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Legislature Approves "Job Killing" Budget

Council 4 members led a public safety coalition rally on March 29 to protest budget cuts and layoffs.

The Connecticut General Assembly concluded its special session May 12-13, 2016 by approving a $19.76 billion biennial budget that contains deep cuts to public services and sets the stage for more state employee layoffs and increased property taxes. The budget bill, SB 501, was approved 21-15 in the Senate and 74-70 in the House.

Prior to the House vote, AFSCME Local 704 President Taffy Womack joined with other state employee member-leaders in saying this pro-corporate, anti-worker budget, which was shaped by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, will damage Connecticut's quality of life and hurt middle class workers.

Council 4 and other state employee union members made phone calls, sent emails, and distributed "pink slip" flyers urging their legislators to vote against the Malloy budget. All that activity came on top of digital campaigns that connected members to their legislators and the governor.

To date, 650 executive branch and 239 Judicial Branch employees have already received layoff notices; nearly half are Council 4 members.

The chief negotiator for the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition also reminded legislative leadership in a letter that the Malloy administration never made any kind of offer that would have avoided or reduced state employee layoffs.

"This is a long-term fight for economic fairness," said Council 4 Executive Director Sal Luciano. "Elections are coming in November and we will continue mobilizing against mindless job cuts, reckless outsourcing, and destructive cuts to vital public services."

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