Connecticut unions discuss savings with management

The Associated Press
Posted Nov 02, 2011

HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Tuesday that his administration is committed to changing the relationship between managers and employees in state government and empowering workers to come up with ways to streamline and improve services.

“I did it as the mayor of Stamford, I intended to do it as governor — to have an administration that is committed to creating a model of government where the ideas of front-line workers are valued,” he said. Malloy said that will ultimately lead to ways of making state government more efficient and making state workers feel appreciated.

The Democrat said his administration is committed to “reversing two decades of leadership who felt that they got stronger by making front-line workers weaker.”

Tuesday marked the first meeting of The Joint Labor-Management Committee, a component of the labor-savings agreement reached earlier this year between Malloy and unionized workers and ratified in August.
The agreement with union members requires the committee to use front-line workers’ ideas to come up with ways to make state government more efficient and responsive. The committee is also supposed to examine ways to use in-house resources more efficiently and discourage using outside contractors when the work can be performed in-house.

Patrice Peterson, president of CSEA-SEIU Local 2001, said the committee marks an opportunity to reverse the “total top-down government structure” of the past 20 years.

Peterson said while the state employees were allies of Malloy’s during the 2010 gubernatorial election, they were adversaries during the state budget talks and negotiations over the labor deal. At one point, the governor began issuing the first of 3,100 layoff notices when it appeared the deal might not be ratified.

“But it’s done,” she said. “We need to get back to shared values that caused the state workers to work so hard to elect a new administration.”

She said that includes the belief that public workers want make a difference in the state.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Comments are closed.