SEBAC Criticizes Layoffs But Remains Committed To Discussions

by Larry Dorman on May 10th

Discussions between representatives of the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) and the administration of Governor Dannel P. Malloy went well into the early morning hours on Tuesday, but thus far have not produced an agreement.

Despite the fact that the governor has indicated layoff notices will commence later Tuesday morning, SEBAC leadership has decided to continue meeting with the Malloy administration, for at least one more day, in the hope of achieving a just and fair outcome. The discussions have been extraordinarily complex and demand our continued efforts to find mutual resolution.

SEBAC is disappointed the administration has decided to begin issuing layoff notices. We have said time and again that laying off workers, whether in the public or private sector, and slashing vital public services will prove disastrous to our shared goal of creating jobs and rebuilding the middle class – especially at a time when our 9.1% unemployment rate is already higher than the national average.

Our discussions with the administration cannot be separated from the broader struggle for a fair economy based on shared sacrifice.  Middle class workers, whether public or private, did not cause Connecticut’s economic problems and should not be asked to bear an unfair burden in their resolution. This is especially true when Wall Street and the super-rich who have profited at our expense during the economic downturn have been asked to sacrifice so little.

Our members will continue to fight not just for themselves, but for the public they serve, the services they provide and for good jobs, and livable communities, for all working families.

To learn more about SEBAC’s campaign for a better budget and a livable state with great public services visit www.InThisTogetherCT.org.

19 Responses to “SEBAC Criticizes Layoffs But Remains Committed To Discussions”

  1. Christine Japely Says:

    Thanks for all your good work, SEBAC. Union members helped Dan Malloy win the governorship, and he is honor-bound to treat us with courtesy and respect.

  2. Karen Kovacofsky Says:

    Thanks for all that you are trying to accomplish to save our jobs. I am with you, the middle class and state workers are just not in the position to give anymore than they already are being asked to give. Now we face layoffs and higher taxes. I hope Governor Malloy can deal with less income tax coming in because with everyone unemployed that is what is ahead for him.

    I was enheartened to hear that the Obama administration is approaching China about trade issues that are putting so many Americans out of work. I certainly hope they accomplish some kind of agreement with China before America becomes a third world nation!

    Keep up the good work!

  3. B. Graham Says:

    Thank you for trying on our behalfs & not for selling us short. We are willing to accept what must be vs. working for 22,000.00 a year less (unless you can get the Gov. to issue us food stamps & section 8 for rent).

  4. John Says:

    Larry and the group,
    Keep at it were counting on you to get us thru this, Malloy is asking for to much from the state workers hold the line, were behind you!!!!

  5. concerned P4 Employee Says:

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE – You need to begin letting us know what they are asking for. They do not seem to be shy about nibbling at the corners and leaking some of the kibble. Maybe the union is asking for things we don’t care about and would be willing to modify. The word is that you are just ‘discussing’ and not negotiating on our behalf. I will tell you how I feel tomorrow when I am handed a termination notice. IF you are representing US (We pay your salaries) tell us

  6. William Dinenno Says:

    How much money would the state save if we were to cut the house and senate in half, plus all the aids they have? Oh yeah, Gov. Malloy should cut his pay and benefits in half, as he wants to do to us. Perhaps we should only have two represenatives per county and one senator per county. Now that would save about 5 billion dollars a year. Now thats real savings.

  7. CT Watchdog Says:

    When and if the union gets this behind them they need to start addressing the outsourcing of state government. What is the point of having a no contracting out clause in our contracts if it can not be enforced? We continue to see more and more jobs outsourced to contractors and we have to train them because they have no clue what they are doing. For $150-$500 and hour I would assume they came to the job with the proper skillset. Projects fail after investing millions of dollars and yet the state will hire the same contractor to work on another project! None of the projects I worked on that were completely done by state workers have failed. We have however had to pick up the pieces of failed contractor projects. We have contractors that have more years of service than state workers; ridiculous. All we read is how much the state workers are costing us. Has anyone run the numbers on how much the contractors are costing us?

    There won’t be a need for negotiations if there is nobody to negotiate for.

  8. MP Says:

    Maybe he should impose a hiring freeze, in my agency we have a new deputy commissioner (last I knew he was not hiring deputy commissioners), and my agency is not the only one, I think there are more managers than staff. We have employees working 3 days a week making $75,000 give me a break!

    I cant even express my disgust and disappointment with this whole process.

    I have already been laid off once, we just gave back in 2009, No more!
    If I get laid off again so be it, but we have given enough back.

  9. Dave Schreiber Says:

    Here we are approaching mid-May, and we have no agreement with the state on our double-hit on income and taxes. We are being asked to give back what we don’t have. We are told to give up raises, pay more for medical care, and pay more taxes. We have already given up 2 raises in the last 10 years to help balance the budget. We have taken furlough days, which amount to a pay cut. The state has not paid its debts, and we are the bad guys. If I owed money, and had income, I wold pay down debt before I spent more money.

    It is not the union people who are overpaid, it is mostly management positions. I am saddened by the Hartford Courant’s Position on the Unions. We do not get a fair shake.

  10. will vote no Says:

    As a state employee with over 25 years, I have seen concessions, including pay freezes and furloughs, many times. I have always voted “yes” and done my share. However, $22,000.00 per union employee is “unsustainable” and I will vote no this time around. I hope that SEBAC will hold their ground for a fair agreement in these concessions. We are being “held hostage” by the governor, with his layoff threats and cuts, that have angered the citizens of CT against us, even more. However, if we give in to 2 million this time, how much will he ask next time? Management and legislators are not included in these givebacks. Why would the lowest paid of the state employees be asked to sacrifice so much, or be bullied by the government? I urge all union employees to vote no if the agreement is not fair amongst all state employees, union and non-union.

  11. tyalia Says:

    Fight for us union, we’ve given more than our share through these hard times. I agree MP though, the state needs to stop hiring mangers and “special assistants”. In my agency they’ve hired 3 outsiders who are making over $100,000+ each, with Malloys approval. That’s outrageous.

  12. dis heartend Says:

    In hopes that SEBAC officials see this… Why not start putting agreements on the table for us to vote on??? These closed door meetings are playing with our emotions, non-productive and causing anxiety! I cannot be the only state employee this bothers.

    If the issue is retirement funding, well sorry to the long time employees but like most companies, sometimes one has to pull out to make the numbers work! If we all voted on this, i am sure that MOST of us would say forget the current retirement agreements, lets make this doable for everyone.

    The PEOPLE of the state of connecticut dont seem to be too happy with agencies closing. Most know the effect this will have on our children, our safety, etc… A select few bash the state employees because they think we have it cushy. But we do not and i have been laid off 4x in 8 years! 3 times in one year due to department closures! I make 30,000 a year! Many just make over 50g a year!

    If Malloy continues on with plan b and no union agreement, this will be a catastrohe for not only the employees but the citizens who use our services. The DMV has been mentioned by many as being mascot for all state agencies but i can tell you that most state agencies treat you like a customer, not a number. Knowledgeble staff go out of their way to help you…………

    This can be the greatest state in the USA! Lets go in the right direction, keep educational resources alive!

  13. dis heartend Says:

    Oh and let me add to my last comment that I meant no disrespect to the long time employees and their hope for retirement. But remember that the newbies are also having their dreams of excelling within the state, having stability and a retirement to look forward to!

    I am totally understanding planning for your future but when it comes down to it, care about the people of the state, so you retire later! O well…I will be 6 feet under and have been reborn 2x before i can retire…

  14. will vote no Says:

    Sorry, I meant if we give in to 2 billion not 2 million.

  15. Rob Says:

    Well Rick! There is about 3.5 million people living in Connecticut. The governor wants two billion in concessions from the state employees. If you divide two billion by how many people live in Connecticut, it comes out to be around ($571.42) a person. Now this brilliant governor wants approximately fifty thousand employees which by the way are mostly residents and tax payers of this state to come up with around ($22,000) a person. This is not fair and is unrealistic; this governor needs to get a grip. Then Plan “B” is going to layoff 4,700 employees at a savings of about five hundred million dollars, if the unions don’t concede in his two billion dollar concession package???? He makes no sense at all; why not try to get one billion out of the unions for the two years or even five hundred million, which would be the savings of layoffs. This guy is a senseless turd. The End

  16. Tired of the Rhetoric Says:

    Does anyone truly believe that the Governor is expecting us to give back 20,000 dollars? Simply taking the 2 billion dollar figure and dividing it by the number of State employees is madness and a tactic used by the newspapers, unions, etc. to scare everyone. The sheer amount of uninformed opions on this site and many others is truly disheartening. Missing 2 raises in 10 years? More managers than staff? Please, who can write something so absurd and really believe it. Just an FYI, managers have no bargaining rights and as a geneal rule are subject to the same concessions as unionized staff plus some. Our wages have been frozen for nearly 4 years while union employees receive their contractually mandated AI’s (for the most part), we take the same furlough days and we can be laid off in no particular order and for no particular order. I promise you that there are far more unionized ’supervisors’ out there who are grossly misclassified and overpaid than there are managers. Keep in mind that most ‘managers’ are defined as such by pay plan only, not because we manage anyone. It’s a shame that as long as I’m in a managerial pay plan that I will be villified. Discussions like these are productive only when the information being used is accurate. Who would not be happy making 90% of their current salary rather than 0?

  17. Al Says:

    Cap all state pensions at 75k! If you can’t live on 75k a year with your SS, then you’ve probably lived foolishly your whole life. Stop trying to bleed the average worker who only retires on 25-35k per year. As for health care…..whose fault is the 20 year agreement that was offered to the state unions? This just shows how incompetent the people leading this state are! If we went back to the state and asked to have part of our legally binding contract re-negotiated, they’d laugh at us!
    Government and business are using smoke and mirrors to take all the scrutiny off themselves. Pitting the private workforce against the public is their way of deflecting the inadequacies of all the incompetent elected officials who have run this state into the ground!
    Why isn’t anyone complaining about a convicted felon and ex-governor getting a nice fat pension and life time benefits??!!!

  18. Conservative Group Sues Connecticut Governor, the ‘Anti-Christie’ | Conservatives for America Says:

    [...] Regarding the failure to reach an agreement, the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) issued the following statement: [...]

  19. HAD ENOUGH Says:

    P-4 has been giving financial sacrifices since 1995; we were one of what three unions to stay at 35 hours when the rest went to 40 with pay. That is a 260 hour x your hourly rate x 16 years raise we lost out on. I have missed out on about $140,000. How about you? Yet we have given up the same number of furlough days as the 40 hour employees. Yes we had 7 of our 7 hour days and they had 7 of their 8 hour days. They also had 253 paid hours more per year than we did. Since 1995 we have had numerous 0% increases, delayed increases and then unpaid furlough days. Alot of us have been through the layoff/bumping fiascos before. Enough is enough.

    How is SEBAC negotiating for us if we have not been asked what we are willing to give up and what we will not???? Not letting us know what they are negotiating to keep the press out of it does nothing. All of the speculation and state employee bashing in the press hurts the negotiation more.

    What’s with “we’re all in this together”???? When did the union headquarters staff have to live by the contracts and concessions the rest of us have? Yes someof the negotiation team are union members but not the HQ staff. My union dues were $731 last year. For that I got useless ads pointing fingers at Bank of America instead identifying the real typical income ranges, contributions to medical, etc. the way the unions use to respond.

    I am serious when I say if there are any more unpaid furlough days I will be likely to lose my house. I am behind on my property tax. My monthly oil budget plan is about to go up a minimum of $100 a month. That will be at least $325 a month.

    The pension system desparately needs revision. Pensions should not include overtime or mileage. Why should someone with 20 years of state service get a higher pension because they happen to work for an agency that has lots of overtime. The overtime was a benefit to start with. 20 years of service is 20 years of service.

    If someone retires from state service, starts collecting a pension and then returns to state service in either the same position or in a new position, then that pension should be put on hold until retirement resumes. It is outrageous that someone can collect two state paychecks simultaneously. Union member or not.

    For the last 22 years I have supported the negotiated concessions and each time they have increased their expectations. If there are any unpaid furlough days, delayed increases or delayed lump sums I will vote NO!!! Enough is enough.

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