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  • June 1
    Updated On: Jun 09, 2017
    Today (June 6) has been a long day and the end of a long battle over Senate Bill 88. It currently remains on the table as the House leaves. After a gallant attempt to remove SB 88 off the table which passed on the last order of business, the house voted 150 yes and 142 no to remove SB88 from the table.
     
    The bill was once again before the house. Representative Goley from Manchester introduced an amendment (which was believed to be a compromise), an amendment that would remove the evergreen language and leave the bargaining unit reduction at 5 also leaving in the safety consideration language. This compromise we believed was a major issue for a lot of house democrats because they were receiving pressure from their city and town managers.
     
    After a long discussion the Speaker Ruled the Goley amendment out of order as it was the same amendment as introduce yesterday which subsequently failed. Thinking quickly Representative Goley moved to lay SB 88 once again on the table. This did not kill the bill but allows the issue to be introduced in the next legislative session. I want to personally thank him. Representative Goley working with others fought hard every step of the way to manage this bill through the political mine fields in the house. From the Labor Committee right through floor action he was there fighting on our behalf.
     
    There is no doubt in my mind or the minds of our Executive Board that this issue was timely, and the right issue to bring forward. For nearly twenty years our members have lost benefits at the hands of the NH Court System. The Cities and Towns have spent countless taxpayer dollars trying water down our rights to collectively bargain. And this time was no different. The Town and City Managers pulled out all stops in scaring state representatives on this issue.
     
    We worked hard, lobbied like crazy and we know first hand how to handle situations like this. Each and everyday our members deal with similar situations. Moving forward over the next few weeks we will be assessing our current friend status of elected officials. As a Union we a loyal supporters and by god we are going to expect that same loyalty. Look for an analysis of our true friends and they are out there, believe me.
     
    Stay  tuned and thanks for the extra efforts.
     

    We very much appreciate your efforts thus far to aid important legislation this year!  We need to request another round of calls on Senate Bill 88.  Please use the following link to find the contact information of your State Representative.

     

    http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/members/wml.aspx

     

    Senate Bill 88

     

    After weeks of testimony and debate SB 88 has finally emerge from the House Labor Committee with an Ought to Pass recommendation. We expect a big floor fight waged by the Local Government Center (NHMA) along with the House Republican Leadership.

     

    Please call all of you state representatives and ask them to support SB 88 on the floor of the house. Please ask them to vote for the Committee recommendation and to vote against any amendments.

     

    Why Vote for SB 88

     

    1. Senate Bill 88 offers real change to the NH Public Employee Labor Relations Law that levels the playing field and addresses all concerns raised by management and labor. Creates a productive environment in which could lead to shorten negotiations times and reduce current management labor stress.
    2. Reducing Bargaining unit size requirement from current 10 to 5.
      1. The number 10 was an arbitrary number chosen at the creation of RSA 273A.
      2. The National Labor Relations Act calls for 3 and the state of Maine allows for 1.
      3. Currently city managers, town mangers and school administrator enjoy contracts with one employee and are not covered by the same rules and rank and file employees.
      4. Does nothing to suggest or create smaller bargaining units. Does not add new costs to the cities and towns as there is no mandate to create new bargaining units enables the creation if requested
    3. Makes Safety Considerations a mandatory subject of bargaining.
      1. Currently there are two types of issues permissive and mandatory subjects of bargaining.
      2. Keeps staffing a permissive subject of bargaining which was major concern of management. Cities and Towns want the right to set staffing numbers SB 88 as amended protects management’s right.
      3. Continues Managements ability to veto any agreement by saying no and protects the voters’ right to reject any cost increases as it is in the current law.
    4. Allows for current pay plans to continue (evergreen language) while both parties are negotiating successor agreements.
      1. This allows individuals to continue upward movement on town and city plans.
      2. Reduces Taxpayer costs in large retroactive pay settlements.
    5. Public Employees have no right to strike and do not have binding arbitration for contract negotiations leaving the process open ended and costly.
      1. SB 88 goes a small way toward leveling the playing field while saving taxpayer money by creating a less adversarial environment

     

    David E. Lang, President

    Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire

    25 Nashua Road, Box 17

    Londonderry, NH 03053

    603-437-0035

    603-437-8288 (fax)

    RETIREMENT
    HB 346 and HB 758-Defined Contribution Plan
                These bills would start the change from our current defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan. While both proposals were KILLED in this session, you can guarantee the issue will be at the top of the list during the upcoming study of the system.
    HB 876-Commission to make recommendations for long-term viability of the retirement system
                The commission is tasked with study of the complete system, particularly funding. ALL options are on the table. Highlights will be earnable compensation, calculation of benefits, employer contribution rates, and the Board of Trustees. This commission will include ‘financial experts’ from the private sector.
    HB653-Determination of benefits, funding, and administration of the retirement system
    This bill, which PASSED the Senate, and is likely to pass the House, includes changing the funding methodology from open group aggregate to age entry normal (note: firefighter groups opposed the change to open group aggregate 15 years ago), sets a floor for employer rates so that they will not be below employee rates (note: firefighter groups proposed this 15 years ago), keeps earnable contribution rates, benefit calculations, and benefits at current levels. Repeals the option to purchase non-qualified credit and adjusts the calculation for money entering the special account.
    HB658-Repeal of option to purchase credit
                PASSED House and is likely to pass in the Senate. This bill would repeal the law that allowed the purchase of up to 5 years of non-qualified credit that was enacted in 2006.
    HB562-Exclusion of special duty pay for purposes of earnable compensation determination
                KILLED by the House, this bill would have excluded special duty pay, detail pay, and all but mandatory overtime when figuring retirement benefits. This issue WILL be revisited during the Retirement Study Commission meetings.
    HB779-Funding of benefits and supplemental allowances
                This bill was RETAINED by the House. The bill would set a minimum COLA, change funding for the special account and change funding method for the system.
    LABOR
    SB88-Terms of employment, collective bargaining units
                Recommended ought to pass by the House Labor Committee, the bill would lower bargaining unit size from 10 to 3, extend current contract provisions until new agreements are entered into, and make safety considerations mandatory subjects of bargaining.
    HB89-Study committee to look at dispute resolution
                PASSED by the House and Senate, this committee will look at the problem of protracted and expensive ongoing contract negotiations and methods of resolving the problems associated with them.
    HB436-Employee freedom of speech
                RETAINED by the House, this bill would extend to ALL public employees freedom of expression right currently recognized in law for state employees.
     
    OTHER
    HB 842-Safety requirements and procedures for firefighters
                This bill was RETAINED by the House. It implements 2 in 2 out requirements for fire agencies that employ over 5 firefighters full time.
    HB139 Reporting of burn injuries
                PASSED by the House and recommended IT (to kill) in the Senate. The bill would allow doctors to report certain burn injuries to the Fire Marshal. The bill would also allow EMS to transmit burn data to the Fire Marshall.
    SB169-Line of duty death benefit
    PASSED by the Senate and currently in the House, the bill would create a $100,000 death benefit for a police officer or firefighter killed in the line of duty. The bill will also study the coverage of EMS workers under this program.
    SB180-Regulation of solicitation
                PASSED by the Senate and recommended ITL (to kill) by the House the bill would provide for local control of solicitation on streets within the community. The bill would recognize the special status of certain non-profits including firefighter boot drives, particularly for MDA.

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