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AFT-NH local leaders and negotiating teams have spent countless hours preparing tentative agreements to be presented to the voters in March. All of that hard work comes down to one day of voting or one meeting. Please help AFT-NH members bring these contracts over the finish line. Please share this list with friends and allies so they know how they can make a difference and support our AFT-NH locals. We know that every single vote counts. Together we win. You can download the guide here. 

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New Hampshire Department of Education 306 Rules FAQ

Next week, on Wednesday, at the State Board of Education meeting, the 306 rules, the rules that govern our local neighborhood public schools, are on the agenda. These rules have been worked on, mostly in secret, for nearly three years now. The first draft that was released last March was terrible for public students, teachers and staff.  We do not know yet what will come out of the meeting on Wednesday but wanted to prepare you with a one pager on the 306 rules and prepare you for action after the next draft of the rules are released. Please watch this space for further updates and actions. Here is a Q&A on the process and rules.


 

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Poll Shows Granite Staters Do Not Support the Voucher Program and Strongly Oppose an Expansion

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Poll Shows Granite Staters Do Not Support the Voucher Program and Strongly Oppose an Expansion

CONCORD, N.H. -  More Granite Staters oppose the taxpayer-funded school voucher program than support it, with an even stronger opposition to further expansion of the program, according to polling released by the UNH Survey Center yesterday.  AFT-NH President Deb Howes released the following statement:

“The Granite State Poll proves what we have said from the beginning, that hard-working Granite Staters are looking for solutions that help all our neighborhood public school students and are not interested in funding unaccountable, unproven, and over budget programs that only help a few families. The voucher scheme pushed by Frank Edelblut and extreme right-wing politicians raises local property taxes and does not improve educational outcomes for most students, all while New Hampshire continues to fail to fulfill its constitutional duty and fund our neighborhood public schools. The New Hampshire legislature should and must turn its attention to fully funding neighborhood public schools and ensuring that each student can access a robust, challenging and honest curriculum so that the Granite State can continue to have some of the best schools and best-educated students in the country.”

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Photo of AFT President Randi Weingarten addressing TEACH 2023

The AFT has always been a solutions-driven union, and our new campaign, launched during TEACH on July 21, proves it once again with a fresh, practical approach to strengthening public education. As AFT President Randi Weingarten pointed out during her keynote speech, the $5 million, yearlong campaign, “Real Solutions for Kids and Communities,” stands up against attacks on public schools and offers real-world solutions to build up, rather than break down, our communities.

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CONCORD, N.H. From the moment he was sworn in Governor Sununu showed us he was an anti-education governor. His pick of Frank Edelblut as his Commissioner of Education has set off a chain of events in New Hampshire that have been detrimental to most Granite State students who rely on our neighborhood public schools. From the over budget, unaccountable and unproven school voucher program to signing a ban on teaching honest history, Sununu’s record on education will not be looked well upon in the years to come.

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Randi Weingarten at a Massachusetts high school

Summer is upon us, and parents, children and teachers are winding down from what has been an exhausting and fully operational school year—the first since the devastating pandemic. The long-lasting impact of COVID-19 has affected our students’ and families’ well-being and ignited the politics surrounding public schools. All signs point to the coming school year unfolding with the same sound and fury, and if extremist culture warriors have their way, being even more divisive and stressful.

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What unions do

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In AFT President Randi Weingarten’s latest New York Times  column, she describes what it is exactly that unions do. Though unions are the most popular they have been in decades, anti-union sentiment still thrives in red states and across the nation. “Several years ago, The Atlantic ran a story whose headline made even me, a labor leader, scratch my head: ‘Union Membership: Very Sexy,’” Weingarten writes in the column. “The gist was that higher wages, health benefits and job security—all associated with union membership—boost one’s chances of getting married. Belonging to a union doesn’t actually guarantee happily ever after, but it does help working people have a better life in the here and now.” Click through to read the full column.

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Town election day is Tuesday, March 14th.  For all of our locals in a “SB 2” district, any negotiated agreements will be voted on during the town elections. AFT-NH local leaders and negotiating teams have spent countless hours preparing tentative agreements to be presented to the voters. All of that hard work comes down to this one day of voting. Please share this list with friends and allies so they know how they can make a difference and support our AFT-NH locals. We know that every single vote counts. I know those locals remember very well when a contract was defeated by one vote. Yes, it has happened. Twice as a matter of fact. Another reminder is that folks can register to vote on election day with proper identification and proof of residence (could be a utility bill for example). MORE
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Timberlane Teachers Achieve Last Minute Deal, School Board Continues to Engage in Union Busting  Timberlane temporarily avoids catastrophe PLAISTOW, NH— January 9, 2023 —The leadership of the Timberlane Teachers’ Association released the following statement:  In a final effort, the Timberlane Teachers’ Association has achieved a last minute deal for a one-year agreement with the Timberlane Regional School Board that avoids what would certainly have been a critically disastrous situation for the District. Timberlane educators are already working without a contract for this school year and have not seen any step movement or cost of living adjustments. This deal makes little headway in resolving the many issues facing Timberlane including under-valued wages, working conditions, and earned benefits.  This agreement is only a one year deal, which stabilizes the situation and brings the parties back to the bargaining table in the Spring. MORE
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 Timberlane Regional School Board Walks Away from Contract Negotiations  Timberlane educators face a second year without a contract that respects their work PLAISTOW, NH— January 5, 2023 —The leadership of the Timberlane Teachers’ Association released the following statement:  The Timberlane Teachers’ Association, AFT #4796,  is gravely disappointed that for a second time in two years, the Timberlane Regional School Board has given up on trying to reach a tentative agreement with the Union that respects the work and dedication that Timberlane Educators have given to the children and families of the District.  The two parties have been meeting since June 2021 to try to reach an agreement that recognizes the contributions and sacrifices that the educators of Timberlane have made for the District while also respecting the needs of the taxpayers.  Timberlane educators have been working without a contract since July 2022 with no pay increases or cost of living adjustments while facing rising inflation and rising cost of living, and will continue to face shrinking paychecks for another year.  The Union has presented more than a dozen substantial proposals and counter proposals, endured two mediation sessions, and made significant concessions and compromises over the last two years. The last proposal offered by the Union constituted an increase in cost over the previously agreed upon first year in the prior tentative agreement of less than one-half percent of the proposed District’s annual budget. Sadly, the School Board has made little compromise and refused to meet the Union on common ground.  Even as of the date of this press release, the School Board continues to push forward proposals that were rejected by the Union membership for being insultingly inadequate to what Timberlane is worth instead of negotiating with the Union. MORE