The House Finance Committee last night approved a change to collective bargaining laws that would give public employers full authority to determine their employees' wages and benefits after a contract expires.
You'll note that this was done at night. Not in a public hearing.
The amendment to the House budget bill, introduced by Weare Republican Rep. Neal Kurk, states that after a contract expires, employees "shall become at-will employees whose salaries, benefits, and terms and conditions of employment shall be at the discretion of the employer."
Warm and fuzzy are not adjectives anyone would ever use to describe Neal Kurk. Last week, during a discussion of the state employees retirement system, he had this to say:
“The problem with the NH Pension System is that people live too long. We’d be better off if we could get them to pick up smoking and they would die younger.”
h/t to pickuppatriots
Not everyone agreed with Rep. Kurk's attempt to end collective bargaining:
The amendment passed 18-7, with Republican Lee Quandt of Exeter joining committee Democrats in dissenting.
Quandt said after the vote that there has been an "unprecedented attack" on public employees this legislative session.
"We started a war we don't belong in," Quandt said. "No company or government lasts long when you go to war with your own employees."
Scott Walker in Wisconsin made blaming state employees union trendy amongst the Tea Party types who were propelled into state legislators around the country last November. This amendment does nothing to fix the NH budget deficit. This is certainly a missile aimed at destroying the NH SEIU. It is also the act of an out of control bunch of ideologues messing with people's lives for no other reason than because they can.
cross-posted at MainSt/workingamerica.org