Unions Protest NH Budget
This week, hundreds of members of state and local labor unions converged on the Legislative Office Building in Concord to protest the House Finance Committee's vote on the state budget, including a controversial provision to ban Evergreen Clauses in all public labor agreements.
Grant Bosse files this exclusive video report capturing the protests, the debate over the Evergreen proposal, and the raucous committee proceedings. Watch our exclusive video report now.
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Union Leader Praises NHOpenGov.org
The Josiah Bartlett Center last week launched a site that allows anyone to view state spending documents online. With a click of the mouse, state government just got vastly more transparent.
On the center’s NHOpenGov.org site, anyone can view any state expenditure. Want to know how much the Department of Education spent on books in 2008? It’s there ($3,667). Want to know how much the state Office of Health Management spent at Walgreen's in West Lebanon? It’s there ($7,499).
The database is searchable by department, vendor and expense category. Or, if you like, you can browse it.
State expenses are now fully open to public scrutiny.
In creating this site, the Bartlett Center has done the people of New Hampshire a tremendous public service.
We all owe center president Charles Arlinghaus (who also is a freelance columnist for the New Hampshire Union Leader) and his crew a big thank you.
Debunking the Myth of the Underpaid State Worker
For years, we've heard that public employees sacrifice higher salaries in the private sector as a trade-off for better health care, retirement benefits, and job security. But after several years of pay raises that outstripped their colleagues in the marketplace, New Hampshire's state employees now take home a bigger paycheck on average than private sector workers. Charlie Arlinghaus debunks the myth of the underpaid state worker in his latest Union Leader column:
"Six years ago, state salaries were about 12% below the average of all workers, although total compensation was higher because of benefits. Today, state government employees make about 5% more in salary than the average all workers and enjoy dramatically more generous retirement and health benefits on top of it.
When state employee union president Gary Smith retired last year, it was surprising he didn’t make a bigger deal out of his remarkable success.
It was often said that state employees make much lower salaries than their private sector counterparts and have higher benefits in exchange. That’s no longer the case. State employee make more on average in salary and have more generous health and one of the only defined benefit health plans left.
The data makes it difficult to call the state a miserly employer."
Read the whole thing.
Inside the Cloakroom with Jeb Bradley and PSNH's Martin Murray
The Cloakroom, our new weekly video magazine, takes an in-depth look at the complex issues facing New Hampshire. This week in The Cloakroom, Grant Bosse interviews Sen. Jeb Bradley about his bill to reform the NH Retirement System and learns more about the controversial Northern Pass project with PSNH spokesman Martin Murray.
Watch the latest episode of The Cloakroom now.
Northern Pass- Take the Poll
Should Hydro-Quebec and PSNH build 180 miles of power lines across New Hampshire to bring cheap, clean hydro power to the New England grid. Click the Vote Button to take the NH Watchdog Poll.