Town Employees, AFT Local #6214, AFT-NH, AFL-CIO Saturday, March 17th
Barnstead Education Support Staff Team, AFT Local #6332, AFT-NH, AFL-CIO

The NEA also hase many contracts coming up over the next few weeks
Allenstown — 3/13/2012
Andover — 3/5/2012
Bow — 3/16/2012
Chichester — 3/10/2012
Deerfield — 3/13/2012
Dunbarton — 3/10/2012
Epsom — 3/13/2012
Henniker — 3/7/2012
Hopkinton — 3/17/2012
John Stark — 3/13/2012
Kearsarge — 3/13/2012
Merrimack Valley — 3/8/2012
Pembroke — 3/10/2012
Shaker Regional — 3/9/2012
Weare — 3/13/2012

The State Employees are also voting on contracts

Ashland — Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Meredith — Wednesday, March 14, 2012 Town Meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. at Inter-Lakes High School.
Salem — Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Seabrook — Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Message from NH AFL-CIO: In Jam-Packed Week in NH House, Jobs Agenda Conspicuously Absent

 In Jam-Packed Week in NH House, Jobs Agenda Conspicuously Absent

Proving once again that the Republican leadership’s “jobs agenda” is just talk and no action, the New Hampshire House is set to vote on dozens of bills this week that are all about Tea Party-fueled attacks on New Hampshire families. Bills set to be heard this week include a new “Right to Work” for less bill, cutting Medicaid for New Hampshire’s poorest and restricting access to birth control, while bills to put Granite Staters back to work are conspicuously absent from the docket.

Attacks on workers. The House is voting on over a dozen anti-worker bills this week, including a reincarnation of last year’s right-to-work bill. Below is a list of the bills that are expected to be voted on next week:

  • HB 1677, a new “Right to Work” bill nearly identical to the “Right to Work” bill that failed in the House last year
  • HB 1645, a bill that once allows employer-led decertification of public unions
  • HB 1206: a bill that throws out provisions of collective bargaining agreements at the end of a contract if a new contract has not yet been reached, making it harder for workers and management to come to agreement through the bargaining process
  • HB 1663, a bill that strips the requirement for a union to be the exclusive representative of a bargaining unit out of the collective bargaining law
  • HB 1237: a bill that imposes oversight from the House and Senate on the collective bargaining process between the state and its employees

Dismantling voting rights. Speaker O’Brien failed to override a veto of his voter ID law last year, so he and his allies have come up with a new plan. The new bill does not fix any existing problems and further complicates and confuses the process for voters.

Attacks on healthcare. The House leadership is pushing for a law to cut off $1.4 billion in funding to hospitals, clinics, and doctors that perform elective abortions – at the expense of thousands of poor, disadvantaged, elderly or disabled citizens who rely on Medicaid. Legislators will also vote on a bill to repeal the law guaranteeing New Hampshire families access to contraception. Is Speaker O’Brien so intent on pushing his right-wing agenda that he is willing to cut healthcare for women, the poor and disabled to get his way?

The House leadership’s Tea Party-fueled social agenda comes at a time when a plurality of voters say that jobs and the economy are the most important problems facing the state.  A February 2012 poll shows that 51% of independent and GOP voters oppose the GOP’s social agenda, while a majority (64%) of likely voters believe that right-to-work and other attacks on collective bargaining should not be a priority of the Legislature.

Anger Blogger Ahead! Labor Committee Moves More Anti-Worker Legislation to the House

Warning Angry Blogger Ahead!!!

I can barely put into words my disgust for the NH Labor Committee today. Yesterday the NH House Labor Committee voted 12-5, “ought to pass” on a slew of obviously anti-union legislation.  With the exception of Herbert Richardson (R- Lancaster) the committee voted right down party lines. I have talked about most of these bills in great detail since they were introduced.

These were the bills voted out of committee included (from NH AFL-CIO PR):

  • HB 1677: a new right-to-work for less bill similar to last year’s bill (Vote 11-6, 4 Dems, Rep. Richardson and Rep. Sullivan R-Hampton)
  • HB 1685: a second right-to-work bill that is a backup in case HB 1677 fails
  • HB 1645: a bill that once repealed collective bargaining rights for teachers, firefighters and other public workers; was stripped and amended in committee to allow employers to lead decertifications of public unions
  • HB 1663: a bill that strips the requirement for a union to be the exclusive representative of a bargaining unit out of the collective bargaining law
  • HB 1237: a bill that gives the Legislature veto power over state and municipal employee contracts
  • HB 1206: a bill that prohibits automatic payroll deduction of union dues, but was stripped and amended to split increases in health insurance 50-50 between employers and employees if a contract expires
I even spoke to some of the people on the Labor Committee the other night at a town meeting.  One of them told me that the Committee was doing what WE (unions) wanted.  WHAT? Are you kidding me?  He explained to me that last year they tried to pass Right To Work and the unions said it was “unfair to have freeloaders”.  He continued to tell me that “now we are going make it so you do not have to cover them, and the unions complained about that”.   He honestly believed that bills like Right To Work and Exclusive Bargaining are going to INCREASE union membership.  He told me that he is trying to help the unions.  I wanted to scream (Expletives Deleted)!!!

What is the purpose of these bills? After 30+ years does the Labor Committee want to dismantle labor in NH?  Has something changed in the collective bargaining process that would warrant these actions?  YES, and it is not from NH.  PAC’s like Americans for Prosperity (Koch brothers) and other TEA Party organizations are pushing to get all of these bills through.  They use other organizations like ALEC to write the bills (example).  It is just another example of these Anti-Union, Anti-Worker, and Anti-Middle Class republicans pushing their Anti-Union ideologies on the rest of us in NH.

Tell them how you feel about their decision to move forward with these bills.  Email them at NH Labor Committee.  Tell them how disgusted you are that they would do this.  While you are there be sure to thank the five people who voted to kill these bills: Jeffrey Goley (d) Charles Weed (d) Chip Rice (d) Andrew White (d) and Herbert Richardson (r)!  Thank them for standing up to the TEA Party leaders in the house and working to protected the rights of the working class from the extreme “Right”.

Statement from the NH AFL-CIO: NH HOUSE LABOR COMMITTEE PASSES WAVE OF UNION-BUSTING BILLS

For immediate release
Contact: Nora Frederickson, New Hampshire AFL-CIO, 603-785-4211
NH House Labor Committee passes wave of union-busting bills
As even Republican and independent voters turn away from Republican agenda, House leadership advances pledge to dismantle NH’s collective bargaining rights law
At a time when the Tea Party-driven Republican agenda in Concord is more unpopular than ever with voters on both sides of the aisle, Chairman Gary Daniels and his allies on the House Labor Committee have ramped up their attacks on working people. In a work session yesterday, the House Labor Committee took another step towards dismantling New Hampshire’s collective bargaining rights law by voting no fewer than five anti-worker bills ‘ought to pass’. 
The work session was complicated by the fact that amendments totally altering the nature of two of the bills were added just prior to the session, forcing legislators to assess them in committee.
The bills voted out of committee included:
  • HB 1677: a new right-to-work for less bill similar to last year’s bill
  • HB 1685: a second right-to-work bill that is a backup in case HB 1677 fails
  • HB 1645: a bill that once repealed collective bargaining rights for teachers, firefighters and other public workers; was stripped and amended in committee to allow employers to lead decertifications of public unions
  • HB 1663: a bill that strips the requirement for a union to be the exclusive representative of a bargaining unit out of the collective bargaining law
  • HB 1237: a bill that gives the Legislature veto power over state and municipal employee contracts
  • HB 1206: a bill that prohibits automatic payroll deduction of union dues, but was stripped and amended to split increases in health insurance 50-50 between employers and employees if a contract expires
“Instead of moving on after last year’s divisive fight over right-to-work for less, the House leadership and members of this committee voted yesterday to neuter New Hampshire’s collective bargaining rights law,” said Mark MacKenzie, president of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO. “Chairman Daniels has admitted that his plan is to throw this handful of bills to the wall and see what sticks. Clearly, they have not listened to the thousands of working men and women in New Hampshire who have pleaded with them to stop attacking workers and move on to fixing the economy and creating jobs.”
The House Committee’s vote comes at a time when the Tea Party-driven Republican agenda in Concord is increasingly unpopular with voters on both sides of the aisle. Over half of New Hampshire voters oppose bills to eliminate or alter the collective bargaining rights law. According to a poll from the Beneson Strategy Group. Since November, Democrats or pro-labor Republicans have won five of five special House elections, indicating that voters will take their frustrations with the Tea Party-driven Republican leadership with them to the polls in November.
###

Right To Work (HB1677) Public Hearing from Earlier Today.

Well today was the big Right to Work hearing.  This is what I found out about todays events.  The Professional Firefighters of NH once again showed up with a number of members, along with American Federation of Teachers, State Employees (SEA/SEIU).  There was also a big showing from the private industry unions in NH like Communication Workers of America, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and United Steel Workers.

As we have said on numerous occasions Right To Work is a union busting bill.  It is ment to divide the workforce and put members and non-mombers against each other.  Since everyone by now knows the basics of the bill HB1677 since all the RTW Laws are pretty much the same.  The difference in this one is that if you are not a member of the union, the union does not represent you either.  This is essentially two bills combined into one, a RTW bill (HB383) and an Exclusive Representation bill (HB1570).

As the Sponsor of the Bill Rep Smith was one of the first to speak on the bill.  He started right off by saying that this bill will hold the “Union Bosses Accountable”.   He then goes on to say that “HB1677 is a Pro-Union Bill”,  immense laughter erupted from the mostly union audience.

As in previous hearings and votes on Right To Work, the major republican party members got up to speak for the bill.  In previous sessions, GOP Candidates were allowed to speak to the NH House all who opposed RTW.  Today candidates for NH Governor, Ovide Lamontagne spoke for Right To Work.  However Mr Lamontagne did not know if Right To Work would bring more jobs to New Hampshire.  This has been one of the key “talking points” for the GOP Leadership in previous sessions.  It was also asked if as “if as a lawyer, Lamontagne was a member of the NH Bar Association (also a union)? Also candidate for Governor Kevin Smith also spoke essentially the same points as others.  He stated that is about “freedom of choice”.

Then began the parade of union members, leaders, Democrat legislators, and faith organizations, who spoke against the bill.  PFF-NH President Dave Lang got right up and said boldly “I am a union boss, and a taxpayer.” He went on to say that bringing this bill up again is not the NH way. Rep Marjorie Porter tell the committee “this is just a union busting bill” and an “unnecessary intrusion in our tradition of local control”.  Rev. Gail Kinney spoke next and gave her testimony in “prayer” form.  She reminded the committee that “Workers rights are human rights, you are either for or against those rights”.  A Steelworker got up and asked the committee, “are we trying to become the Alabama or Mississippi of the Northeast?”

NH AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie was next to speak.  He used economic data to oppose RTW. “New Hampshire has lower poverty levels, higher graduation rates and higher wages that RTW States”.  He talked about programs like NAFTA making Right To Work programs useless. He said “We are competing with China not Massachusetts”.

While the testimony raged on for quite a while I think you get the point.  The majority of the people who testified overwhelmingly opposed RTW in any form.

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