Welcome to our inaugural edition of the Governor Wentworth Education Association Web site. It is our hope that this web page will provide valuable information to our association members. Please let us know what you would like on our web page. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Health Insurance informational meetings have been scheduled. Please try to attend. Important information will be shared and all your questions will be answered.
Here are the meeting times:
Representative Manuse (R-Derry): "Public Employees are not taxpayers.”
On Thursday January 19, 2012 the House Labor and Rehabilitation Committee heard a number of bills ranging from eliminating the collection of union dues through wage deduction to eliminating public sector collective bargaining altogether. During the testimony on HB 1645, the bill which would make collective bargaining for public sector employees “against public policy, illegal, unlawful, void and of no effect”, one of its sponsors,Representative Andrew Manuse stated that "Public sector employees were not taxpayers.”
The committee also heard testimony on HBs 1163 and 1206, two bills which would remove your ability to pay your union dues by wage deduction even if you wanted it done that way. The sponsors of the bill could not explain why union dues different from other expenses which would remained deductible under the law. They also could not explain how they stood for the freedom of individuals to refuse to join a union while supporting legislation to remove the freedom for individuals to pay dues by voluntary deduction. The committee will combine the two bills and vote on them in the future.
While this was going on, in another room the House Municipal and County Government Committee was hearing a bill sponsored by Representative Neal Kurk, (R-Weare) which would require locals to re-open their contracts to reduce the cost of medical benefits if asked to do so by their employers. Under the bill, if amended as requested by Representative Kurk, a local would have to open its contract to re-negotiate cheaper medical coverage if the school district request it to do so. If the district and local could not agree on reduced costs within 45 days of their first meeting, the last best offer of each side would be placed before an arbitrator who must issue a ruling within 45 days of that hearing. Once the decision is rendered, the local governing body-not the school board- but the voters in the district-could decide to reject the arbitrator’s report. If they do so there would be no changes to the medical provision of the contract. If they accept it then the decision would over-rule the prior contract provision.
On Wednesday January 25, 2012 the House Education Committee will hear HB 1575, relative to alternate course selections for certain pupils. This bill is sponsored by Representative JR Hoell (R-Dunbarton). He is the sponsor of HB 542 which allows parent to opt-out of the curriculum being taught in classrooms. The bill allows students to opt out of classes at school and participate in a parent directed course. A pupil participating in this program is placed in the library or study hall or other appropriate place while class from which they opted-out is being taught. In place of that class the pupil may participate in community service, internships, on-line courses, performing groups..you get the picture.
This alternate course will count toward the required number of credits to graduate.
More information about these bills, and other legislation we are tracking, can be found at our Legislative Dashboard on our website, www.neanh.org. If you wish to communicate with the members of the committee hearing these bills you may also do so by visiting the Dashboard. .
TO: All NEA-NH Members
FROM: Rick Trombly, NEA-NH Director of Policy and Advocacy
RE: NH Legislatures Seek to Eliminate Collective Bargaining
New Hampshire Legislators are seeking to end the right to collectively bargain in NH, making any and all future collective bargaining agreements illegal.
If passed, HB 1645 has the potential to be far worse than what was enacted in Wisconsin, and represents the most serious threat to our profession in decades.
All of your negotiated benefits, including: salary, medical insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, sick days, the sick leave bank, personal days, retirement benefits, the length of your school year and work day, and all other working conditions would be completely at the discretion of the school district and school board - and could be changed or revoked at any time.
If the House falls short of this goal, they have also introduced other bills to severely limit collective bargaining in the state including those listed below.
We need your help.
We are asking all our members to attend as many of the hearings as they can in a show of support for our rights, and to consider testifying before the committee in opposition to these bills. We can help you prepare to testify if you are interested.
Contact us here if you can attend or testify at any of these hearings listed below.
JANUARY 19, 2012, Rooms 305-307, Legislative Office Building, Concord, NH
9:00 a.m. HB 1163, prohibiting the withholding union dues from wages.
9:01 a.m. HB 1206, prohibiting the state from withholding union dues from the wages of state employees.
11:30 a.m. HB 1570, relative to the duty of a public employee labor organization to represent employees who elect not to join or to pay dues or fees to the employee organization.
1:15 p.m. HB 1663-FN-L, relative to payment of union fees by non-members.
3:00 p.m. HB 1645-FN, prohibiting all public employees from participating in collective bargaining.
These hearings represent the beginning of the process to enact HB 1645. We hope to show the bill’s sponsors and committee members that eliminating collective bargaining in New Hampshire hurts the hard-working middle-class families that make this state a great place to live and raise children. They need to see from the very first hearing that enacting HB 1645 will be a difficult struggle that will damage the quality of education, impact the safety of all citizens and endanger their political careers. Please join us in this effort.
The New Hampshire House and Senate voted today to override Governor Lynch’s veto of HB 542. That bill requires school districts to adopt procedures that allow parents to provide a district with alternative course material which shall be taught to their children when the parent finds the teacher’s material to be objectionable. The law does not define the word “objectionable.”
The law in New Hampshire now gives every parent an absolute veto over what is taught in the classroom. Public school children in New Hampshire traditionally score well on national tests. That will be threatened because any parent can refuse to allow their child to be taught subjects which will later appear on these tests. Further, the cost of teaching these alternative material is passed on to taxpayers with no reimbursement from the state or the parent. The parent pays only the cost of the material , not the additional instruction needed to teach it.
In the classroom, educators will no longer have common knowledge or curriculum. NEA-NH worked to defeat this bill but the supporters who believed it was a parental rights issue ultimately prevailed.
Director of Advocacy and Policy
GWEA is hosting an informational workshop in order to educate all GWRSD contracted employees about 403b retirement savings opportunities available to you through payroll deductions. You can meet representatives from six different investment companies to ask questions, browse brochures, and get contact information. This information is not available at the SAU, so this is a good opportunity to see what is out there with some one-stop shopping.
WHO will be there? Representatives from six investment companies will be at the workshop to answer questions, educate, and provide contact information.
New York Life
WHAT is 403b? 403b is a tax deferred retirement savings plan. Investments are deducted from paychecks and may be in increments as little as $25 per paycheck. The representatives at this workshop can explain how you can save on your taxes while investing in your retirement.
WHEN is the workshop? The workshop will be an open house format on Thursday, January 26 from 2:30 – 6:00. Come when you can and stay for as long as you would like to.
WHERE is the workshop? The workshop will be held at the Kingswood Regional Middle School cafeteria.
WHY should I be interested in 403b? Many educators are worried about the pension reform happening at the state level right now. This is an opportunity to learn about your financial future and how you can take matters into your own hands.
Light refreshments will be served.