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June / 2016

Maybe You Can't “Feel the Bern” But Can You See the Spaceman…..

OK Red Sox fans, here is something to make you smile while you confront the political issues that will increasingly be presented to us as the state and national campaigns heat up. Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Bill “Spaceman” Lee, who still pitches senior ball in Burlington Vermont, has added a new pitch to his arsenal: He’s running for governor of Vermont.

Lee never had much of a fastball. He relied more on off-speed pitches and curveballs throughout his baseball career. A goofball off the field, Lee pitched more games for the Sox than any other left-hander in the team’s history. He won 109 games in a career with the Sox from 1969 to 1978 and then the Montreal Expos until 1982, pitching in relief at the beginning and end of his career, a three-time 17-game winner as a starter in between. 

“I live here (Craftsbury, VT) because it’s a sane place to live and because it’s a halfway house between two bars, one in Montreal and one in Boston.” 

This will not be Lee’s first swing at politics. In 1988, he ran for president under the banner of the Rhinoceros Party. His platform included bulldozing the Rocky Mountains so areas to the east could receive a few extra minutes of sunlight. He also sought to ban guns and butter. Lee said he also wants to abolish the border between the U.S. and Canada, harness Canada’s Bay of Fundy for electric power and bring the Tampa Bay Rays back to Montreal. “We’ll call them the X-Rays,” he said.


Vermont became the fifth state to require paid sick leave after Gov. Peter Shumlin signed into law a bill that will affect some 60,000 workers. Under the legislation, employees who work at least 18 hours a week will accrue three days of paid sick leave starting in 2017. That increases to five days in the third year. Employers with five or fewer employees were given an additional year before they are subject to the new law. Employees can use the leave to care for themselves or a family member. The law will impact employees, particularly those in lower-paying jobs, that don’t already receive the benefit. The law was the result of several compromises over the years, including an effort by business owners to work with legislators to make the bill more palatable.

VT H.867 seeks to clarify whether people who work in Vermont are employees or independent contractors. Under current law, an independent contractor can be considered a client’s employee if the work he or she performs is similar to work performed by the hiring entity’s employees. An independent contractor may also be classified as an employee if he or she provides work for a single client.

To prevent independent contractors from being classified as employees against their wishes, H.867 clearly distinguishes contractors from employees. As approved by the Commerce and Economic Development Committee, the bill states an independent contractor is someone who is free from the direction and control of the employing unit, controls the means and manner of the job, is a distinct business entity from the hiring entity, is in business for oneself, offers services to the public, and is not treated as an employee for purposes of income and taxes. Workers who fit these criteria are not “employees.”

Opponents argued that the bill might allow private companies and other employers to reclassify employees as independent contractors to slip free of having to provide costly unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation and other benefits. Big Labor was the only opposition to this bill, but clearly they got the ear of the Speaker of the House and legislative leadership and the bill remains in committee.

NH also debated independent contractor regulations (HB1512) and similar to Vermont the bill remains in committee. Other prioritized issues in NH included the effort to require prevailing wage and benefits on state funded projects (HB1641), which was voted inexpedient to legislate. For a complete report on 2016 NH legislative activity for ABC Click Here.  

The 2016 Wage & Benefit Survey results are in!
Thanks to everyone who completed the 2016 Wage and Benefit Survey. This survey is extremely important to members’ efforts to understand current wage and benefit practices and to maintain competitive practices to attract and retain quality employees. If you would like a copy of the results please click on link below to get a copy emailed to you.                          

Click Here to Request Survey Results
2016 Construction Career Days - Registration now open
Each year your ABC chapter supports and participates in the NH Construction Career Days. This event is focused on promotion of construction careers through hands-on activities in the trades. From the inaugural event in 2009 Construction Career Days has grown from 400 participants to nearly 1500 registered students all itching to learn more and try different aspects of the industry. Click here to learn morel

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ABC PIg Roast BBQ & Safety Awards Reception - 6/16
ABC's Big Top BBQ - NEXT THURSDAY! 170 people registered so far...
Thursday, June 16 - 5:30 PM
Under the ABC Big Top
ABC NH/VT Chapter Office
Concord NH
ABC's Western Region Reception - featuring the VT FLiC Graduation
Thursday, July 14 - 5:30 PM
Location: Blackback Pub, Waterbury VT
Seacoast Sunset Harbor Cruise
Thursday, August 11  -  6PM
Isle of Shoals Steamship Company's
M/V Thomas Laighton
Portsmouth NH

NEW - Pre-Reception Aboard the Thomas Laighton  w/ Live Music - sponsored by YPG

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