AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin, 2018-11

March 9, 2018 - Bow, NH

The House made significant progress on its backlog of legislation this week but with snow forcing cancellation of Thursday’s session, a good number of legislative proposals now won’t come up until March 15.  With the deadline of March 22 for bills to go to the Senate, the House has its work cut out for it. 

In a Nutshell   As always there is a mix of the good and the not-so-good in reviewing House actions.  Highlights from the Consent Calendar include legislative deaths for HB 1803 (banning payroll deductions for union dues or any non-governmental entities) and HB 1608 (banning compensation for public employees on leave).  The former would have caused great harm for United Way, AFLAC, etc. along with labor unions, while the latter would violate provisions in many collective bargaining agreements and remove the issue from local control.  HB 1603, authorizing an employee representative on the investment committee of the NHRS did pass, thereby offering at least a small opportunity for voicing the concerns of those who pay into the retirement system and for whom the system exists.  Lastly, a series of bills passed that adding to existing reporting requirements and accountability on the part of public schools.  In and of itself, that may be fine, but it must be paired with the simultaneous rejection of even a modest increase in accountability for home-schoolers or increasing the required percentage of certified or experienced teachers in charter schools.  Then there is also SB 193, which still contains virtually no accountability for home-schoolers or private schools benefitting from public funds.  Just a smidge of inconsistency there!

AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin, 2018-10

March 5, 2018 - Bow, NH

Welcome back to everyone who has been on winter vacation this past week.  Hopefully, you found the break restful and relaxing.  The Legislature has also been on break for the past week, though some committees continued meeting and pushing legislation forward.  This coming week, however, will be a busy one in Concord, especially for the NH House, which will meet three days and confronts a calendar with nearly 400 potential pieces of legislation to be considered.  Nearly two-thirds of these proposals are on the Consent Calendar, where legislation goes that has a unanimous or near unanimous committee recommendation (inexpedient to legislate, ought to pass, etc.).  One vote at the start of Tuesday’s session will dispose of all legislation on the Consent Calendar by approving the Calendar and all the recommendations contained therein.  The only exceptions will be pieces of legislation that individual legislators remove from the Consent calendar for later debate.  Thus, it is likely the House will vote on and discuss/debate over 150 pieces of legislation over the course of three days this week.  So fasten your seat-belts. 

AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin, 2018-09

February 23, 2018 - Bow, NH

This week was a relatively slow week in Concord, and neither the Senate nor the House will convene again until March 6, 2018 (everyone is off for Winter vacation week).  What this means, however, especially for the House, is that there is an oncoming avalanche of legislation heading to the floor.  Between March 6 and March 22, hundreds of pieces of legislation will need to be considered and dispensed with by the House, so there are some long session days impending. 

School Nurse Certification  Yesterday, the House passed HB 1217, which reduces the certification requirements for school nurses.  Proponents of the bill emphasized cost savings to school districts of fewer certification standards to be met by school nurses, while opponents of the bill pointed to the complexities facing school nurses.  Dealing with injuries, chronic illnesses, serving as a resource for psychological issues, all these involve school nurses.  But in NH, we reduce standards to prior levels, rather than render pay more commensurate with more rigorous standards.  And all of our school employees know we do not employ enough school nurses in our schools. The bill now moves to the Senate, which is likely to pass the bill and send it to the governor.

Timberlane Teachers' Association and Timberlane Support Staff Union Release First Annual Voter's Guides

The Timberlane Teachers' Association and the Timberlane Support Staff Union are pleased to release its First Annual Voter's Guides for Timberlane Voters. These voter's guides cover the election for the Timberlane Regional School Board and Budget Committee positions. 

The Timberlane Teachers’ Association and Timberlane Support Staff Union submitted pertinent questions to all registered candidates for the Timberlane Regional School Board and Budget Committee for our first annual public voter’s guides.  These guides are not an endorsement or recommendation of any one candidate, but an effort to assist residents in making an informed decision at the polls on Tuesday, March 13, 2018.

You can download the voter's guides here:

TRSD School Board Voter's Guide

TRSD Budget Committee Voter's Guide

AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin, 2018-08

February 20, 2018 - Bow, NH

A busy week in the State House, though a relatively quiet one when it comes to legislation of direct concern to AFT-NH.  In terms of actual legislation, the Senate passed SB 441, which requires school districts to create policies upholding the finality of grades assigned by teachers.  Except in limited cases (technical or clerical error), this would make teacher-assigned grades the final word, preventing administrators from altering grades of athletes or certain vociferous parents.  Consider it a rare recognition of the professionalism of our public school teachers!