THE INABILITY to retain qualified firefighters, EMTs, dispatchers, police and correctional officers has created a disastrous outlook for the future of public safety in New Hampshire. Professions once highly sought after in a competitive market are now taking a back seat to private sector jobs that offer higher pay and better benefits. Historically speaking, public sector employees have been drawn to these professions for the retirement and benefits packages offered, in spite of the fact that lower wages put them at a disadvantage in a surging economy. A trade-off that was fair and equitable until it wasn’t.

In 2011, the state legislature made monumental changes to the retirement system, forever changing what it means to be a public employee here in New Hampshire. Now, first responders are finding it increasingly difficult to dedicate their lives to professions that often have a net negative impact on their health, safety, and work/life balance in exchange for low pay and a reduced retirement. Now, some changes that were made to shore up the system are coming home to roost, exacerbating the problem.

Windham’s Michael Geha is president of the N.H. Police Association, Stratham’s Frank Campo is president of the NH Troopers Association, and Hampton’s Brian Ryll is president of the Professional Fire Fighters of N.H.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023
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THE GOVERNOR’S proposed 10% cost of living adjustment to state employee wages is prudent, economically modest, and a necessary response to market signals on the state labor force. To suggest otherwise is to misread 40 years of state history and to deny the destructive effects of inflation th…

AT THE END of 2022, the New Hampshire Judicial Branch launched a diversity and inclusion initiative to ensure that everyone is provided with equal access to justice, and to eliminate unconscious cultural biases within the court system. The strategic plan is already underway and features a ha…

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