|Protest at NH House committee voting on anti-worker budget.|
Now New Hampshire Republicans are doing something breathtaking. The House Finance Committee added an amendment to the budget that would basically destroy government unions. The IAFF Frontline blog has the story:
The protests in Wisconsin may have stolen news headlines this winter, but a quiet political persecution of public employees has also been playing out in New Hampshire.
The New Hampshire Finance Committee in the House of Representatives this week approved a change to the state collective bargaining laws that would turn all public sector employees “at will” when their contracts expire.
The photo above shows the pushback by unions and their allies in the committee room. The photo to the right show hundreds picketing the Legislative Office Building outside.
The amendment states that after contracts expire, “salaries, benefits and terms and conditions of employment will be at the discretion of the employer.”
Ouside NH's Legislative Office Building.
Elizabeth Dinan, Portsmouth Herald reporter, interviewed Steve Arnold of the N.H. Police Benevolent Association:
The area was filled with hundreds of police, fire and other public workers, some with children, others with signs, said Arnold.
“To pass a bill of this magnitude that will affect so many people, without a public hearing, is a travesty of the democratic process,” he said. “This isn't a change of traffic law, this is major. They've stripped us of our democratic rights.”Amen brother.
Arnold said he hoped the sight of picketing workers impacted by the proposed legislation “will send a strong message that we have fundamental rights.”
“We're the people who police your streets, teach your children and fight your fires.” he said.
On Wednesday Arnold called the amendment “disgraceful, dirty politics.”