In an exclusive interview with NH Journal this morning, incoming Senate President Peter Bragdon revealed that the first Senate bill to be introduced in the new session will be legislation to repeal the “Evergreen Law” in the state public employees’ union contracts. Bragdon expects the bill to be introduced on the second Tuesday in January, and be passed with a veto-proof majority the following week.
The Evergreen Law mandates that when public employee union contracts expire, the public employer must continue to meet the terms of the current contract until a new contract is negotiated. Stating that it “never should have been law in the first place,” Bragdon blamed the Evergreen Law for the fact that many NH school districts currently lack union contracts. What happened a few years ago is that Gov. Lynch signed a law (the Evergreen Law) saying that ALL public employee contracts (at the state and local level) were to be Evergreen, even those without the clause in the contract. What the newly elected Majority is looking to do is repeal the Evergreen Law. If there are contracts out there which already contained the Evergreen clause, they are not looking to change those. That language is in those contracts because both sides agreed to put it there and it would have been part of the negotiation process.
He said that he has spoken to union representatives from the public employees unions, and they are “not surprised” about the possibility of repeal.
For more details on the Evergreen repeal, along with all the other news and insights from our exclusive interview with Sen. Bragdon, check back next week for the full article, only at NH Journal.