Labor Unions Representing Tens of Thousands of New Hampshire Workers Endorse Jeanne Shaheen

Manchester — Just one day after Scott Brown declared he has no interest in promoting economic development here in our state, New Hampshire labor unions representing tens of thousands of Granite State workers including the NH AFL-CIO, SEIU, NEA, Teamsters, Iron Workers, Electrical Workers, Food and Commercial Workers, Postal Workers, and Laborers, endorsed New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen for reelection. In their endorsements, workers highlighted Shaheen’s commitment to creating good paying jobs and her record standing up for New Hampshire workers and their families. Meanwhile, Scott Brown has shown that he’s only looking out for one job, his own, after it was recently reported that he is collecting a hefty paycheck from a company that shipped jobs overseas. Yesterday, Brown declared he wasn’t going to work to create jobs in the Senate.

“I’m honored to have the support of so many New Hampshire workers and their families,” said Shaheen. “Every day in the U.S. Senate, my number one priority has always been to strengthen our economy and create good paying jobs here in New Hampshire so everyone who works hard can earn a decent living for their families. I’ll never stop fighting to increase the minimum wage, invest in our state’s roads and bridges, and close loopholes for companies that ship jobs overseas. These are commonsense solutions that will make a real difference for people throughout New Hampshire.”

Jeanne Shaheen has fought to strengthen the state’s economy and create good paying jobs for New Hampshire workers. She reached across party lines to secure new funding to widen I-93 and rebuild the Portsmouth Memorial Bridge, both of which created jobs for workers across the state. Shaheen stood up to members of her own party to protect thousands of jobs at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. She also voted to close tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas and is fighting to raise the minimum wage because it’s what’s right for New Hampshire families.

Scott Brown has opposed increasing the minimum wage and voted to support tax loopholes for companies that offshore American jobs. Recently, the Nashua Telegraph reported that Brown has made over a quarter million dollars as a board member of a company that touts outsourcing American jobs to China and Mexico as part of its business plan. Legal documents dated just two days before Brown entered the U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire bear his signature endorsing the company’s outsourcing strategy.

“This election, we’re going door to door because there’s a real contrast in this race between someone running for New Hampshire working families and someone who’s in this race to line his own pockets,” said Mark Mackenzie, President of the NH AFL-CIO. “While Jeanne Shaheen puts New Hampshire first, Scott Brown puts his bank account first, refusing to resign from the board of a company that offshored American jobs to increase its profits. We don’t stand for that here in New Hampshire.”

“As a former teacher herself, Jeanne Shaheen knows the importance of ensuring every child has access to an affordable, quality education,” said NH National Education Association President Scott McGilvray. “It’s an insult to working families that Scott Brown would sit on the Board of Directors of a company that sent American jobs to China and Mexico to increase its bottom line. What Scott Brown needs to understand is that the offshoring practices he endorsed don’t just hurt workers, they hurt communities and they hurt kids.”

“Senator Shaheen has shown time and time again she can reach across the aisle and get things done for the people of New Hampshire,” said Steven Burk, NH Business Agent and Political Liason for the Ironworkers. “She’s worked to create good paying jobs here in our state, including the rebuilding of the Portsmouth Memorial Bridge, which our workers were proud to be a part of. New Hampshire working people deserve a Senator who will stand up for them, fight to increase the minimum wage, and close loopholes for companies that ship jobs overseas–not one who supports special interests and lines his own pockets while claiming to represent us.”

“Jeanne Shaheen understands that investing in New Hampshire’s infrastructure not only creates good paying jobs, but also strengthens our economy in the long run,” said New Hampshire Teamsters Secretary-Treasurer David Laughton. “Scott Brown is still cashing in from his role on the board of a company that shipped American jobs overseas. While he profits, working people suffer. Here in New Hampshire, we’re not going to tolerate that kind of behavior.”

“The bottom line is Jeanne Shaheen understands that people in New Hampshire have bills to pay, kids to send to college, and food to put on the table–all while trying to save for retirement,” said Diana Lacey, SEIU 1984 President. “Scott Brown didn’t just vote for tax breaks for companies that offshore American jobs, he sits on the board of one of those companies himself.”

“Senator Shaheen supported every postal worker in New Hampshire when she personally urged members of the Appropriations Committee to protect the USPS service standards, helping to preserve a vital public service,” said Dana Coletti, New Hampshire President of the American Postal Workers Union. “Jeanne Shaheen looks out for the people of New Hampshire and has always put the families of this state first.”

“As Governor and Senator, Jeanne Shaheen’s worked to create good paying jobs by investing in infrastructure and education right here in New Hampshire,” said Joe Bonfiglio, President of the Massachusetts & Northern New England Laborers’ District Council. “Scott Brown on the other hand seems to care more about the economies of China and Mexico. He’s made a quarter million dollars on the board of a company that shipped jobs overseas to increase profits. We need a Senator who prioritizes working people here in New Hampshire, and that Senator is Jeanne Shaheen.”

We’re proud to endorse Jeanne Shaheen for reelection to the United States Senate,” said Jim Carvalho, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1445 Political Director. “She has a long record of fighting to create good paying jobs and looking out for working families here in New Hampshire. As a Senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown voted to protect tax breaks for Big Oil, Wall Street and companies that ship jobs overseas. Now, he’s collecting money sitting on the board of a company that touts relying on low cost manufacturing jobs in China and Mexico as a part of its business plan. That’s not the representation our state deserves to have in the Senate.”

“Jeanne Shaheen is a Senator New Hampshire working people can trust. Her top priority has always been to create new jobs and she’s delivered for New Hampshire time and time again,” said Joe Casey, President of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 490. “Scott Brown is in this race for nobody but Big Oil, Wall Street and himself. I can’t believe he’d vote for tax breaks for all these special interests but won’t support increasing the minimum wage so working people can support their families. Now he’s making money off of a company that shipped jobs overseas? We need to keep Jeanne Shaheen in the Senate.”

SEA-SEIU1984 Show Support For Former Boss, Jeanne Shaheen, With Endorsement

Concord, NH, August 29, 2014 – The State Employees’ Association/SEIU Local 1984 (SEA/SEIU 1984) announced the organization’s endorsement of Senator Jeanne Shaheen in this fall’s U.S. Senate race.

SEA/SEIU1984 endorsed Senator Shaheen based on her previous record as a NH Senator and as Governor of the state. She has a vast knowledge of NH’s needs and has represented the state and its residents well in Washington, D.C.

The organization pointed out the weaknesses of Shaheen’s opponent, Scott Brown. Loyalty is something that the people of New Hampshire hold very dear. We expect it of the people we elect to office, and we deserve it in every aspect of how they serve us once elected. Scott Brown recently finished serving the people of Massachusetts in Washington.  Then he took the time to figure out what other things he might be able to do to further his political career.  Then he decided to move to New Hampshire to get back to Washington,” said Diana Lacey, President SEA/SEIU 1984. “Like his passion for outsourcing American jobs overseas, he finds nothing disrespectful in this notion of outsourcing our representation in Washington to an out of stater.  We won’t be fooled!”

“The bottom line is Jeanne Shaheen understands that people in New Hampshire have bills to pay, kids to send to college, and food to put on the table–all while trying to save for retirement. She’s always worked to expand opportunity and ensure those who work hard are able to earn a decent living for their families,” said Lacey.

“Scott Brown didn’t just vote for tax breaks for companies that offshore American jobs, he sits on the board of one of those companies himself. We knew Scott Brown was in the pocket of Wall Street and Big Oil, but this is a new low. Here in New Hampshire, we don’t profit off a company that cuts American jobs, period,” Lacey stated.

SEA/SEIU 1984’s Political Education Committee vets candidates based on the organization’s Granite Strong vision, which includes key policies that position NH to be family and small business friendly. “We look at a candidate’s support of many policy strategies and issues, including labor-related, that help NH families rather than political parties,” said Ken Roos, Chair of the committee.

The committee then sends its recommendations to the SEA/SEIU 1984 Board of Directors who have the final vote on the endorsement.

SEA/SEIU 1984 is the exclusive representative of the majority of state employees, as well as a number of municipalities across the state and one private service organization.

Shaheen Campaign Joins NH Labor Leaders Calling On Scott Brown To Resign From Outsourcing Company

Scott Brown Collected More Than A Quarter Of A Million Dollars Advising Company Outsourcing American Jobs

Manchester — Today, the Shaheen campaign joined labor leaders representing tens of thousands of New Hampshire workers and their families in calling on Scott Brown to resign from the Board of Directors of a company that outsourced U.S. Jobs.  The former Massachusetts Senator collected more than a quarter of a million dollars to advise the company, even endorsing their outsourcing practice of relying on low-cost manufacturing bases in China and Mexico.  Brown has refused to answer questions about his role with the company since it was revealed by the Nashua Telegraph.

Officers of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO, New Hampshire Teamsters, and New Hampshire SEIU Local 1984, wrote Brown: “In New Hampshire, we value companies looking to create good jobs at good wages here, not those looking to increase their profits by killing American jobs and shifting production to low wages countries like Mexico or China. That is why we are asking you to step down from your position on the Board of Directors of Kadant, Inc.”

Shaheen for Senate Campaign Manager Mike Vlacich said, “Cashing in on the board of company that brags about its outsourcing of American jobs to China and Mexico is another example of why Scott Brown is wrong for New Hampshire. Scott Brown has to answer to the people of New Hampshire who deserve to know why he was collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars from a company that shipped American jobs overseas and that relies on low-cost manufacturing bases in China and Mexico. New Hampshire can’t afford a U.S. Senator like Scott Brown who cares more about lining his own pockets — even if it means taking jobs from U.S. workers. Scott Brown should resign from this company immediately.”

Brown even signed legal documents dated just two days before he entered New Hampshire’s U.S. Senate race in which the company touted “using low cost manufacturing bases, such as China and Mexico” as a business strategy.  When he was a Senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown voted to protect tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.

“In tough times New Hampshire workers need a Senator who will advocate for them; someone they can trust.  We can’t trust someone who doesn’t support increasing the minimum wage, voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, and lines his own pockets with more than a quarter of a million dollars from a company that sent American jobs overseas,” continues the letter.

See the letter New Hampshire labor leaders wrote to Brown below in its entirety:

To Mr. Scott Brown:

Our organizations represent thousands of New Hampshire workers and their families.  We were deeply troubled to read about your lucrative position with a company that outsourced jobs to China and Mexico. In New Hampshire, we value companies looking to create good jobs at good wages here, not those looking to increase their profits by killing American jobs and shifting production to low wages countries like Mexico or China. That is why we are asking you to step down from your position on the Board of Directors of Kadant, Inc.

As the Nashua Telegraph reported in the Sunday paper, you received over a quarter million dollars as a Director for Kadant, Inc.. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which you signed your name to, the company proudly touts “using low cost manufacturing bases, such as China and Mexico,” instead of creating American jobs.

In tough times New Hampshire workers need a Senator who will advocate for them; someone they can trust.  We can’t trust someone who doesn’t support increasing the minimum wage, voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, and lines his own pockets with more than a quarter of a million dollars from a company that sent American jobs overseas.

From 2002 to 2012, New Hampshire lost a higher percentage of jobs to China than any other state in the country, according to the Economic Policy Institute.  Families here can’t afford a Senator who is personally profiting from corporate practices that hurt our economy.  Again and again, Mr. Brown, it seems that you are looking out for your self-interests ahead of the people of New Hampshire.

We believe you owe New Hampshire an explanation about your decision to profit from a company whose practices hurt American workers, and further that you should resign from the board of this company.

We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

SEA-NH/New Hampshire SEIU Local 1984 President Diana Lacey
New Hampshire AFL-CIO President, Mark S. MacKenzie
New Hampshire Teamsters Secretary-Treasurer David W. Laughton

Sununu Youth Center Tosses Aside More of Its Teaching Staff

Budget Cuts Destroy Promises Made to at Risk Youth 

Last week, nine staff members at Sununu Youth Services Center (SYSC) saw their careers upended.  All were moved into other career paths, some with no clear connection to their work history. One part-time employee was laid off completely.  Six of the nine affected workers were teachers.  This action decimates the education department as a whole.

SYSC is the state’s residential detention and school facility for youth ages 13 to 17 who have either been found to be delinquent (SYSC program) or are awaiting that determination (YDSU program). Both programs are approved by NH Dept. of Education Bureau of Special Education to serve students in all disability categories. The programs include academics, special education, electives and vocational training for the youth that are taught in four distinct educational settings within the institution. Classes are in session year round at SYSC.

“This is the third round of significant cuts to SYSC in six years.  These kids require intensive services to in order to turn their lives around and to be safe while on that path. Education is the bedrock that will help them find future success,” said Diana Lacey, President SEA/SEIU Local 1984.

At issue is the SYSC administration’s strategy for making $1.25 million in budget cuts.  “It defies logic that anyone would cut the teaching staff by half at an institution that educates the at-risk youth,” said Brad Asbury, former SYSC employee and current SEA/SEIU 1984 manager working with the educators.  “The youth are paying the price for a conflict that began between the teachers and Director Maggie Bishop two years ago. They predicted this would happen well before budget writers took aim at them.”

“We’ve talked with half of the affected employees so far,” said Sean Bolton, SEA/SEIU 1984 Grievance Representative. “Based on our initial analysis, SYSC management inappropriately applied the state’s personnel rules to every affected employee except for one part-time teacher.” SEA/SEIU 1984 will be investigating the matter.

“This situation is ridiculous and putting us in harm’s way,” said Will Flowers, one of the teachers whose position was not directly affected.  “We are down to nine classroom teachers. Tell me, how’s that going to work?”  Flowers said the safe teacher/student ratio is five to six students per teacher.  “Any more than that in a classroom, you can’t watch them,” he said.  “Just last week there was a fight between two students because there were too many students in the classroom.  Without adequate staffing, our students are at risk of hurting themselves or others, as well as not having a shot at receiving effective instruction.” There are typically 60 or more residents at the facility.

“Many of the students go to vocational training,” said Flowers. “Many of them can’t read or write, so they learn a trade here.”  Flowers has been teaching culinary arts at SYSC for 18 years.

“It’s interesting that the Governor who is the ‘education governor’ and all about special education would support the gutting of the education program.  I guess it’s fine for kids with special education needs who can afford it, but not necessary for these kids,” Flowers said.  Many of the youth at the center have been identified as having special education needs.

“The teachers have worked tirelessly reaching out to state senators and representatives, executive councilors and the Governor to sound the alarm of what this cut will mean to the kids.  There is no coincidence in the administration’s choice to slash the teaching force,” said Jay Ward, Political Director at SEA/SEIU 1984. “The quality of the educational services at the Center is well known. You don’t cut it if you want to see youth succeed.”

Multiple meetings with the administration, area lawmakers, and Governor Maggie Hassan have failed to yield a more balanced approach to the execution of the SYSC specific budget cut.

The SEA-SEIU 1984 Respond To The Veto Of SB 391, The Juvenile Justice Advisory Board

Concord, NH, July 28, 2014 – Earlier today, Governor Maggie Hassan vetoed SB 391, which would have revitalized a legislative oversight committee for Sununu Youth Services Center (SYSC) and called for the appointment of a director of juvenile justice services at SYSC.

Through the Bill, the inactive Juvenile Justice Advisory Board would be revived, strengthened in composition, and would be given more of an oversight role over the center.  SYSC management changed in 2012 and was placed under the State Director of Children, Youth & Families.

Employees testifying in support of this bill reported numerous concerns about the management of the institution, safety, financial irresponsibility, and employer retaliation. Most recently, on-campus arson and incidents involving youth to youth conflicts have also been reported.

In response to budget cuts, nine staff members at SYSC were reassigned in lieu of layoff (in most instances demoted) or laid off last week.  Six of the nine affected workers were teachers.  This action decimates the education department as a whole.

“We’ve talked with half of the affected employees so far,” said Sean Bolton, SEA/SEIU 1984 Grievance Representative. “Based on our initial analysis, SYSC management inappropriately applied the state’s personnel rules to every affected employee except for one part-time teacher.” SEA/SEIU 1984 will be investigating the matter and taking subsequent action to protect the workers in question.

“The situation at SYSC seems to go from bad to worse,” said Diana Lacey, President SEA/SEIU 1984. “There have been three rounds of significant lay-offs over the last five years; all following shifts in management, philosophy and employees speaking out about their concerns. SYSC seems to be a target for retaliation.  This bill would have leveled the debate and created a balanced approach to management oversight.”

“It’s interesting that the Governor who is the ‘education governor’ and all about special education would support the gutting of the education program.  I guess it’s fine for kids with special education needs who can afford it, but not necessary for these kids,” said Will Flowers sarcastically, one of the teachers who was not affected by the budget cuts.

The veto comes the same day Governor Hassan also vetoed another bill, HB 591, that would have improved management oversight statewide.

State Employees Association Responds To The Governor’s Veto Of SB 591 (Bullying Bill)

SEIU 1984 LogoConcord, July 28, 2014 – Earlier today, Governor Maggie Hassan vetoed HB 591 which would have provided for a workplace free of abuse and a healthy, safe environment for state workers.

We are very disappointed in the Governor’s action.  HB 591 originated from SEA/SEIU 1984’s highest governing body in 2012 because the issue of worksite bullying is real and present across state agencies.

A committee of concerned members worked with legislators to draft the Bill.  State workers who had been on the receiving end of mistreatment provided hours of public testimony at legislative hearings and both chambers approved the bill. They also had several meetings with legislators following the hearings.

Governor Hassan has been opposed to this bill from its inception. She acknowledged there are workplace problems that are serious and yet has made only a token effort to address them on a permanent basis.

The Governor has the power to issue an Executive Order and truly lead a robust healthy workplace program that turns this situation around.  Yet, we have not seen a single draft policy or proposal come forward from the Governor’s Office in the two years that this legislation has been under consideration. Instead, the Governor’s solution was to direct the Dept. of Administrative Services to develop a “Respect in the Workplace” training for all managers and employees to view. This training consists of a PowerPoint presentation that is akin to classroom rules. It does not address or suggest remedies for the actions that are plaguing state workers in nearly every agency.

In her statement about the veto, the Governor said, “I have additionally heard numerous concerns from the business community, including the New Hampshire Business and Industry Association, which opposed the bill and are concerned about the impact of such provisions if extended to private sector employers statewide.” This statement makes it clear that Governor Hassan is far less interested in the well-being of the public servants who carry out the business of the state than the interests of private industry. It is in stark contrast to her nearly instantaneous support of striking Market Basket employees.

This bill provided a decent framework from which the Governor could have made incredible progress on this issue. Instead we are just seeing more stalling tactics, this time couched as a favor to the BIA.

SEA/SEIU 1984 will be convening its governing body to discuss next steps related to the veto.

Gov. Hassan Rejects HB 591 (A Bill About Abusive Work Environments)

CONCORD – Governor Maggie Hassan released the following message after vetoing HB 591 today:

“By the authority vested in me, pursuant to part II, Article 44 of the New Hampshire Constitution, on July 28th, 2014, I vetoed House Bill 591, relative to an abusive work environment and the health and safety of public employees.

“In New Hampshire, our hard-working and skilled state employees consistently execute the responsibilities of state government with great competence and ability. They deserve our admiration and respect for their public service and should always be afforded, along with their private sector counterparts, the opportunity to work in a respectful and dignified environment.

“HB 591, while well-intentioned, contains a number of poorly defined and unworkable provisions that will inevitably lead to a dramatic increase in unwarranted workplace-related litigation which, in turn, will materially disrupt workplace supervision and hinder productivity within state agencies. The bill also attempts to legislate politeness, manners and the interpersonal relationships of co-workers. Ultimately, it would head us in a direction toward extending these onerous and unnecessary directives to our private sector business community, making our state an undesirable destination for expansion and economic development.

“The Attorney General, Commissioners and my office worked diligently with legislators and the State Employees Association and developed a reasonable compromise that would have served our employees well without greatly undermining the continuity and effectiveness of state government.

“However, the Senate ultimately rejected the compromise and instead elected to send an extremely flawed bill to my desk.

“Among its most onerous provisions, this legislation defines “abusive conduct” in a broad and unworkable manner based on an individual employee’s subjective perception, not on an unbiased objective standard. While I know it was not the intent of its sponsors, this bill, as written, may make the most routine workplace interactions – and the human give-and-take they entail – potential causes of action. Under this bill:

  • An individual may claim workplace abuse if an employee believes he or she has an “unreasonable” workload, even if it is a workload similar to their co-workers.
  • An individual may claim workplace abuse if his or her supervisor or co-worker uses language that “criticizes” the employee in public – even if the criticism is constructive, appropriate and done within the confines of the workplace.
  • An individual may claim workplace abuse if he or she feels his or her co-workers are not answering emails in a timely manner, and therefore “ignoring” a request for information or assistance. Given the workloads of employees, they are likely to have very different definitions of what amounts to a reasonable amount of time to respond to a non-urgent request.
  •  An individual may claim workplace abuse if a supervisor gives what the employee feels is “unreasonable criticism” outside of the typical evaluation process. Under the proposed legislation if an employee, for example, fills out the same form wrong every day, or returns late from a break every day, a supervisor who offers corrective guidance outside an annual review could be accused of bullying.
  • An individual may claim workplace abuse if a co-worker or a supervisor shows “constant and harsh displays of disrespect,” even though the legislation offers no guidance of what it means by “constant” or “harsh” or “disrespect.” For example, under this legislation, an employee would be able to claim abuse if a co-worker regularly failed to say hello in the morning.

“While many specious complaints would ultimately be dismissed by the courts, the state would still incur the time and expense of litigation. In addition, the specter of claims would create a culture of fear where supervisors are unable to manage, and a handful of employees could push their workloads onto their co-workers by filing bullying complaints.

“This bill also creates an entirely new – and expensive – system for addressing public employee complaints, without any funding to establish it. Under existing state rules, personnel complaints are expected to be made first to a supervisor and then through the agency head.

“In circumstances where employees are either uncomfortable making a complaint to their immediate supervisor or the complaint is about their immediate supervisor, existing rules also provide other avenues for redress for employees. In such cases, employees are also able to bring their complaints to other supervisors, their agency head, their human resources officers or the Division of Personnel.

“This bill effectively nullifies those standard lines of mediating workplace disputes.  In doing so, the legislation effectively ignores the fact that many instances of alleged “abusive conduct” under this legislation may not involve supervisors but instead involve co-workers. The bill would allow employees with complaints against a co-worker to circumvent the employee’s supervisor, who is often the very person best suited to address the concern.

“Under the current system, the Division of Personnel, which has limited resources, conducts investigations into sexual harassment, and some other serious cases of workplace misconduct. The Department of Labor has no experience, no expertise and no personnel for mediating such inter-personnel disputes. This legislation does not provide the Department with any funding or staff to take on this major new role. And, even if it did, HB 591 is silent on what the remedies might be, and what authority the department has to enforce a remedy.

“In proposing to enact this new set of policies, HB 591 ignores current remedies in place provided through existing personnel rules, existing administrative practices and the existing right to a private cause of action for those instances that are the most extreme in nature.

“I have additionally heard numerous concerns from the business community, including the New Hampshire Business and Industry Association, which opposed the bill and are concerned about the impact of such provisions if extended to private sector employers statewide.  In addition to the fact that this legislation will hurt state government’s ability to effectively and efficiently manage its workforce, the possibility of its application to the private sector would be counter-productive to the efforts of our innovative businesses to grow and create good jobs.

“I believe a respectful workplace is important to ensure productivity and fairness to all of our state employees. In response to the concerns I heard from employees soon after I took office, I tasked the Division of Personnel with developing a new “Respect in the Workplace” training initiative aimed at promoting a respectful and civil work environment for the benefit of all employees. Administered through the Division of Personnel in conjunction with the Employee Assistance Program, the “Respect in the Workplace” initiative provides training for both employees and supervisors to ensure that we are providing a high-quality work environment.

“Every state employee should work in a safe and respectful environment and I remain willing to work with our employees to move forward to build on and improve on these efforts.

“This legislation, however, does not accomplish that goal. It would create an expensive and likely litigious system; would incite conflicts between co-workers; and would make it difficult for supervisors to reasonably and fairly manage employees, making state government less efficient and effective. This legislation is not funded, nor are the necessary positions authorized, to perform such significant new tasks. In addition, there are reasonable – and I believe better – approaches to addressing this issue, which I remain open to working with employees to accomplish. Therefore I have vetoed HB 591.”

*           *            *

UPDATE:

The State Employees Association response to the veto message.

Rep. Jan Schmidt responds to the veto message.

The NH State Employee’s Association (SEIU 1984) Announce The Endorsement Of Jennifer Daler For NH Executive Council District 5

Jennifer DalerThe SEA/SEIU Local 1984 Board of Directors announced its endorsement of Jennifer Daler in the race for the open Executive Council seat in District 5. Daler lives in Temple and is running to represent Executive Council District 5, which includes 33 communities, extending along the state’s southern border, from Richmond and Swanzey in the west to Nashua and Hudson in the east, and as far north as Hillsborough and Dunbarton.  The Executive Council seat opened up when Debora Pignatelli announced she would not be seeking re-election.

After interviewing and reviewing records of the candidates, the organization’s Political Education Committee selected Daler, a former state representative, as the candidate who will best represent the district’s constituents and SEA/SEIU Local 1984 members.  Originally elected to the state House of Representatives in 2006, Daler’s special election win in 2011 became a pivotal point in helping turn the tide against the attacks on working families of the Bill O’Brien-led legislature.

“We believe Jen’s experience in the House will serve her well on the Executive Council, as she understands the value of civility and the importance of working together,” said Ken Roos, chair of the committee. “In addition, we know she is committed to making the best use of our tax dollars and keeping our economy moving in the right direction.”

While serving in the House, Daler worked hard for our most vulnerable citizens, serving on the Health and Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee.  Daler fought for working people across the state by voting against the right to work for less bill, which drives wages and benefits lower for those families that work hard and struggle to keep their homes.

“In 2011, at a critical time for our state, Jen prevailed in a tough House district despite facing crushing attacks for her stand against right to work for less,” Roos said. “She’s not afraid to stand up for what she believes in, and we’re confident she’ll always put our families ahead of partisan politics.”

The five-member Executive Council is a critical body for SEA members and their families.  The council votes on all state expenditures over $10,000, approves all appointments of civil commissions, judges and commissioners and directors in state government. Each council district represents around 250,000 voters and is elected every two years.

Committee members said Daler is the candidate that best represents the organization’s electoral vision for the state – the Granite Strong Vision. This vision is comprised of ten points SEA/SEIU 1984 has identified as essential for the success of the state’s working families. The points are:

  • Good full-time jobs
  • Robust small and large business environment
  • Quality, affordable and accessible health care
  • Quality, affordable public education from early childhood through post-secondary
  • Clean air and water
  • Public safety
  • Strong infrastructure
  • Strong consumer protections
  • Worker rights and protections
  • Strong safety net for our most vulnerable

NH Labor Leaders Speak Out On Harris vs Quinn Ruling

Home Care Workers Vow to Stand Up for Good Jobs and Quality Services in Wake of Harris v. Quinn Ruling

Work with States and Consumers to Ensure a Strong Voice Will Continue

Concord, NH, June 30, 2014 – Today, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Harris v. Quinn. In a 5-4 decision drafted by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, the conservative majority of the Court dealt a blow to the partnership forged between the State of Illinois and homecare workers through their union, SEIU Health Care Illinois-Indiana (SEIU HCII). In a closely divided ruling, the conservative wing of the Court overruled the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and held that the First Amendment bars Illinois homecare workers from adopting a fair share requirement (also known as ‘agency fee’) to ensure that everyone shares in the costs of the bargaining. The particular workers affected by this decision have a non-traditional relationship with their employer in Illinois and the court used the term “partial public employees” when referring to them. The workers are jointly employed by the state of Illinois and individual patients for whom they provide care.

This means that traditional public employees can continue to join together in a union and retain the right to negotiate a fair share contract provision.

While there are no such “partial employee” organized workers in New Hampshire, NH labor leaders agree that this is a about attacking workers’ rights.

This case was brought by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, an extreme anti-worker group. It is the latest in a decades-long attack on the rights of working people to join together to improve their jobs and the quality of services they provide.

SEIU 1984 Logo“Any decision that infringes on the rights of homecare workers to join together and make decisions regarding their workplace is bad for the economy, bad for workers and the people they serve, and bad for America,” said Diana Lacey, president of SEIU Local 1984. “As our population ages, providing a stable, qualified workforce that meets the growing need for healthcare is critical to ensuring that New Hampshire seniors receive adequate care. Home care jobs are one of America’s fastest growing industries, yet the average wage for workers is around $21,000 a year.”

AFSCME_Logo-2Color“This ruling to allow state-based challenges to the legality of agency fees skirts the question of whether these workers deserve dignity and basic rights on the job and exposes taxpayers to footing the bill for future challenges and litigation,” said Harriett Spencer, Coordinator for AFSCME Council 93.

aft sqaure“AFT-NH members want great neighborhood public schools that are safe welcoming and are fully funded. We want all public schools to have teachers who are well-prepared, well-supported, and who have manageable class sizes and time to collaborate,” said Laura Hainey President of AFT-New Hampshire. “We want our schools to be centers of our communities and to ensure that children and families have access to wraparound services to meet their social, emotional and health needs. We want curriculum that focuses on teaching and learning, not just testing, and that includes art, music and the sciences.”

“When workers can come together and negotiate for better pay, more benefits, and necessary training, turnover goes down, and our elderly receive better care,” said Mark NH AFL-CIO LogoMacKenNH AFL-CIO Logozie, president of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO. “Ensuring that this workforce has a voice on the job and is not mired in poverty is the single best way to guarantee that seniors and people with disabilities can get safe, quality care in their homes.”

“New Hampshire’s workers will not be discouraged,” President MacKenzie continued. “We will continue to fight for improvements in our workplaces. The fate of workers cannot be decided by one Supreme Court decision. It will be decided at workplaces and industries across the country by those who get up every morning and make our country run.”

NH State Employees’ Association (SEIU 1984) Opposes Privatization Takeover Of USPS, Joins Staples Boycott

Concord, NH, June 9, 2014 – At the quarterly meeting of the SEA/SEIU 1984 Council, members unanimously resolved to support U.S. Postal workers and enter into a boycott of Staples, the office supply retailer.  Staples has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Postal Service to operate postal counters in more than 82 “test sites” throughout the country.  The Postal Service plans to expand this operation to more than 1,500 Staples store across the United States.

Staples plans to replace good-paying union jobs with non-union low-wage jobs held by workers who have no accountability for the safety and security of the mail. This is nothing less than a direct assault on good middle class jobs and on public postal workers.

“It’s clear the battle lines have been drawn in Corporate America’s plan to take over not just our politicians, but core governmental services.  And that’s why it’s also clear that more union brothers and sisters must step forward on that battlefield!  I will gladly stand with our US Postal Workers in their effort to stop Staples, the office supply retailer, from taking over trusted public services to boost corporate profit margins at the expense of hard working taxpayers, and I ask you to as well,” said Diana Lacey, President SEA/SEIU Local 1984 in an announcement of the boycott to members earlier today.

“We cannot thank SEIU local #1984 enough for joining our boycott of Staples. On behalf of Manchester Area Local President, Dana Coletti, and all people who believe in keeping the U.S. Postal Service as a public service, we appreciate this show of solidarity. Together we can and will end this drive to privatize all public services,” said Janice Kelble, Legislative Director, NH Postal Workers Union.

SEA/SEIU 1984 is latest labor union to join the cause to preserve this essential service.  SEA/SEIU 1984 joins NH AFL-CIO and AFT-New Hampshire in support of the postal workers.

SEA/SEIU 1984 is the exclusive representative of most state of NH employees, as well as county and municipal workers across the state.  The labor organization also represents workers at Hampstead Hospital.