Feel Like There’s A Target On Your Back? Multiple Lawsuits Target Unions

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All these lawsuits asking the Courts to rule against unions?  They’re NOT about First Amendment rights.

And now, one of the groups behind the lawsuits is admitting that.  And they’re saying it’s about stopping public sector unions. 

And they’re even portraying it as a strategic assault. 

Read it for yourself in this week’s National Law Journal: “Courts Should Seize the Opportunity To Disempower Public-Worker Unions” (free registration required).

They’re looking at this as a one-two punch. First: Harris v. Quinn (Supreme Court ruling expected any day now). Then, the NLJ editorial suggests, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association could deliver the final blow.

“Although there may not be five votes to end compulsory dues in the Harris case, Friedrichs v. CTA could provide the pivotal fifth vote for fundamentally re-ordering of public-employee union law.”

While you’re reading… don’t forget to translate!

  1. “Compulsory dues” translates to “union agency fees” (which cover the costs of negotiating and administering the contract, and nothing else.  Agency fees are NOT union “member dues”.).
  2. “Law that requires all public employees to join and support a union as a condition of employment” actually refers to California Government Code Chapter 10, which establishes a framework for teachers to collectively bargain – if they want to.  (Just like NH RSA 273-A provides a framework for collective bargaining; yet New Hampshire has lots of public workers who are not represented by any union.)

Don’t forget to look at the players!

  1. Plaintiffs in the Harris case are being represented by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation… which is affiliated with the National Right to Work Committee… which those of us here in the Granite State know all-too-well, right?
  2. According to the NLJ editorial, plaintiffs in the Friedrichs case are being represented by the Center for Individual Rights.  Read the Sourcewatch article here.
  3. But according to the actual Court filings in the Friedrichs case… plaintiffs are being represented by the law firm Jones Day.

Yeah, Jones Day.  Seems they’ve been quite active lately. The City of Detroit bankruptcy. The Patriot Coal bankruptcy. The Hostess Brands bankruptcy.   Verizon’s “de-risking” of its pension obligation.

And, can’t forget the Court case over nominations to the National Labor Relations Board.  (Read “How They Won It: Jones Day Invalidates Obama’s NLRB Picks” here.)

Are you feeling targeted yet?

Remember: you’re not the only one being targeted these days, you’ve got lots of company.  Public employees everywhere.  Anyone with a union pension or health care benefits.  Workers, in general.  The middle class.

Education is the best way to fight disinformation campaigns. Please share this with your friends on Facebook, or Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, or other social media.  It’s really easy; just click the buttons on the left.

3-3-14 AFT-NH Legislative Update: Recording Public Officials On Duty, NHRS, Charter Schools, and More

AFT NH Legislative Update

UPCOMING FULL HOUSE VOTES-WEDNESDAY MARCH 5TH & THURSDAY MARCH  6TH

The Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee recommended passing HB 1550, permitting the audio and video recording of a public official while in the course of his or her official duties.  AFT-NH asks that this recommendation of Ought to Pass be defeated and a motion of Inexpedient to Legislate be brought forward.  AFT-NH asks the Representatives to consider the public employee when voting on this bill. All employees being public or private should have a reasonable understanding that when they are performing their jobs that they are not intimidated or harassed, that they should have a safe working environment.

Representative Geoffrey D Hirsch shares many of our concerns with this bill as he stated in his minority report:

“While recognizing the need for open and accountable records of public officials conducting the duties of their office, this bill as written expands the realm of public officials beyond law enforcement (as in the Glick v. Cunniffe decision) to all public officials. This expansion exceeds what the Constitution requires, creating problems of potential interference with duties as well as potential invasion of privacy. The term “physically interfere” is too broad and can lead to costly court time over interpretation. The terms “public official” and “generally accessible” are also open to varied interpretations. This bill has unintended consequences. If defined as within this bill, public officials (town clerks, school teachers, counselors, for example) could easily be intimidated by the prospect of audio recording and might be reluctant to perform even routine duties. Issues of privacy can arise when the official is recorded interacting with a private citizen getting a ticket, receiving medical treatment, being calmed at an accident or fire, registering to vote, or any activity where public officials are performing their duties. This bill contains no provision to protect the privacy of citizens as the recording must be returned to the owner within 10 days. This bill is too problematic to become law.”
AFT-NH supports the recommendation of ‘Inexpedient to Legislate made by the Executive Departments and Administration Committee on HB 1126, establishing a committee to study alternative public employee retirement plans.  There have been several committee / commissions that have studied this topic and at this time it is not needed.

AFT-NH also supports the recommendation of Inexpedient to Legislate made by the Finance Committee on HB 1394-FN-A, relative to funds for chartered public school facilities and making an appropriation therefor. We ask that the full House support this recommendation and defeat this bill.  Would it be fair to pass this bill when for the past 6 years there has not been any new money given to public schools for building aid? Please see AFT-NH’s statement on charter schools by clicking here.

The Legislative Administration Committee made the recommendation of Inexpedient to Legislate on HB 1207, relative to identification of the source of legislative bill proposals. AFT-NH is in support of the bill and would have like it to pass but will work with the House leadership to make sure this makes it into House rules next session.

This bill as written would require disclosure when sponsoring legislation. Too often now, we are seeing national cookie-cutter model legislation coming through the halls of our State House. Not drafted in response to any local interest or community concern, this ‘cookie-cutter’ legislation is instead often intended solely to benefit the bottom line of the special [corporate] interests writing the bill. Often, legislators or constituents don’t even know who was originally behind the bill.  Knowing who is writing our state laws is an important part of having an open and transparent government. That’s why it’s important to know who drafted a bill and why.

This committee has also made the recommendation to engage in further study on HB 1440-FN, which includes the writing, promoting, or distributing of model legislation to elected officials as lobbying and requiring disclosure of scholarship funds, money, or other financial support received from such lobbyists by elected officials.

How legislation is drafted is the most fundamental purpose of lobbying, yet New Hampshire’s lobbying requirements leave a huge, gaping hole for reporting and disclosure of this lobbying activity. Reporting and disclosing lobbying exists to ensure legislators, the public, and press knows who is behind how our public policies are being crafted and introduced in New Hampshire. Transparency and accountability in our legislative process are an important part of ensuring the integrity of how public policies are adopted, and in preventing the corporate corruption of our legislative process.

AFT-NH will work with the subcommittee to address areas of concerns in the language of this bill and are hopeful we can reach an agreement and bring an amendment forward.

Upcoming Labor, Industrial And Rehabilitative Services Committee
Executive Session March 4th

The full Committee will be making a recommendation on HB 1228: establishing a commission to investigate the procedure for public employee collective bargaining.  AFT-NH opposes this bill and asks the Committee to recommend Inexpedient to Legislate on this bill. There have been many committees/commissions that have studied this issue and too often, it only seems to open the door for destructive legislation.  Rather than risk opening a Pandora’s Box with a study commission, AFT-NH urges legislators to consider some suggestions from the past which have been ignored or set aside:

•    Change the start date when negotiation can commence with towns from 120 days to 180 days out from when budgets must be submitted.
•    The NH Public Labor Relation board should offer training for all employers participating in local negotiations on the skills and process of negotiations.
•    If local contracts are not approved on towns’ traditional voting days there should be a way to call for a special meeting to bring forward a new tentative agreement for the community to vote on.

If you have any questions or concerns please email me at lhainey@aft-nh.org.

Thank you!
In Solidarity,
Laura Hainey

Please visit www.aft-nh.org and AFT-NH Facebook page and clicked “Like Us”?
Late breaking news appears on our web site and on Facebook!


UPCOMING COMMITTEE HEARINGS


MONDAY, MARCH 3

House WAYS AND MEANS, Room 202, LOB
1:00 p.m. Subcommittee work session on HB 492-FN-L, relative to the legalization and regulation of marijuana.

TUESDAY, MARCH 4

Senate HEALTH, EDUCATION AND HUMAN SERVICES, Room 103, LOB
9:30 a.m. SB 414-FN,relative to Medicaid-funded services provided as a part of a child’s individualized education program.

House CHILDREN AND FAMILY LAW, Room 206, LOB
10:00 a.m. Executive session on
HB 1206, relative to juvenile placement in shelter care facilities and at the youth development center, HB 1236, establishing a committee to study supervised visitation centers, HB 1260-FN-L, relative to communication of the cost of services provided under the children in need of services (CHINS) program to parents.

House EDUCATION, Room 207, LOB
9:00 a.m. Subcommittee work session on HB 1508-FN, terminating state participation in the common core educational standards, HB 1239-FN-L, relative to the implementation of new educational standards.
10:30 a.m. Subcommittee work session on HB 1587-FN-L, relative to the collection and disclosure of pupil data, HB 1586-FN, relative to student and teacher information protection and privacy.
11:00 a.m. Subcommittee work session on HB 1238, relative to access to assessment materials, HB 1432, delaying implementation of certain statewide assessments and studying the effects of delaying implementation of certain curriculum changes in the public schools.
1:00 p.m. Executive session on:
HB 1432, delaying implementation of certain statewide assessments and studying the effects of delaying implementation of certain curriculum changes in the public schools,
HB 1239-FN-L, relative to the implementation of new educational standards,
HB1587-FN-L, relative to the collection and disclosure of pupil data,
HB 1508-FN, terminating state participation in the common core educational standards,
HB 1262, relative to student assessment data privacy,
HB 1496, relative to the objectivity and validity of student assessment materials,
HB 1238, relative to access to assessment materials,
HB 1586-FN, relative to student and teacher information protection and privacy.

House EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ADMINISTRATION, Room 306, LOB
11:00 a.m. Executive session on HB 1101-FN, relative to the recovery of overpayments by the retirement system and establishing a committee to study the policies and procedures of the retirement system for benefits wrongfully paid, HB 1130-FN-L, relative to the Northeastern Interstate Forest Fire Protection Compact, HB 1152-FN, terminating the benefit program for call, substitute or volunteer firemen administered by the New Hampshire retirement system,
HB 1493-FN-L, relative to members of the retirement system working after retirement, and relative tomembership of political subdivision officials appointed for fixed terms.

House FINANCE – (DIVISION III), Rooms 210-211, LOB
10:00 a.m. Work session on HB 1624-FN, modernizing the juvenile justice system to ensure rehabilitation of juveniles and preservation of juvenile rights.

House LABOR, INDUSTRIAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, Room 307, LOB
10:15 a.m. Executive session on HB 1189, relative to temporary worker rights,
HB 1228, establishing a commission to investigate the procedure for public employee collective bargaining.

House MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT, Room 301, LOB
10:00 a.m. Executive session on HB 1285, relative to recommendations by the department of revenue administration regarding municipal fund balance retention, HB 1560-FN-L, prohibiting the use of funds received from a political subdivision of the state to lobby.

House WAYS AND MEANS, Room 202, LOB
10:00 a.m. Executive session on
HB 1633-FN-A-L, relative to expanded gaming in New Hampshire.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 5

Senate Executive Departments and Administration, Room 100, SH
9:00 a.m. EXECUTIVE SESSION ON PENDING LEGISLATION

10:00 a.m. House in session

THURSDAY, MARCH 6

10:00 a.m. Senate in session

1:00 p.m. House in session

House WAYS AND MEANS, Room 202, LOB
10:30 a.m. Full committee work session on
HB 1415-FN, establishing a robotics education fund in the department of education

TUESDAY, MARCH 18

House WAYS AND MEANS, Room 202, LOB
10:00 a.m. Executive session on HB 1415-FN, establishing a robotics education fund in the department of education.

Private-Sector Union Membership Grows in 2013

Richard Trumka (The Nation / AP-Photo)

Public-sector workers remain under attack; Unions grow in the South;
Total percentage of workforce unchanged

(Washington, D.C.) In 2013 the total number of workers in unions rose by 162,000 compared with 2012, led by an increase of 281,000 workers in private-sector unions. There were strong gains in construction and manufacturing, against a background of strike actions by low-wage workers in the private sector.  But destructive, politically motivated layoffs of public-sector workers continued to hurt overall public-sector union membership, leaving the total percentage of the workforce that is unionized virtually unchanged.

“Wall Street’s Great Recession cost millions of America’s workers their jobs and pushed already depressed wages down even further.  But in 2013, America’s workers pushed back,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said of the figures released Friday by the Department of Labor. “At the same time, these numbers show that as unorganized workers have taken up the fight for their right to a voice on the job, union employers are hiring—creating good jobs our economy desperately needs.”

Despite the overall gains of 2013, workers in the public sector continued to bear the brunt of the continuing economic crisis, weak labor laws and political assaults on their rights on the job.  In Wisconsin, political attacks on public-sector workers’ right to collectively bargain resulted in bargaining coverage falling. Broadly, federal, state and local governments continued to lay off needed public workers, leading to an overall loss of 118,000 union members.

“Make no mistake, the job of rebuilding workers’ bargaining power and raising wages for the 99% has a long way to go,” said Trumka. “Collective action among working people remains the strongest, best force for economic justice in America. We’re building a stronger, more innovative movement to give voice to the values that built this country. From Walmart workers to fast food workers to homecare workers, the rising up of workers’ voices against inequality – both inside and outside of traditional structures – is the story of 2013.”

SEIU 1984 Part-time Workers’ Rights Upheld by NH-PELRB

SEIU 1984 Logo

On Monday, the NH Public Employees’ Relations Board (PELRB) officially answered the issue of whether hundreds of part-time state employees are considered members of the Executive Branch collective bargaining unit. The PELRB ruled that the State has indeed committed an unfair labor practice and ordered the State to recognize these workers as public employees, re-establishing their important rights guaranteed by the contract.

As you may know, last fall, Matt Newland, the state’s Manager of Employee Relations, suddenly and arbitrarily made unilateral changes to the rights and pay of more than one thousand NH Liquor Commission employees and many other part-time workers in state service. He did so through a memo stating that part-time employees were not considered “public employees.” Newland also refused to hear any grievances about nearly all part-time employees and went so far as to order agencies to withhold and intercept union membership cards such workers were trying to submit so that they could join this fight.

Newland’s decision undid decades of past practice and created tremendous disharmony in the workplace. In response, the SEA filed an Unfair Labor Practice with the PELRB, which now finds the vast majority of these employees do, in fact, have the same contractual rights and protections as their full-time colleagues.

Since the beginning of the recession, full-time jobs are increasingly difficult to find. Many workers, including state workers, have been forced to piece together multiple part-time jobs to earn enough to support their families. At the same time, the NH State Liquor Commission is relying more and more heavily on the efforts of part-time workers to fulfill its mission to raise much needed revenue for the state.

“We are very pleased and grateful to the PELRB for standing up for the rights of the many frontline workers in our retail operations. As a NH liquor store manager, I see firsthand the outstanding work our part-timers put forth,” said Richard Gulla, SEA Director and Steward. “Retail hours are unlike those of 9 to 5’ers. We are open many hours each and every day of the week.  We are pleased the PELRB recognizes our part-time workers as being key to the success of NH liquor store’s operations.”

To be clear, this unfair labor practice petition (ULP) was filed well before NH Governor Maggie Hassan took office. “We encourage Governor Hassan to embrace this decision and to carry it forward as an example of employer’s responsibility to treat all workers with dignity, respect and whole people with lawful rights,” said Diana Lacey, SEA president. “She is the CEO of NH’s largest employer. Her good example will benefit all workers.”

Prior to Newland’s bold and unexpected move, a few grievances had been filed involving part-time employees. It is speculated that Newland’s challenge to their rights to representation may have been in response to this fact.  Further, a number of current grievances brought forward by part-time employees have been stalled, waiting for this important PELRB decision.  The process can now move forward for these workers who have been waiting to be made whole.

Note: In 1982 the NH State Liquor Commission employed approximately 276 part-time employees. Because of budgetary considerations and the numerous retail hours to be covered, there are now 916 part-time workers; and only 213 full-time employees.

5-6-13 AFT-NH Legislative Update From President Laura Hainey

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DISAPPOINTING VOTE BY THE FULL SENATE THIS PAST THURSDAY

The full Senate voted on HB 142: relative to teacher evaluation systems. Senator Kelly brought forward an amendment to reinsert the following language:  Nothing in this subparagraph shall supersede collective bargaining rights under RSA 273-A. However this failed on a 12 to 12 vote and the following passed:
1 New Paragraph; School Boards; Duty to Provide Education. Amend RSA 189:1-a by inserting after paragraph II the following new paragraph:

III. School boards shall adopt a teacher performance evaluation policy, with the involvement of teachers and principals, for use in the school district. A school board may consider any resources it deems reasonable and appropriate, including any resources that may be provided by the state department of education. In this paragraph, “teacher” shall have the same meaning as in RSA 189:14-a, V.
AFT-NH is opposed to this bill as amended. It does include the involvement of teachers but it left out “Nothing in this paragraph shall supersede collective bargaining rights under RSA 273-A”.  We will ask that the House Education committee not agree with this amendment and the amended bill with then either be defeated or go to a committee of conference.

AFT-NH thanks Senator Kelly for putting forth the amendment with the collective bargaining language and also all the senators that voted in support of the amendment.

Once again, HB 187: relative to deliberative sessions in towns that have adopted official ballot voting, was special ordered to next session. This is the second time this has happened, and no date has been posted for when they will be meeting in full session.

This bill was submitted by retired AFT-NH member Marjorie Porter. This bill provides that the dollar amount agreed to in a collective bargaining agreement between a public employer and an employee organization shall not be modified by the legislative body of the public employer and that amount is what the voters should vote on.

AFT-NH supports this bill; we believe that what is negotiated in good faith should go before the voters for a vote and not be sidelined by a few. We hope that the Senate will pass it as well.

POSITIVE SENATE VOTES

The full senate did vote in favor of passage on HB 178: relative to public employer collective bargaining agreements. This will have the NH Public Labor Relations Board:

  • Post online training for collective bargaining and,
  • Maintain a record how political subdivisions vote on collective bargaining agreements and provide the legislature with an annual report.

AFT-NH supported  passage of this bill.

FULL HOUSE VOTE ON MAY 8TH

The full House will be voting on SB 166, relative to critical incident stress management and crisis intervention services, with a committee recommendation of ‘Ought To Pass.’ This bill establishes that information divulged during critical incident stress management and crisis intervention services is confidential, with limited exceptions specified in the bill. AFT-NH supports the passage of this bill. We feel it is important that we do something for our first responders to support and help them thought difficulty times.

ONGOING COMMITTEE WORK

The House Labor committee is still working on SB 100: AN ACT authorizing electronic payment of payroll. This bill will affect all public employees in New Hampshire. This bill will do the following:

  • Delete the requirement that an employer who pays wages by electronic fund transfer offer employees the option of being paid by check.
  • Permits an employer to pay wages with a payroll card after offering employees the option of being paid by direct deposit.

AFT-NH is opposed to this bill.  We understand that many employees do receive their paycheck by direct deposit but there are many who prefer the paper check and they should still have this option. It might be different if they were proposing the cost savings be shared with the employee.

SB 82: This bill establishes a commission for the purpose of identifying strategies for developing and implementing a competency-based public education. AFT-NH is staying neutral on this bill. We understand that moving to a competency-based system will take much time and consideration when developing this system. AFT-NH hopes that the final report will include recommendations for adequate time and staff development for the educators charged with implementing this new system.

If you are currently moving forward in implementing a competency-based system and you have concerns, suggestions and recommendations please send them to
LHainey@aft-nh.org. This way we can makes sure they are passed along.

BUDGET HEARINGS

The Senate will be holding public hearings on HB 1: making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2014 and June 30, 2015, and on HB 2: relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures.

This is a good time to attend and express your support or concerns with the proposed budget. The Senate is working from the House’s budget and they will be making changes as they move through the process. To review all the documents that have been discussed click here.

These hearing are being held in Representatives’ Hall on May 9th at 3:00 p.m. − 5:00 p.m. and at 6:00 p.m. − 8:00 p.m. If you are not able to make the hearing you can listen to it at: mms://gencourt.state.nh.us/wmtencoder/housemedia.wmv

If you have any questions or concerns please email me at lhainey@aft-nh.org

In Solidarity,
Laura Hainey
AFT-NH President

UPCOMING HEARINGS FOR NEXT WEEK
Note the ones in
red are priority bills for AFT-NH

TUESDAY, MAY 7

LABOR, INDUSTRIAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, Room 307, LOB
10:30 a.m. Continued executive session on SB 100, authorizing electronic payment of payroll,

WEDNESDAY, MAY 8

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ADMINISTRATION, Room 100, SH
9:00 a.m. Hearing on proposed non-germane amendment #2013-1356s to HB 124-FN, relative to the determination of gainful occupation for a group II member receiving an accidental disability retirement allowance from the retirement system.

THURSDAY, MAY 9

EDUCATION, Room 207, LOB
9:00 a.m. Subcommittee work session on SB 48, relative to school performance and accountability.

10:00 a.m. Executive session on
SB 82, establishing a commission to identify strategies needed for developing and implementing a competency-based public education system,

FINANCE, Representatives’ Hall, SH
3:00 p.m. − 5:00 p.m. HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2014 and June 30, 2015.
HB 2-FN-A-L, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures.
6:00 p.m. − 8:00 p.m. HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of HB 2-FN-A-L, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures.
Please note: The above Finance hearing will be streamed live via the internet at the following web address: mms://gencourt.state.nh.us/wmtencoder/housemedia.wmv

MONDAY, MAY 13

STATEWIDE EDUCATION IMPROVEMENT AND ASSESSMENT PROGRAM LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE (RSA 193-C:7), Room 103, LOB
10:00 a.m. Regular meeting.

TUESDAY, MAY 21

HEALTH, HUMAN SERVICES AND ELDERLY AFFAIRS, Room 205, LOB
10:00 a.m. Subcommittee work session on retained HB 494, relative to the administration of glucagon injections for pupils.

THURSDAY, MAY 23

STATE FEDERAL RELATIONS AND VETERANS AFFAIRS, Room 203, LOB
9:00 a.m. Full committee discussion with the Congressional Delegation.

4-22-13 AFT-NH Legislative Update From President Laura Hainey

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IN OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS

Given the week we just had, take a moment to thank all our first responders who keep us safe and help those in need.  Please stay safe!  And please, keep in your thoughts and prayers those who lost their lives or were injured in the tragic events of this past week.

EVENTS LIKE THIS CAN BE TRAUMATIC TO CHILDREN.

Here are free resources from Share My Lesson to help children cope with traumatic events. Schools are the most important places in a community for an educator or student to receive support when a crisis occurs. Schools provide a familiar environment where the many needs of grieving students and faculty can be met in one place. Administrators and educators need to be prepared to deal with any crisis that might arise; such preparation will better equip them to respond to students’ emotional needs in the wake of a crisis.

FULL SENATE VOTES TAKEN ON APRIL 18TH

The Senate tabled HB 370the repeal of the education tax credits, on Thursday. We might have lost this one but the fight is not over. Within the budget there is no funding for the education tax credit program.  Both HB 1 and HB 2: the state budget bills, are still being worked on in the Senate and we will need to monitor the progress to see if the voucher money is put back into the budget.

2014-2015 STATE BUDGET

The Senate is working its way through putting together their version of the State budget for the next two years. Much of their time has been spent hearing from Department Commissioners on the needs of their departments. From this they will start putting together final proposals for the full Senate to vote on. The Senate has till June 6th to take this vote. We do know that just like in other years, the budget bills (HB 1 and HB 2) will be sent to a Committee Of Conference. This is where members for the House and Senate will hash out a deal. They will have till June 20th to sign  off on the final deal and both chambers will have till June 26th to vote on the Committee’s report. AFT-NH will continue to monitor this as it works its way through the Senate and Committee of Conference.

UPCOMING FULL HOUSE VOTES ON APRIL 24TH

The House will be voting on SB 132, establishing a committee to study police special details. The House Executive Departments and Administration committee made the recommendation of inexpedient to legislate by a vote of 14 to 3. AFT-NH is in support of this recommendation and asks that all House member vote in support of this recommendation.

Rep. Dianne E Schuett said it best: “This bill proposed to study the efficacy of police special details, particularly at traffic construction sites. The committee was presented with a recent department of transportation study delineating use of police details versus flag persons at state construction sites. The committee also believed that decisions on whether to employ police or flag persons on municipal construction sites should be left to local control. Therefore, the committee could see no need for this study.”

HEARING HELD THIS PAST WEEK

The House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs held a hearing on SB 166: relative to critical incident stress management and crisis intervention services. This bill establishes that information divulged during critical incident stress management and crisis intervention services is confidential, with limited exceptions specified in the bill. AFT-NH supports the passage of this bill. We feel it is important that we do something for our first responders to support and help them thought difficulty times.

If you have any questions or concerns please email me at lhainey@aft-nh.org or call 603-661-7293.

In Solidarity,
Laura Hainey
AFT-NH President

UPCOMING HEARINGS FOR NEXT WEEK
Note the ones in
red are priority bills for AFT-NH

MONDAY, APRIL 22

FINANCE, Room 103, SH
AGENCY PRESENTATIONS ON THE BUDGET AS PASSED BY THE HOUSE
9:00 a.m. Public Employee Labor Relations Board

TUESDAY, APRIL 23

CHILDREN AND FAMILY LAW, Room 206, LOB
10:00 a.m. Subcommittee work session on SB 129-FN, relative to court-ordered placements in shelter care facilities and at the Sununu Youth Services Center, relative to the children in need of services (CHINS) program, and establishing a committee to study programs for children in need.

EDUCATION, Room 207, LOB
10:30 a.m. SB 18, conferring degree-granting authority to the American University of Madaba.
11:00 a.m. SB 27-FN, relative to monitoring by the Department of Education of programs for children with disabilities.
1:15 p.m. SB 82, establishing a commission to identify strategies needed for developing and implementing a competency-based public education system.
2:00 p.m. SB 48, relative to school performance and accountability.
2:30 p.m. SB 97, relative to high school equivalency and relative to illiteracy.

HEALTH, HUMAN SERVICES AND ELDERLY AFFAIRS, Room 205, LOB
10:00 a.m. Executive session on SB 166, relative to critical incident stress management and crisis intervention services,

LABOR, INDUSTRIAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, Room 307, LOB
11:00 a.m. SB 100, authorizing electronic payment of payroll.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24

PUBLIC AND MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS, Room 102, LOB
9:30 a.m. HB 178-FN-L, relative to public employer collective bargaining agreements.

CHILDREN AND FAMILY LAW, Room 206, LOB
1:00 p.m. Or one hour after the House session ends, executive session on SB 129-FN, relative to court ordered placements in shelter care facilities and at the Sununu Youth Services Center, relative to the children in need of services (CHINS) program, and establishing a committee to study programs for children in need.

LABOR, INDUSTRIAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, Room 303, LOB (Please note room change.)
1:00 p.m. Or after the end of the House session, executive session on
SB 100, authorizing electronic payment of payroll.

TUESDAY, APRIL 30

JUDICIARY, Room 100, SH
9:40 a.m. HB 433, relative to procedures for juvenile delinquency petitions filed by a school district or school official.

EDUCATION, Room 207, LOB
10:00 a.m. Executive session on
SB 134-FN, relative to the division of higher education and the higher education commission,
SB 162-FN, repealing the student tuition guaranty fund and making provisions for the disbursement of remaining funds, and relative to the membership of the higher education commission.

THURSDAY, MAY 2

EDUCATION, Room 207, LOB
10:00 a.m. Subcommittee work session on retained HB 435-FN, relative to funding for chartered public school pupils, HB 243, relative to the board of trustees of a chartered public school, HB 424- FN, relative to review of chartered public school applications by the state board of education.

4-15-13 AFT-NH Legislative Update By President Laura Hainey

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FULL SENATE VOTES ON APRIL 18TH

On the Senate consent calendar they will cast one vote for 23 bills if none are removed. One of these bills is HB 187, relative to cost items in negotiated agreements, with a 5-0 committee recommendation of ‘Ought To Pass.’  Remember this bill was submitted by retired AFT-NH member Marjorie Porter. This bill provides that the dollar amount agreed to in a collective bargaining agreement between a public employer and an employee organization shall not be modified by the legislative body of the public employer and that the agreed-upon amount is what the voters should vote on.

AFT-NH supports this bill; we believe that what is negotiated in good faith should go before the voters for a vote and not be sidelined by a few. We encourage the full Senate to pass this bill.

The Senate will be debating and voting on HB 370, repealing the education tax credit program. The Senate Health, Education & Human Services made the recommendation to defeat this bill by a 3 to 2 vote. AFT-NH does not support this recommendation and advocates that this recommendation be overturned and a recommendation of ‘Ought To Pass’ be made and supported.

If you have not taken action there is still time by clicking here. This tax credit program initiated in 2012 is an ill-disguised attempt to begin privatizing and dismantling our public education system in NH while weakening our good schools. We are justly proud of our schools in NH and these “vouchers” disguised as tax-credits will only harm public education.

HEARINGS THIS PAST WEEK

This past week the Senate Executive Departments and Administration, held a hearing on HB 364, relative to providing required notice concerning limitations on part-time employment for any retired member of the New Hampshire retirement system.  AFT-NH supports the passage of this bill.  HB364 shares the responsibility of understanding the rules and regulations for part-time work between the NH Retirement System, the employees, and the employers. This bill does not hold employers liable for employees who violate the regulations; all it asks of them is to provide written notice so that both they and their employees understand the limitations.

The House Executive Departments And Administration held a hearing on SB 132, establishing a committee to study police special details.  The charge of this committee is to study the use and efficacy of police special details, and alternatives which may be available to towns, cities, and the state. AFT-NH spoke in opposition to this bill. The NH Department of Transportation has already completed a study on this topic; click here to read the full report. AFT-NH believes this bill is unnecessary and could interfere with what has been negotiated at the local level. These discussions should happen at the local level with all stakeholders at the table.

SENATE COMMITTEE TOOK NO ACTION ON HB 142

The Senate Health, Education & Human Services still yet to make a recommendation on HB 142: relative to teacher evaluation systems. We have asked the Committee to keep this bill as is.  We especially do not want the Committee to follow the recommendation from the School Board Association, which wants to delete “support system” and make themselves the only ones whose approval is needed to adopt the system—thus leaving out the voice of the teachers.

As we have said many times, the best evaluation system is devised when each district works with all stakeholders as they develop, implement and modify an evaluation system which will meet the needs of the children of the community and is fair to our teachers. When something is imposed it is usually not well-received.

UPCOMING HEARINGS

On Tuesday, April 16th the Senate Health, Education and Human Services Committee will be hearing testimony on HB 260. This bill authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services to provide voluntary services to a child who would otherwise be found to be a child in need of services under RSA 169-D. For more background information on this click here.

AFT-NH is supporting the efforts of the New Hampshire Child Alliance Network and ask the committee to make the recommendation of ‘Ought To Pass.’

This coming Tuesday, April 23rd the House Labor committee will hold a hearing on SB 100: AN ACT authorizing electronic payment of payroll. This bill will affect all public employees in New Hampshire. This bill will do the following:

  • Deletes the requirement that an employer who pays wages by electronic fund transfer offer employees the option of being paid by check.
  • Permits an employer to pay wages with a payroll card after offering employees the option of being paid by direct deposit.

AFT-NH is opposed to this bill.  We understand that many employees do receive their paycheck by direct deposit but there are many who prefer the paper check and they should still have this option.

If you have any questions or concerns please email me at lhainey@aft-nh.org.

In Solidarity,
Laura Hainey
AFT-NH President

UPCOMING HEARINGS
MONDAY, APRIL 15

FINANCE, Room 103, SH
AGENCY PRESENTATIONS ON THE BUDGET AS PASSED BY THE HOUSE
1:00 p.m. N.H. Retirement System.

STATE RETIREE HEALTH PLAN COMMISSION (RSA 100-A:56), Room 302, LOB
1:00 p.m. Organizational meeting.

TUESDAY, APRIL 16

HEALTH, EDUCATION AND HUMAN SERVICES, Room 103, LOB
9:30 a.m. HB 260-FN, relative to the children in need of services (CHINS) program.

CHILDREN AND FAMILY LAW, Room 206, LOB
10:00 a.m. SB 129-FN, relative to court-ordered placements in shelter care facilities and at the Sununu Youth Services Center, relative to the children in need of services (CHINS) program, and establishing a committee to study programs for children in need.

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ADMINISTRATION, Room 306, LOB
1:30 p.m. Executive session on
SB 132-FN, establishing a committee to study police special details.

JOINT COMMITTEE OF FINANCE AND WAYS AND MEANS, Representatives Hall
11:00 a.m. Executive session on
SB 44, relative to the disposal of controlled drugs by law enforcement officers.

LONG-RANGE CAPITAL PLANNING AND UTILIZATION (RSA 17-M), Room 201, LOB
2:00 p.m. Special meeting – Community College System of NH.

MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT, Room 301, LOB
1:00 p.m. Executive session on SB 2, relative to the calculation of the local tax cap.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17

HEALTH, HUMAN SERVICES AND ELDERLY AFFAIRS, Room 205, LOB
3:00 p.m. SB 166, relative to critical incident stress management and crisis intervention services.

THURSDAY, APRIL 18

10:00 A.M. SENATE SESSION

TUESDAY, APRIL 23

HEALTH, HUMAN SERVICES AND ELDERLY AFFAIRS, Room 205, LOB
10:00 a.m. Executive session on
SB 166, relative to critical incident stress management and crisis intervention services.

LABOR, INDUSTRIAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES, Room 307, LOB
11:00 a.m. SB 100, authorizing electronic payment of payroll.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24

Please join a diverse selection of NH’s leading labor, environmental, social and citizen advocacy organizations on Wednesday, April 24th from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. in the State House Cafeteria for a Legislative Breakfast Briefing. Staff and key leaders will be on hand to discuss issue priorities and legislative briefings on cross-over bills. A light breakfast and drinks will be served.

10:00 a.m. House Session

 

AFT-NH Holds Biennial Convention With A Focus On Stopping The Corporate Attack On Schools

AFT-Convention Image

Image courtesy of AFT_NH

This past Saturday AFT-NH held its Biennial Constitutional Convention at the NH Audubon Society in Concord. With 52 delegates, alternates and guest in attendance we heard from AFT National Secretary-Treasurer Lorretta Johnson. She stressed: “Politicians, corporate interests, and so-called reformers have launched an attack on public education, public services, AND our ability to collectively bargain.” Continuing, she reminded delegates that “We need to unite our communities around our brothers and sisters while also making sure that the other side cannot divide and vilify us!”

We also heard from Dave Lang, President of the NH Professional Fighters, who reviewed the current retirement law suits moving their way through the courts and updated the convention on the Local Government Center and the ruling against them. Joe Casey Business Manager of IBEW introduced the Apprenticeship program they have in Concord to train individuals to become Electricians. Lastly, we heard Mark MacKenzie, President of NH AFL-CIO, who spoke on AFT’s history in the labor movement and its powerful advocacy on behalf of teachers since 1916.

The delegates unanimously passed a resolution that “TESTING SHOULD INFORM, NOT IMPEDE, TEACHING AND LEARNING.” Since the implementation of No Child Left Behind, we’ve seen a growing fixation on high-stakes testing as a central piece of the effort to improve schools. Unfortunately, the result has been exactly the opposite. The low-level, high-stakes tests that now hang over our teachers and students—and their extreme misuse as a result of ideologically and politically driven education policy—have seriously damaged our public education system. AFT-NH believes that Learning Is More Than a Test Score and delegates were unanimous in supporting this resolution. To read the full resolution click here.

AFT-NH Officers

AFT-NH held elections for its Executive Board as well, we are excited to announce that Laura Hainey was elected for President, Robert Sherman for Vice President, Dora Hill for Treasurer, Mark King for Secretary and Ellen Fioretti for At-Large. We are ready to move AFT-NH forward for we are dedicated professionals serving NH individuals and families through collaboration with others, striving to advance NH communities and improve the workplace with integrity and commitment.

“AFT-NH is the State Affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. The AFT has over one million members with nearly 4,000 members here in New Hampshire.   These members are teachers, school support staff, police, higher education faculty and town employees. AFT-NH is a member of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO which represents over 40,000 working men and women.”

March 24th Legislative Update From AFT-NH President Laura Hainey

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On Friday the Senate Health, Education & Human Services committee heard testimony for four hours on HB 370: repealing the education tax credit program. There was similarity when people spoke in favor or opposition of this bill. Those favoring HB 370 attacked the program as vouchers for private and religious schools.  Those opposing HB 370 said it was about choice and called it a tax credit, not a voucher.

AFT-NH joins those in favor of passing HB 370 in believing that this program is unconstitutional.  New Hampshire’s Constitution is clear—state money shall not be used to fund religious instruction (“no person shall ever be compelled to pay towards the support of the schools of any sect or denomination.”– Article 6, NH Constitution).  The New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union, American Civil Liberties Union, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State have filed suit in Strafford County Superior Court. The lawsuit asks the court to declare the tax-credit program unlawful and block the state from further implementation. To read the press release click here. To read the complaint click here.  The court hearing has been scheduled for April 26th. We hope for a decision by the summer.

There is also much to be concerned about regarding the group that will be overseeing this program. This California based group is called “Alliance for Separation of School and State,” and here in New Hampshire they are called the “NH Network For Educational Opportunity.”  Make no mistake they are one in the same, animated by the goal of “ending government involvement in education,” In other words…privatizing public education. To read more on this group click here to read Bill Duncan’s research on it.

There is no oversight and the only accountability is a parent survey. There is no oversight board and the donors are not going to be public. The only oversight is a summary on statistics that will be produced.

New Hampshire cannot afford to divert scarce resources to private and religious schools as well as home-schoolers.

This is just bad policy. This tax credit program initiated in 2012 is an ill-disguised attempt to begin dismantling and privatizing our public education in NH while weakening our good schools. We are justly proud of our schools in NH and these “vouchers” disguised as tax-credits will only harm public education.

For the above reasons we ask that the Senate Health, Education & Human Services committee make the recommendation of ought to pass.

If you have not taken action and sent a letter to the committee members it is not too late. By clicking here you can take action and ask that they pass this bill.

If you have any questions or concerns please email me at lhainey@aft-nh.org.

In Solidarity,
Laura Hainey
AFT-NH President

OTHER HAPPENINGS AT THE STATE HOUSE AND WHAT WE KNOW!

The Senate Health, Education & Human Services committee will be holding a hearing on HB 142 relative to teacher evaluation systems on March 26th at 9:40 a.m. As I read this bill, any teacher evaluation and support system will be developed with teacher involvement and must be adopted by both the local school board and the teachers. The State teacher evaluation model may serve as a guide and reference only, meaning that it is not mandated that the State model be adopted at the local level. To protect current negotiated provisions in contracts, language was added to the bill, reading “Nothing in this paragraph shall supersede collective bargaining rights under RSA 273-A.” This bill has come a long way from when it was introduced.

We know that the NH School Board Association was not happy with the amended language and I believe they will be coming back with language that is more like the original bill. Keep in mind the original language gave local school boards the entire responsibility for the development, adoption, implementation, and monitoring of a teacher evaluation system. The school board might consult with school administrators and teachers in the development of a teacher evaluation system, but it would not be required to do so.

The House Finance committee is still working their way through the budget bill HB 1 and 2. The full house will have to vote by April 4th.  To read the full text of the budget bill click here. Once the full house has voted on HB 1 and HB 2 they will move over to the Senate. The Senate has until June 6th to take a full vote. We know that each chamber will have different budgets and HB 1 and 2 will move to a committee of conference, where both chambers will have till June 27th to take action.

UPCOMING HEARINGS FOR NEXT WEEK
Note the ones in red are priority bills for AFT-NH

MONDAY, MARCH 25

FINANCE, Rooms 210-211, LOB
Division Budget Presentations to Full Committee:
10:00 a.m. Division I and Division II.
1:00 p.m. Division III.

FINANCE – (DIVISION I), Room 212, LOB
9:30 a.m. Work session on HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2014 and June 30, 2015, HB 2-FN-A-L, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures.

FINANCE – (DIVISION II), Room 209, LOB
9:30 a.m. Work session on HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2014 and June 30, 2015, HB 2-FN-A-L, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures.

FINANCE – (DIVISION III), Rooms 210-211, LOB
9:30 a.m. Work session on HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2014 and June 30, 2015, HB 2-FN-A-L, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures.

TUESDAY, MARCH 26

HEALTH, EDUCATION AND HUMAN SERVICES, Room 103, LOB

9:00 a.m. HB 161, relative to school district policies on health and sex education.
9:40 a.m. HB 142, relative to teacher evaluation systems.
10:00 a.m. HB 629-FN, relative to the criteria for approving and calculating school building aid grants.

FINANCE, Rooms 210-211, LOB
10:00 a.m. Executive session on HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2014 and June 30, 2015, HB 2-FN-A-L, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 27

10 a.m. House in session

THURSDAY, MARCH 28

10a.m.  Possible House session

1 p.m. Senate in session

MONDAY, APRIL 1

TASK FORCE ON WORK AND FAMILY (RSA 276-B:1), Room 207, LOB
1:15 p.m. Organizational meeting.

TUESDAY, APRIL 2

EDUCATION, Room 207, LOB
10:00 a.m. Department of Education – Presentation Common Core.
11:00 a.m. Department of Education – Smarter Balance Assessment.
1:15 p.m. NH school safety and security.

FRIDAY, APRIL 19

FISCAL COMMITTEE (RSA 14:30-a), Rooms 210-211, LOB
10:00 a.m. Regular business.

3/18/12 A Legislative Update Laura Hainey and AFT-NH

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Both the House and Senate are finishing up on their respective legislation.  March 28th is ‘crossover day’ so all hearings and votes must be completed by that date (the House has until April 4 to finish budget bills).  Both sides will then start working on bills that have passed the other Chamber.  It’s like starting all over again but with new faces.

As for the budget bills there have been several public hearings on the budget, with two more coming up up on Monday, March 18th:

  • Sugar River Valley Regional Technical Center, 111 South Street Claremont.5:00 p.m. Public hearing on HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2014 and June 30, 2015 and HB 2-FN-A-LOCAL, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures.
  • Rochester Community Center, 150 Wakefield Street, Rochester.5:00 p.m. Public hearing on HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2014 and June 30, 2015 and HB 2-FN-A-LOCAL, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures.

If you live in either of these communities it is a good time to attend and express your support or concerns with the proposed budget. The House is working from the Governor’s budget and they will be making changes as they move through the process. NEW HAMPSHIRE FISCAL POLICY INSTITUTE has written up a complete analysis of the Governor’s budget proposal, which I found to be very helpful in understanding the proposed budget.  To read this full report click here.

Below is  a summary of the status of bills being monitored by AFT-NH.

If you have any questions or concerns please email me at lhainey@aft-nh.org

In Solidarity,
Laura Hainey
AFT-NH President

HOUSE BILLS THAT ARE MOVING OVER TO THE SENATE

HB 178:
relative to public employer collective bargaining agreements. This bill was amended and replaced with the following:

This bill requires the PELRB (Public Employee Labor Relations Board) to:

  • Post online training for collective bargaining.
  • Maintain a record how political subdivisions vote on collective bargaining agreements and provide the legislature with an annual report.

AFT-NH supports this amended bill and hopes that the Senate will pass it as well.

HB 342: relative to part-time employment of retired members of the retirement system.

This bill has been amended in its entirety into a reporting requirement,

  • It will provide valuable information regarding NHRS retirees. Employers will report the number of hours worked and the compensation earned to the NHRS on a quarterly basis, so NHRS can collect and maintain data that is unavailable now.
  • The bill does not take effect until 120 days after passage to allow time to prepare, and includes a sunset provision in 2018, which allows time for sufficient data to be developed.
  • The New Hampshire Retirement Security Coalition (NHRSC) hired, Thomas Lowman from Bolton Partners and he provided us his actuarial opinion stating that the practice of replacing full time position with part time positions is setting the state up for greater costs down the road. He included numerous reasons why employers who either hire more part-time positions than full-time, or encourage full-time employees to retire and then hire them back part-time, are negatively impacting the overall state retirement system and the Unfunded Actuarial Accrued Liability. To read the full letter click here.

AFT-NH supports this amended bill and hopes that the Senate will pass it as well.

HB 142 as amended: As I read this bill, any teacher evaluation and support system will be developed with teacher involvement and must be adopted by both the local school board and the teachers. The State teacher evaluation model may serve as a guide and reference only, meaning that it is not mandated that you adopt this State model at the local level. To protect current negotiated provisions in contracts, language was added to the bill, reading “Nothing in this paragraph shall supersede collective bargaining rights under RSA 273-A.” This bill has come a long way from when it was introduced, and AFT-NH will continue to monitor this as it works its way through the Senate.

HB 370: would repeal the education tax credits. Keep in mind that two bills passed last year diverted scarce resources to private and religious schools as well as home schoolers. In fact, these laws do not even contain any accountability provisions to ensure the money is put to good use!

AFT-NH also believes that it is unconstitutional to divert state money to religious schools. Our Constitution is clear—state money will not be used to fund religious instruction (“no person shall ever be compelled to pay towards the support of the schools of any sect or denomination.”– Article 6, NH Constitution). AFT-NH support the passage of this bill and hopes the Senate will pass it as well.

HB 187: relative to deliberative sessions in towns that have adopted official ballot voting. This bill was submitted by retired AFT-NH member Marjorie Porter. This bill provides that the dollar amount agreed to in a collective bargaining agreement between a public employer and an employee organization shall not be modified by the legislative body of the public employer and that amount is what the voters should vote on.

AFT-NH is in support of this bill; we believe that what is negotiated in good faith should go before the voters for a vote and not be sidelined by a few. We hope that the Senate will pass it as well.

SENATE BILLS NOW MOVING OVER TO THE HOUSE

SB 132: relative to part-time employment in the retirement system and establishing a committee to study police special details.

  • This bill was amended by the Senate Executive Departments and Administration Committee to establish a committee to study police special details and will move to the full Senate with the recommendation of passage.
  • The committee is tasked with studying the use and efficacy of police special details, and alternatives which may be available to towns, cities, and the state.

AFT-NH does not support forming another committee to study the New Hampshire retirement system or parts of it.

SB 82:
This bill establishes a commission for the purpose of identifying strategies for developing and implementing a competency-based public education. AFT-NH is staying neutral on this bill. We understand that moving to a competency-based system will take much time and consideration when developing this system. AFT-NH hopes that the final report will include recommendations for adequate time and staff development for the educators charged with implementing this new system.

If you are currently moving forward in implementing a competency-based system and you have concerns, suggestions and recommendations please send them to LHainey@aft-nh.org. This way we can makes sure they are passed along.

DEFEATED BILLS

HB 609: relative to possession of a firearm on school property. AFT-NH was in opposition to this bill, as it created far too many unanswered questions.  Where and how are these guns to be stored? Who would have access to the guns? Would it really prevent a shooting at a school or increase the risk of one? Would there be any training for those who have guns at the schools? What about the liability if something goes wrong? This bill was defeated in the house. AFT-NH thanks all who supported us on this.

HB 620: relative to the adjustment of member and employer contribution rates in the retirement system.

  • This bill provides that contribution rates for members in the retirement system and employers shall be calculated by assigning one half of the biennial change to the liabilities of the system to each.
  • The full House voted to defeat this bill, and AFT-NH supports this action.

HB 322: This bill would have required proficiency on the statewide assessment for advancement to grades 4 and 8. AFT-NH was in opposition to this bill. Since the implementation of No Child Left Behind, we’ve seen a growing fixation on high-stakes testing as a central piece of the effort to improve schools. Unfortunately, the result has been exactly the opposite. The low-level, high-stakes tests that now hang over our teachers and students—and their extreme misuse as a result of ideologically and politically driven education policy—have seriously damaged our public education system. AFT-NH believes that Learning Is More Than a Test Score.

SB 37: relative to management rights under collective bargaining. This bill would have eliminated your ability to bargain over wages, standards for evaluation, selection, layoff and retention, discipline, assignment and transfer and “other traditionally accepted management rights”. In essence, this would have ended collective bargaining for public employees. This bill was defeated by the Senate; AFT-NH fully supported defeating this bill.

CACR 6 and CARC 7:  Relating to education. Both of these proposed constitutional amendments concerned funding public education and left full discretion in the hands of the elected representatives at the State House. These proposals are almost carbon-copies of CACR 12 from 2012, which was defeated. Keep in mind we have come a long way since the Claremont Decision. We cherish public education in NH, but we also know that in a difficult budgetary environment, one of the most tempting areas to make spending cuts is in State support of education, thereby downshifting costs onto localities.  AFT-NH supported the defeat of these constitutional amendments, which happened this past Wednesday in the House.

And of course HB 323 the Right to Work for less bill. AFT-NH was in opposition to this bill and it was defeated once again!

BILLS THAT HAVE BEEN RETAINED BY THE SENATE OR HOUSE
These bills will be worked on by a committee and there will need to be a vote on the first day of the 2014 session

HB 494:  This permits other school personnel to administer a glucagon injection to a pupil. AFT-NH stands with our fellow organization New Hampshire School Nurses Association in opposition to this bill.

HB 341: relative to the cost of fiscal analysis of legislation relating to the retirement system.

  • This bill requires that whenever any proposed legislation needs a fiscal analysis of its impact on the NHRS, the administrative and professional cost of that fiscal analysis shall not be paid from Retirement System assets or charged as an expense of administration.
  • In the last two sessions it has cost the New Hampshire Retirement System over $100,000 to investigate the costs associated with proposed legislation.  This is money coming out of our system that could fund close to three pensions.
  • If a legislator puts in a bill then the funds to cost this should come out of their budget not ours.

AFT-NH supports passage of this bill.

HB 627: requiring unused vacation and sick leave to be converted to service time for purposes of calculating retirement system benefits.

  • This bill provides that at retirement the accrued but unused sick and vacation time of a retirement system member shall be converted to hours and applied as additional creditable service.

AFT-NH supports defeat of this bill.

HB 435:  relative to funding for chartered public school pupils. AFT-NH opposes this bill because it diverts scarce funding from our public schools just like the education tax credits initiated last year. If charter schools truly want to be considered public then they must:

  • Accept all children that walk through their doors,
  • The entire teaching staff should be certified,
  • They would take on all the responsibility of educating special education students and not rely on the local school system to offer services,
  • They would take on the responsibility of transporting the students to school.
  • In short they would have to follow all the laws and rules that current public schools follow.


BILLS THAT STILL NEED ACTION IN THE FULL HOUSE OR SENATE


HB 124:
relative to the determination of gainful occupation for a group II member receiving an accidental disability retirement allowance from the retirement system.

  • This bill reinserts a provision which removes the application of the gainful occupation reductions to retirement allowances of group II accidental disability beneficiaries who have years of service plus years of accidental disability retirement which total at least 20 and who have attained the age of 45.
  • The House Executive Departments and Administration Committee has no recommendation for this bill. AFT-NH -NH supports the recommendation of passage.

HB 364: relative to notice required concerning employment of a retired member of the New Hampshire retirement system of the limitations on part-time employment.

  • This bill was amended its in entirety.
  • This bill requires New Hampshire Retirement System employers to notify existing and prospective part-time employees, who are retired members in the retirement system, of the annual limitations on hours for part-time employment. The bill also requires the Retirement System to provide similar notice to all retired members.
  • An employer shall provide written notice of the hourly limitations on part-time employment and the potential effect that exceeding such hourly limitations could have on the retired member’s retirement benefits.
  • The Retirement System shall annually provide written notice to all retired members of the retirement system of the hourly limitations on part-time employment and the potential effect that exceeding such hourly limitations could have on the retired member’s retirement benefits.
  • AFT-NH supports the recommendation of passage from the House Executive Departments and Administration Committee.

HB 455: establishing a committee to study the use of a cash balance retirement plan for new state employees.

  • This bill establishes a committee to study the use of a cash balance retirement plan for new state employees and other groups electing to participate.
  • AFT-NH supports the recommendation of the House Executive Departments and Administration Committee of defeating this bill.

HB 381: relative to citizen complaints against a police officer. The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee made the recommendation of defeating this bill. AFT-NH is in support of this recommendation and request that legislators support this recommendation when it comes before them. Keep in mind that there is already a process in place for complaints, and this bill would just provide a tool to those who want retribution against police officers who have faithfully performed their duties.

AFT-NH is also supporting the efforts of the New Hampshire Child Alliance Network on HB 260. This bill authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services to provide voluntary services to a child who would otherwise be found to be a child in need of services under RSA 169-D. This bill passed the House Children and Family Law Committee 19-0 and passed the full House on March 6.  The bill is now before the House Finance Committee, where they will discuss the cost of the bill. Governor Hassan did put in her budget $7.5 M in total funds for CHINS over the next two years. For more background information on this click here.

UPCOMING HEARINGS FOR NEXT WEEK
Note the ones in red are priority bills for AFT-NH

MONDAY, MARCH 18

FINANCE, Sugar River Valley Regional Technical Center, 111 South Street Claremont.
5:00 p.m. Public hearing on HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2014 and June 30, 2015 and HB 2-FN-A-LOCAL, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures.

Rochester Community Center, 150 Wakefield Street, Rochester.
5:00 p.m. Public hearing on HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2014 and June 30, 2015 and HB 2-FN-A-LOCAL, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures.

FINANCE – (DIVISION I), Room 212, LOB
9:30 a.m. Work session on HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2014 and June 30, 2015, HB 2-FN-A-L, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures.

FINANCE – (DIVISION II), Room 209, LOB
10:00 a.m. Work session on HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2014 and June 30, 2015, HB 2-FN-A-L, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures.

FINANCE – (DIVISION III), Rooms 210-211, LOB
9:30 a.m. Work session on HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2014 and June 30, 2015,
HB 2-FN-A-L, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures,
HB 260-FN, relative to voluntary services provided to children in need under RSA 169-D (if needed).
1:00 p.m. Work session on HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2014 and June 30, 2015,
HB 2-FN-A-L, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures.

TUESDAY, MARCH 19

FINANCE, Rooms 210-211, LOB
10:00 a.m. Executive session on
HB 260-FN, relative to voluntary services provided to children in need under RSA 169-D,
HB 269-L, authorizing a city or town to conduct a special meeting necessitated by changes in adequate education funding,
HB 299-FN, relative to tuition payments for chartered public school pupils,
HB 319-FN, relative to benefits for state employees serving in the armed forces,
HB 344-FN-L, relative to aid to school districts for the cost of special education,
570-FN, relative to school building aid grant eligibility for the White Mountain Regional school district,

FINANCE – (DIVISION I), Room 212, LOB
1:00 p.m. Work session on HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2014 and June 30, 2015,
HB 2-FN-A-L, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures.

FINANCE – (DIVISION II), Room 209, LOB
1:00 p.m. Work session on HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2014 and June 30, 2015,
HB 2-FN-A-L, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures.

FINANCE – (DIVISION III), Rooms 210-211, LOB
1:00 p.m. Work session on HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2014 and June 30, 2015,
HB 2-FN-A-L, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures.

FRIDAY, MARCH 22

HEALTH, EDUCATION AND HUMAN SERVICES, Room 100, SH
1:00 p.m. HB 370-FN, repealing the education tax credit program.
EXECUTIVE SESSION MAY FOLLOW

MONDAY, MARCH 25

FINANCE, Rooms 210-211, LOB
2:30 p.m. Executive session on HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2014 and June 30, 2015,
HB 2-FN-A-L, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures.

TUESDAY, MARCH 26

FINANCE, Rooms 210-211, LOB
10:00 a.m. Continued executive session on HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2014 and June 30, 2015,
HB 2-FN-A-L, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures.

MONDAY, APRIL 1

TASK FORCE ON WORK AND FAMILY (RSA 276-B:1), Room 207, LOB
1:15 p.m. Organizational meeting.