collective bargaining

HR REPORT: Collective Bargaining Factfinder Reports and the Impact of the New Hampshire Supreme Court’s Decision in Appeal of New Hampshire Troopers Association

Spring is here - the flowers are blooming, the birds are hatching, and labor negotiations are in progress or about to get underway in your communities.  For many, the negotiation process has become relatively routine and is well-understood.  But, as with the Right To Know law and its application to employee personnel records, interpretations of law regarding collective bargaining that were thought to be well-settled have been recently taken up by the New Hampshire Supreme Court and interpreted in a way that has significantly changed our understanding of post-impasse dispute resolu

HR REPORT: New Hampshire Supreme Court Decision Provides Policy Implementation Guidance to Public Employers with Unionized Employees

Public employers in New Hampshire are required to negotiate with their unionized employees over “wages, hours and other conditions of employment.” This requirement does not extend to “terms and conditions” that are within the employer’s “exclusive prerogative” or “confided exclusively to [them] by statute or regulation[.]” Employers are generally familiar with this framework and understand what terms and conditions are subject to bargaining.

Collective Bargaining Workshop

Half-day workshop designed to help town, city, and county negotiators in preparing for the challenges of collective bargaining.

Topics include:

• The legal framework of collective bargaining

• Understanding “status quo”

• Bargaining team composition and preparation for bargaining

• Bargaining strategy

• Trends in employee compensation and health insurance

• Why careful drafting of contract language is crucial

HR REPORT: Sanbornize It!

Despite the ongoing pandemic, as the days grow shorter, and the nights longer, labor contract negotiations for public employers are in full swing.  Although the physical format of those negotiations may look different in these unique times, our obligations to follow certain processes and procedures pursuant to New Hampshire’s Public Employee Labor Relations Act, RSA 273-A (the “Act”) remain. 

Collective Bargaining and the Zen of Lawn Maintenance

About 10 years ago, I moved into a brand new subdivision. I am one of the few homeowners who did not install a sod lawn. Instead, I nurtured my lawn, helped it through the ravages of drought, voles, grubs and a failed septic tank. While it may not be environmentally correct to say so, I am proud of my lawn. It’s far from perfect, but it does reflect the time and effort that I have put into it. Its appearance also helps justify to my legislative body (my wife) the expenditure of family funds on seed, fertilizer, tools, etc.

In Labor Negotiations, Public Employers Need Finance Directors on the Team

Since the passage of the Public Employees Labor Relations Act (RSA 273-A), New Hampshire has seen explosive growth in the number of county, municipal and school district employees who are unionized. Prior to the 1970s, unionization had occurred in only a few New Hampshire communities. Since the adoption of RSA 273-A, it has become common for public employees to unionize as soon as they can form a bargaining unit that meets the minimum statutory requirements of ten regular full or part-time employees, or both, who share a "community of interest."

Labor Issues a Legislative Priority in 2011

By Barbara T. Reid

Town Meeting: It's Not Over Until It's Over

By C. Christine Fillmore

Despite the best preparation, things may go wrong at a town meeting. Notices were not posted in time, hearings were not held properly, critical articles necessary for the operation of municipal business did not pass. What to do now? Helpfully, there are a few options built into town meeting laws to address just this sort of situation.

Multi-Year Contracts: When and How Are They Authorized?

Municipalities are set up to handle business one year at a time. They are governed by annual budgets and elect officials annually in towns and biennially in cities. So it’s not surprising that there is a good deal of uncertainty when it comes to authorizing contracts that will oblige a municipality to expend money for more than one year going forward. The most common examples are extended equipment leases and multi-year collective bargaining agreements (CBAs).

A New Era of Collective Bargaining

Since its inception in 1975, New Hampshire’s Public Employee Labor Relations statute, RSA Chapter 273-A, has seen few changes. The Legislature has been content to allow the Public Employee Labor Relations Board (PELRB) and New Hampshire Supreme Court to interpret the law and provide guidance to public employers and labor organizations on a broad variety of collective bargaining issues. However, during the last session, the Legislature passed two amendments to Chapter 273-A that may have profound implications for all public employers.