Fighting for a Fair State Budget
Members of our NP4 Corrections Bargaining Unit get an update on contract negotiations.
On Feb. 3, Gov. Malloy convened the 2016 General Assembly with a budget address that called for undetermined but significant layoffs, deep cuts to state services, cuts to municipal funding and more. The Governor’s proposed budget is a threat to Connecticut's quality of life - and a disaster in waiting.
Currently, all our state bargaining units are in negotiations for new contracts. The Malloy administration and state agencies clearly are not bargaining with a goal toward reaching fair and reasonable settlements. And state legislators, under pressure from corporate and right-wing special interest groups, are starting to call for cuts to state employee pay and benefits, and seeking to limit collective bargaining rights that built our middle class.
On top of all that, years of chronic underfunding by previous governors and legislators have impaired the health of the state employee pension plan, with virtually all of the $26 billion unfunded liability attached to the Tier I retirement plan that closed in 1984.
In response, both the governor and Comptroller Lembo have offered plans to pay down the unfunded liability without sacrificing current benefit levels. The pension funding issue has also prompted anti-worker legislators to push for an end to our right to bargain over health care and retirement.
- Click here to read about the Governor's and Comptroller's proposals to stabilize the pension fund.
Council 4 opposes any concessionary proposals that amount to a special tax increase on public employees.
Governor Malloy has asked to meet with state union leadership. This is the Governor’s first attempt to reach out to state workers since his budget was released. It is not clear what the Governor wishes to discuss, but it’s a safe guess that possible areas of discussion would include bargaining unit negotiations, pension funding and state employee concessions.
While we are willing to meet with the governor, we vehemently disagree with his new-found embrace of economic austerity that favors the rich and big corporations at the expense of working class folks.
Council 4 will continue to push for intelligent solutions that don’t include benefit concessions and don’t balance the budget on the backs of working families.
In the meantime, Council 4 has been covering and testifying at various legislative hearings in opposition to state agency budget cuts. We urge members to take personal time to join us at the Legislative Office Building so we can expand our grass roots lobbying efforts.
Be sure to attend Council 4’s Legislative Lobby Day on April 20. We also urge you to attend the Governor’s Town Hall meetings.
We must be visible and we must be loud in our struggle to protect the middle class. Stay tuned for further updates and calls to action.