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State Prosecutor Takes On SEBAC

by Hugh McQuaid | Jul 28, 2011 5:58pm
(88) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Labor

The State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy have coerced and demonized dissenting union members, according to a labor complaint filed by an assistant state’s attorney from Manchester Superior Court.

The complaint was filed with the state Labor Relation Board by Lisa Herskowitz, a state prosecutor of 17 years. She lodges a number of allegations at the governor and SEBAC, claiming the coalition violated its own bylaws and overstepped its negotiating authority.

SEBAC had no authority to negotiate wage concessions for the labor agreement that it “forced union members to vote on in June,” Herskowitz wrote. She complained that her union, which approved the agreement by a slim majority, was not even given the option of voting on the wage package separately.

She said this underscored the “the fact that our wages were negotiated by SEBAC and not separately by our own union as required.”

The coalition violated its own bylaws by even reopening the standing pension and healthcare agreement and opening the 2009 wage agreement without letting members vote to on whether they should be opened, according to the complaint.

Once the agreement was opened, Herskowitz alleged SEBAC carried out the negotiations with the Malloy administration in secret without taking any input from the rank and file.

“SEBAC basically said ‘here it is, take It or leave it, and if you leave it, there will be layoffs and the state will be economically devastated.’ This was highly coercive,” she wrote.

She also implicated the Division of Criminal Justice and Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane, who she said tried to squash any negative commentary over the agreement. After an employee used a state email account to communicate concerns about changes to the state employee healthcare package, Kane issued a memo instructing employees not to use their work emails for that purpose, she said.

And yet Kane allows employees to regularly email each other about discounts at BJ Wholesale Club, she wrote.

“Attorney Kane’s action in closing down the only practical avenue we had for communicating with other members as a group was totally unfair. His memo coerced us into silence to prevent negative communication on the agreement,” Herskowitz said in the complaint.

Soon after Kane’s memo Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman used her state email account to suppress rumors that the healthcare package was somehow connected to SustiNet. Kane did not comment on the appropriateness of Wyman’s email, she said.

Herskowitz’s complaint said Malloy bullied and coerced union members to vote yes. He repeatedly threatened layoffs and increased the number of projected layoffs from 4,500 to 7,500 in an attempt to scare union members into voting yes, she said.

“This was extremely coercive,” she wrote. “He and the union leaders had already made it clear many times that if the agreement was rejected, there would be layoffs. The governor’s repeated threats were not intended to furnish information; they were intended to coerce people into voting ‘yes.’”

Before union members began voting on the deal, Malloy said he would hold off on issuing layoff notices as an act of good faith. But Herskowitz claimed that that decision was likely made so people who were safe from the layoffs wouldn’t know it.

Malloy was coercive also when he showed up at a training session for state’s attorneys and talked about his days as a prosecutor, just minutes before the group was scheduled to vote on the agreement at Kane’s office only four miles down the road, she wrote.

“Many members were extremely upset by this unfair, coercive move on the part of the management and the governor. The agreement only passed my union by seven votes. This unfair labor practice may well have affected the result,” she wrote.

On Wednesday Herskowitz amended her complaint to include what she said were additional wrongdoings that occurred since she first filed it.

To add to the pressure on state workers, the Senate passed a Malloy-backed bill that changes worker pension calculations and their collective bargaining rights, she wrote.

Though the bill was never raised in the House, that move flies in the face of a 1986 decision by the Labor Relations Board which stated that “threats and attempts ... to seek legislative changes in conditions of employment that are mandatory subjects of bargaining are not favored,” she wrote.

The board found the state had engaged in no wrongdoing in the 1986 case, but Herskowitz said that things are different this year because Malloy is refusing to negotiate in good faith with the unions. He would not even sit back down at the table unless the unions changed their bylaws to make passing an agreement easier and then refused to consider anything but a clarified version of the old agreement, she said.

“Talk about pressure and coercion!” she wrote.

Union leaders did vote to change the ratification bylaws on July 18, so that a simple majority can now pass an agreement rather than the old requirement that 14 of the 15 unions and 80 percent of voting members approve.

Herskowitz said that decision has had a negative impact on her small union, the Connecticut Association of Prosecutors, a group that is also a respondent in the complaint.

“My union no longer has a meaningful voice in a sea of 45,000 plus state employee union members,” she wrote.

She said the president of the union, John Doyle, never asked for any input from the rank and file before voting to change the bylaws, a decision she said rendered the union “powerless and helpless.” She said she tried to bring the concerns to the union’s vice president but never got a response.

She also took exception to SEBAC’s decision to suspend a requirement that it notify the rank and file 30 days before a vote to change its bylaws is taken.

“Waiving it violated the duty of fair representation. I believe the members should have been allowed to vote on the bylaws change. At the very least, they should have been given adequate notice and an opportunity to protest it,” she wrote.

In casting an affirmative vote on the original agreement, her union also violated its own bylaws, which require a two-thirds majority vote on any membership action, she said. Her union’s vote was 114 “yes” to 107 “no,” nowhere near two-thirds, she said.

Herskowitz concluded her amended complaint by condemning SEBAC, CAP and all union leaders, saying that their abuses have been so flagrant that they should all be decertified. She appealed to the Labor Relations Board to act quickly, as those abuses will continue until the governor and SEBAC get what they want.

“They keep trying to shove this agreement down our throats. They act like the members did something wrong in rejecting it and they have to save us from ourselves. They have made us look bad to the public by touting something that we rejected as a ‘great deal.’ The leaders are not representing us at all, just themselves and they are bringing their scorn and wrath down upon us,” she wrote.

The board has scheduled a closed conference on the complaint for Aug. 3, according to Nancy Steffens, spokeswoman for the Department of Labor. But based on an interview Herskowitz did with WTIC on Thursday it sounds like state employees supportive of her complaint will hold a rally outside the Board of Labor Relations in Wethersfield to show their solidarity for it.

That conference could result in a settlement, a dismissal of the complaint, or a determination that the issue has merit. If the complaint is deemed to have merit it will be assigned a case number and eventually heard before a three-person board, Steffens said.

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(88) Comments

posted by: Wiley Coyote | July 28, 2011  6:14pm

So because of another vote, supported by the majority of members, this person is trying to mislead employees in believing something wrong occured, though she forgot to file same complaint all the other times this happened and she voted yes.  Huu?

posted by: sickofit | July 28, 2011  6:21pm

Wow! I think I love this woman. She said everything that I have been saying only more and better that I could. I’ll be at that rally and I urge all to do the same. Even the yes voters have to realize that this whole process was coercive and down right crooked.

posted by: Ben Dover | July 28, 2011  6:28pm

Lisa,

I applaud you for stepping up and putting down in writing what the SILENT majority has been blogging and SILENTLY saying for months now.

Remember, you are not alone in this and MANY, MANY others are behind you.

ALL of your observations ring true, especially with respect to the censorship of negative comments to this POS TA by SECRAP on their sites.

Keep up the good work and know that your cause is just!

posted by: Truth, Justice and Karma | July 28, 2011  6:41pm

Soon there will be lawsuits seeking injunctions to stop the voting or to stop implementation of the deal if it passes under the “new By-Laws.”  Did SEBAC really think it was going to get away its shenanigans without having to answer for its outrageous breach of its duties and interference with the existing contract with dues paying workers’ consent as required by the By-Laws in force at the time negotiations began in earlier this year?  The would be Governor crazy to enter into a deal that could get overturned due to legal challenges against SEBAC’s third-world manipulative, “the-fix-is-on” ratification process?  If the deal somehow passes, the Governor is not showing sound decision making, but rather stubborn and impulsive behavior if he enters into a labor deal that is subject to legal attacks that could result in the deal being found invalid because it was not properly approved by SEBAC.  The best bet for all involved is to go back to the negotiation table and strike a deal everyone can live with, plain and simple.  This is what the past Governors and unions have done on numerous occasions, as recent as 2009.  End the nonsense.

posted by: the truth | July 28, 2011  7:58pm

Thank you Lisa!!  Now something official will be done besides rhetoric and complaining on the blogs.

posted by: CTisFUBAR | July 28, 2011  8:34pm

If there are any other similarly burned attorneys out there interested in filing a lawsuit against these bums there are plenty of us who would love to join!

posted by: state_employee | July 28, 2011  8:39pm

Thank you Lisa, you are brave and have taken the first step that a lot of state employees were afraid to.  You are right that state employees have been threatened.  The constant threats from the governor in the days leading up to the vote were horrible.  4500 layoffs.  6000 layoffs.  7000 layoffs. and so on.  Now the threats are that if we dont ratify there will be 6500 layoffs this year, layoffs next year and the year after that and the year after that.  The lies and deceit has been outrageous both from the governor and the unions.  Be strong.

posted by: R J | July 28, 2011  9:01pm

Great Job LISA, well said. Stay with it - glad someone has brougt this corruption into the light of day..

posted by: interesting | July 28, 2011  9:02pm

I applaud you!! You are doing what a large majority want to do but for many reasons havent! The yes and no voters see that there is a lot about this TA and the way it was and continues to be done that is just wrong to the whole democratic process!!

posted by: RJEastHartford | July 28, 2011  9:40pm

As Steve Miller so aptly put it “he (you) make a living off of other people’s taxes.”  “The pressure and coercion and frankly outrage is coming from taxpayers!!  All your “plans” can be laid to waste in the not so distant future. Your bosses are politicians and the taxpayers are fed up.
The Politicians will side with the tax payers. There is already ample evidence this is happening, do you really need more? Taxpayers can longer support these types of benefits: retirement and healthcare, when their own are cut or simply taken away. You cannot continue to live a lie. With this political and economic climate, real hardship is at your doorstep. You know it.

posted by: Happy | July 28, 2011  9:55pm

Kudos to Lisa Hershkowitz -who has emerged as a breath of fresh air - fighting the bad political climate in the State of Connecticut. 

God bless you, Lisa!  Keep up your good work!

posted by: SayWhat | July 28, 2011  10:04pm

A big thank you to Lisa H, and others working to right the wrongs, here.  The minute I get a chance to vote no on the TA, again, I’m putting an already written letter in the mail to withdraw from my union, and re-direct my dues to charity.  I was first in line, ready to give back for the good of my state; until the back door dirty dealing started by SEBAC and Malloy.  I fully appreciate the depth of the fiscal problems that POITICIANS have created in this state; but, I fail to understand why Malloy and SECAC felt they needed to resort to extortion and intimidation.  I fully understood all that was in the TA the first time, I did not need any clarifications, and I resent the lack of honesty to both state employees - and the general public.  The damage is done.  It wasn’t enough to have a balanced budget for 2, or 4, or even 10-years?  You need to “claw-back” my hard earned Tier 2 pension for Billions of dollars, over 20-years???  And you are trying to portray that its the state employees that are greedy? 

Thank you Lisa H.  I strongly support you!

posted by: NOW What? | July 28, 2011  10:04pm

“solidarity” - All WHAT “other times this happened”??? As far as *I* know, this is the first time that SEBAC negotiations have been carried out in this manner. You aren’t actually trying to imply that the manner that SEBAC and her union (among others) went about this whole thing was “ok,” are you?

posted by: Mr.Kruger | July 28, 2011  10:26pm

Great job Lisa!  You apparently picked up on the same issues that those P-4 guys letter touched on and then added all the other atrocities that SEBAC and the governor have committed against us.  We took Rowland down for what he did to us, Malloy will be no different.  We are behind you, reach out if you need our help and support.

posted by: Ben Dover | July 28, 2011  10:42pm

The more and more I read and follow stories on this and other sites, I’m seeing a real subjective viewpoint on sites like CTMirror, etc. as opposed to this one.

They’re not reporting these issues objectively and have even resorted to “censoring” comments that are strongly unfavorable to their personal beliefs under the guise of “editorial judgment”.

I applaud the CTNewsJunkie for reporting these matters of newsworthy events, regardless of which side of the issue they fall.

Anyone notice they haven’t picked up this VERY important issue??? No, because it is counter to the POS TA that SECRAP wants everyone to blindly approve. Makes you wonder who’s asleep at the switch over there or perhaps, who’s selectively choosing which light to paint their personal issues in?

Keep up the fight Lisa, this is only the beginning and MANY, MANY more will ultimately get up the courage to show up and back this cause when the timing is right.

There really should be enmasse demonstrations against this POS getting shoved down our throats by an out of touch SECRAP leadership that is in bed with his excellency, even though he’s obviously cheating on them!

Sounds like some pretty desperate characters over at SECRAP headquarters, including many of them who AREN’T impacted at all by this watering down of our pension and healthcare benefits!

posted by: Scott2014 | July 28, 2011  10:44pm

I not sure this is going to fly. In her complaint, she says that “Section 10(a) of the SEBAC bylaws requires such a vote”. But that is refering to leaders of the unions and not the membership. Also, saying the result of not voting yes will result in layoff isn’t coercive, just a factual statement.

posted by: Unbelievable | July 28, 2011  10:49pm

Thank God for Lisa. She is doing something that I wanted to do but didn’t know how to. There are thousands of us that will join this fight. A rally in Wethersfield? I’ll be at the Cape next week but tell me the time and place and I will be there.

posted by: Truth, Justice and Karma | July 28, 2011  11:26pm

If union members bring lawsuits seeking an injunction to stop the next vote or implementation of any ratified deal (in the unlikely event it gets ratified), the lawsuits should kill this deal for good.  The lawsuits would kill the deal whether or not any injunction is granted as long as the lawsuits survive motions to dismiss.  The Governor and legislature cannot reasonably rely on a deal to fill the gap in the budget that could later be found in litigation to be invalid .  Sophisticated businesspersons know that any contract that is the subject of unresolved litigation cannot be counted as a corporate asset with a specific dollar value until the litigation has been finally resolved.  Would you invest in a business that is involved in a new major $1.6 billion lawsuit?  Of course not.  Just imagine if the deal gets ratified, litigation challenging the ratification is pending, the Governor implements the deal and changes workers’ pay and benefits, then down the road the ratification and the deal are found invalid in litigation and the deal is ordered to be unwound retroactively.  The economic impact on the state budget caused by this loss would be immediate, huge, and difficult, if not impossible, to fix depending on the timing.  The Governor’s advisers cannot really be telling him that it is a low risk, prudent, reasonable action to enter into a labor contract that may be the subject of pending litigation in which the plaintiff union members have some decent legal claims against the defendants SEBAC and 15 unions based on a very sympathetic set of unique facts that cry out for justice.  It is too risky to rely on those dollars in the budget.  It is in everyone’s best interest for the Governor and the unions to get back to the negotiation table and hammer out a quick deal we all can agree to so that the money saved can actually be safely counted as part of the state budget.

posted by: Truth, Justice and Karma | July 28, 2011  11:55pm

Here is a slightly more neutral rendition of an earlier post I submitted that contains similar but slightly different content.  The long term benefits of this deal may be highly speculative due to litigation risks that must be factored in when making any business deal.  In this instance, a high-level litigation risk factor analysis sounds something like this. 
The Governor has to examine the risk that union members bring lawsuits seeking an injunction to stop the next vote or implementation of any ratified deal.  If the lawsuits survive motions to dismiss, they pose a risk of some probability that the deal could later be found invalid in the final adjudication.  Given what is at stake for the state budget, can the Governor and legislature reasonably rely on a deal to fill the gap in the budget that could later be found in litigation to be invalid?  Sophisticated businesspersons know that any contract that is the subject of unresolved litigation cannot be counted as a corporate asset with a specific dollar value until the litigation has been finally resolved.  Investors will not invest any real money in a business that is involved in a new major $1.6 billion lawsuit?  Too risky.  Just imagine if the deal gets ratified, litigation challenging the ratification is pending, the Governor implements the deal and changes workers’ pay and benefits, then down the road the ratification and the deal are found invalid in litigation and the deal is ordered to be unwound retroactively from the effective date.  The economic impact on the state budget caused by this loss would be immediate, huge, and difficult, if not impossible, to fix depending on the timing.  What are the Governor’s advisers telling him?  Do they believe that it is a low risk, prudent, reasonable action to enter into a labor contract that may be the subject of pending litigation in which the plaintiff union members have some decent legal claims against the defendants SEBAC and 15 unions based on a very sympathetic set of unique facts?  Is it too risky to rely on those dollars in the budget?  If it is too risky, it may be in everyone’s best interest for the Governor and the unions to get back to the negotiation table and hammer out a quick deal we all can agree to so that the money saved can actually be safely counted as part of the state budget.

posted by: SJAY | July 29, 2011  12:00am

I guess when you’re making almost $129K a year and not in immediate danger of being laid off it’s a little easier to yearn for democracy!?  And oh, by the way, even if you “bump” someone less fortunate you’ll probably still pull down six $$$ figures.  Thanks for caring.

posted by: NOW What? | July 29, 2011  12:03am

I don’t know, “Scott2014” - I think the labor board may be more likely to do something regarding this situation than any court would…

posted by: notasnobbystateemployee | July 29, 2011  12:05am

I dont noramally respond on this site but I am sadly in a way, happy that someone is doing this.  I want the vote to go through so bad just to get this thing over with and to keep people working.  But after reading the very loosely clarified agreement and how easy the bylaws were changed, it really makes me think that this whole thing is very corrupt.  I would never vote no due to corruption.  These political predators will come and go, i plan to stay with the state forever.  But i am just so frustrated that someone has enough evidence to bring this to the department of labor.  I am surprised it was not done sooner.  Although i appreciate the great things our unions do for us and the wonderful benefits the government provides, i feel that if this issue holds true, yet fails in court-then it proves that we live not in a democracy but a closet dictatorship.  This is just horroble. 

Yes and no voters need to vote their answer for whatever reason but what if we are voting on something that is illegal now????  so confused.  Can someone holestly and with mercy, explain this to me????  I would be so greatful.

posted by: Mr.Kruger | July 29, 2011  5:29am

@Scott2014- I couldn’t disagree with you last sentence more.  Malloy has made a deliberate choice to bail out Uconn health students, fund the Magic Bus project to nowhere, pump hundreds of millions into and rail line to Springfield that the State doesn’t even own, plus many others that don’t involve paying for what is owed.  We all seem to forget that we floated this state a fat half billion loan the should have gone into out pension fund. Now the state says it’s unsustainable, because that action made it so.  Lisa should see if she can add that to the complaint against the state.

posted by: Vote Yes!!!!! | July 29, 2011  6:17am

Vote Yes!!!!!

Major Schmuck Says, Lisa; Job well done!  I salute you…

posted by: newview | July 29, 2011  6:44am

While I applaud Lisa, and support her actions whole heartedly, The Labor Board will not take action on this complaint.  They are going to conveniently bury their collective heads in the sand, and state that they do not have jurisdiction to address the issue as SEBAC was an action of the Legislature.  That’s their typical “ace in the hole” when confronted with valid issue that is just too big and controversial to deal with. 

It will be your typical red-tape-run-around until the point they hope you go into a coma or hope you’ve gone brain dead between the time you file and the point at which time they actually get to hearing the issues or deciding anything beyond…you’ve come to the wrong place with your issue.  By that time it will 2013, and we’ll be on our second or third round of layoffs, and Lisa will be packing groceries in a store close to you for filing frivolous claims, and making false allegations against our esteemed Governor who will be enjoying the fruits of his “labor” during his one and only tour of office.

This script is already out there somewhere…I ‘m sure of it! smile

posted by: ToAlltheGordonGekkos | July 29, 2011  7:09am

If Attorney Herskowitz is successful, I think that she should be sent thousands of congratulatory cards—each card should contain a copy of a letter from a parent withdrawing their son or daughter from college and/or a car repossession notice and/or a foreclosure document.  She could then build a soapbox out of the cards, climb upon it and thump her lawyerly chest.

Self-righteous and holier-than-thou rhetoric is a thin veneer for what this is all about for her and others who are just like her, albeit without her degree and oratorical gifts:  greed.  Don’t mess with MY raise, don’t mess with MY pension, don’t bother me with petty details about your ruined life—MY dignity has been affronted by anyone daring to threaten MY precious wages and benefits.

I’d tell her to enjoy any Pyrrhic victory she might obtain and not to worry about anyone else but such an exhortation would obviously be redundant as clearly no true compassionate thought about anyone else ever enters her ever-so-sharp mind.

Enjoying putting on the blindfold, Lisa?  Balancing the size of YOUR paycheck against other’s jobs on the scales of justice?

Pathetic Mummer.  I’ll wait while you look that up…

posted by: DrHunterSThompson | July 29, 2011  7:42am

DrHunterSThompson

Sorry, unbelievable, but the governor has ordered you back from the cape.

Lisa! Thank you!

posted by: researcher | July 29, 2011  8:18am

I have been waiting for such a bold move as this to speak the truth:  Connecticut does not have a deficit.  In all probablilty no state has a deficit.  The government has been shoving the “budget” down our throats and we have been good sheeple in believing them.  The “budget” is NOT Connecticut’s true set of books.  Search: CT Comprehesive Annual Financial Report and open your eyes to the state’s investments.  You will be shocked to see the tens of billions of dollars reported.  The CAFR is right out there in plain sight but the government refuses to tell you about it and consequently you never get a good look at the TRUE set of books.  I grant you that your search will yield CT’s CAFR dated June 30, 2010.  It’s probably too early for the government to have its June 30, 2011, CAFR ready for upload.  It will not surprise me if they are gag ordered to NOT upload it when it is ready.  They may even remove the CAFR currently available for download.  Ahh, they are so loving to spare us such shock . . .

posted by: SafeStateEmployee | July 29, 2011  10:17am

Thank you Lisa for trying to make a name for yourself during these touch economic times. There is always some lawyer willing to jump at a bogus lawsuit just to get their name in print.
I love all the comments from what I am guessing are ‘safe’ employees that do not have any fears of getting laid off.
You sure talk a big game about unfairness and how tough you have it, when you know your job will be there next week.
I also have enough seniority that I will not get laid off, but I am still voting yes, because it is better for everyone in the state to get this deal passed. Don’t you ever think that when all the new workers get laid off, you may actually have to do some work each day, instead of letting everyone else pick up your slack?
Once the union gave up the right for employees to strike, what real power do you think they have???  A union’s ONLY power is to threaten a strike.  Once that is gone, the union is only there to preserve their income based on dues, so OF COURSE they don’t want layoffs.  If you are so upset that the union is trying to keep jobs without your direct permission, why don’t you put some effort into dissolving the union completely.  I wonder how well you would do in the private sector, where there are no guarantees, and you can be laid off without cause, regardless of how long you have worked there.
Stop being so greedy, and vote yes, so we can all just get back to work and move on with our lives.

posted by: Mr.Kruger | July 29, 2011  11:24am

@Scott2014- I couldn’t disagree with your last sentence more.  Malloy has made a deliberate choice to bail out Uconn health students, fund the Magic Bus project to nowhere, pump hundreds of millions into and rail line to Springfield that the State doesn’t even own, plus many others that don’t involve paying for what is owed.  We all seem to forget that we floated this state a fat half billion loan the should have gone into out pension fund. Now the state says it’s unsustainable, because that action made it so.  Lisa should see if she can add that to the complaint against the state.

posted by: GinBuster | July 29, 2011  11:59am

@SafeStateEmployee ...u have a lot to say for being a state worker that is “safe”...I’m also thinking ur on state time when ur posting on this page???  Give Lisa a break, she is a Fnn Attorney an knows what she can file a fnn complaint!  Judging by ur Pro comments for the TA/concessions.

posted by: Ben Dover | July 29, 2011  12:33pm

@SafeStateEmployee….Forgive me if the many years that I’ve put into state employment and the MANY concessions that I’ve ALREADY given back, entitle my to have a little seniority and protection from layoff!

Many times in the past I’ve voted FOR concessions as they made sense at the time. NOW HOWEVER is a totally different scenario. THIS POS TA that was negotiated in secret by our SECRAP Leadership in bed with his excellency is TOO MUCH!!!

It waters down our hard earned and hard fought benefit TOO much. Enough is Enough!!!

This is the time to take a stand AGAINST further concessions that are so draconian. If this causes less senior members to lose their positions, then so be it. They knew the deal when they signed on….just like we knew the deal (what our pension and healthcare would be) when we signed on!!!

Working for 27 years only to be told I have to pay TWICE the penalty I normally would have or work 3 EXTRA years is TOO MUCH!!!

Vote NO, NO, and NO again; if that’s how SECRAP will finally understand this TA is a POS!!!

posted by: mmal231294 | July 29, 2011  2:02pm

This would be hilarious if were’nt so hypocritical. Coercion is a prosecutors bread n butter. If any of you think for a second Ms. Herskowitz didnt coerce someone this week in a courtroom, you’re a fool.
Pot calling kettle black?

posted by: CJLOVI | July 29, 2011  2:30pm

I applaud Lisa. With 17 years of experience she is in a position to handle any repercussions that will be handed to her and I’m willing to support her in any manner necessary.

I have to apologize for those who are affected by the TA Agreement. I voted yes the first time out of compassion but now I’m not so sure. Those who claim to support you and are fighting to keep your jobs are doing a terrible injustice to you by coercing and silencing our questions. I understand that there is allot of frustration on both sides but SEBAC and our Union Locals are not working in your best interest. I have not received one e-mail, phone call or response to any questions I ask. I have attempted to contact members of the SEBAC Board. I have posted on the SEBAK ITTG Facebook page only to be silenced by being blocked from posting.

The only e-mail I received was from a young supervisor being demoted and possibly being placed into a position of layoff above my rank insinuating that I am greedy, shielded from layoff and unwilling to give back my raise. My Union Executive claims to be embarrassed by my vote. Prior to this there was little to determine what my vote was.

At this point I feel let down by my Union Administration and Supervisors that I may one day have to work under in what little state employment time I have left.

These people mentioned are doing a grave injustice to those in danger of losing they’re jobs. If you want to make a difference then go to them and tell them to stop the stupidity of coercive acts!

If you want to work for my and many yes votes start telling those claiming to support you to answer our questions and quit the dirty politics.

posted by: Puzzled... | July 29, 2011  2:40pm

Regardless of whether or not this labor board and any court issues have any merit regarding the process that Malloy and SEBAC used, that doesn’t negate the appropriateness of people VOTING for it *nor* does it have anything to do with what the legislature will do to us if we don’t ratify the agreement.

It STILL makes sense to vote yes.

posted by: ReinventGovernment | July 29, 2011  3:35pm

The Governor and SEBAC shouldn’t “demonize” union members.

They do that perfectly well themselves.

posted by: stateemployee100 | July 29, 2011  4:23pm

@Ben Dover,  You could have just stopped at the part where you said you feel entitled.

posted by: voteno | July 29, 2011  5:16pm

You can tell that solidarity is a union member and trying to create a spin on this. Solidarity-the majority of members did not agree to the concession package voted on a few weeks ago. It was the unions that created the rules and by the rules they created, this did not pass. So you went and changed the rules because Malloy told you to do so or your days as a union member would be eventually put to rest. This is all about self preservation for the unions. You guys don’t care one bit about the membership. I give this girl credit for standing up to the bullying tactics of the Malloy administration and the unions who tried to shove this down the throats of the members. Let it be know union thugs that although this may pass, we will eventually get rid of you and get a new union to represent the membership. Their are tons of unions out their that will seek our money to represent us. You are a disgrace to the state employees. I often ask myself why do I even pay dues if your not gonna represent me?...this is going to stop and you will eventually lose your jobs. I will not vote for Malloy the next go around and I will take a initiave to bang on every door in my neighborhood to get the people to vote against him by creating the same spin on him that he is creating on the unions and the people that work for the state. People stand up for what you believe in. Don’t be scared! fight the power!

posted by: ms ct resident | July 29, 2011  6:17pm

Thank you Lisa for putting the truth out there and for taking this huge injustice on! You speak for all of us and we appreciate it so very much!

posted by: Truth, Justice and Karma | July 29, 2011  6:36pm

The screen names puzzled, SteveHC and People Power all belong to one person trying to fool people into thinking there are 3 vocal supporters of the deal.  This person is a union stooge, out of touch with his union brothers and sisters.  If these are three different people, which I highly doubt, they may as well be one person.  Its hilarious, on thectmirror July 27, 2011 article “Malloy mum on plans . . . ” a poster criticized SteveHC and puzzled, the same person using a different screen name, answered back as if he was the one crticized.  Check it out.  Also check the sequence of SteveHC, puzzled and People Power posts.  The verbiage and writing style of puzzled, SteveHC and People are virtually identical and sound like an pig-headed, annoying, big mouth, blow hard union rep I know and don’t love.  Just more SEBAC and union propaganda nonsense.
Let me see if I understand your flawed logic SteveHC, Malloy and SEBAC can do anything they want to union members and we should give them a free pass because their motives may be good.  All that matters is to you is that the deal passes because you illogically believe that means we get to keep collective bargaining for ever and ever?  What happens to collective bargaining is in the control of the legislature and no one knows who will be in power therein the future and what they may do.  All you really care about is protecting SEBAC, your union leadership and your Tier I benefits which are not harmed at all by this lousy deal.  I got news for you pal.  The deal is not going to happen because it will either get rejected by union members or blocked by litigation.  Your time and energy would be best spent working on a new deal based on input from all of us stupid, ignorant, know-nothing dues paying union members who insist on knowing what is going on, being heard, and being properly represented by our unions and SEBAC.  We are not going to ignore the outrageous behavior of the Governor, SEBAC and the unions and ratify this deal because you think it may protect collective bargaining for one legislative session!  Get real.  Listen to the union members around you.  They think this negotiation and voting process is insane and completely unacceptable.  Spare us the preachy platitudes.

posted by: illogicallylogical | July 29, 2011  7:34pm

The people posting all the “hate” for Herskowitz is simply pathetic.  First, it’s apparently obvious that everyone posting against Lisa is part of a Union.  The rhetoric coming from the “hate” posters is simply too similar to what I hear from Union stewards.  Second, not one of these negative comments is constructive.  People are hypocrites and pathetic for trying to dirty someone’s name.  How come these folks haven’t offered counterarguments to the actual complaint she is filing?  Could it be that everything that she is disputing is true?  I don’t know the honest answer to that, but all I see from THIS blog is personal attacks.  I’m just waiting for the “Yo Momma” jokes to start.  Third, at least she has the (well, not testicular fortitude)but courage to make a stand.  She might be incorrect on some of her arguments, but at least she’s attempting to walk the walk.  Finally, people saying she’s “greedy” or commenting on a “six-figure” salary, etc. should then be making the same complaint of the SEBAC leaders who make six-figure salaries, and maybe discuss the actions these folks have taken.  Is SEBAC attempting to save jobs or are they attempting to save the union dues that pay their salary?  I don’t know this answer but the “greed and selfish” argument can easily be applied to SEBAC also.  Hypocrites.

posted by: state_employee | July 29, 2011  8:38pm

To solidarity;  are you kidding me?  (She is trying to mislead employees into believing something wrong occured?) Really, did you just write that?  Another vote WAS NOT supported by the majority of voters.  Do you have any documentation that the majority of union members support and/or requested another vote.  If I recall, we voted NO.  The GOVERNOR/UNION LEADERS wanted another vote because they did not like the outcome of the first one.  There is plenty of documentation to support THAT statement. 

Solidarity, get real.

posted by: state_employee | July 29, 2011  8:46pm

To ToAlltheGordonGekkos;

How dramatic you are. 
So if I understand you, what you’re saying is that the fate of a parent withdrawing their son or daughter from college and/or a car repossession notice and/or a foreclosure document falls squarely on the head of one single female who is just attemting to bring to light the illegal actions of the governor and the unions.?
I disagree.  Look no further than the legislators and elected officials who have for years allowed out of control spending and raiding of pension funds and health care funds.
Put the blame where it belongs.

posted by: state_employee | July 29, 2011  8:51pm

DONATE YOUR UNION DUES TO CHARITY. 
DONT SUPPORT THEIR PAC.
DONATE DONATE DONATE.

posted by: state_employee | July 29, 2011  9:09pm

Food for thougth; 
From an article about the attack on unions;
Attacks can be beaten back; there is still time, but only if an aggressive strategy is quickly adopted. Step one of such a strategy will require the above unions - and those in other states - to recognize that the Democrats are out for blood, and will use force if “friendly negotiations” fail. Force must be met with force. Concessions cannot satisfy the demands of the Democratic governors, who will be back next time for even more blood. Many of the above unions, who’ve conceded on health care in the past, are being asked for more concessions this time. The future will be no different.

Public sector unions must mobilize their members and the community they serve to fight back. They have no other choice if they are to remain powerful or even relevant. Making the above concessions without organizing a statewide fightback will demoralize the membership and thus substantially weaken the unions. A critically weakened union would then be open to future attacks that could potentially erase collective bargaining rights.

posted by: Unbelievable | July 29, 2011  9:52pm

My union voted to NOT let me vote again. How can this be possible? What are they afraid of? PLEASE everyone, vote NO for me because they won’t even let my voice be heard.

posted by: CJLOVI | July 29, 2011  10:13pm

For any single parent spending time to ensure our rights are protected with in our various unions.
I may not be able to support you at rally’s but I can offer my superior child sitting expertise. I fish and own a boat, play paintball, enjoy anything out doors. I regularly engage in water fights with the neighborhood kids. I am available three days a week at my own expense.

posted by: interesting | July 30, 2011  9:50am

Unbeliveable, I am in the same boat as you. Someone vote NO for me, thanks.

posted by: state_employee | July 30, 2011  11:12am

To unbelievable;

If your union will not let you vote, file a complaint against the union leader like Lisa H is doing.  Have as many people as possible sign it and get it to the labor board.  Do it fast.  dont let them take your voice away.  Many support you.

posted by: NOW What? | July 30, 2011  1:22pm

“Truth, Justice and Karma” - You stand for no such things, only deceit. You state that I and a million other posters are one and the same person, which we’re not. You post your “message”  - as incoherent as it is - anywhere a website manager will allow you to. You’re sole, hell-bent focus is to encourage everyone to vote against the SEBAC TA for any B.S. reason you can happen to think of at that particular moment, actually believing that many State employees read that garbage - which they *don’t*. You consistently refuse to state whether or not you’re even a State employee, let alone which department, office or facility you work in or which bargaining unit or union you’re a member of - even though many posters have asked you for such info.

One can only surmise that you’re an anti-union, anti-government employee Internet troll who will stop at NOTHING to encourage genuine state employees to commit career and personal economic suicide by voting against the TA.

Hopefully no one will be dumb enough to take your “bait” anymore, troll. State employees have always been and will always BE political employees whjo need to be sensitive to political situations in order to survive. “Truth Justice and Karma’s” b.s. is either childish wishful thinking, or - FAR more likely - deliberate attempts at deception to cause harm the rest of us.

Time to ignore the troll (look up the definition of Internet “troll” if you’re uncertain of its meaning).

‘Nuff said about the troll; time to get back to focusing on the substance of the matter - the REAL substance.

posted by: Truth, Justice and Karma | July 30, 2011  2:40pm

SteveHC/puzzled/People Power poster - I am a state employee.  Just as you are posting under screen names, I am purposely not stating my name, department and union at this point in time. I may make my identity public, if needed to support legal actions against SEBAC and my union, including the blow hard rep you remind me of with your repetitive, well-rehearsed sales pitch that no next to one, except you and your fellow union rep cronies, cares to hear.
Too bad you think what I say is incoherent garbage, because many other state worker posters agree with me and are saying the same things.  I get lots of positive feedback.  How about you?  SEBAC’s, the unions’ and your problem is that you don’t want to listen and take direction from dues paying members.  The vast majority of state workers, even those that voted YES out of fear of layoffs, believe: 1) the agreement asks veteran vested Tier II and IIa employees to give up 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; and 5)if we vote YES we validate the unfair, undemocratic processes used to develop the agreement and set a horrible precedent for future “negotiations”.
——————
Thanks to Lisa for getting the litigation ball rolling.  The deal is really terrible.  SEBAC is suckering members into thinking its good because it protects jobs, wages and benefits for a certain set period of time.  Sorry, I am afraid that the promises of the 11 year deal and protection of collective bargaining forever are fantasy island promises that cannot be relied on when members are deciding how to vote.  As soon as our no layoff deal ends, we are subject to having to bargain about everything, including wages, retirement and health care.  This happened in 2009 and now in 2011 even though we have a SEBAC health and retirement deal that was enforceable until 2017.  We allowed the 2017 SEBAC deal to be modified in 2009 to protect new employees from threatened layoffs.  Now in 2011, we are asked to reopen the 2017/2009 SEBAC deal and allow it to be changed drastically.  We are now being threatened in 2011 with massive and unrealistic levels of layoffs, termination of collective bargaining and other miscellaneous legislative actions to limit state employee compensation.  If we ratify this deal, the no layoff provision lasts for 4 years, 1 year less than the 5-year wage provision, and 7 years less than the alleged 11-year health and retirement provision. 
Around 3 and 1/2 years from now, if the legislature and Governor do not stop excessive spending and failing to fund our pension and health care funds, the Governor will be back again asking to reopen our wage, health care and retirement plans again.  We will be once again threatened with massive layoffs, termination of collective bargaining if we still have collective bargaining then, and other legislative action.  At best, we may get 4 years of no layoffs, if the legislature and Governor do not ask for an earlier reopening in the next couple of years.  There is next to NO CHANCE, ZIP, ZERO, NADA that we will get *ANYTHING PAST THE *4* YEARS OF THE WAGE *DEAL* or an *ANY THING PAST *4* YEARS OF THE NEW HEALTH AND RETIREMENT PLAN BEFORE THE GOVERNOR WANTS TO CHANGE IT AGAIN ON US.*  Anyone who believes we will really see the 5th year of the wage deal and beyond 4 years of the new health care and retirement plan is ignoring our own recent history of 2009 and current events of 2011, should contact SteveHC about a bridge over the Connecticut River in Hartford that he will sell you for a very special price. 
VOTE NO.  Wait for a real deal; the Governor and SEBAC will have to make one if you don’t accept this bad deal.  The State will not be able to function properly if the Governor makes his proposed cuts.  Citizens and constituent interests will complain immediately after horrible things happen due to lack of services.  A reasonable deal, not this very bad deal, must be made.  So, get the ball rolling by VOTING NO.

posted by: Specter | July 30, 2011  3:08pm

SteveHC:
Maybe your buddies at SEACRAP will file a complaint against TruthJustice. Sounds kinda like what you are advocating. Aren’t you the guy who claimed that just a few years back the state legislature was run by Republicans? Well…I guess that goes to show how much we can rely on your knowledge…QED.

posted by: perturbed | July 30, 2011  4:59pm

perturbed

The never (ever, ever) ending stream of contradiction keeps oozing out of one Mr. SteveHC. The latest example:

In reference to a poster named, “Truth, Justice and Karma” SteveHC wrote: “You consistently refuse to state whether or not you’re even a State employee, let alone which department, office or facility you work in or which bargaining unit or union you’re a member of - even though many posters have asked you for such info.”

From that comment, one might get the impression SteveHC thinks a person’s relationship to this issue is relevant. One might even think he’s been forthcoming in revealing his own status.

Yet in reality, SteveHC refuses to reveal his own relationship to this issue. Look for the third to the last comment linked here:

“My personal circumstances are no one’s business, and in fact are irrelevant to the issues at hand,” SteveHC retorts!

I happen to agree with your latest position, SteveHC (and I hope you don’t change it again on us). I agree that a person’s relationship to this issue is relevant.

As an illustrative example, knowing SteveHC is a Tier I retiree with nothing to lose provides important context to his insistence that we active state employees give up big chunks of our pensions. With that knowledge, we are free to conclude that he wants to preserve his own pension benefits at the expense of others’. See how that might weaken his credibility, when someone knows his potential motives?

The other main thing that destroys credibility is contradicting yourself, as SteveHC does frequently.

Luckily for us, even though he ducks the question, the sheer number of comments by SteveHC made it impossible for him to hide his <b>Tier I retiree status<b> indefinitely.

It’s also my strong suspicion that his credibility is weakened further by posting comments under more than one name. It’s a form of dishonesty. The website administrator could easily tell whether “SteveHC” and “Puzzled…” are both posting comments from the same IP address. I’d be willing to bet they are.

You willing to come clean, SteveHC? Or will you now revert back to your personal circumstances being no one’s business again? Which is it?

Endless stream of contradictions…

—perturbed

posted by: NOW What? | July 30, 2011  6:26pm

“Specter” - I NEVER said that the State’s legislature was dominated by Republicans a few years ago; I said the State’s government was. By the way - the reason the CT Mirror doesn’t post a number of your ilk’s comments is because of the *language* you guys use, NOT because its editor “censors” posts.

posted by: Truth, Justice and Karma | July 31, 2011  12:02am

This will be the last time I raise the SteveHC screen names issue.  Since SteveHC said I am engaging in deceit and he claims that he is not also the posters puzzled and People Power, check out the 2 posts below from the article I previously mentioned and decide for yourself if you agree with me that SteveHC and puzzled are the same person who accidentally exposed himself.

Oh, great idea, SteveHC:
Submitted by State Punching Bag on Thu, 07/28/2011 - 8:21am.
Oh, great idea, SteveHC: give the bullies what they want so that they’ll leave us alone!
We all know how well that strategy works! Remember how the USA won the cold war by giving up its nukes? Remember how well giving up their land worked for the Native Americans?
Remember how CT’s unions have given back FIVE times in the last two decades and yet the legislature is still coming back for more?
Yeah, great idea, SteveHC! How’s that working for you?
reply Report abuse

Submitted by puzzled… on Thu, 07/28/2011 - 10:40pm.
State Punching Bag - Like I said before: Vote “no” now and people will be TOTALLY screwed by 2017. That’s not a “maybe” or even a “probably” - it’s a DEFINITELY. How’s THAT working for *you*???

There are numerous other posts on this and other news sites that support my theory too.  In the end, it really doesn’t matter because you either agree with SteveHC or not.  I just think its a desperate and dirty tactic to make it look like there are more serious supporters for the YES VOTE than there actually are.  Any YES VOTERS who don’t hold pink slips in there hands are docile, scared, nervous, tiny, lap dogs who will give everything away with little resistance until our jobs pay less in wages and benefits than the private sector and there is absolutely no reason to even have a union. VOTE NO and FORCE and reasonable deal to be made.

posted by: Another state worker | July 31, 2011  8:54am

Thank you, Lisa for bringing this to light.  All the issues I was concerned about you are fighting for.

Not only has this T/A re-opened contracts without consulting with us which I believed were entered into good faith, etc., the faces of my wo-workers are not the same.  People have turned against each other for their opinions. 

I respect each and every person for whatever they vote yes or no. I may not agree but I respect them.  People have been ridiculed and laughed at for their opinions.  Working conditions are very tense and uncomfortable. 

25 years ago, we respected and listened our senior state workers for their knowlege and wisdom.  Members with 5, 7 yrs. or less have no true understanding of how the unions operate. Fifteen yrs. from now they will reflect back on this T/A and say I wish I took into consideration and/or at least thought about the experiences of my senior co-workers. 

Thank you again Lisa for putting into words exactly what I wanted to say.

posted by: state_employee | July 31, 2011  9:20am

Coalition Grabbed Power From State Unions When It Changed Bylaws:  Hartford Courant 7/31/11
Here are some highlights.  A must read for yes voters.
The change in the bylaws may represent a defining moment for state labor unions. Traditionally, each individual union retained control of its own wage negotiations, and coalition bargaining was limited to retirement and health benefits. As is clear from a wage-freeze provision in the proposed concession agreement, SEBAC has now extended its reach into the domain of wage bargaining.
The state, in essence, controls the agent with which it bargains.

At its inception, unions fought against mandatory coalition bargaining. They lost that battle but as a sweetener to wary union members and some skeptical union leaders, the SEBAC bylaws set a high threshold for the ratification of agreements. This put limits on SEBAC’s power — and the state’s power to control collective bargaining with state employees. Now, if the recently revised bylaws stand up to challenges over the legality of the process by which SEBAC leaders made amendments, SEBAC will be able to put over concessions even if 49 percent of the union members and/or seven of the 15 individually elected unions are opposed.
But in the long term, when the dust settles and the smoke clears, the real story is the encroachment of compulsory coalition bargaining into all areas of collective bargaining and the concentration of power in the hands of SEBAC — an organization that was not created by union members and is now less accountable to them than ever before.

posted by: Statezilla | July 31, 2011  10:53am

I am a state employee who voted “yes” the first time but I am fuming over the 7/26/11 letter I recieved from 1199 president, Carmen Boulder. In her letter she writes that there would be serious consequences to voting “no”, one of which she says is “workload increases.” Where the hell has she been over the last three years when positions weren’t being replaced and more and more was being asked of us? Maybe the union should think twice about helping evey dead beat hold onto a job. As far as the serous consequence of losing longevity pay - who care about it, unless you are one of those administrators making thousands of dollars in longevity pay.

posted by: Truth, Justice and Karma | July 31, 2011  12:21pm

Last time I will talk about SteveHC and puzzled being the same person.  Please see the posts below.  Judge for yourself.  Its relevant to his credibility and mine because he said I was engaging in deceit.
———
Oh, great idea, SteveHC:
Submitted by State Punching Bag on Thu, 07/28/2011 - 8:21am.
Oh, great idea, SteveHC: give the bullies what they want so that they’ll leave us alone!
We all know how well that strategy works! Remember how the USA won the cold war by giving up its nukes? Remember how well giving up their land worked for the Native Americans?
Remember how CT’s unions have given back FIVE times in the last two decades and yet the legislature is still coming back for more?
Yeah, great idea, SteveHC! How’s that working for you?
reply Report abuse

Like I said before
Submitted by puzzled… on Thu, 07/28/2011 - 10:40pm.
State Punching Bag - Like I said before: Vote “no” now and people will be TOTALLY screwed by 2017. That’s not a “maybe” or even a “probably” - it’s a DEFINITELY. How’s THAT working for *you*??? 
——-
I hope SteveHC is not trying to convince CTNewsJunkie to censor folks who disagree with him.  Sounds like it based on his posts.  It would be a shame.  Its bad enough that SEBAC controls the debate on its website and facebook page by banning union members from posting their opposing views.  Given that SEBAC works for dues paying union workers, it is a huge breach of its duties and a great sign of disrespect to refuse to listen to workers.  CTNewJunkie and other similar sites present our only opportunity to publicly discuss the negotiation and ratification process as well as the merits of the proposed deal.

posted by: state_employee | July 31, 2011  12:56pm

To Truth Justice and Karma,

I do believe that those names you refer to are either union or malloy workers.  There were two other name being used, one was Helen, I cant remember the other.  She hasnt posted anything lately.  How dirty they are.  Shame on them.

posted by: NOW What? | July 31, 2011  2:35pm

From Wikipedia, the definition of Internet “troll” - “In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. The noun troll may refer to the provocative message itself, as in: “That was an excellent troll you posted”.

Based on many people’s recommendations, I have decided to no longer “feed the trolls” by responding to their ludicrous, “trolling” comments. I will confine my comments to the REAL issue(s) at hand - namely, those articulated in a given article - and I strongly suggest that others do the same. Otherwise, there’s no point to these news article-based blogs… if the “no” voters wish nothing but to constantly proclaim “Vote NO!” they should go over to their own “votenotoconcessions” website rather than discouraging others from commenting on the substance of published articles.

posted by: Puzzled... | July 31, 2011  3:02pm

Truth, Justice and Karma - Your assertions are crazy as well as false. I am NOT “SteveHC,” and as far as I can tell it’s probably not possible or at least not very likely that someone would post here under multiple names as an email address is necessary to register here and I’d imagine that like most other sites one can only use a given email address with only one “User ID” name. Your false accusations really DO make it appear as though you’d stop at nothing to try and convince others to vote against the SEBAC agreement even if doing so would ultimately be to EVERYONE’S detriment. By the way, although I used to believe that you are a unionized state employee, given the content your most recent posts I’m beginning to suspect that you are NOT. But that’s all besides the point - people need to and I believe will vote either “yes” or “no” based on the facts and whether or not they believe that doing so is in their own best interest both in the short and longer terms, NOT based on how *YOU* tell them to vote. Your repeated, direct and emphatic “instructions” to readers to vote “no” makes it appear as though the only thing you truly care about is getting others to bend to YOUR “will”... and I hope others are smart enough to not allow you to succeed at this.

posted by: NOW What? | July 31, 2011  3:39pm

“Statezilla” - I agree with you about the longevity payments - they’re no big deal to us to say the least! But I also agree with Carmen’s assertions that there would be VERY grave consequences to State employees for voting down the deal, “increased workloads” being the LEAST of those consequences. I think that to vote against the deal based primarily on our dislike of the way the unions went about this whole thing would be a GENUINELY grave mistake, one that could actually potentially prove fatal to our collective bargaining rights.

posted by: Wiley Coyote | July 31, 2011  4:15pm

it still kills me how off all of you are.  none of this, once you look at the FACTS is going anywhere.  I hope i never need this prosecutor to handle a case i"m involved in.  Are all her collegues in on it also (the conspiricy?). Pull some facts from her complaint, i dare you.  under scrutiny it is all her opinion, plus she filed on the vote that has already gone by and a new vote was forced by a majority of the individual union members who wanted a revote.  sounds good to me.  Sorry you no voters are gonna lose this time and be forced into stability and job security.  whaaaaaa!

posted by: Another state worker | July 31, 2011  5:17pm

A majority of the people who voted yes were scared into it by threats and more threats of layoffs.  I personally have seen bullying going on directed toward the no voters to vote yes.  I have learned so much during this last contract mainly about people’s honesty and integrity.  Most members are afraid to say what they truly feel for fear of ridicule and loosing friendships. No one wants to see layoffs, but we have to stand up for what is right.  I heard so many lies in the past two months from the unions and this whole process has been full of dishonestly.

posted by: Truth, Justice and Karma | July 31, 2011  5:42pm

We can’t rely on litigation to stop the bad deal from being adopted.  State workers, you may wish to consider VOTING NO and FORCE the Governor and the unions back to the negotiating table, if you believe that the current proposed deal does not provide a reasonable means of addressing the state’s short and long term financial needs.  The Governor and SEBAC are trying to convince you that you must take this deal or there must be harmful massive layoffs and program cuts.  This is called Hobson’s choice.  Its called playing hard ball.  There are many other alternative compromises that will be explored in negotiations if we reject this deal.  The Governor and legislature simply cannot afford to refuse to reach a deal that avoids layoffs.  The Governor’s proposed layoffs will immediately harm the economy and weaken the state’s ability to provide vital services.  Is the state going to allow poor families with children to go without food and medical treatment because there are not enough DSS workers to process medical insurance and food stamp applications?  Are children going to remain in unsafe households subject to risk of harm because DCF is short staffed? Are court cases going to take even longer to process because the clerk’s office has less personnel to hold court sessions, maintain open office hours and process filings?  Where is the vulnerable population of persons with mental and physical disabilities and mental health and addiction conditions going to get treatment and care if current services are greatly reduced?  Unless the Governor and legislature are going to abandon its obligation to ensure these types of vital services continue to be provided, the State will have to negotiate another deal if this one is rejected. 
It is an easy decision to VOTE NO if you agree that: 1) the agreement 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. 
Please do not feel pressured to vote yes because of threatened layoffs of cuts in services.  That is a Hobson’s choice you are being presented as a pressure tactic.  If the Governor carries out these insane and inhumane threats, that is on him, not you.  Please consider VOTING NO for all the reasons above.

posted by: ALD | July 31, 2011  5:43pm

Statezilla,  I think you are making a point many of us in the private sector agree with. The union leadership is only concerned with preserving head count which translates into more union taxes… Those of you who work hard and do the job you are well compensated to do would not need to be voting on concessions if the union leadership didn’t put their concerns for union taxes (dues) ahead of your compensation package. Let me ask you this does shared sacrifice apply to your union taxes as well as your compenastion? No need to answer we all know the answer.

posted by: state_employee | July 31, 2011  7:19pm

all state employees NEED to watch this video before voting.  this is dan malloy when he was running for governor.  listen to all the lies.

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

posted by: Truth, Justice and Karma | July 31, 2011  7:26pm

Check this youtube video out before you vote.  Malloy and Wyman said the exact opposite of everything they say now.  He needs to stick with what he said in this video and drop his current tough guy posturing and open his mind to other alternative deals to solve the budget problem.  The deal he is offering stinks.  Anyway, this video shows the Governor’s word cannot be trusted.  We need a deal that spells out clearly that he cannot seek under any circumstances to reopen the deal during his term for any reason.

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

posted by: Puzzled... | July 31, 2011  8:52pm

State_employee - So everybody who posts indicating they’re in favor of the SEBAC agreement, according to you, is or “must” be either a union staffer or working directly for Malloy? You DO realize how crazy that sounds… I’m neither, by the way - and certainly no more so than YOU are. You can keep repeating crazy drivel all you want to, it isn’t going to become reality just because you repeat it.

posted by: perturbed | July 31, 2011  9:12pm

perturbed

@ Truth, Justice and Karma: That is a total *RIOT* what you spotted about Puzzled… and SteveHC! I missed that. I considered commenting when one of them pretended to interpret what the other intended to say, but let it go. But this? This was a good catch. Best laugh I had all day—thanks!

The good new is, now that it’s been shown he won’t reveal his own status, at least he’ll stop badgering you about yours.

(still laughing…)

—perturbed

posted by: perturbed | July 31, 2011  9:14pm

perturbed

SteveHC, could you “clarify” something for us?

In a response to Statezilla (above), you wrote, “I think that to vote against the deal based primarily on our dislike of the way the unions went about this whole thing would be a GENUINELY grave mistake, one that could actually potentially prove fatal to our collective bargaining rights.”

Whose collective bargaining rights were you referring to?

Elsewhere, you’ve said, “‘perturbed’ - As I’ve repeatedly said (until now, in vain - so THANK YOU!), I’m not in ANY way connected with SEBAC, its member unions, the Malloy administration or the legislature.”

So now I’m left wondering how you could possibly characterize state employees’ collective bargaining rights as “ours”, since you are not in any way connected to them.

The reason I ask is this: if you pretend to have more in common with state employees than you do, you might give the false impression that you, too, have something to lose by giving up some benefits. And if that’s done in an attempt to persuade others, it’s an inherently dishonest tactic.

We state employees must each decide where the correct balance lies—are the lost benefits worth the promised security?

If you won’t lose any benefits by us giving up ours, well, it’s a pretty easy choice for you, isn’t it?

—perturbed

posted by: perturbed | July 31, 2011  9:25pm

perturbed

@state_employee—thanks for pointing this important article. It’s a very clear explanation of SEBAC’s power grab, and of their overstepping their authority and claiming wage bargaining as their purview.

Here’s a direct link. It’s a definite “must-read”.

Coalition Grabbed Power From State Unions When It Changed Bylaws

Associate professor Jonathan Cutler even alludes to the SEBAC/Malloy Coalition®: “Unlike the SEBAC leaders who are close to the governor, the refusal of the members to roll over in the face of threatened layoffs represents a rank-and-file declaration of independence.”

FINALLY!!! Some independent thinking in the press! They actually printed something that didn’t come straight form a SEBAC/Malloy press release. (Too bad it wasn’t one of their own journalists that wrote it.)

—perturbed

posted by: illogicallylogical | July 31, 2011  9:43pm

I think the Wikipedia definition of “troll” forgot to state that it is synonymous with the blogger “solidarity”.  I asked him to talk about the actual complaint and yet again trolls on this website and ends the rant with “Whaaa”....seriously….how old are you?  I’ll ask the same question again…is there anything that’s in this complaint that is false?  No, I didn’t think you would answer this question.  You are obviously a Union person (could be Sal) because most Union leaders end their letters with “In Solidarity”.  We won’t know until this week how this all plays out so everyone needs to relax.

posted by: Stop Corruption | July 31, 2011  10:17pm

This is ridiculous. Either the “Clarified” TA is a new agreement or it is the same old agreement.  If it is a new agreement then all rank-and-file union members should have the right to cast their vote for or against.  If it is the same old agreement (only clarified), then there is no need for further action. The unions have voted the proposal down under the rules that were in effect at the time.  In light of all the vote rigging, bullying, scare tactics and false self-serving prognostication by SEBAC leaders
I will vote NO! this time regardless of how I voted last time.  SEBAC is trying to sell this a little too hard.  (Time to follow the money—could make a good article)

If SEBAC leaders really cared about state workers, they would also tell how they will help those who have or will soon be laid off.  They would also be reminding us that NO is a valid choice and that there is a re-employment list that remains in effect. Instead they promise Armageddon.

This reeks of corruption.  Vote NO this time even if you voted yes last time.  Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

posted by: Stop Corruption | July 31, 2011  11:06pm

The vote rigging, bullying and promises of Armaggedon are too much for me. They are pushing too hard for this to be an honest deal. Why doesn’t SEBAC speak about how it will help those who are laid off? Why don’t they mention the re-employment list ? The leadership doesn’t care.

If the “clarified” agreement is the same as the last proposal then it was already defeated under the rules that existed at the time and there is no reason for another vote. If the agreement has changed, then all rank-and-file mebers should have the right to cast their vote. This reeks of corruption.

I must vote NO because it is a bad deal that smells crooked. I will vote NO even if I had voted yes last time.

Those who know, will vote NO. Fool me once shame on you, Fool me twice, shame on me.

posted by: Christine Stuart | August 1, 2011  12:06am

Christine Stuart

Okay. It’s time to set the record straight here. Our system is set up so you have to use a valid email address to post. There’s nothing to stop someone from setting up two email accounts under two names, but I can say with certainty there are no trolls on either side here. The IP addresses are different for every email address accused by either side here of trolling. So I think it’s time to stop beating each other up and stick to the issues. Argue about the agreement all you want, but attacking each other doesn’t help anyone.
Peace
Christine Stuart
editor-in-chief

posted by: CTPilgrim | August 1, 2011  6:44am

I applaud this State’s Attorney, I applaud Christine Stuart’s gentle admonishment. Knowing and having heard numerous times the threats of ominous retribution or possible result should we vote no, and expressed by Malloy’s administration and union leadership that should simply know better. I can’t imagine what law may have been involved, but this entire deal is so outrageious I wonder why there was no challenge before.

Vote your own mind, not what you are “instructed to”.

posted by: illogicallylogical | August 1, 2011  9:48am

No disrespect to Ms. Stuart, but a “Troll” is an internet term for a person who, through willful action, attempts to disrupt a community or garner attention and controversy through provocative messages
She claims “there are certainly no trolls on either side here…”  I disagree.  If you read everyone’s comments, the “trolls” are easy to pick out.  Those are the bloggers that offer no relevant feedback to the article posted.  That being said, I’ll say what I said before…everyone needs to relax and let this all play out this week.

posted by: NOW What? | August 1, 2011  2:50pm

From yesterday’s Hartford Courant: “The state Senate recently voted 32 to 4 to reduce collective bargaining rights and to dramatically cut pension benefits for state workers when the current contract expires in 2017. This effort was blocked in the House but only for now, and only in the hope that there would be an agreement on concessions.” - Given those facts, I’m absolutely convinced it makes the most sense for us to proceed with ratification REGARDLESS of any labor board complaint. We can deal with ALL of the “process”-related problems *afterwards*.

posted by: state_employee | August 1, 2011  4:37pm

SteveHC.  That is one of the allegations in this complaint.  Threat of legislative changes to collective bargaining to force a yes vote.  It’s not legal.

posted by: state_employee | August 1, 2011  6:47pm

Please read;

And steveHC/puzzled, howbout a comment on this…

Monday – Even with layoffs, “shared sacrifice” a joke as political establishment remains untouched…


Hundreds are no longer employed and the list of those who have lost their jobs and their health insurance is growing.  While the overall list of those receiving layoff notices is now over 3,000, the Governor’s Office has been extremely quiet about the far more sinister list of those whose layoff notice period is over and are now on the unemployment line.

Monday’s list will include some of the most dedicated state employees in Connecticut, people who helped design and implement the state’s successful “Birth to Three” programs that helps thousands of Connecticut infants and toddlers facing developmental issues.

Touted by politicians as a tremendous success, some of the very employees who made that success story a
reality now find themselves severed from their life’s work.

Meanwhile, not a single employee in the Legislative Branch of Government has even received a layoff notice let alone are waking up to unemployment.  A $70 million dollar legislative budget with over 400 full-time employees and rather than notify and lay off employees, legislative leaders decided to wait to see if the unions approved the clarified Malloy/SEBAC concession package.

And, as reported, the number of people working in the governor’s office has grown from 20 under Rell to 30 under Malloy and salaries for Malloy’s staff is up $661,429, or 41 percent, from before he took office.

In fact, three of his staff make as much or more than the Governor himself who makes $150,000.

Among his highest paid staff are the following;

Chief of Staff $150,000

Chief Advisor $160,000

Press Secretary $98,000

Chief Counsel: $160,000

Legal: $110,000

Legal:  $85,000

Leg. Liaison:  $85,000

Leg. Liaison:  $85,000

Policy Dir:    $98,000

Operations Dir:        $92,000

DC Office Dir:  $110,000

And down the street in the Governor’s Office of Policy and Management, Malloy’s Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, Ben Barnes, is getting $187,000 a year. Barnes, with far less experience than his predecessor and a Masters Degree instead of a Juris Doctorate is paid $23,000 more.

Malloy’s other political appointees at OPM (the deputy and three assistant secretaries) make a combined $575,000 or $36,000 more than their four predecessors.

And here too political appointees are being completely spared from the nightmare that is facing so many other state employees and their families.

According to the latest state employee layoff report;

Governor’s Office:            No layoffs

Lt. Governor’s Office         No layoffs

Attorney General             No political appointees on layoff list, 4 clerical, two staff

Comptroller                   No political appointees on layoff list, 2 clerical, five staff

Secretary of the State       No political appointees on layoff list, 6 clerical, four staff

Treasurer                       No Layoffs

Not all generals fight from the back…but many do.

posted by: NOW What? | August 1, 2011  6:56pm

Any claim that a “threat” of legislative changes to collective bargaining to “force” a yes vote isn’t “legal” is HIGHLY questionable. Although there may be legislation and/or state board of labor relations regs that state that there won’t be legislation passed that would compromise state employees’ collective bargaining rights, state governments’ rights to determine what if any state employees’ collective bargaining rights are generally considered to “trump” any other related legislation (but not pre-existing contracts still in force). Furthermore, the legislature could always opt to simply vote to *repeal* current state employee collective bargaining legislation rather than voting *for* modifications to current laws.
Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind a) the action that this article refers to a complaint lodged with the state labor relations board - it is not a lawsuit, and b) anyone wanting to “fight” legislative action taken by the legislature would have to file a formal lawsuit, and c) when a legislature passes a law abridging its own, essentially constitutionally guaranteed rights, it basically does so “temporarily” - i.e. it always has the right to repeal such legislation.

To put it all together, there’d be nothing to prevent the CT Senate to kill the Senate bill that it passed, nothing to prevent the House from killing the relevant bill that it currently has before it, and nothing to prevent the General Assembly from restricting or completely gutting collective bargaining for state employees after the failure of a ratification vote to pass. Other states have successfully done such things and there’s NO reason to believe that Connecticut’s legislature wouldn’t be equally successful if it chose to - and it is *quite* clear that it WOULD choose to do so.

posted by: Careful | August 1, 2011  7:47pm

illogical/logical: Christine Stuart also wisely stated: “Attacking each other—doesn’t help anyone!”  Amen!

posted by: perturbed | August 1, 2011  10:07pm

perturbed

From yesterday’s Hartford Courant: Coalition Grabbed Power From State Unions When It Changed Bylaws

“The change in the bylaws may represent a defining moment for state labor unions. Traditionally, each individual union retained control of its own wage negotiations, and coalition bargaining was limited to retirement and health benefits. As is clear from a wage-freeze provision in the proposed concession agreement, SEBAC has now extended its reach into the domain of wage bargaining.

Moreover, SEBAC is not a voluntary coalition. It is a statutory entity, created by the state and designated by the state as the exclusive representative of all public sector unions, each of which is required by law to belong to and bargain through SEBAC. The state, in essence, controls the agent with which it bargains.

The top-secret negotiations between a handful of SEBAC people and Malloy’s representatives concerning wages certainly deserve to be legally challenged. Individual bargaining unit leaders were strictly excluded from the process, even though it is within their authority alone—not SEBAC’s—to negotiate wages on behalf of their members.

Idle speculation? Not at all. First P-4 steps forward:

“Because the legally-specified procedures were not followed, and the legally-authorized representatives of the P-4 Council were not involved in the re-negotiation of the 2009 P-4 Agreement, there can be no valid vote on any alleged agreement which purports to replace the lawful existing 2009 P-4 Agreement in effect through June 30, 2012.”

And then from Moises Padilla, vice president of local 387 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, an NP-4 Corrections Bargaining Unit:

“Unfortunately, during this entire period we were not consulted with regarding any of the issues that were later released to the public by the “Gang of 15”, otherwise known as SEBAC, who have failed to recognize that they serve at the pleasure of its membership and that their salaries and generous benefits are paid for through union dues derived from the hard work, sweat, blood and tears of the men and women who walk one of Connecticut’s toughest beats, at least as it pertains to our organization, AFSCME Council 4.”

These two groups are most certainly just the tip of the iceberg.

Beyond that, anyone who steps back and thinks about what’s happening here with SEBAC/Malloy would realize how far from true collective bargaining we’ve already sunk. The loss of “collective bargaining” is becoming less and less of a threat as this charade wears on. You can’t lose what you don’t have. So if we’re not subject to the will of the legislature, over whom we have no control, we’re subject to the will of SEBAC, over whom we likewise have no control. Is there a difference in this case?

—perturbed (an actual state employee—not some Tier I retiree on the sidelines with nothing to lose)

posted by: Truth, Justice and Karma | August 1, 2011  10:40pm

The threat to get rid of collective bargaining after deal was rejected in July was poorly staged theater of the absurd with very bad acting by among others Ethel Prague. Shameless psychological pressure tactics.  The legislature views collective bargaining either is an asset worth retaining or a liability that needs to be limited or eliminated.  At some point, we will find out what they believe.  There are NO GUARANTEES WHATSOEVER in the proposed deal about what, if any, FUTURE action the legislature may or may not take with respect to COLLECTIVE BARGAINING or other wage, health care and retirement plan issues.  In other words, the deal contains NO ENFORCEABLE PROMISE TO PROTECT COLLECTIVE BARGAINING.  One thing is for sure.  If we still have collective bargaining in 2014 when we begin to negotiate wages, health care and retirement again as the 4-year no layoff promise comes to an end, the Governor will again threaten layoffs and termination of collective bargaining.  The threats will be a repeated occurrence until we stand our ground to the threat some time.  Is that time now?

posted by: illogicallylogical | August 1, 2011  10:45pm

@Careful…If you read my post, it begins with “No disrespect to Ms.Stuart…”  I wasn’t attacking her, only disagreeing with her opinions on “trolling”.  I also backed up my argument with Wikipedia’s listed definition of trolling (it’s also a boating term).  Disagreeing is not attacking so…stop trolling…lol…sorry, had to throw that in there. (I’m kidding relax)

posted by: AR-Informer | August 3, 2011  3:32pm

Malloy is following our President, be aware people ! ! !

OBAMA’S COLLEGE CLASSMATE SPEAKS OUT

Barack Hussien Obama is no fool. He is not incompetent. To the contrary, he is brilliant. He knows exactly what he’s doing.
He is purposely overwhelming the U.S. economy to create systemic failure, economic crisis and social chaos - thereby destroying capitalism and our country from within.

Barack Hussien Obama was my college classmate ( Columbia University , class of ‘83). He is a devout Muslim do not be fooled. Look at his Czars…anti-business..anti-american.
As Glenn Beck correctly predicted from day one, Barack Hussien Obama is following the plan of Cloward & Piven, two professors at Columbia University . They outlined a plan to socialize America by overwhelming the system with government spending and entitlement demands.
Add up the clues below. Taken individually they’re alarming. Taken as a whole, it is a brilliant, Machiavellian game plan to turn the United States into a socialist/Marxist state with a permanent majority that desperately needs government for survival..and can be counted on to always vote for bigger government. Why not? They have no responsibility to pay for it.
Universal health care.
The health care bill had very little to do with health care. It had everything to do with unionizing millions of hospital and health care workers, as well as adding 15,000 to 20,000 new IRS agents (who will join government employee unions).
Obama does not care that giving free health care to 30 million Americans will add trillions to the national debt. What he does care about is that it cements the dependence of those 30 million voters to Democrats and big gov. Who but a socialist revolutionary would pass this reckless spending bill in the middle of a depression?
Cap and trade. Like health care legislation having nothing to do with health care, cap and trade has nothing to do with global warming. It has everything to do with redistribution of income, government control of the economy and a criminal payoff to Obama’s biggest contributors. Those powerful and wealthy unions and contributors (like GE, which owns NBC, MSNBC and CNBC) can then be counted on to support everything Obama wants. They will kick-back hundreds of millions of dollars in contributions to Obama and the Democratic Party to keep them in power. The bonus is that all the new taxes on Americans with bigger cars, bigger homes and businesses helps Obama “spread the wealth around.” Make Puerto Rico a state. Why? Who’s asking for a 51st state? Who’s asking for millions of new welfare recipients and government entitlement addicts in the middle of a depression? Certainly not American taxpayers.
But this has been Barack Hussien Obama’s plan all along. His goal is to add two new Democrat senators, five Democrat congressman and a million loyal Democratic voters who are dependent on big government.
Legalize 12 million illegal Mexican immigrants.
Just giving these 12 million potential new citizens free health care alone could overwhelm the system and bankrupt America . But it adds 12 million reliable new Democrat voters who can be counted on to support big government.
Add another few trillion dollars in welfare, aid to dependent children, food stamps, free medical, education, tax credits for the poor, and eventually Social Security.
Stimulus and bailouts.
Where did all that money go? It went to Democrat contributors, organizations (ACORN), and unions—including billions of dollars to save or create jobs of government employees across the country. It went to save GM and Chrysler so that their employees could keep paying union dues. It went to AIG so that Goldman Sachs could be bailed out (after giving Obama almost $1 million in contributions).
A staggering $125 billion went to teachers (thereby protecting their union dues). All those public employees will vote loyally Democrat to protect their bloated salaries and pensions that are bankrupting America .
The country goes broke, future generations face a bleak future, but Obama, the Democrat Party, government, and the unions grow more powerful.
The ends justify the means.
Raise taxes on small business owners, high-income earners, and job creators. Put the entire burden on only the top 20 percent of taxpayers, redistribute the income, punish success, and reward those who did nothing to deserve it (except vote for Obama). Reagan wanted to dramatically cut taxes in order to starve the government. Barack Obama wants to dramatically raise taxes to starve his political opposition.
With the acts outlined above, Barack Hussien Obama and his regime have created a vast and rapidly expanding constituency of voters dependent on big government; a vast privileged class of public employees who work for big government; and a government dedicated to destroying capitalism and installing themselves as socialist rulers by overwhelming the system.