• Advertisement

AFL-CIO President Trumka Fights Against Racial Profiling and Discrimination

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and National Day
Laborer Organizing Network Executive Director Pablo Alvarado 
on Supreme Court’s SB 1070 Decision 

June 25, 2012      

In a strongly worded 5-3 decision, the Supreme Court today rejected Arizona-style overreach, but upheld the law’s most dangerous provision, which gave the green light to discrimination and racial profiling.  While the decision sends a clear signal to right-wing legislators in Arizona, Alabama, and other states that most state anti-immigrant legislation is not only morally wrong but also indisputably unconstitutional, it does little to address the humanitarian crisis taking place in Arizona today.

Arizona’s children, families and workers have been living under Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s campaign of terror for years and will be irreparably harmed if he is given new powers under SB 1070’s Section 2(b).

We must never forget that immoral Jim Crow segregation laws targeting African-Americans were upheld by generations of Supreme Court rulings.  Despite a hostile court, however, the civil rights movement – with the help of unions — was able to overcome the oppression of Jim Crow.  Similarly, today we are confident that working people – no matter their race, gender, age or immigration status – can join together to fix our country’s broken immigration system and defend core American ideals and freedoms.

The Obama administration must take responsibility to solve the crisis too, starting with immediate suspension of the infamous “Secure Communities” program, an ill-conceived immigration enforcement program launched in 2008 that is essentially the blueprint for Arizona’s racial profiling provision. See http://bit.ly/AFLCIO1070

The movement for the rights of workers – whether U.S.-born or aspiring citizens – is about to enter a new phase, and we pledge to stand together on the side of justice and fairness. Today’s decision only strengthens our resolve to stand together to make change happen.

Maggie Hassan: Republican Candidates, Legislature Have Wrong Priorities for Education, Middle-Class Families

Hassan, Education Advocates, Call on Legislature to Sustain Veto of Bill Sending Millions in Taxpayer Money to Private Schools 

CONCORD –The Republican candidates for Governor and the legislature are wrong to divert millions of dollars in taxpayer money to private schools at the same time that state education cuts have increased property taxes and tuition costs for middle-class families, said Maggie Hassan, Democratic candidate for governor.

Hassan was joined by Executive Council candidate Bill Duncan and Mary Heath, the former Deputy Commissioner of Education, at a press conference today calling on the legislature to sustain Governor Lynch’s vetoes of SB 372 and HB 1607.

“As Governor, my first priority will be to build an economy that attracts innovative, growing companies to invest and create jobs in the Granite State,” said Hassan.  “The foundation of that effort is ensuring we have the best-trained workforce in the country.   I have visited businesses across the state and their message is clear: their own success and the success of our future economy depends on the success of our public schools.”

Both Republican candidates for Governor, Ovide Lamontagne and Kevin Smith have signaled strong support for private school vouchers, and said they were “deeply disappointed” and “dismayed” by Governor Lynch’s vetoes.

“Nearly 200,000 students – the vast majority of children in New Hampshire – attend public schools. Ensuring that our public schools are the best in the nation must be our priority as a state,” continued Hassan.

The legislature has cut millions to local public schools, which has resulted in teacher layoffs and increases in local property taxes. The legislature also cut funding for public higher education in half, which resulted in nearly 10 percent tuition increases at the University of New Hampshire.

“Republican leaders made cuts raising local property taxes and tuition on middle-class families, saying we couldn’t afford to support our public schools. Now they are planning to divert millions of dollars in taxpayer money to private schools. That is the wrong choice for New Hampshire,” Hassan said.  “ This legislation is just another example of how the priorities of Ovide Lamontagne and this legislature are wrong for middle-class families and wrong for our economy.”

“Public schools should be the first priority for public money, not a handful of private schools, and that is the main fault in this legislation,” said Bill Duncan.  “Ovide Lamontagne and the Republican legislature would divert limited state resources from public schools – which have already sustained in cuts from this legislature – to private schools. That is wrong for our taxpayers, our students and our economic future.”

“SB 372 is devised as a “tax credit” in an effort to get around New Hampshire’s constitutional prohibition against sending taxpayer money to religious schools. But New Hampshire citizens are too smart to be fooled.  This is taxpayer money and instead of going to local public schools – or to help offset local property taxes – it will be send to private, religious schools,” Duncan said.

“Ovide Lamontagne said he was “deeply disappointed” in the veto,” said Mary Heath.  “Where was Ovide Lamontagne’s disappointment when this legislature cut funding for public schools and dropout prevention programs?  Where was Ovide Lamontagne’s disappointment when funding for our public colleges and universities was cut in half?”

“We didn’t hear it,” continued Heath. “Instead we heard Ovide Lamontagne praising the leadership and guts of Bill O’Brien and this legislature’s extreme agenda. We need a Governor who is going to stand up for our public schools and our taxpayers.  Maggie Hassan understands that ensuring New Hampshire has the best-educated workforce in the country is key to attracting innovative, growing companies to our state.”

Bill Duncan is a candidate for the Executive Council in District 3.  Duncan is an entrepreneur and a widely known education advocate and is the founder of Defending New Hampshire Public Education.

Mary Heath is a former fourth grade teacher, the former Deputy Commissioner of Education and the former Southern New Hampshire University School of Education Dean.

Is Congressman Frank Guinta Truly Supporting Job Creation?

Congressman Frank Guinta has been helping New Hampshire get back to work, at least that is what he says.  He has been helping by hosting job fairs throughout the state.  He has also been making statements that he has helped to pass over 40 bills that were bi-partisan job creation bills.

“Now, in the House of Representatives, we have 40 different jobs bills that have passed and almost all of them have been bipartisan.” said Frank Guinta on Wednesday, June 13th, 2012 in a statement made after he filed for re-election at the N.H. Secretary of State’s office.

This statement was immediately picked up by PolitiFact New Hampshire.  They went into great detail about his real bi-partisan job creation bills.  While most of the bills did pass the house, many of them are now “stuck” in the Senate.  Only 11 of the bills were actually signed by President Obama. PoliticFact also reports that only two of the bills had real bi-partisan support.

Some bills, including H.R. 2433, the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act, drew strong support from both sides of the aisle; 235 Republican votes and 183 from Democrats. And, H.R. 3606, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, earned support from 232 Republicans and 183 Democrats. Both bills have become law.

The rest of the bills had only a handfull of House Democrats who supported it. So what is bi-partisan support?

Though there is no formal definition for a bipartisan bill, many political scientists defer to the terms defined by Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, the Washington publication group which has long tracked partisan bills as those that receive support from less than 50 percent of both parties, which would be at least 121 votes from Republicans and 85 votes from Democrats. 

 So after PolitiFact investigated the 42 bills that Congressman Guinta is referring to, “only 6” would have qualified as bi-partisan.  Since Congressman Guinta is once again a candidate we need to look at his actions to see if he is truly working for us in Congress or if someone else would be better.

In the coming weeks Congress will be discussing a very important bill.  A bill that could drastically effect the economy and our current unemployment situation.  The real question is what will Congressman Guinta do?  The bill is called the Bring Jobs Home Act (HR 5442).  This is one of the most agressive bills to really make changes in our economy.  In short this bill will stop giving tax breaks to companies who ship jobs overseas.  It will also give incentives to companies who bring their previously outsourced jobs back from overseas.

In an emailed statement, Former Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter said:

I support HR 5442, a true jobs bill.  Republicans and Democrats should pass this unanimously, because it rewards companies that bring jobs home, and takes away taxpayer subsidies for companies that move overseas.

So with this information what will Congress Guinta do?  Will he support it?  Or will he oppose it because it removes tax relief on large corporations? To me this will say if Congressman Guinta is really in Washington to help the people of New Hampshire, or the corporations. 


For more information on HR 5442 and the companion bill in the Senate S 2884, click here.

You can also Text JOBS to 235246 to get info and action alerts to help bring America’s jobs home.

The New Hampshire Labor News 6/25/12: Firefighters Ride For Cancer, US Senators Concerned about USPS, 6 Million Jobs, and more

Open up New Hampshire – Entertainment and travel in the Granite State: “KINGSTON — For Auburn Fire Department Lt. Dave Walters, Saturday’s motorcycle ride to benefit a Kingston firefighter battling kidney cancer was personal.

Walters lost his first wife and son to kidney disease.

“This hits home for me. Anytime I can get involved in something like this I do,” said Walters, who joined more than 100 motorcyclists in a poker run from the Kingston Fire Department to Manchester Harley-Davidson to raise money to support Kingston fire Lt. Scott McLellan, 46, who was diagnosed with kidney cancer last October and remains out of work.”


NH senators raise concerns about post office hours – Boston.com: “CONCORD, N.H.—New Hampshire’s two U.S. senators are urging the U.S. Postal Service to hold a community meeting in a northern New Hampshire town where post office hours have been cut back to half an hour a day.

The Postal Service last month abruptly announced its post office in Sugar Hill would be open from 10:15 to 10:45 each morning. It had previously been open from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on weekdays and 10:30 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.


New Hampshire Labor News: What Would Six Million Jobs Do To Our Economy?: “The economy has been the biggest talking point of the last four years.  In 2008 the United States entered into the largest recession since the great depression.  Millions of people were out of work. At the height of the unemployment 15 Million Americans were out of work.   Most of this economic disaster has been blamed on Wall Street however they were not the only people pushing Americans out of work. In a letter to a postal service official, Democrat Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Kelly Ayotte asked that a community meeting be scheduled so that residents, government officials and business owners can ask questions and offer their thoughts on the future of retail postal service in Sugar Hill.”


For many years now companies have been moving jobs overseas to save a few pennies on labor costs.  For example in 2009 New Hampshire lost 23,600 private sector jobs due to companies closing and taking those jobs overseas.”

President Obama Returns to New Hampshire for a Campaign Event | C-SPAN: “The President holds a campaign rally at a Durham, New Hampshire high school. New Hampshire is widely viewed as a swing state in the fall election.

According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, the Obama for America campaign has offices in Concord, Conway, Dover, Exeter, Keene, Laconia, Lebanon, Manchester, Nashua and Portsmouth.

President Obama won the New Hampshire vote by nearly 10 percentage points in 2008, but Republican rival Mitt Romney was the governor of nearby Massachusetts and owns a home in the state.

After the speech, the President travels to Boston for several fundraisers. On Tuesday, he’ll attend campaign events in Georgia and Florida, including one with singer Mark Anthony in Miami.”


New Hampshire Labor News: Romney and Bain: Americas Job Killers: “JOBS, JOBS, JOBS.  This is all we hear about as every politician in the country rolls through New Hampshire.  Some are trying to be President, other are here supporting someone running for President.  Every campaign from local state representative to President of the United States, has had something to say about creating more jobs.  

The GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has talked non stop about jobs.  He blames President Obama for not creating jobs and that he will fix the economy. “They’ve been able to put American businesses out of business and kill American jobs,” Romney told workers at a Toledo fence factory in February. “If I’m president of the United States, that’s going to end.””


NH Political Polling


NH-2012 Governor: 41% Lamontagne (R), 39% Cilley (D) (Rasmussen 6/20): “Rasmussen
6/20/12; 500 likely voters; 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
Rasmussen Release

New Hampshire
2012 Governor
41% Lamontagne (R), 39% Cilley (D) (more polls)
39% Cilley (D), 37% Smith (R) (more polls)
42% Lamontagne (R), 36% Hassan (D) (chart)
39% Smith (R), 36% Hassan (D) (more polls)”


US-2012 President: 50% Obama (D), 46% Romney (R) (Pew 6/7-6/17): “National

Obama Job Approval
47% approve, 45% disapprove
(Chart)

US Satisfaction
28% satisfied, 68% dissatisfied
(Chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Barack Obama: 53/44 (chart)
Mitt Romney: 38/47 (chart)

2012 President
50% Obama (D), 46% Romney (R)
(Chart)

2012 Congress: Generic Ballot
47% Democrat, 43% Republican (chart)”


NH Labor News 6/24/12: Sunday News and Politics, Vetos, Occupy Trial


MHT School Budget Issues
Beth LaMontagne Hall’s City Hall: Bout over using trust money for teachers goes five rounds | New Hampshire NEWS0603: “It took four failed votes before the board agreed upon taking $2.3 million from the trust funds.

Committee Vice Chairman Dave Gelinas opened the bidding with a motion to move $2 million from the funds for teachers. When the roll call was taken, the expected opponents of spending the trusts on salaries and benefits voted no: Arthur Beaudry, John Avard, Chris Stewart, David Wihby, Roy Shoults and Mayor Ted Gatsas. There were two swing votes: Erika Connors and Debra Gagnon Langton. 
“I plan to vote no to the vice chairman’s option, quite frankly because I don’t believe it’s enough,” said Langton. Leaving staffing so low next year would be “a huge safety concern for me and should be a huge safety concern for our community,” she said.

Number of candidates on the ballot called into question by GOP – NashuaTelegraph.com: “The dust has settled, and the ballots for the Sept. 11 primary are set.
Maybe it’s no surprise, but despite the total Republican dominance in the New Hampshire Legislature, the Democratic Party did a pretty decent job of covering seats.
As you might expect, Republican and Democratic leaders in this state can’t even agree on what the numbers are.
Democratic Chairman
Raymond Buckley maintains they fielded candidates in 364 of the 400 House districts, or 91 percent.
Republican State Chairman Wayne MacDonald disagrees, concluding that Dems filled in 350 of the seats. or 88 percent.”


Nashua chief pleads for more officers | New Hampshire NEWS06: ““The only way that we are going to make any headway is if we are able to hire officers above and beyond our authorized strength,” Chief John Seusing told the aldermanic Budget Review Committee. “ … I think we can do a better job with additional officers.”

Currently, the police department is authorized to hire 179 police officers, however its budget only provides enough money for 177. In addition, there are now only 164 active officers on the streets because of six existing vacancies, six officers at the police academy and another officer in training.

Alderman-at-Large David Deane, who asked numerous questions about the police department’s budget, said he wants to ensure that there is adequate staffing to curb some of the crime problems in the city.”


A perfect mess: House GOP chooses two big losses | New Hampshire OPINION01: “House Republicans insisted on those and other more restrictive provisions even though they knew that: a) they would provoke a Lynch veto; b) they were opposed by the Secretary of State and municipal clerks, which would give Lynch solid political cover for his veto; and c) there were not enough votes in the Senate to override Lynch’s veto if those provisions remained in the bill. 

Rep. David Bates, R-Windham, rallied the House to its uncompromising position. With his bombast, he made many Republicans feel bold and fearless, as though they were the sharp, glittering steel tip of a grand crusade for electoral integrity. In reality, he had merely led them into a tight little box from which there was no escape, and only the dimmest prospect of victory.”


Capital Corner: A fun day ahead at N.H. Statehouse | SeacoastOnline.com:

The list of bills Gov. John Lynch has vetoed grew substantially last week. The House and the Senate will meet this Wednesday, June 27, to vote on possible overrides of his vetoes. A two-thirds vote in both chambers is necessary to do so.

Lynch vetoed House Bill 1666, which would have required House Fiscal Committee approval of all state contracts. In his veto message, Lynch said, “HB 1666 would dramatically change the process of collective bargaining in New Hampshire by requiring the fiscal committee to approve all state collective bargaining agreements. This runs counter to established law and procedure in New Hampshire, and would, in effect, turn the fiscal committee into its own state negotiating team, potentially requiring dozens of fiscal committee meetings.”


Speaker O’Brien calls laws passed ‘transformative’ | New Hampshire NEWS06: “O’Brien has been in Washington, D.C., this week to “make sure we have some support. The gains we’ve made are substantial, but they’re fragile.” On Wednesday, he spoke before the influential Americans for Tax Reform’s weekly morning meeting, hosted by Grover Norquist.

The House speaker notes that little national attention has been paid to New Hampshire despite the conservative victories.”


Double dose of deja vu in NH congressional races – Boston.com: “CONCORD, N.H.—New Hampshire is heading for a double dose of deja vu when it comes to this fall’s Congressional races.

Though there are some contested primaries, political observers agree that the most likely scenario is a rematch between Republican Frank Guinta and Democrat Carol Shea-Porter in the 1st District and another between Republican Charles Bass and Democrat Ann McLane Kuster in the 2nd. But while the names remain the same, much has changed since 2010, when Guinta ousted Shea-Porter from the seat she held for two terms and Bass narrowly defeated Kuster to regain the seat he had held for six terms before being voted out in 2006.”


A perfect mess: House GOP chooses two big losses | New Hampshire OPINION01: “House Republicans insisted on those and other more restrictive provisions even though they knew that: a) they would provoke a Lynch veto; b) they were opposed by the Secretary of State and municipal clerks, which would give Lynch solid political cover for his veto; and c) there were not enough votes in the Senate to override Lynch’s veto if those provisions remained in the bill. 

Rep. David Bates, R-Windham, rallied the House to its uncompromising position. With his bombast, he made many Republicans feel bold and fearless, as though they were the sharp, glittering steel tip of a grand crusade for electoral integrity. In reality, he had merely led them into a tight little box from which there was no escape, and only the dimmest prospect of victory.”


Notes from an Occupy Trial; Could a Curfew Violation be Ruled a Constitutionally Protected Revolutionary Act? « InZaneTimes: “Once the defense overcame prosecutors objections to his qualification as an expert witness, Jim Pope, a Rutgers University Law Professor, took the stand to make the case that the ends of government have been perverted in the interest of the rich. Using a set of slides familiar to anyone who’s been following discussions of the growing gap between the rich and everyone else, Pope illustrated the nation’s widening income gap, the change in the top marginal tax rate, the recent drop in union membership, and the share of national income claimed by the wealthiest 10% of Americans.

“Are the ends of government perverted?” Attorney Keshen asked.

“There is a gigantic shift in that direction over the last thirty years or so,” the professor responded. “Workers are getting a smaller and smaller proportion of the proceeds of industry,” he added a bit later.”


NATIONAL Labor News
Saunders, New Afscme Leader, Vows Tougher Fight for Rights – NYTimes.com: “LOS ANGELES — For Lee Saunders, the newly elected president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, defeat does not mean retreat.

Just the opposite: less than a month after the union lost its fight to recall Wisconsin’s anti-labor governor, Mr. Saunders is already planning his next campaign. The union is seeking a referendum to repeal a Michigan law that lets the governor appoint emergency managers to run deficit-plagued cities and void their contracts with public sector unions.

“We hope to do in Michigan what we did in Ohio,” Mr. Saunders said in an interview on Friday, referring to his union’s success in backing a referendum last fall that overturned an Ohio law that curbed collective bargaining for public employees.”

PolitiFact NH Give Congressman Guinta A ‘Mostly False’ On His Statement About Jobs, However He Can Still Make A Difference

Congressman Frank Guinta has been helping New Hampshire get back to work, at least that is what he says.  He has been helping by hosting job fairs throughout the state.  He has also been making statements that he has helped to pass over 40 bills that were bi-partisan job creation bills.

“Now, in the House of Representatives, we have 40 different jobs bills that have passed and almost all of them have been bipartisan.” said Frank Guinta on Wednesday, June 13th, 2012 in a statement made after he filed for re-election at the N.H. Secretary of State’s office.

This statement was immediately picked up by PolitiFact New Hampshire.  They went into great detail about his real bi-partisan job creation bills.  While most of the bills did pass the house, many of them are now “stuck” in the Senate.  Only 11 of the bills were actually signed by President Obama. PoliticFact also reports that only two of the bills had real bi-partisan support.

“Some bills, including H.R. 2433, the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act, drew strong support from both sides of the aisle; 235 Republican votes and 183 from Democrats. And, H.R. 3606, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, earned support from 232 Republicans and 183 Democrats. Both bills have become law.”

The rest of the bills had only a handfull of House Democrats who supported it. So what is bi-partisan support?

Though there is no formal definition for a bipartisan bill, many political scientists defer to the terms defined by Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, the Washington publication group which has long tracked partisan bills as those that receive support from less than 50 percent of both parties, which would be at least 121 votes from Republicans and 85 votes from Democrats. 

 So after PolitiFact investigated the 42 bills that Congressman Guinta is referring to, “only 6” would have qualified as bi-partisan.  Since Congressman Guinta is once again a candidate we need to look at his actions to see if he is truly working for us in Congress or if someone else would be better.

In the coming weeks Congress will be discussing a very important bill.  A bill that could drastically effect the economy and our current unemployment situation.  The real question is what will Congressman Guinta do?  The bill is called the Bring Jobs Home Act (HR 5442).  This is one of the most agressive bills to really make changes in our economy.  In short this bill will stop giving tax breaks to companies who ship jobs overseas.  It will also give incentives to companies who bring their previously outsourced jobs back from overseas.

In an emailed statement, Former Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter said:

“I support HR 5442, a true jobs bill.  Republicans and Democrats should pass this unanimously, because it rewards companies that bring jobs home, and takes away taxpayer subsidies for companies that move overseas”.

So with this information what will Congress Guinta do?  Will he support it?  Or will he oppose it because it removes tax relief on large corporations? To me this will say if Congressman Guinta is really in Washington to help the people of New Hampshire, or the corporations.


For more information on HR 5442 and the companion bill in the Senate S 2884, click here.


You can also Text JOBS to 235246 to get info and action alerts to help bring America’s jobs home.

NH Labor News Headlines 6/23/12: CWA Election, Occupy NH, Minimum Wage Laws, and more

New Hampshire Labor News: Judge Decides To Block CWA Election: “As if union organizing was not hard enough now the courts are making it even harder.  The Communication Workers of America have been working for over a year to organize the service agents at American Airlines.  Today the workers at American Airlines got a huge push, backwards. “Today’s ruling by US District Court Judge Terry Means is a disgrace and a travesty of justice for 10,000 passenger service agents at American Airlines. The Court, despite a clear reiteration of congressional intent by the Senate authors of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization, determined that the 50 percent showing of interest standard should apply to agents who have been waiting for seven months for their lawful, democratic vote.””


NH Legislature to return to deal with vetoes – Boston.com: “Two bills deal with voting. One requires a voter to present a valid photo ID. The other requires people registering to vote to sign a statement saying they declare New Hampshire their home state.

Others include legalizing the home cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes and providing tax credits for businesses that contribute to organizations benefiting private school and home-schooled students.”


This is why we need to work to rebuild our college funding.Study: UNH injected $1.4B into N.H. economy | SeacoastOnline.com:
UNH President Mark Huddleston discussed the findings during a roundtable discussion at Albany Engineered Composites, a Rochester company that designs, develops and manufactures advanced composite components for airplanes. According to company President and Chief Executive Joseph Morone, 20 percent of Albany’s 250 salaried employees are UNH graduates.

The economic impact study, prepared by Ross Gittell, chancellor of the community college system of New Hampshire, and Josh Stillwagon, a doctoral candidate in economics at UNH, used a “conservative set of assumptions” to calculate UNH’s direct and “ripple effect” contributions to the economy. Huddleston said it is an update of a 2008 study that found the university contributed $1.3 billion to the state’s economy.


Elizabeth Parisian: Some Employers and Republicans Want to Lower the Minimum Wage — Here’s Why They’re Completely Out of Touch: “Now it seems that some minimum wage employers are trying to pay their workers less — and to even make it legal to do so. It seems unfathomable that anyone would consider the minimum wage — which, for a full-time worker, provides a yearly salary that is thousands of dollars below the poverty line for a family of three or four — to be too high. But in Arizona, Republican legislators are pushing a bill that would allow employers to pay teenagers working part-time a full three dollars per hour less than the state minimum wage, which works out to a mere $4.65 per hour.”


Occupiers’ trial witnesses focus on laws, liberties | New Hampshire NEWS: “The final defense witness was Arnie Alpert, New Hampshire program coordinator for the American Friends Service Committee, who had high praise for the conduct of police, especially Manchester Police Capt. Robert Cunha, who delivered the curfew enforcement message earlier in the day and later supervised the citation and arrest process. 

Alpert, who said it was essential for those in the park to stand up for their beliefs and show their commitment that night, admitted: “I did give a little pep talk.” He said the defendants accepted citations knowing they would have a day in court, testing whether fundamental rights would be protected.”


Manchester: NHCLU backs Occupy | Concord Monitor: “Yesterday, Barbara Keshen, staff attorney with the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union, asked a district court judge to dismiss the charges on constitutional grounds.

The constitutions of the United States and New Hampshire protect a person’s right to free speech and assembly, she wrote in her legal brief. And given that the Occupy movement is a revolt against government, the group’s 24/7 “occupations” of city parks are protected under the state Constitution, she wrote.”


NH congressional delegation welcomes American Legion at state convention | New Hampshire NEWS: “Shaheen, who serves with Ayotte on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said “across-the-board” cuts are a threat in the future if Congress fails to come up with a solution soon.

“I think we’ve got to solve this problem and we need to solve it in a big way,” said Shaheen, New Hampshire’s only Democrat in Congress. “We need to look at all the aspects of the budget — the domestic, the defense, the mandatory programs and the revenue side — and we need to get a big deal done so that we’re not facing these cuts in the future. I’m optimistic that there’s enough appreciation in Washington that this has to be done that that’s going to happen before the end of this year.””

We Need To Bring Jobs Home

With over 12 Million Americans already out of work, we need to encourage companies to retain jobs not ship them overseas.  We can do just that! We can fight back against the greed of Corporate America and Wall Street and we will rebuild our economy at the same time.

Over the past decade America lost over 50,000 manufacturing jobs.  This resulted in over 6 Million American Jobs washed away.  Many of these jobs were sent overseas to manufacturing facilities in China, and Taiwan. Now there is another trend that seems to be effecting jobs here in America.  I am talking about “service” jobs. These are the friendly people you talk to when you call customer service phone numbers.

On March 22, 2012, T-Mobile announced it would close seven of the 24 call centers, including the centers in Allentown, Pa.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Frisco and Brownsville, Texas; Lenexa, Kan.; Redmond, Ore.; and Thornton, Colo., impacting some 3,300 workers. At the same time, T-Mobile increased the volume of calls handled through offshore call centers in the Philippines, Honduras and Guatemala. T-Mobile workers all across the United States face daily worries about their job security and they are organizing and fighting back!

T-Mobile is not the only company who has shipped jobs overseas.  More and more are taking advantage of the low-cost labor while still collecting tax exemptions from the Federal Government.  This must be stopped!  If we want our economy to recover we need to bring those lost manufacturing jobs back and keep the jobs we have.

As we have always done we need to stand up and push our legislators in Congress to support “Bring Jobs Home Act” (S. 2884).  This bill would: 

  • Eliminate tax incentives that encourage U.S. companies to ship jobs overseas and eliminate loopholes that allow more than $1.5 trillion in U.S. corporate profits to go untaxed because they are held offshore.
  • We also must address the practice of currency manipulation so that countries like China aren’t allowed to undervalue their currency in order to make goods cheaper and encourage U.S. companies to move offshore. Congress also should take action on the United States Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act to prevent offshoring of more service-sector jobs.
  •  And we must push for fair trade policies that benefit workers, not just multinational corporations.

Many of us look for that “Made In America” label.  It means that by buying this product you are helping to support a company that employs our fellow Americans.  Both President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney have said we create more American jobs. President Obama was quoted as saying “Americans… still believe in an America where anything’s possible”.  Even Governor Mitt Romney said “I believe in America” and “My priority is putting Americans back to work, that’s job number one,”.  If you believe in America and the power of the American workforce then prove it.   Tell American Voters that you support S 2884 and want to Bring Jobs Home.

No matter which side of the fence you stand on, bringing these millions of jobs would strengthen our economy.  Call you Senator and tell them to support the Bring Jobs Home Act (S.2884).  Together we can make Made In America mean something again. 

NH Labor News 6/22/12: MHT Schools Funding, Vetos, SB 372, and much more

Governors & Contracts Legislators don’t get a veto | New Hampshire OPINION01: “The bill stated that “every collective bargaining agreement entered into by the state shall be approved by the fiscal committee of the general court before each takes effect.” That would not simply give legislators a small role to play in contract approvals. It would give the fiscal committee a veto over contracts negotiated by the governor. 

Not only is that an intrusion into the authority of the executive branch, but it would needlessly and enormously complicate labor negotiations.”


Manchester superintendent outlines his plans for $2.3m | New Hampshire NEWS04: “Brennan’s list of staffing proposals presented during Wednesday’s special school board meeting put most restored positions in the elementary and middle schools. The district could bring back at least 70 positions, according to Brennan’s projections, about 50 of which would be teachers.

Brennan said he would restore nine special education positions; 17 elementary school teachers; 12 language arts teachers at the middle schools; 10 elementary physical education, art and music teachers; one carpentry teacher at the Manchester School of Technology; two interpreters/tutors; one high school guidance counselor; five part-time and four full-time assistant principal positions; two certified instructors in special reading and math intervention programs; six paraprofessionals; one support staff job, and one full-time and one part-time administrator.”


Lynch breaks out veto pen to shoot down medical marijuana, voter ID bills – NashuaTelegraph.com: “Meanwhile, the fate of the voter ID mandate – a top priority of GOP legislative leaders – is an unknown in the Senate because local election officials warn that the ID process for November’s presidential election could lead to long lines at the polls.

Those without an ID could still vote, but they would have to sign papers under penalty of perjury attesting to their identity and residence in the state.
The final bill makes those without an ID sign a qualified voter affidavit that Lynch said has been reserved in the past for voters who could not document that they were U.S. citizens.
“It is completely inappropriate for use by a registered voter on Election Day in order to establish the voter’s identity to vote,” Lynch wrote. “The use of this inappropriate affidavit will cause confusion, slow the voting process and may result in the inability of eligible voters to cast their vote.””


N.H. legislators should not harm public schools | SeacoastOnline.com:
The Republican attack on public education in New Hampshire continues. The GOP-proposed and supported Senate Bill 372 and its companion piece House Bill 1607 is an attempt to circumvent the prohibition in the New Hampshire Constitution against the use of public tax funds to support religious institutions. To do this, something like a baseball double-play was used.

New Hampshire businessmen toss donations to “scholarship organizations” who throw the money to private school students. Oh, and a hidden ball trick is used, too. Eighty-five percent of the money given by the businessmen winds up back in their pockets via tax deductions. Baseball plays result in outs. Who’s out? Tax payers are out the public tax money given to private schools.

This bill will increase your local property taxes to make up for the state money lost to private schools. The Legislature cut funding to our public university, the University of New Hampshire, by 45 percent. Nonetheless, Republican legislators now propose increasing the budget by $16 million over three years to cover the cost of school vouchers to private schools.


Susan the Bruce: Rabid Ideologues Will Destry Us: “The state of NH is looking into privatizing its entire prison system. Four companies have submitted bids. If Governor Lynch and the Executive Council accept one of those bids, NH would become the first state in the nation to hand over the entire prison system to a private company. The four venders are: 
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), Management & Training Corporation (MTC), The Geo Group Inc. and the Hunt Companies. “


National News about AFSCME and Labor

Union, on Heels of Wisconsin Recall Vote, Selects a New President – NYTimes.com: ““I think a lot of the general public doesn’t realize that firefighters, teachers, police officers, who provide services, clean drinking water — that they’re union members,” she said. “We have to do a better job educating people about what we do every day, that we’re your brothers, sisters and cousins.

Afscme, long one of the nation’s most influential unions, is on the defensive as never before. It is still reeling from Wisconsin’s year-old law, championed by Gov. Scott Walker, that curbs public employees’ ability to bargain collectively. It is losing members because government employment has fallen by 700,000 over three years. And many voters, including some private sector union members, have turned against public workers, convinced that their pensions were too generous.”

To Share this image on your facebook or twitter, Right Click and copy the Image URL. Then Paste it in you facebook status and share away. 

NH Labor News 6/20/12: Lynch Pushes For Nashua Rail, Saving MHT School Jobs, Redistricting, ALEC in Your Town, and More


Lynch renews push for commuter rail service in Nashua speech – NashuaTelegraph.com: “NASHUA – Gov. John Lynch made a renewed push Tuesday for bringing commuter rail service to and from Boston and warned about the impact of state aid cuts to higher education.

In a State of the State speech to the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce, Lynch said state officials are trying to decide which area group should manage a $1.6 million grant to study feasibility of commuter rail.
“It’s not a decision to do it; it’s a decision to study it and that’s why I was really upset at the Executive Council for turning it down,” Lynch said.”

VIDEO Exit Interview: 5 Questions for Governor Lynch – Nashua, NH Patch: “One thing he did say was that he’d like to see his next governor be someone who can work through bi-partisan issues, something he addressed during his speech. In fact, Lynch called for a return to civility in Concord during his remarks – not in the Senate, he qualified his remarks, but in the House specifically, where civility “has been greatly lacking.”

That was the only line of his speech which garnered applause from the crowd.
“As I travel around New Hampshire, people tell me that they want us to work together; they want us to put partisan politics to one side and focus on solving problems and creating opportunities for them. Unfortunately, when you have a lack of civility and a lack of trust, that doesn’t happen, so I hope we return to that,” Lynch said.”

Which Manchester school jobs will be saved? | New Hampshire NEWS06: “MANCHESTER — Now that aldermen have appropriated $152 million to the Manchester School District, the school board has the task of deciding how it will be spent.

The Board of School Committee is scheduled to discuss the district’s fiscal year 2013 budget tonight at 7 p.m. at City Hall.
Earlier this year, the board voted to lay off 161 employees and leave open all vacancies. Board members said Tuesday they will look to Superintendent Thomas Brennan for recommendations as to which positions should be maintained. Committee member John Avard said last week he has a list of priorities he will bring to the meeting, but wants to hear from Brennan.
“It’s easy for us to say we want this restored and that restored, but we need to get the final numbers,” Avard said.”

Supreme Court upholds House redistricting plan – NashuaTelegraph.com: “CONCORD – The state’s highest court Tuesday unanimously upheld the constitutionality of the state law redistricting all 400 seats in the New Hampshire House of Representatives.
The Supreme Court rejected the arguments of five lawsuits that maintained the plan ignored a 2006 amendment to the state constitution meant to ensure that town and city wards with a certain population threshold would get their own legislators.”


Many American Workers Are Underemployed and Underpaid – NYTimes.com: “These are anxious days for American workers. Many, like Ms. Woods, are underemployed. Others find pay that is simply not keeping up with their expenses: adjusted for inflation, the median hourly wage was lower in 2011 than it was a decade earlier, according to data from a forthcoming book by the Economic Policy Institute, “The State of Working America, 12th Edition.” Good benefits are harder to come by, and people are staying longer in jobs that they want to leave, afraid that they will not be able to find something better. Only 2.1 million people quit their jobs in March, down from the 2.9 million people who quit in December 2007, the first month of the recession.”


NYT: When ALEC Takes Over Your Town: “The two Woonsocket legislators quickly decided to apply Rahm Emanuel’s famous maxim about never letting a crisis go to waste. The fact that their town had a big budget deficit meant that if they played their cards right, they could do a lot more than just fix the schools’ problem. They could actually shrink the town government!

And how does one go about doing that? By refusing to go along with tax increases and forcing the city to the edge of bankruptcy, thus raising the possibility of bringing in a receiver. “You never move faster than when you have a piano hanging over your head,” Brien told me. “The receiver is that piano.”

He went on to say that the municipal unions – police, firefighters, teachers – “have been given pensions and benefits the city can no longer afford” but have no incentive to renegotiate. But a receiver, with the wave of a magic wand, can instantly cut their pensions, and there isn’t a thing they can do about it. When I asked Brien how bad the pension problem was in Woonsocket, he told me he didn’t know. “I’m a state legislator,” he said. “I don’t get into that level of municipal finance.””


MASS NEWS :City Council favors union-backed contractors rule – Worcester Telegram & Gazette – telegram.com: “WORCESTER —  The City Council voted 9-1 tonight to advertise a new Responsible Employer Ordinance that would require contractors on municipal projects to maintain union-style apprenticeship programs. 

The move came after almost two hours of testimony from ordinance and union supporters who argued the measure would open up jobs and opportunities to local residents on local public construction projects.”


I wanted to share some great news from our neighbors to the south. SEIU 888 Signs First Contract!  Hopkinton paraprofessionals win year and half long effort to form union and improve conditions

Hopkinton, MA – School paraprofessionals declared victory on Thursday, June 14 in their 19 month effort to form a union and improve working conditions after an overwhelming majority of the workers voted to ratify their first union contract.

The union agreement with School District management will improve paid time off by increasing holidays from five to eleven per year and allowing workers more sick time if needed. The contract ensures workers a voice on-the-job and increases their job security with an enforceable grievance and arbitration procedure. Paraprofessional will also receive regular scheduled wage increases.

School Paraprofessionals provide opportunity for students to have individualized instruction in the classroom. There are about 80 employees in the Hopkinton Paraprofessional Chapter.

“We are really excited to finally have our first contract and get the recognition for all the hard work we do,” said Ken Marin, a twelve year employee of the school district. “Now we are on our way to get the respect we deserve.”

“This will benefit all the paraprofessionals and our students going forward,” said Linda Smith, a Hopkinton paraprofessional who helped negotiate the union contract with a team of six co-workers. “And it puts us on an equal footing with the rest of district. A lot of what we were looking for was respect. Our new contract is a good start”

Employees decided to form their union in October of 2010 and won certification for collective bargaining on May 31, 2011. Bargaining began second week of June 2011.

“SEIU Local 888 unites over 500 paraprofessional educators in Massachusetts for the good jobs and quality education our communities need,” said local president Mark DelloRusso. “In today’s challenging environment for public service workers, gaining strength through unity is the key to maintaining standards and advancing in your career.”

SEIU Local 888 unites more than 8,500 public service, higher education and not-for-profit workers in Massachusetts.

  • Subscribe to the NH Labor News via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 218 other subscribers

  • Advertisement

  • Advertisement