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INZANE Times Post “Right to Work” bill put into limbo by NH Senate


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This is a new post from our friend and ally against Right To Work, Arnie Alpert and his blog the InZaneTimes.




“Right to Work” bill put into limbo by NH Senate
by aalpert

This year’s drama over proposed Right-to-Work legislation hit a climax today when the Senate voted to table HB 1677, the latest version of this anti-labor proposal that has been kicking around the State House for decades.

This was not the defeat we would have preferred, but as NH AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie said at an impromptu rally on the State House steps, it’s a “step in the right direction.”

HB 1677 was the third bill on the Senate agenda this morning. As soon as it came up, Senator Jim Forsythe moved to table it. The non-debatable motion was quickly approved on a voice vote, with no apparent dissent. Dozens of labor activists in the Senate Gallery seemed a little stunned by how quickly it had happened.

HB 1677 can be removed from “the table” and put back on the Senate agenda any time by a majority vote, but this bad idea seems to be dead for the year. Unlike their House colleagues, Senate Republicans apparently decided there was not point in waging a losing battle since their prospects for over-riding a promised veto were slim.

“Hopefully, we won’t see 1677 again,” MacKenzie said .

The message of today’s vote is that the attack on the rights of workers “will not stand in the state of New Hampshire,” said the Rev. Gail Kinney.

Still alive in the Senate is HB 383, a version of “right to work” that applies only to state employees. This one should meet a similar fate.



Original Post
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AFT-NH–BREAKING NEWS–February 21ST, 2012–Outrageous!

AFT-NH
BREAKING NEWS
February 21ST, 2012
Outrageous!

Dear AFT-NH Member,

The House Labor Committee just concluded their work for the day and they have taken the next big step towards dismantling unions in NH.

It was clear by the Committee’s action that out of state interests such as the National Right to Work Committee and ALEC (Koch brothers sponsored group) are replacing the voice of the NH voters. The attack on the middle class continues. The Committee is AGAIN recommending passage of Right to Work “for less” and also gutting public sector bargaining.

The theme of the day was last minute amendments not available to those in attendance, no public hearing on some of these amendments and a complete lack of regard for the hundreds of people who have appeared in opposition to these bills since the beginning of this session! They do not care what NH voters think!

In a nutshell, the Labor Committee has recommended Ought to Pass on the following bills:

•    HB 1206, new title: relative to continuing obligations under expired public employee labor agreements. The Daniels amendment would require public employees to pay 50% of any increase in health and other insurance costs if the union contract expires. However, there was an amendment which may require the employee to pay more than this. The amendment was not made available and we will provide details as soon as we get the amendment.  Vote 12-5 (4 Dems and Rep. Richardson voting no)

•    HB 1685-FN-L, relative to collective bargaining under the public employee labor relations statutes. No one has been able to see the Rep. Shawn Jasper amendment but Sections 1 and 2 would only take effect if HB 1677 does not become law. This appears to create different classes of agency fee employees and also exclude positions from the bargaining unit if no one in that classification is a member. More to come as we see the amendment. Vote 12-5 (4 Dems and Rep. Richardson voting no)

•    HB 1645-FN, prohibiting all public employees from participating in collective bargaining.  Amendment voted upon. Not a full repeal but must see details of bill. Based on the discussion it appears that if membership in a local falls below 50% the employer can ask for an election to decertify the union. The amendment has not been made available so more to come as we see the amendment and other details. Vote 12-5 (4 Dems and Rep. Richardson)

•    HB 1663, (Right to Work “for less” for Public Employees and Exclusive Representation): relative to payment of union fees by non-members.  Interim Study 12-5 (4 Dems and Rep. Richardson)

•    HB 1677 (Right to Work “for less” for Public Employees and Exclusive Representation): relative to choice as to whether to join a labor union and eliminating the duty of a public employee labor organization to represent employees who elect not to join or to pay dues or fees to the employee organization. This would divide the local and employees could negotiate individually. Non-members not entitled to any union rights. Promotes nepotism, favoritism and chaos in the workplace. Vote 11-6 (4 Dems, Rep. Richardson and Rep. Sullivan)

Committee will be Voting on 2/22/12 around noon

•    HB 1163, (amendment) new title: relative to disclosure of collective bargaining agency fees.

•    HB 1163, (original bill) relative to the withholding union dues from wages, this bill would make it illegal for the employer to withhold voluntary union dues.


These bills are recommended Inexpedient to Legislate (defeat):

•    HB 1427, relative to declaring that private contracting of governmental operations shall not be deemed an unfair labor practice,

•    HB 1570, relative to the duty of a public employee labor organization to represent employees who elect not to join or to pay dues or fees to the employee organization. [Note-Covered by other bills above.]

I will send out a complete update and recommended actions once we see the actual amendments.

But make no mistake about it
, the Committee’s actions today indicate they have no respect for your collective bargaining rights. This is outrageous.

These bills will move to the full house and we will send you updated messaging to send to your reps but that may not be enough. We will need members to CALL their state representatives and tell them enough! We can win this fight if we stick together.

For breaking news and updates,  please visit AFT-NH on FACEBOOK and click LIKE US!* Spread the word to all of your Facebook friends. This allows us to provide our members with real time updates and spread the word to community members.*Type in AFT New Hampshire to find us! You can also sign up for “GET-ACTIVE” updates by visiting  www.aft-nh.org  and click on the link on the left –”AFT-NH GET ACTIVE–sign up”.

In Solidarity,

Laura Hainey
AFT-NH President


 “Fighting For Our Future”
www.aft-nh.org

Have you visited the AFT-NH Facebook page and clicked “Like Us”? Please do so today!

Late breaking news appears on Facebook!

Coming in January 2012: The Next Big Battle to Defend the Middle Class

A Message from Protect NH Families:

As 2011 comes to a close, we are grateful for your support in
our year-long battle to prevent New Hampshire from becoming the
next so-called “right to work” state. We urge you to continue to
stand with us as we fight back against the next round of
reckless, politically-motivated attacks on Granite State
workers, families, and small business.Lobby Days

Here’s a sample of the working-family-unfriendly proposals we’ll
be fighting in the 2012 legislative session:

* HB383 – a bill retained in 2011 as a back-up in case the House Leadership failed to get enough votes to override the Governor’s veto of HB474, the so-called “right to work” bill. HB383 is a version of RTW that weakens collective bargaining rights for state employees, but can be amended to affect a larger pool of Granite State workers and may be called for a House floor vote as early as January 4.

Also up for consideration:

* A bill that would remove affordable health insurance coverage from benefits negotiated in collective bargaining agreements.

* A bill that would revoke collective bargaining rights for all public sector workers.

* Several bills that would undermine the retirement security of state an local public employees.

Not one of these legislative proposals will increase work opportunities or job security for New Hampshire’s hard-pressed middle class, or reduce the number of Granite State working families falling into poverty or near-poverty. Not one of these proposals will improve the state’s economic or employment outlook, short or long term. Not one of these proposals will make our communities safer and healthier, or ensure that our children receive the high-quality education they need to succeed in the 21st Century job market.

Please join us in taking a stand to defend New Hampshire’s middle class in 2012. The two-day kick-off for our Citizen Lobby Days actions will be on January 4 & 5.

We also invite you to join Protect NH Families, our labor partners, and community allies for an interfaith service with Reverend Paul Sherry, D.C. Public Policy Director of the Interfaith Worker Justice organization, on Thursday, January 12 (4:00 PM). The service will center on how the moral teachings of multiple faith traditions impel us to be instruments of economic and worker justice in our own communities and beyond. The service, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Concord, is welcoming to people of all faiths and those with no specific faith tradition. Details for the January 4 & 5 lobby days and the January 12 interfaith service are listed below.

Yours in solidarity,

The Protect NH Families Team
info@protectnhfamilies.org

—————————————–
Wednesday, January 4, 2012 – 8:00am – 4:00pm
Citizen Lobby Day to Defend the Middle Class: 2012 Kick-off, Day One
State House, Concord
Coffee & Check in from 8:00-8:30am
America Votes Office, 4 Park Street, Room 302
Contact: Judy Stadtman, jstadtman@nhaflcio.org
Sign Up on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/events/156539551115070/

—————————————–
Thursday, January 5, 2012 – 8:00am – 4:00pm
Citizen Lobby Day to Defend the Middle Class: 2012 Kick-off, Day Two
State House, Concord
Coffee & Check in from 8:00-8:30am
America Votes Office, 4 Park Street, Room 302
Contact: Judy Stadtman, jstadtman@nhaflcio.org
Sign Up on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/301992096508702/

Join Protect NH Families supporters and our community and labor
allies for our Citizen Lobby day for the first 2012 House
session days on January 4 &5.

—————————————–
Thursday, January 12, 2012 – 4:00pm
Interfaith Service with Rev. Paul Sherry of Interfaith Worker Justice
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
21 Centre Street, Concord
Open to all.
For more information, email economicjustice.nhcucc@gmail.com

In an interfaith service open to people of all faiths (or no
specific faith tradition), Rev. Paul Sherry will deliver a
message about how the moral teachings of multiple faith
traditions impel us to be instruments of economic and worker
justice in our own communities and beyond.

Concord Fact Check uses Hyper-Partisan Rhetoric to Tuition Hikes Caused by This Years Budget Cuts

Once again Concord Fact Check (CFC)  has spun the truth into a partisan attack on local politicians.  In a new “Fact Check”, or as I like to refer to it as “Propaganda Pushing Machine”, the took on the issue of student debt.  Their post is called: Student Debt, Education Cuts Result of Prior Legislature, Fiscal Mismanagement.  The title alone tells you that they are blaming the Democratic controlled Legislature for the students in New Hampshire being ranked highest in student loans and tuition costs for public universities.

The CFC’s entire post is in response to a letter to the editor from Peggy Gilmor of Hollis, in which she stated:

“Unfortunately, our state Legislature does not share this vision. A new report from The Project on Student Debt places New Hampshire first in the nation in student debt – not a first we want. And this report uses data before the recent tuition hikes as a result of legislative cuts (8)”.

To credit CFC they were right when they said: “The study Sen. Gilmour refers to looks at student loan debt of the 2010 graduating class“.  In a recent article in the Union Leader, it was announced that college students in New Hampshire rank #1 in student loan debt after graduation.  They looked at students graduating and what they owed in student loans.  CFC is right that some of those debts could be due to costs raised by the previous Legislature, however the article goes on to what is going to happen after this years budget cuts. The Union Leader continues by saying, “The report comes as students face further tuition hikes and reductions in financial aid due to budget cuts enacted this year (5).”

 It is a fact that: “Over the past six years, the university’s tuition has risen 35 percent (3)”.  That is an average of just under 6% per year.  While these are still noticeable increases the dramatic cuts to our state universities did not come until 2011. “In terms of percentage, the most dramatic cuts came in New Hampshire, where lawmakers almost halved state appropriations for the University of New Hampshire system (4)”.  That is right HALF of what their previous budgets were.  They were receiving appropriations of about $100 million dollars per year from the state.  This year they received $52 million! While other states were making cuts to their school systems as well, New Hampshire once again lead the Nation: “In a ranking of declines in state funding for public higher education from 2011 to 2012, New Hampshire led all other states with a 48 percent drop, according to report released this summer by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (5)”.  Another milestone we do not want.

The Vice President of Finance David Proulx,  explained a little of what the University of NH was doing in response to the 48% budget cut.

“70 percent of the money to repair the deficit was made from reducing expenses through salary freezes for employees, the elimination of 150 jobs, a hiring freeze, a separation incentive program, and reductions in employee benefits. Another 15 percent was achieved using savings we had built up and the remaining 15 percent was funded from New Hampshire student tuition increases, which was a last resort but necessary to balance the budget (3).”

Thats right a 12% tuition hike on top of removing over 150 jobs.  This means the average student at UNH pays “$24,702” for instate tuition and room and board according to the UNH website (6).  Some people like Speaker Bill O’Brien praised the drastic cuts to UNH system; “House Speaker William O’Brien defended the budget cuts, stressing that excessive public funding and subsidized financial aid helped perpetuate high tuition levels (5)”.  While many including the Governor opposed these cuts. Colin Manning a spokesperson for the Governor’s office said; “We need a well-educated workforce to succeed in the future. That’s why he opposed the cutting the budget for the university system by about 50 percent (5).”

It is ridiculous to think that the current Legislature had nothing to do with the tuition increase on the students who attend the UNH system.  These are real Granite State Families. Hard working families who are trying to ensure their children get a good education at a school that is economical and still close to home.  David Proulx said it best when he said: “To suggest the state funding reduction does not impact New Hampshire families is very wrong (7)”.   After evaluating the real “FACTS”, CFC is Wrong to blame their massive budget cuts on former Legislatures.  If you are going to cut the UNH budget in half, then you have to stand by that “Fact” when people blame you for raising tuition! To quote CFC, “This is an unfortunate example of hyper-partisan rhetoric…. (1)”


Reference links:
1) http://concordfactcheck.com/fact-check-student-debt-education-cuts-result-of-prior-legislature-fiscal-mismanagement
2) http://www.unionleader.com/article/20111108/NEWS04/711089979
3) http://www.tnhonline.com/news/rising-tuition-due-to-slashed-budget-affects-entire-unh-community-1.2613055#.TuS_DnNoSJw
4)http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/07/01/state_budgets_for_public_colleges_could_have_been_worse
5) http://www.unionleader.com/article/20111108/NEWS04/711089979
6) http://admissions.unh.edu/tuitionfees/
7) http://www.concordmonitor.com/article/266253/state-cuts-will-hurt-students-families?CSAuthResp=1323613775%3A2654894cp9ehup42ds63pnf190%3ACSUserId%7CCSGroupId%3Aapproved%3AA78F7296785284EE933EA0C6FAC8E5C8&CSUserId=94&CSGroupId=1
8) http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/opinionletters/940173-263/legislature-failing-to-invest-in-future.html


If you would like more information about Concord Fact Check and the House Republican Party Pac that funds CFC, go hereConcord Fact Check is Truly Full of Lies 

NH Day of Action for the Unemployed….

Photo By Nora Fredrickson
Photo by Nora Fredrickson

Earlier today local Faith Leaders and unemployed workers came together to petition Rep Charlie Bass to vote to extend the Unemployment Insurance Program.  A program that will help hundreds of Granite Staters and pushes more money into the local economy.  Below is a short video from the Protect NH Families you tube account, that show a little about what I am talking about.

For more information about Unemployment Insurance and what it means for New Hampshire read our previous post;
Do You Have Two Minutes to Save 6 Million Workers???

Day of Action for Jobs and the Unemployed: Manchester

Day of Action for Jobs and the Unemployed: Manchester:
New Hampshire has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation (5.3 percent), but over 9 percent of Granite State workers between the ages of 20-24 are without jobs and and many more face employment insecurity as a fact of today’s economic life. Join us on December 8 and urge members of Congress to extend unemployment insurance benefits for jobless workers and families and get serious about creating good jobs.

Event Created by Protect NH Families

When: Thursday, December 8, 2011

Time: 3:30pm until 5:00pm

Where: Gather in Victory Park, Concord & Chestnut Streets, Manchester, NH

Unless Congress acts soon, hundreds of thousands of jobless Americans will be left out in the cold when their unemployment insurance benefits expire on December 31. Please join unemployed workers and concerned community members for a visit to the district office of U.S. Representative Frank Guinta, and ask Congressman Guinta to stand with New Hampshire families by working to create good jobs and voting to extend this critical lifeline for the unemployed. Questions? Contact Judy Stadtman

Day of Action for Jobs and the Unemployed: Manchester

New Hampshire has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation (5.3 percent), but over 9 percent of Granite State workers between the ages of 20-24 are without jobs and and many more face employment insecurity as a fact of today’s economic life. Join us on December 8 and urge members of Congress to extend unemployment insurance benefits for jobless workers and families and get serious about creating good jobs.

Event Created by Protect NH Families

When: Thursday, December 8, 2011

Time: 3:30pm until 5:00pm

Where: Gather in Victory Park, Concord & Chestnut Streets, Manchester, NH

Unless Congress acts soon, hundreds of thousands of jobless Americans will be left out in the cold when their unemployment insurance benefits expire on December 31. Please join unemployed workers and concerned community members for a visit to the district office of U.S. Representative Frank Guinta, and ask Congressman Guinta to stand with New Hampshire families by working to create good jobs and voting to extend this critical lifeline for the unemployed. Questions? Contact Judy Stadtman

Americans For Prosperity are spreading Lies about Right To Work!

Once again the Koch Funded Americans for Prosperity are spreading the their lies about Right To Work laws.  First they are saying that People are “forced to join unions or be fired”.  As we all know this has been illegal for over 70 years.   These ads have been playing on multiple radio stations in New England over the last few days.  I wonder how much they paid for each one of these ads to run for five days $5,000 per station or $10,000 per station?  I would love to know exactly they paid.  I would guess that they spent at least $30,000 dollars to push their lies.


AFPR-02+Americans For Prosperity+Not Free 11-21-11+S by mhoefer


AFPR-02+Americans For Prosperity+Unfair 11-22-11+S by mhoefer


NHAC+NH Advantage Coalition+Protect 11-23-11+S by mhoefer


AFPR-01+Americans For Prosperity+Stand Up 11-21-11+S by mhoefer


Earlier this year, the Protect New Hampshire Families organization put out their own radio ad about HB 474. Talking about Businesses that oppose Right To Work.  They say the polticans are not listening to their voters
Radio Ad for Protect NH Families Against RTW (nh labor news) by nhlabor

What Are You Doing Today??

If you are looking for something to do today here are two ideas.  The first is an open town hall with New Hampshire House Speaker Bill O’Brien and other state reps.  He is asking for real workers to attend and talk about Jobs in New Hampshire.  Do not miss this opportunity to meet with the Speaker and ask him why is he attacking the same workers he says he is trying to help.

The Second event today is Occupy NH.  They will be hosting another General Assembly at Veterans Park today.  The Occupy Wall Street movement has sparked many local Occupy events.  The people from OccupyNH are looking for a big turnout to show that we are all part of the 99%. If you can, go and show your support for the Occupy movement.  Be a part of the social revolution that is sweeping the nation. For more information on Occupy NH click here.


NH House Speaker Bill O’Brien and Rep. Frank Holden, both representing Hillsborough District 4, will be holding a town hall tomorrow in Lyndenborough. According to Rep. Holden:
“We hope that by scheduling the meeting over a weekend it will allow real working people the opportunity to have access to their representatives and to get up to speed and ask questions about what’s going on in Concord.”

Speaker Bill O’Brien Hosts Town Hall to Hear from Workers: “Town Hall featuring NH House Speaker Bill O’Brien, Deputy Speaker Pam Tucker and State Rep. Frank Holden

Saturday, October 22, 2011 at 2:00 p.m.
Lyndeborough Center Hall,
1131 Center Road, Lyndeborough


On Saturday, Oct 22nd 12:00 noon, the Occupy New Hampshire movement will rally once again in a massive Assembly, as part of our ongoing protest of military industrialism and corporate greed. We are gathering at Veteran’s Park in Manchester NH, just blocks from City Hall on one of the the busiest parts of Elm Street.

We hope this to be the largest General Assembly yet, so please bring everyone who wants to be heard. Open discussion, a march on local banks, music, and free educational workshops are also planned for the day. Bring a tent, a sleeping bag, your generosity, and your voice.

We have one demand. Join us. Speak with us. You are the 99%.

WHO IS OCCUPY NEW HAMPSHIRE?
We are unions, students, teachers, veterans, first responders, families, the unemployed and underemployed. We are all races, sexes, creeds and political ideologies. We are the majority. We are the 99 percent. And we will no longer be silent. We are growing. Block by block – city by city. We will see change in this country, in this world.
www.facebook.com/OccupyNH
www.occupynh.org

New Hampshire Want To Work Rally Tomorrow!!!


A message from our friends at Protect New Hampshire Families and the New Hampshire AFL-CIO. They are working to organize a public event entitled:
New Hampshire Wants To Work

Time
Saturday, October 15 · 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Location
Prescott Park

State & Marcy Streets
Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Created By

More Info
Support New Hampshire’s middle class by telling politicians in Concord & congress that it’s time to stop the reckless attacks on working families and start taking realistic steps to create good jobs, now! The event will take place rain or shine.

The New Hampshire Wants to Work event is coordinated by Protect NH Families and labor & community partners as part of a national week of action for good jobs. For more information, contact Judy Stadtman, jstadtman@nhaflcio.org.

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