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Executive Branch Prepares For Results Of Union Vote

by Hugh McQuaid | Aug 12, 2011 2:52pm
(37) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Labor, State Budget

Hugh McQuaid photo

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy

(Updated 4:23 p.m.) Office of Policy and Management Secretary Ben Barnes issued this memo to state agency commissioners Friday, advising them of how to prepare for the various possible outcomes of the union vote on a negotiated concession agreement scheduled to conclude next week.

The memo comes as state employee unions prepare to ramp up voting for the second time on a package of $1.6 billion worth of concessions, which the budget is contingent upon. Barnes said it’s hard to predict what the unions will do.

“Since there are a number of variations based on the potential for split votes, with the SEBAC health and pension provisions approved but the individual unit wage and job security agreements rejected, it is difficult to predict the outcome,” he wrote.

At an unrelated event in Wallingford Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said the memo was not a reflection of his confidence that the unions will ratify the deal.

“If you read the memo, it speaks of all the eventualities and there are different eventualities depending on how the vote goes and how a particular unit votes on it,” he said. “Some people are doing a two-step process; some people are doing a one-step process. My commissioners have to understand that.”

Malloy said the memo was necessary for the state to move quickly in whatever direction it has to when all the votes are tallied on Aug. 18. There are three possible outcomes, he said.

All the bargaining units could chose to ratify both the healthcare and pension concessions and the wage concession package, he said. In that case, the OPM memo instructs commissioners to rescind any layoffs already issued and halt plans to close facilities.

All could flatly reject the deal, in which case Malloy said, “we lay a lot of people off.”

In the third scenario the healthcare and pension package is ratified but some units reject the wage package, which includes a two-year salary freeze. Those units would not receive the four years of layoff protection negotiated in the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition agreement.

Malloy wouldn’t speculate whether those units should expect layoffs.

“Listen, the only way for a unit to be assured there won’t be layoffs is to approve the agreement and approve the salary portion. Beyond that, you know, we’ll see what happens,” he said.

Barnes’ memo to commissioners was more clear, saying that “layoffs should continue to be carried out and facilities and programs shut down based on the schedule developed by agency” in bargaining units that reject the wage agreement package.

But later in the letter he said agency heads may have some flexibility to rescind some of the layoffs issued to employees of those units. Should they choose to do that, he asked that they send OPM a list of the employees they want back so their bumping rights can be determined.

“You may or may not be able to bring back or retain the same individual as there may be other individuals with superior rights to the position,” he said.

Barnes also asked for a list of non-union and non-permanent employees agencies may wish to keep. Those workers will not enjoy layoff protection even if the agreement is ratified.

The memo asked commissioners to come up with refill plans that fill 10 percent and 30 percent of vacant positions and plans to fill the same percentages of vacancies due to retirements.

Though the Executive Branch is positioning itself to react to whatever the unions decide, the legislature seems to be taking more of a wait and see approach.

On June 30th when the General Assembly was debating whether to increase Malloy’s rescission authority Democratic leaders promised their colleagues they would return before Aug. 15 to hold a public hearing on some of the proposed cuts.

But Monday, Aug. 15 will come and go without a public hearing on those cuts.

House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero, R-Norwalk, said he’s not surprised.

In a phone interview Friday, Cafero said after the first failed SEBAC vote he predicted the legislature would never return to vote on the governor’s proposed cuts, or even hold a public hearing on them despite the promises of House Speaker Chris Donovan and Sen. President Donald Williams.

Todd Murphy, Donovan’s spokesman, said Friday that it simply didn’t make sense to hold a public hearing before the conclusion of the union vote.

“If the unions fail to ratify this deal we are prepared to act quickly to hold a public hearing,” Murphy said.

Holding a public hearing now will only distract from the voting process, he added.

Majority Leader Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, who stood on the floor of the House and promised the legislature they would return, said he plans on keeping that promise, “for no other reason than to protect my reputation.” He said his credibility, and the credibility of Rep. Toni Walker, D-New Haven, depends on it.

He said the legislature is unlikely to return for a public hearing if the unions ratify the agreement, because if it’s ratified there’s no reason to hold a costly hearing. He said the cost of an off-session hearing would be too expensive.

The date of the public hearing wasn’t written into the rescission bill adopted by the legislature on the last day of the fiscal year. However, it does say the legislature would have to act to call itself back into special session no later than five days after the SEBAC vote.

Cafero said the failure to hold a public hearing and the union’s failure to ratify an agreement all adds to the uncertainty of the state budget. He said the nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis isn’t even certain there’s $1.6 billion in savings in the concession package if it is ratified.

“We’re uncertain about almost everything, except the fact that taxes are going up,” Cafero said.

Whatever happens next week, it will put to rest the long-standing question of whether a labor agreement will be ratified and free up state government to focus on other issues.

In his memo, Barnes didn’t seem optimistic about the state’s finances going forward.

“Unfortunately, regardless of the outcome of the ratification, we face an uncertain year. We have considerable savings targets that we must accomplish, and have no option but to operate state government in the black,” he said.

But Malloy said he will be relieved to have it over and done with.

“One way or the other, I’m very much looking forward. I’ve got a lot of work to do and a lot of things that we’ve been waiting on to get going on because we had to, until we knew which direction the budget was moving in and we’re less than a week away,” he said.

He may even get a chance to take a vacation, which he said he’s already delayed once or twice.

“Hopefully in September we’ll find three, four, five days to string together, Cathy and I.”

Christine Stuart contributed to this report.

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(37) Comments

posted by: Sadie | August 12, 2011  9:13pm

All I have to say to Malloy is, look what’s happening in Wisconsin now!

posted by: soldoutbytheunion | August 13, 2011  7:13am

Anyone considering voting to approve this illegal package owes it to themselves to go to you tubes and watch the video titled “Team Malloy’s message to CSEA Members.”  I’ll post the link at the end of my comment.  This link shows just how untruthful this administration is, and that we shouldn’t engage in any concessions or deals with them as they don’t live up to their word”  Please watch it and compare their words to the recent concession package debate.  You’ll see that they are swindlers…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7qrjhwczUg

posted by: soldoutbytheunion | August 13, 2011  7:16am

Watch this one too, think Dan’s family is proud of him?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9DrsvVjeVk&feature=related

posted by: Puzzled... | August 13, 2011  11:01am

Sadie - Unfortunately, not enough is happening in Wisconsin to make a difference - not even in Wisconsin. And don’t forget - 2 Democrats are now facing their own recalls.

posted by: NOW What? | August 13, 2011  11:39am

“...we believe a positive result on the proposed contract in Connecticut, just like each Senate district we take back, is one important step in the right direction.”

- Marty Beil, executive director of Council 24 of the Wisconsin State Employees Union, and Michael Thomas, president of the SEIU Wisconsin State Council.

The Wisconsin unions are recommending that CT state employees vote YES.

posted by: DrHunterSThompson | August 13, 2011  11:55am

It’s unfortunate that the request for give backs is structured so poorly. It has driven a wedge between the younger and older employees showing a severe lack of understanding and leadership from the administration and the union presidents.

They will have to shoulder the blame for the layoffs once the vote fails.

posted by: moneygrabber | August 13, 2011  2:23pm

Dr…..you’re right about one thing.  Definitely a wedge now that we can see how selfish and clueless many of you order employees are.

posted by: Disgruntled | August 13, 2011  2:39pm

Good video link by SOLDOUT. Thank you.

Reading the Ben Barnes memo gave me the creeps. BEN GIVES ME THE CREEPS!
A apparatchik who reminds me of Bob Haldeman,with glasses.He lacks the skills and background yet Dan seems to be wanting to make him a minister without portfolio. Hartford is creeping me out!

posted by: Truth, Justice and Karma | August 13, 2011  6:41pm

If you are reading any of the posts and you still are unsure about how to vote, I would urge you to do two simple things rely on facts, analysis based on facts, and lessons from history.  First, please beware of hard sell posters who are just really arguing their opinions but state their opinions in such a manner that they want you to believe heir opinions are established facts.  These posters want you to believe that they possess some type of special knowledge or power of prediction that they know for sure what will happen in politics and the economy in the future.  If they did, they probably would not be spending as much time as they do trying to convince workers to vote they way they want them to vote.  For example,a poster repeatedly says “the economy will NOT be better in 2017 and if we don’t ratify this agreement - ESPECIALLY the pension and health insurance portion, we will NOT have the opportunity to negotiate a successor agreement with the State because the State will be dictating to us what our pension and health insurance will be… and what they dictate will be *far* worse than what the TA offers for both. Voting no, especially to the pension and health insurance provisions, just doesn’t make any sense.”  Everything this poster says is just an opinion, there is not one statement of fact or even any factual analysis of any type.
Second, please do not forget history.  You get posters telling you should vote for this deal because it provide 4 years or job security and protects health care and retirement plans until 2022.  We just had our health care and retirement plan that was supposed to be protected until 2017 reopened and changed in 2009.  Now in 2011, the Governor seeks to change our health care and retirement again.  SEBAC and legislators will not even promise that we are actually protected from having it reopened again before 2022.  Recent history provides a valuable source of information that may be more reliable than posters’ opinions based on wishful thinking, naivete, or “educated” guesswork.
You should consider voting NO if you believe based on your review of the deal that: 1) it asks veteran vested Tier II and IIa employees to give up way too much, 2) it does not ask active Tier I employees to give up enough; 3) it does not preclude the legislature from passing future legislation about collective bargaining, wages or benefits; 4) it does not preclude this or future Administrations or SEBAC from trying to reopen the agreement requesting more concessions; 5) if we vote YES we validate the unfair, undemocratic processes used to develop the agreement and set a horrible precedent for future “negotiations”; 6) the level of proposed layoffs is not realistically sustainable if the state is going to continue to provide vital services; 7) the state economy will be harmed greatly if the Governor follows through with proposed layoffs; 8) if the deal is voted down again, the Governor and SEBAC will have to reach another deal to fix the budget, avoid layoffs and economic harm to the state, and ensure vital services are provided; and 9) legislative borrowing and spending needs to be reduced or any wage and benefit give backs are futile gestures.
I regretfully, knowing the various risks of harm, believe we are better off rejecting the bad deal and corrupt process.  We will really be harmed in the future if we show that we are willing to go along here.

posted by: E. Talon | August 13, 2011  11:27pm

So Truth, is that your ‘opinion’?  Or are those facts?  Where do you see that they will ‘have’ to re-negotiate?  All I see is a lack of willingness and legislation ready to be voted on that will remove negotiations from the process.

You speak of facts, so:  Fact - NJ has removed collective bargaining.  Fact - NH has legislation in process to remove collective bargaining.  Fact - the MA legislature voted to remove collective bargaining for municipal workers (it was vetoed by the Governor, but I doubt that we can count on that in CT).

Now this is just my opinion, but if you don’t like this deal, you are really going to hate the one that will be voted into place by the legislature without any input from state employees.

The one thing we do agree on is that people should get all of the information that they can and form their own opinions.  No one should vote a particular way just because just because someone else tells them to…

posted by: Frankly | August 14, 2011  9:17am

Thank you, E Talon.  If this concession agreement fails, the state workers will be in even worse condition.  MUCH worse condition.  And the “no” voters are what will have helped create even more chaos and danger for state workers.

posted by: Truth, Justice and Karma | August 14, 2011  9:59am

FACT = If it is ratified, there is nothing in the deal that guarantees that collective bargaining in CT will not be eliminated any legislative session after this deal passed or that any other types of legislative actions unfavorable to state workers will not be enacted.  Oh, by the way, Wisconsin, New Jersey and the other states you keep siting to all have different facts and circumstances than those in CT.  For example, we have a deal until 2017, the political parties comprising and controlling the legislatures in those states are different than here, etc.  Every time we negotiate now, we will be threatened with layoffs and the end of collective bargaining.  The real issue we have to decide now is whether the benefits we get from collective bargaining are worth risking in light of what we are being asked to give up in the deal in terms of wages, health care and retirement benefits.  At this point, based on my recent experiences with SEBAC negotiations in 2009 and now, I am willing to risk losing collective bargaining if the legislature is really serious about ending it.  My union and SEBAC have demonstrated that I need to defend my pay and benefits because they will not.

posted by: perturbed | August 14, 2011  10:00am

perturbed

Truth, Justice and Karma,

Thank you for your insightful assessment—of so many things. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I will vote accordingly, not because you suggest it, but because you have articulated my own assessment of this corrupt fiasco so well.

You’ve told it like it is.

—perturbed

posted by: perturbed | August 14, 2011  10:12am

perturbed

E. Talon,

You’ve mischaracterized Truth, Justice and Karma’s point about re-negotiation in two ways.

First, it wasn’t stated as a fact. Truth, Justice and Karma prefaced it by saying, “You should consider voting NO if you believe based on your review of the deal that…”

Second, it was somewhat qualified: “8) if the deal is voted down again, the Governor and SEBAC will have to reach another deal to fix the budget, avoid layoffs and economic harm to the state, and ensure vital services are provided…

The implication is that it would be the only responsible option for Malloy to take. Hopefully, the Governor of the state of Connecticut will not react irresponsibly out of spite.

Do you believe our governor is that irresponsible?

—perturbed

posted by: Puzzled... | August 14, 2011  11:48am

Truth, Justice and Karma - The FACT is that the legislators *themselves* have *repeatedly* stated that if we vote down the agreement they WILL curtail our collective bargaining rights. The FACT is that Malloy has *repeatedly* stated there will be NO “re-negotiation” of the deal if it’s not ratified by the employees. And the FACT is that not ONE single even slightly significant economist has concluded that the economy will be “better” within the next six years - in FACT, most have *repeatedly* stated that they believe that at *best* things will be about the same at that point in time if not worse, and all expect the economy to get WORSE before it gets better (read the latest issue of Time if you cared to learn any FACTS).

Meanwhile, YOU are still falsely claiming that Malloy “will” - or worse yet “will have to” (your phraseology, not mine, in both instances) “re-negotiate” the deal if it’s voted down when in fact he AND members of the GA have *repeatedly* stated there will be NO “re-negotiation” AND that if the TA’s voted down the budget WILL be balanced through thousands upon thousands of layoffs over a series of YEARS, coupled with agencies’ budget cuts.

Time to give it a rest, man. People know when you’re speaking falsehoods… I mean, come on - it’s pretty obvious, at least to anyone who reads.

posted by: let the sun shine | August 14, 2011  6:57pm

P-4 Member.

I was talking to union member in a another union and she stated that the vote is already done.  She explained.  Simply there are 15 Unions in SEBAC.
8 of 15 Unions must ratify this contract to make it legal.  There are presently 6 unions not participating in this vote due to the high percentage of voting yes last time around on this vote.  Their presidents of these unions are taking it upon themselves to vote yes for everybody in their union.

That leaves 9 Union left. That means just 2 unions of of 9 must vote yes and the deal is done!

That means everybody who has received a pink slip we will see you this Friday in the office.  Attendance will betaken.
LET THE SUN SHINE!

posted by: Scott2014 | August 14, 2011  7:45pm

Truth, Justice and Karma,
I think each person should vote the way they feel.  But if the agreement is rejected, there will be no re-negotiation. Did you know that the unions tried that in this most recent re-do? You’re right there is no guarantee that there would not be any attempts to limit collective bargaining by a simple review of two points, the democrats wouldn’t do it if there was an agreement and the agreement lasts until 2022. Could there be more requests for concessions? Sure but not for atleast 4 years. When that time comes, we will atleast be at the table. As far as the layoffs being unsustainable, they can be, by cutting programs or projects that aren’t needed.  As far as your point 8, they will not re-negotiate a better deal. (I know a politically connected friend of Malloy’s that he will not back down.  They will vote on and my guess, pass the curtailing of collective bargaining rights.  I agree that they need to spend less but that is not part of this negotiation.  I’m a tier II with 22 years and over 50. I agree that this hurts me as much if not more than most. I had to look at the package in this light. If I was looking for a job and this package was offered, I would think it was an excellent deal. This is the first time that I’m aware that they have taken benefits away from existing employees. However, we are facing a tsunami.
From the Art of War “One defends when his strength is inadequate, he attacks when it is abundant” our strength is clearly inadequate.  I’m voting yes

posted by: Vote Yes!!!!! | August 14, 2011  10:35pm

Vote Yes!!!!!

Major Shmuck sings,
“and Malloy’s threat’s; keep, coming, coming;
keep, coming, coming;
keep coming, coming
...whooo- whooo….
whooo-whoo.
Yah, yah, yah yah yah yah yah yah…NO

posted by: Truth, Justice and Karma | August 14, 2011  10:57pm

@ Scott2014 - I agree that facts show that we are facing extraordinarily tough economic conditions and the state has serious debt issues.  FACT = OUR DEBTS ARE CAUSED BY LEGISLATIVE SPENDING.  That said, I don’t believe that it is just and equitable to ask about 30,000 plus Tier II and IIa state workers to shoulder coming up with $1.6 billion of the $3 billion needed to address the state budget problem.  In terms of addressing the long-term funding and viability of pensions and health care, a new Tier III with a 401k plan and new health care plan could address most of that issue.  The bottom line is that THE LEGISLATURE NEEDS TO STOP SPENDING until WE ARE OUT OF DEBT! 
Although interesting The ART of War reference does seem not apply here to this political situation.  The Governor and legislature combined will always have greater power than state workers.  They have decision making power We don’t.  The most workers can hope to do is influence politicians’ decisions to get outcomes that are good or at least don’t harm us.  There is never a good time for state workers to say “no” to the Governor or legislature because of the risk going forward that the Governor or legislature could take actions that are not favorable to state workers.  There is no need for our Governor or legislature to hurt state workers if they justly and reasonably vote against and reject this deal because state workers are willing to make a fair and reasonable deal that helps solve the budget problems the state faces.
If the deal fails and the Democratic Governor and legislature copycat the Republican-dominated reactionary conservative legislature of Wisconsin and some other states and scapegoat and screw state workers, it will be a huge mistake.  First, it will not solve the spending problem.  The root cause of all the state’s problems is spending and raising taxes to pay expenses and debts plus interest. Second,state workers will not just forget this and let it go.  They will get politically active and expose legislative spending past, present and future and help in political campaigns designed to get the incumbents out of office.  After all the political hard ball this past special session, I don’t believe that our legislature will take any actions to harm state workers, including eliminating collective bargaining.  They know that everyone knows that spending on projects and programs is the problem.  The focus on state workers and collective bargaining is a lame smoke screen distraction that everyone can see right through.
If the deal is rejected, the legislature could force the Governor to negotiate deal with state workers to preserve state services for the next four years while the Governor restructures state agencies and reduces or eliminates positions through worker attrition and limits on new hiring.  Everyone is vulnerable right now, not just state workers.  The Governor and the legislature really can’t afford to do anything drastic, draconian or stupid toward state workers that will not solve the budget problem.  Laying off state workers may cause further economic harm and reduce the quality and quantity of state services.  The legislature really needs to focus on its spending practices and make some cuts to get us out of debt.

posted by: Vote Yes!!!!! | August 15, 2011  6:21am

Vote Yes!!!!!

One should not qoute what they do not know….  Scott2014, that is a wonderful qoute, in a perfect world.  Please review your country’s history before quoting military statagy.  The British overwelled Americans back in the 1700’s and we (the few) stood up and fought back to kept our colonies….When Pearl Harbor was bombed and our naval fleets basically destroyed, we did not say, please don’t do it again, let us work with you….  We got up, dusted ourselves off and stood tall as one and united against a common foe.  Major Shmuck gets very frustrated when people want to do the easy thing and not the right thing…  Gov. Malloy did this to us and our laid off members.  Know the problem.  The problem is that the person incharge wants to crush the union and state workers as a whole.  The budget is an excuse.  We are more than willing to give concessions to balance the current fiscal budget.  This concession does little to balance the budget over the next two years. Instead, we are being TOLD to make long term changes like pensions.  Which has very little to do with this 2 year budget.  And don’t forget, TEIR 1’s skate out the door with their HUGE PENSION relatively untouched.  You know, the type of pensions that the public is upset about.  Please read the agreement

posted by: Disgruntled | August 15, 2011  10:04am

The Nutmeg King has chosen to use labor as the focus for all that is wrong with the state finances.He has done this for purely political reasons and no matter what concessions the unions agree to the deficit will still be with us.Remember. Dan increased spending. Dan increased taxes across the board and his actions will also force local taxes to go up. He is doing all this for DAN,not for the citizens of Connecticut. Bashing unions is in vogue right now,more than ever,but come election time he will be in the halls asking for you support. He will sell himself as a person who makes tough decisions and that sells to some audiences.Dan lacked the skills for higher office and is doing on the job training at our expense!

posted by: Scott2014 | August 15, 2011  12:01pm

Truth – I agree with a lot of what you’re saying. This is the worst contract/TA for employees that I have seen in my career. We have been getting good or reasonable contracts/TA for the last 20 years. This TA has more negative than positives but the one positive, extending the agreement until 2022 is very important. You are wrong about the power. When times are good, arbitrators agree with us when going to binding arbitration. They will not in the current environment.
Agreed that they need to cut spending but one of the problems is that employee costs are almost 30% of the budget. That makes it an easy target. Second, from the feel I get from my legislator, they will vote on the bill to remove the collective bargaining. I also believe that there will NOT be any re-negotiation.

posted by: Scott2014 | August 15, 2011  12:08pm

Shmuck – The purpose of the quote was to point out that there is a time to fight (attack) and a time to limit your loses (defend). I’m aware of my country’s history but our current situation is hardly the same as Pearl Harbor or our fight for independence.
I feel we are in the time to defend, consolidate our base and then move forward when times are better (I would not want to do it with the current SEABAC leaders). I agree that the TA stinks. I just think it is better to vote “yes” and fight another day. If the vote is “no”, I think that there is a high probability that the following will happen;
1)No re-negotiation – We will not have many friends in the legislature and not the Governor for sure.
2)Layoffs will continue with additional ones in 2012
3)The House will vote on the tabled bill that has already been approved by the Senate to remove collective bargaining
4)You will get the raises this year. However, future years will be in the zero range.
5)In 2017, we will have fewer benefits than we do now.
6)There is a possibility that retirement health coverage will be removed or changed considerably.
While I believe that there is a possibility you could be right, you have to admit that the above, in the current environment, are a stronger possibility.
One other point, why do the anti-union people want this to be voted down? Could it be that they want the layoffs and the ability to remove collective bargaining rights?
Well, at least we’ll all know the result by Thursday. I respect your position but I disagree with the time to take a stand.

posted by: state_employee | August 15, 2011  2:12pm

I have been a democrat since birth.  I’m not sure anymore.  What I am sure of is that I And my family will NEVER vote for Malloy or ANYONE CURRENTLY INOFFICE.

VOTE OUT THE INCUMBENTS…!!!

I may even vote republican for the first time in my life…
Also, the union won’t get any of my $$$ for their democratic PAC.

posted by: NOW What? | August 15, 2011  2:12pm

“Truth, Justice and Karma” - The big mistakes you make are believing that The Governor and/or Legislature actually care what you think - they DON’T - and that the State’s budgetary and employee pension shortfalls are based *entirely* on excessive and/or “inappropriate” spending - they AREN’T.

The State’s budgetary problems are PRIMARILY a result of decreased revenues due to the crappy economy, which is NOT going to improve for the foreseeable future. The pension changes that are in the SEBAC TA are dictated by funding shortfalls identified by the results of actuarial and accounting work that has been done on them. And the Governor and Legislature have both made it exceedingly clear through public statements that they have EVERY intention of responding to a failure to ratify the deal - and any resultant budget deficit - with thousands upon thousands of layoffs over the coming few years, additional agency and program budget cuts, substantially reducing employees’ collective bargaining rights, and substantially increased privatization - REGARDLESS of what *you* think.

Your daily rants and tirades against the SEBAC TA don’t even mean diddly-squat to Malloy or the General Assembly, and a failure to ratify the TA will NOT “force” them to “re-negotiate” the deal. Voting “no” is not “fighting” for ANYTHING other than the destruction of our collective bargaining rights and the loss of thousands upon thousands of jobs.

posted by: Careful | August 15, 2011  2:52pm

Disgruntled:  You hit the nail on the head!  Gov. Dannel Malloy lacks the skills for higher office (Mayor of Stamford was his peak) and is doing on the job training at our expense!  Unfortunately, for us—doing OJT very badly!

He has failed to make the necessary tax-cuts by trimming the fat in our state budget, played a YoYo game with the unions, “and only kept his pre-election Town Hall Meetings rubber-stamp committment to raise taxes, which he did, making it difficult for state business to stay afloat and state residents to make ends meet!”

posted by: Vote Yes!!!!! | August 15, 2011  4:28pm

Vote Yes!!!!!

Scott2014….You sound like a good person but I still disagree.  You are correct, Malloy does not care what we write in these blogs, but they are being monitored and people who need to know that our leadership failed us.  Not Malloy, he is just doing…well abusing… his job.  This is not Collective Bargaining.  Not even close.  We are being told what to do and there is absolulty no promise that Malloy will not lay off again.  In fact he has already said that if he does not get the savings, he will come back at us again.  Trust me, he will not come back to the tax payers.  I do want you to know that I do respect your views and opinions, but I feel like a terrorist is in charge and if we keep giving in will never stop…ever.  Major Shmuck salutes you Sir..!

posted by: Unbelievable | August 15, 2011  5:00pm

So when this God awful concession “deal” passes, how do I, and many of my fellow state employees, get our union dues donated to charity instead of into our “leaderships” pockets. Many of us want out. Seriously, what is the process?

posted by: interesting | August 15, 2011  8:37pm

I like the picture for this story….Dan looks so calm confident and collected, like he has the deal all sewn up,  thats right he does cuz he is pulling all the strings with our representation, cuz they have no back bone.

soldoutbytheunion I like the video links….
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7qrjhwczUg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9DrsvVjeVk&feature=related

They are worth viewing if others have not seen them!!!

posted by: Disgruntled | August 15, 2011  9:43pm

Dan is just one in a series of Faustian governors who have sold themselevs out to the devil.
I wonder all the time what it would take to sell myself…Dan sold out cheap as far as I am concerned. But elected office is a powerful draw and he is our current Mephistopheles. He will do anything and say anything as long as it leads to higher office.
In a perfect world,Connecticut workers would would tell him to stuff it and strike. Sadly,the world is far from perfect and we have been reduced,collectively,to subsistence workers who are happy to hang on by a thread.The penduleum will swing. It always does. In the meantime,think before you vote and hang in there!

posted by: Truth, Justice and Karma | August 15, 2011  11:12pm

One thing that is fair to assume based on history and current events of 2011 is that we will always be threatened with layoffs, an end to collective bargaining and other downgrades in wage, retirement and health care plans, if we do not agree to whatever concessions the Governor and legislators demand we accept. When various threats are made, it is not possible to determine whether they are made as part of hard bargaining or are legitimate threats that will be executed.  If we reject the deal, anything is possible.  The Governor and legislature may carry out some, all or none of their threats.  Knowing with 100% certainty that I will anger SteveHC, E. Talon and puzzled, I will state this FACT.  NOBODY really KNOWS for sure WHAT WILL HAPPEN in the future.  The question is whether we are going to approve a deal we hate because of these repeated threats that will be repeated time and time again now and in future negotiations. 
If we don’t say “NO” now under these circumstances, when will we ever say “No”?  If my union brothers and sisters don’t say “NO” now given what just happened in 2009 plus how this whole fiasco went down in 2011, I have zero confidence that they will ever say “NO” to any anything until we get to the point that workers can’t afford to live on their state job wages alone.  By then, any workers worth anything will be long gone.
The only thing state workers can control is what they think and what they do.  Many state workers think the negotiation and voting processes were improper and the terms of the deal are harmful and don’t solve the state’s spending problem.  For the many workers who think this, they think the right action to take is to Vote No.  These workers, myself included, trust that the posturing will end and a reasonable deal that can actually produce verifiable dollar savings, help solve the spending problem by agreeing to limits on certain types of spending, provide job security and preserve vital state services can be reached.  It breaks my heart when SteveHC, puzzled and E. Talon harshly admonish and ardently pronounce as if it is a fact carved in stone, “There will be no more negotiations if the deal is rejected!”  It may be political suicide for the Governor to adopt such an unreasonable, inflexible and fatalistic problem-solving approach.  He needs to help solve the state’s current short-term financial problems, not be adding to the state’s problems by actually trying trying to carry out his delusional and excessively flawed Plan B.

posted by: E. Talon | August 16, 2011  6:28am

What single response, quote, action, or event points to this belief that Malloy will have to come back to the table after a ‘No!’ vote and re-negotiate?  That view of the future seems like a lot of ‘coulds and shoulds’, but is not based in the realities of today.

The biggest flaw in that prediction is that the general public will not see a ‘No!’ vote as, “Gee, look at those state workers standing up for a balanced budget with reduced spending.”  The response will be much more like, “Look at those greedy s.o.b’s refusing to give up anything so I have to pay more taxes.  Get rid of them all!”  With that kind of power behind them, what reason would the Governor/Legislature have to negotiate?  They will have carte blanche to dictate whatever they wish.  This is what is happening in other states, so it is not just a ‘gloom and doom’ prediction…

posted by: SaveCT | August 16, 2011  9:47am

There is more crying in these comments than a daycare center full of collicky babies. Wah, SEBAC sold us out. Wah, we’re going to decert. Wah, Sal doesn’t like us. Wah, Malloy is being mean. Wah, we’re getting screwed.  Wah, state residents hate us.  Wah, wah, wah…...

State residents don’t hate state workers, but they sure have no patience for these poisonous posts determined to torpedo a sinking ship, the state of Connecticut. We will all be happy when this thing passes, especially those of us who enjoy reading thoughful, intelligent comments. Despite all the ranting and raving, whining and bawling, lies and distortions, myths and half-truths, it will probably pass! I wish it wouldn’t. Then we, along with your very helpful but deceitful posers, can assist you in throwing collective bargaining for state workers under the bus. Then we’ll never have to put up with this bs again.

PS: Thanks to those who continue to refute the myths, disinformation, and half-truths that have been perpetuated. Your perserverance is admirable.

posted by: NOW What? | August 16, 2011  1:56pm

NEW YORK’S CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYEES’ ASSOCIATION VOTES “YES” TO WAGE AND BENEFITS CONCESSIONS. In a situation remarkably similar to Connecticut’s, members of New York’s largest state employees union just voted in favor of giving up previously negotiated raises in favor of wage freezes for 3 years followed by *2%* annual wage increases for 2 years, and substantial increases in employees’ contributions to the cost of their health insurance, in exchange for a *2-YEAR* no-layoff provision. The deal is worth an estimated $1.6 billion in savings when applied to all of New York’s state employees.

posted by: state_employee | August 16, 2011  7:03pm

The yes posters are so very delusional.  Its been said many times.  I’ll say it again, as Truth justice and karma has said, and I’ll say it in caps. 
THERE IS NOTHING STOPPING THE GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATORS FROM IMPLEMENTING THE BILL LIMITING COLLECTIVE BARGAINING IF THE VOTE IS RATIFIED. They are going to do it whether or not this thing goes thru.  Dont be naive.  This administration has been deceptive and criminal.  Do Not trust them.  This is only the start of what they want.  Next is the sick time, the pension calculations and the longevity pay.  Then it will be al la carte from there.

posted by: Truth, Justice and Karma | August 16, 2011  7:24pm

@ SteveHC - The workers in NY did not have a current deal. They had to negotiate wages, health and pension. We have health and retirement deal in place until 2017. We do not need to negotiate these items, only wages. Also, they were not forced into a different health care plan with “medical homes”, required treatments, and other horse crap. They simply agreed to pay more toward the same health insurance plan. Their retirement age was not changed either. I am going to glad when this is over. I am growing tired of dealing of your apples to oranges comparisons of others states situations to what is going on in CT.
If we had a deal more like NY’s workers, it would have a great chance of passing. The deal we are being offered is much worse. It asks for way too much from the lowest paid Tier II and IIa workers who have the most modest retirement plans while leaving the highest paid Tier I workers with the most lucrative pension and health care retirement plans untouched.

posted by: NOW What? | August 16, 2011  8:45pm

New York’s state employee pensions did not change because their pension plans are significantly worse than Connecticut’s. *For example*, in NY no one gets COLAs on their pensions until they’ve been collecting their pension for *10 YEARS*. Also, they have more than twice as many pension plans (with multiple Tiers) than CT does, AND many if not most of New York’s MUNICIPAL employees participate in the State’s pension plans - they’re not restricted to just State employees. This all makes a BIG difference.