Faith Leaders Oppose S.B. 61 “Right to Work” Bill

84 Diverse New Hampshire Faith Leaders Support Effective Unions and Urge the NH House to Reject S.B. 61 (the so-called “right to work” bill) as an Attempt to Divide Workers and Weaken Unions

We, the undersigned leaders and members of diverse New Hampshire faith communities, call on you to vote S.B. 61 as inexpedient to legislate.

We reject this bill based on the united voice of our many faith traditions, including Jewish, Catholic, Orthodox Christian, Protestant and Unitarian Universalist members.

In the words of four New Hampshire rabbis:

As Faith in Public Life wrote in an amici curiae brief in the Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME, “labor unions are critical components of a just society.” They added, “religious authors have long recognized that effective bargaining requires an effective means for unions to collect the funds that they need to operate.”

The “right to work” bill, S.B. 61, is an attempt to weaken the ability of working people to organize. It would divide workers wherever unions exist so that their collective voice is substantially diminished. As Jews, we stand with all working people and oppose S.B. 61.

The Catholic Diocese of Manchester answered “no” to these questions with the following conclusion:

Does SB 61 benefit the common good? Does SB 61provide a just balance between the interests of workers and the interests of employers? Does SB 61protect the natural right of workers to assemble and form associations?

In our view, SB 61 would have the effect of substantially diminishing the ability of unions to carry out their duties, and we think that these questions produce answers in the negative. Therefore, we respectfully oppose SB 61,and we ask that you recommend it as inexpedient to legislate.

Finally, the New Hampshire Council of Churches wrote,

All of [our] traditions express Biblical and historic support for labor unions and the right of workers to organize for better conditions. The “right to work” bill, S.B. 61, is an attempt to weaken the ability of working people to organize…. It would divide workers wherever unions exist so that their collective voice is substantially diminished. All of the Council’s traditions urge that we support labor unions and collective bargaining and to strengthen (not weaken) them when we are able.

Standing in solidarity with New Hampshire faith communities and working families, we urge together that the House oppose S.B. 61 and again defeat “right to work” in our state.

See the full statements from faith leaders at

  1. Rev. Jason Wells, NH Council of Churches
  2. Bishop A. Robert Hirschfeld, Episcopal Church of New Hampshire
  3. Rev. Gordon Rankin, New Hampshire Conference, United Church of Christ
  4. Bishop James Hazelwood, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, New England Synod
  5. Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar, New England Conference of The United Methodist Church
  6. Ahmed Gabir, Muslim, President of Sudanese Community of New Hampshire, Manchester
  7. Rev. Allen Hoyt, First Congregational Church (UCC), Milford
  8. Rev. Allison Palm, Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashua
  9. Rev. Amanda Lape-Freeberg, The Church of Christ at Dartmouth College (UCC), Hanvoer
  10. Rev. Andrew MacLeod, Bristol United Church of Christ
  11. Sister Assunta Riley, Sisters of Mercy, Nashua
  12. Barbara Carbonneau, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Goffstown
  13. Rabbi Beth D. Davidson, Auburn
  14. Rev. Bill Beardslee, United Church of Christ, Warner
  15. Rev. Bill Petersen, All Saints Episcopal Church, Wolfeboro
  16. Candace Cole-McCrea, Gonic Friends Meeting, Milton
  17. Rev. Celeste McQuarrie, Concord
  18. Rev. Cheryl L. Meachen, Wesley United Methodist Church, Concord
  19. Rev. Cheryl Moore, Episcopal Church, Bow
  20. Deacon Chris Potter, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Manchester
  21. Claudia Istel, Secretary, Economic Justice Mission Group, NH Conference of the United Church of Christ, Acworth
  22. Rev. Curtis E. Metzger, Episcopal Church, Littleton
  23. Rev. Cynthia Bagley, The United Church of Christ in Keene
  24. Rabbi Daniel Aronson, Congregation Ahavas Achim, Keene
  25. Rev. David Grishaw-Jones, Community Church of Durham
  26. Rev. Dr. Dawn Berry, First Congregational Church of Hopkinton (UCC)
  27. Denise Ginzler, Monadnock Quaker Meeting, Greenville
  28. Venerable Derek Scalia, Episcopal Church, Keene
  29. Sister Eileen Brady, Sisters of Mercy, Nashua
  30. Rev. Eliza Tweedy, First Church Congregational, Rochester
  31. Elizabeth Marshall, Monadnock Quaker Meeting, Rindge
  32. Rev. Elsa Worth, St. James Episcopal Church, Keene
  33. Rev. Emily Burr, Starr King Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Plymouth
  34. Rev. Dr. Emily C. Heath, Congregational Church (UCC), Exeter
  35. Ethel McConaghy, United Church of Christ, Center Barnstead
  36. Evan A. Oxenham, Chair of Leadership Team, Meriden Congregational Church, Plainfield
  37. Rev. Dr. Gail Kinney, Meriden Congregational Church (UCC)
  38. Rev. Heidi C. Heath, United Church of Christ, Exeter
  39. James L. Giddings, Monadnock Quaker Meeting, Greenville
  40. Jana Sellarole, Walpole United Church of Christ
  41. Rev. Jennie Anderson, St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Norwich, VT
  42. Pastor Jennifer Savoy, Weare
  43. Jeremiah T Dickinson, Dover Friends Meeting
  44. Rev. John Gregory-Davis, Meriden Congregational Church (UCC)
  45. Rev. John Hogue, United Church of Christ, N. Conway
  46. Rev. Jonathan K. Hopkins, Concordia Lutheran Church, Concord
  47. Chaplain Judith A. Wood, Hopkinton
  48. Rev. Kate Harmon Siberine, Grace Episcopal Church in East Concord and the Episcopal Mission of Franklin, Franklin
  49. Kate Kerman, Clerk, Ministry and Counsel, Monadnock Quaker Meeting, Marlborough
  50. Rabbi Kaya Stern-Kaufman, Portsmouth
  51. Rev. Kendra Ford, First Unitarian Universalist Society of Exeter
  52. Kevin Woolley, Monadnock Quaker Meeting, Fitzwilliam
  53. Khalil Abdullah, Upper Valley Muslim Community, Lebanon
  54. Rev. Kimberly S. C. Hester, Christ the King Lutheran Church (ELCA), Nashua
  55. Rev. Kurt A Walker, Deerfield Community Church
  56. Lindsay Dearborn, Clerk, Peace and Social Concerns Committee, Hanover Friends Meeting,
  57. Sister Madonna Madonna, Sisters of Mercy, Manchester
  58. Maggie Fogarty, American Friends Service Committee, Concord
  59. Margaret Hawthorn, M. Div., Monadnock Quaker Meeting, Rindge
  60. Sister Mary Ellen Foley, Sisters of Mercy, Manchester
  61. Rev. Mary James, United Church of Christ, Durham
  62. Rev. Michael F. Hall, Keene Unitarian Universalist Church
  63. Michael Sauve, Episcopal Church, Loudon
  64. Rev. Patrick McLaughlin, Unitarian Universalist Church of Manchester
  65. Peter G. Henry, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Londonderry, NH
  66. Rabbi Peter S. Levy, Derry
  67. Rabbi Rabbi Robin Nafshi, Temple Beth Jacob, Concord
  68. Rev. Rev. Kate Atkinson, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Concord
  69. Rev. Robert Grabill, Church of Christ at Dartmouth College, UCC, Hanover
  70. Rev. Robert Vodra, First Congregational Church of Dunbarton
  71. Ron Rene, Eckert Catholic Worker, Manchester
  72. Sister Rosemary Burnham, Sisters of Mercy, Hudson
  73. Sandra Straus, Missions Chairperson, United Church of Christ, Madbury
  74. Rev. Scott Masters, Asbury United Methodist Church, Keene/Chesterfield
  75. Deacon Stephen Ekerberg, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Concord
  76. Rev. Susan Gregory-Davis, Meriden Congregational Church (UCC)
  77. Rev. Susan P Thomas, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Lebanon
  78. Rev. Tara Olsen Allen, Pilgrim United Church of Christ, Brentwood
  79. Rev. Teresa Gocha, Episcopal Church of the Messiah, N. Woodstock
  80. Thomas M. Julius, Chairperson, Monadnock Interfaith Project, Gilsum
  81. Rev. Traceymay Kalvaitis, United Church of Christ in Harrisville and in Dublin
  82. Tristan K. Husby, Executive Director, Unitarian Universalist Action NH, Nashua
  83. Cantor Wendy Shermet, Emerita Temple Israel, Omaha NE, Gilford
  84. Rev. William Exner, Episcopal Church, Goffstown