Priorities in the new legislative session

With the first hearings of the 2019 legislative session  taking place this week, we’re off and running for what will be a busy six months. In addition to the state budget, we’ll be advocating for legislation dealing with retirees, workplace bullying, staffing at state agencies and union rights.

Thanks to your help last year, we had one of our most successful legislative sessions in years. We’ll need your help to keep moving forward, and to do that we’ll need your engagement – if you’re not already subscribed to our State House Update, which will be sent each Monday starting in a few weeks please update your email preferences here. Our State House emails will include the latest legislative updates.

Our first two requests for members relate to bills addressing a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for retirees and workplace bullying. We’d like to hear from retirees in the state pension system about what a COLA would mean to you, and we’d like to hear from current and former state employees about any experiences of workplace bullying in state service. If you can help with either, please send an email to Brian Hawkins at bhawkins@seiu1984.org.

Here’s a quick look at some of the other issues we’ll be working toward solutions for:

  • Funding for positions at state agencies has never really recovered since the recession 10 years ago, leaving state workers to do more with less.
  • Paid family leave was a cornerstone of Molly Kelly’s campaign and Gov. Sununu endorsed the idea for state employees last fall, as well.
  • Independent legislative redistricting would attempt to remove partisanship from the drawing of legislative districts.
  • Protection of union rights in the wake of the Janus Supreme Court decision will include more than just fighting off bad proposals – yes, we’ll still see right to work bills. Legislation will push to codify protections for workers and labor unions.
  • Privatization of public services has increased as funding for regular positions has grown scarce, but contractor positions aren’t governed by collective bargaining agreements, lack benefits and often extend far beyond short-term needs.  

The legislation addressing these issues is still being drafted, but this is still a good glimpse at what our focus will be. Our focus for our legislative priorities is ensuring that we have a state that works for everyone, a state that leaves no one behind. That’s what unions are supposed to be about, and that’s what our commitment is. We’ll need your right there alongside us as we work to move our state forward.

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