Join the Fight to STOP SB-61 (“right-to-work”)

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So-called “right-to-work” is back as Senate Bill 61.

Right to Work is WRONG for New Hampshire. Don’t believe us? Just look at the facts, updated to reflect 2019 BLS data.

Right to work deprives workers of their freedom to join together and form strong unions if they choose to. All that so-called right to work laws do is suppress wages, lower workplace safety and reduce the quality of public services we rely on in our communities.

Click here for a digital toolkit featuring social media graphics, updated talking points, and more.

UPDATE 2/3/2021: The New Hampshire Senate has delayed the vote past the original assumed hearing date of Feb. 4. We should expect SB 61 to come to the Senate Floor for a vote on either 2/11, or at the latest 2/18.

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UPDATED – New Deadline (8/24/21) 2021 NH AFL-CIO Linda Horan Scholarship Program

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This year, in honor of Sister Linda Horan, the NH AFL-CIO will again award scholarship assistance

Linda Horan Scholarship Program

This year, in honor of Sister Linda Horan, the NH AFL-CIO will again award scholarship assistance. Members in good standing of an affiliated local union, their spouses, children, grandchildren, stepchildren, or legal wards are encouraged to apply. A minimum of three scholarships will be awarded; one for $1,500, one for $1,000 and one for $750. Additional prizes may be awarded contingent on funding available.

Scholarship applicants must submit a 750-1,000 word (3 to 4 pages double-spaced) essay on the following topic:

The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act addresses many of the major shortcomings with our current law. Passing the PRO Act would help restore workers’ ability to organize with their co-workers and negotiate for better pay, benefits, and fairness on the job. How would passing the PRO Act also promote greater racial & gender economic justice and bring greater fairness to the workplace?

Essays will be judged on understanding, writing style, and significance to Labor Unions. Applicants are encouraged to draw on the experiences of their families and communities. Two copies of the essay must be submitted – one may be a photocopy. All wording identifying the union member, or the name of the member’s union will be redacted, so please avoid use of such identifying information in your essay.

Those eligible are members in good standing, or the spouses, children, grandchildren, stepchildren, or legal wards of a member in good standing, of unions affiliated with the NH AFL-CIO. The union member must live or work in New Hampshire.

A completed application form must be verified by your local union official and must accompany the essay. Application forms are available from your local union or the NH AFL-CIO, 161 Londonderry Turnpike, Hooksett, NH 03106 (or you can call 603-623-7302 or 603-513-8176).

Traditionally scholarships have been awarded at the NH AFL-CIO Annual Labor Day Breakfast, but due to the uncertainty of in-person events this year, the announcement of 2021 Scholarship Winners will be posted on the NH AFL-CIO website, as well as our Facebook page, on or before August 31st, 2021.

Winners must provide proof of undergraduate enrollment in a college, community college, university, or recognized trade school for the fall semester, 2021.

Essays and application forms must be received by the NH AFL-CIO Scholarship Committee, no later than 4:00 p.m., TUESDAY, August 24th, 2021 at: NH AFL-CIO, 161 Londonderry Turnpike, Hooksett, NH 03106. WE ARE ALSO ASKING AFFILIATED LOCALS TO CONSIDER CONTRIBUTING TO OUR SCHOLARSHIP FUND.

Please contact communications@nhaflcio.org, your local affiliate, or the NH AFL-CIO Facebook page for copies of the necessary forms or with any questions or concerns.

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Let the House hear your voice! “NO!” on SB 61

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Brothers & Sisters, Allies & Friends:

As you might know, our fight against SB 61 is headed to the New Hampshire House of Representatives. The bill is scheduled to be heard in the House Labor Committee next week on THURSDAY, MARCH 25th at 10:00AM. It is crucial that we take this opportunity to make sure that our voices are heard and that the members of the House Labor Committee hear LOUD AND CLEAR that the citizens of New Hampshire oppose so-called “right-to-work!”

You can express your opposition to SB 61 easily from your computer by using the directions below. If you have any questions about how to sign-in in opposition, how to testify via ZOOM at the hearing, or how to submit written testimony to the committee, please contact us at communications@nhaflcio.org.

To view the House Labor Committee Hearing on Senate Bill 61 on 3/25/21 @ 10:00 AM, use the following information:

1. To join the webinar: https://www.zoom.us/j/98630616522

2. Or Telephone: Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): 1-929-205-6099

3. Webinar ID: 98630616522

The following email will be monitored throughout the meeting by someone who can assist with and alert the committee to any technical issues: hcs@leg.state.nh.us or call (603-271-3600). Executive session on pending legislation may be held throughout the day, time permitting, from the time the committee is initially convened.

Here is the information/instructions for those that wish to sign up and testify:

1. To sign in to speak, register your position on a bill and/or submit testimony, use this link: http://gencourt.state.nh.us/house/committees/remotetestimony/default.aspx

2.     After clicking the link, select the date of the House hearing during which you wish to testify on the calendar (March 25th).

3.     In the dropbox below “Select the Committee,” select House Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services.”

4.     In the dropbox below “Choose the Bill,” select “10:00 am – SB61.”

5.     Select the appropriate option for the “I am” dropbox (likely “Member of the Public”)

6.     Fill in the content box under “I’m Representing” with the business, organization, or group you are representing. If you are representing yourself only, write “myself.”

7.     Under the “Indicate Your Position on this Bill,” check the circle stating “I oppose this Bill.”

8.     If you wish to speak during the hearing to present your testimony, check the box next to “I Wish to Speak on this Bill.”

9. Click “Continue” at the bottom of the webpage.

10. Fill in your first name, last name, phone number, and email address, and click “Continue.”

11. Check the box next to “By clicking this checkbox, you agree that the information you have provided is truthful to the best of your knowledge.”

12. Click “Continue.”

13. To submit your written testimony to the Labor Committee, send it to: HouseLaborIndustrialandRehabilitativeServices@leg.state.nh.us.

You will see that on the bills Docket Page that there is also an executive session scheduled for the House Labor Committee to vote on Senate Bill 61 scheduled for March 30th at 9:00 AM.You may view this executive session by using the following link (I will send this out in email updates over the coming days as well): https://www.zoom.us/j/91970098494

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Statement by New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Glenn Brackett Regarding Federal Court Order for Remote Access to House Session

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For Immediate Release
Feb. 17, 2021
Contact: Kalina Newman, knewman@aflcio.org

Statement by New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Glenn Brackett Regarding Federal Court Order for Remote Access to House Session

“Next week, the New Hampshire House of Representatives will meet for a two-day House session. As of right now, all House members are required to attend this session in person.

The New Hampshire AFL-CIO strongly urges our state representatives to provide remote accommodations for lawmakers who have special vulnerability to COVID-19, as defined by the ADA and Rehabilitation Act. No person should fear going to work. By not allowing these legislators to safely participate, they are essentially disenfranchising thousands of Granite Staters who voted for these representatives. This pandemic is not over. Until our communities are sufficiently vaccinated, we must continue to take necessary precautions to ensure the safety of us all.

Our state government is one of the oldest in the nation. And it’s worked, year after year, because it is a system founded on ‘principles of equality, and representation.’ Let’s make sure to honor these values by allowing remote access for lawmakers ahead of next week’s House session.”

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Statement by New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Glenn Brackett on the Re-Introduction of Protecting the Right (PRO) Act

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“The New Hampshire AFL-CIO stands in solidarity with our union siblings across the country in support of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform New Hampshire’s labor movement for the better. Here in New Hampshire, labor unions have been an essential asset to our state’s economy. Just take IBEW Local 490, for example. This local union boasts the largest comprehensive electrical training facility in the state of New Hampshire, and for decades, businesses from across the state have contracted employees out of this training program. Just imagine what we could do for our state if we were able to reform our country’s woefully inadequate labor laws. Speaking up for labor rights is within every worker’s rights—and workers shouldn’t lose our jobs for it. This legislation does it all for our working people: it removes barriers to organizing and bargaining, it holds employers and corporations accountable, and will make our economy work for everyone. 

America must build back better with unions by ensuring passage of the PRO Act.”

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Glenn Brackett and Andrew Cline: Saving taxpayers millions of dollars is an issue that should unite all of us

IN THIS TIME of extreme political polarization, there aren’t a lot of issues that can unite all of us. Saving taxpayers and state employees tens of millions of dollars simply by modernizing a single contracting process, though, ought to be one.
As leaders of two organizations that have been on opposite ends of numerous debates over the years — a labor union and a free-market think tank — we have had plenty of policy disagreements.
However, this summer we put our political and ideological differences aside and supported a proposal to fundamentally change the way New Hampshire purchases prescription drugs. This one change will collectively save Granite Staters tens of millions of dollars.
Simply put, it would be one of the most significant health policy advancements in more than a decade.
Like most states, New Hampshire relies on pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), companies that negotiate with pharmaceutical manufacturers and sell prescription medicines to health plans and pharmacies. They promise value and savings to state purchasers, taxpaying citizens and consumers at the pharmacy counter.
However, PBMs operate within a needlessly complex system that reduces the transparency of prescription drug prices. This past July, Gov. Chris Sununu and legislators passed a bill (HB 1280) that addresses this problem and promises huge savings for taxpayers and public employees.
The law directs the state to conduct an eBay-style dynamic reverse auction for PBMs vying to win the state’s business. Under traditional bidding, different PBM proposals used different complex formulas, making it impossible to do accurate comparisons.
This new reverse auction method uses a 21st-century online bidding system that gives the state more control over the bids. Finally, it’s possible to make “apples to apples” comparisons of PBM bids on the basis of their value. The system then uses multiple rounds of bidding, through which PBMs vie actively to underbid one another.
In our New Hampshire solution, PBMs will bid to fulfill contract terms determined by the state, not by the PBMs. This change puts control of these contracts, which total hundreds of millions of dollars, back in the state’s hands. A Josiah Bartlett Center study this year found that taxpayers can save up to $22 million per year over a three-year period.
The state’s new law achieves three critically important goals.
First, it helps address budget shortfalls at a time when we need bipartisan, fiscally responsible solutions. The state potentially could close a large portion of any pandemic-induced budget gap just by rebidding its PBM contract, avoiding budget cuts elsewhere.
Using this online reverse auction to procure a new PBM contract can redirect millions of taxpayer dollars in excess prescription drug spending back to our state budget, where such savings will be sorely needed next year.
In addition, the savings will provide relief at the pharmacy counter for Granite State patients in the midst of a pandemic, where taxpayers and consumers will see a reduction in their out-of-pocket costs.
Second, this change replaces an outdated PBM selection process with a 21st-century approach to PBM contracting that harnesses the power of built-in market incentives to drive down prescription drug costs.
Third, our new law will deploy this leading-edge data analytics technology to perform rapid electronic audits of prescription drug invoices that PBMs present to the state every two weeks.
This kind of ongoing, technology-enabled bill review (in use by many of the most successful businesses in the country) will enable New Hampshire government to monitor public dollars transferred to PBMs before they are spent, assuring that taxpayers are not being overcharged.
By using a similar state-of-the-art PBM bill review system, the state of New Jersey recently captured $42 million in PBM overcharges in a single year that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.
That’s exactly what a good government should do.
Our state is replacing the old public-sector paradigm of “pay now and audit later” with a more efficient, modern system that will do what New Hampshire often does — set a strong fiscal example for the rest of the nation.
At a time when we desperately need it, our state’s elected leaders have brought us a bipartisan health care solution that can help families pay lower prices at the pharmacy counter and preclude the need to make potentially painful budget decisions.
Given that it’s a plan so strong that it can bring two longtime ideological rivals like us together in support, the state should waste no time putting it into action. We are heartened that the state has begun the process of choosing a technology vendor to implement a reverse auction and encourage continued forward momentum to bring about these important savings.
Glenn Brackett of Northwood is president of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO. Andrew Cline of Bedford is president of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy.https://www.unionleader.com/opinion/op-eds/glenn-brackett-and-andrew-cline-saving-taxpayers-millions-of-dollars-is-an-issue-that-should/article_207bdfea-606e-5ab8-8077-dd296bb937d4.html

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ICYMI: Our 2020 Linda Horan Scholarship Award Recipients


The Linda Horan Scholarship Awards

The NH AFL-CIO named our Scholarship Fund after IBEW Sister Linda Horan who lost her battle with cancer in 2016 . She was a true warrior for Labor and the Scholarship program was very important to her. She ALWAYS believed in leaving the ladder down to help young people rise up!

Each year  we invite affiliate members and their families to apply for a scholarship award by writing an essay on a topic we select.

With 2020 forcing us to face triple crises of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic inequality (exacerbated by the pandemic), and a serious need to address racial injustice in our country, we decided that the importance of our elections had reached a new level and that our topic should be related to our election process. We selected the following essay topic:

Since voting is so important, what do you think should be done to ensure every citizen can exercise his or her right to vote in Nov. 2020 without endangering their lives? Are there better solutions than in-person voting, and voting on election day only? If voting is not done in person, how do we account for election security and making sure that our votes are counted? How can we make sure that the voices of working people are heard in this election?

Essays were judged on understanding, writing style, and significance to Labor Unions. Applicants were encouraged to draw on the experiences of their families and communities.

With many excellent and  thoughtful essays, selecting winners was difficult. Congratulations to winners of the 2020-2021 awards.

1st Christine St. Peter $ 1,500.00 Michael St. Peter/IBEW # 2320 University NH Junior
2nd Alysse Cleasby $1,000.00 Brian Cleasby/AFGE Local #948 Bates College Freshman
3rd Tara Fitzpatrick $ 750.00 Brian Fitzpatrick/APWU Local #230 Lehigh University Senior
4th Olivia Montine $500.00 Kimberly Montine/AFT #1044 Seton Hall University Senior
5th Timothy Holmes $500.00 Kathryn Holmes/AFT #1044 Saint Anselm College Senior

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