Leaders of the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) met with representatives from Governor M. Jodi Rell’s Administration today to once again offer assistance with the growing budget deficit. In response, her representatives agreed to continue meeting in order to identify creative programs and policies that could increase government efficiency, save taxpayer dollars, and help rebuild Connecticut’s economy. (more…)
Press Releases Archive
Members and leaders of unions in the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) are reacting to Governor M. Jodi Rell’s lukewarm response to questions on her Administration’s improvements to the unemployment claims filing system. Residents have experienced extremely long waits at call centers and the Department of Labor’s (DOL) online filing system has not been able to handle the increased volume of electronic claimants. Cutbacks by the Rell Administration have resulted in fewer call center staff and less resources to cope with the nearly 160,000 unemployed workers in Connecticut. (more…)
Governor Rell’s Failure to Make “Clean Contracting” Board Appointments a Failure of Leadership, Lost Opportunity to Achieve Cost Savingsby Matt O'Connor on January 5th
Leaders and members of the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) criticized Governor M. Jodi Rell today for her lack of action in bringing the Connecticut Contracting Standards Board to its full membership. The governor has failed to make all of her appointments to the Board, holding up its members’ ability to meet and carry out their statutorily mandated mission to ensure open and transparent contracting processes, which would save taxpayer dollars and improve delivery of public services. (more…)
Governor M. Jodi Rell vetoed both of the legislature’s deficit bills yesterday, calling them “feeble” attempts to solve the state’s budget shortfall. She called instead for lawmakers to grant her the authority to make additional cuts to vital services, between 10% and 15% of any appropriation if the deficit is between 3% and 5%, while at the same time refusing to agree to any new revenue generation.
Giving the governor more power to make harmful cuts to public services when people are struggling in a down economy would be unconscionable. (more…)
Coalition of State Workers Unions Won’t Negotiate New Concessions But Will Continue Push for Solutions to the Economic Crisisby Matt O'Connor on December 21st
Leaders of the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) today affirmed they are ready and willing to meet with the Rell Administration to discuss real solutions to the continuing economic crisis.
At the same time, SEBAC emphasized that they will not be returning to the bargaining table to negotiate additional concessions. At the beginning of the year, SEBAC and its thousands of members were responsible for providing Connecticut taxpayers with nearly $1 billion in savings to preserve critical public services. (more…)
Business, Education, and Healthcare Advocates Join State Public Service Workers to Oppose More Budget Cuts to Public Servicesby Matt O'Connor on December 15th
At a press conference on the steps of the State Capitol today, members of the unions in the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) joined business, labor, education and advocacy groups to decry Governor M. Jodi Rell’s latest round of proposed cuts. The conference was organized by District 1199/SEIU, a member of the coalition. (more…)
State Public Service Workers Respond to Governor’s Latest Budget Cuts – “Rell Targets The Most Vulnerable Once Again”by Matt O'Connor on November 25th
State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) representatives today responded to the Governor’s latest budget mitigation plan with frustration over her continued cuts to vital public services. Yesterday, Governor Rell announced a $470 million proposal and called the General Assembly back into special session to vote on the plan before the end of the calendar year. (more…)
Leo Canty, 2nd Vice-President of AFT Connecticut, made the following statement today in response to the 2010-2011 budget package passed by the State Legislature late last evening. His comments reflect the view of the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC), where he serves as a representative:
“Our coalition of state public service workers long ago recognized Connecticut’s economic crisis required bold, progressive solutions. Our members did their part by agreeing to provide more than $700 million in savings. (more…)
SEBAC Leadership Acknowledges New Revenues in Governor Rell’s Latest Budget Proposal; Calls It “Half Measure”August 26th
The leadership of the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) today acknowledged Governor M. Jodi Rell’s proposal to increase the income tax on households reporting over a million dollars in earnings, but said that it is only a “half measure.” In fact, some parts of the Governor’s latest proposal to reach a budget compromise will only make a bad situation worse. Her plan includes an additional $520 million in cuts to vital services, eliminates the millionaire’s inheritance tax, and reduces sales taxes, even those on luxury items.
“We’ve maintained all along during these budget negotiations that Connecticut’s crisis cannot be solved through cuts to vital public services,” said Sal Luciano, Executive Director of Council 4 AFSCME. “Our members stepped up this year and agreed to significant givebacks to help balance the budget. It’s too bad the Governor is still sheltering billionaires by cutting their inheritance taxes” Luciano continued.
Connecticut is one of the last states in the nation without a budget, and is the only state in the region that has not faced its revenue problem head-on. Residents have shown consistently over the last few months that they are worried about maintaining important services like Family Resource Centers, AIDS/HIV programs, and making higher education funding available during this recession.
“Our members who work in Connecticut’s community colleges are hearing over and over that students and parents are worried. They are worried that the Student Loan program won’t be there to help them with the rising cost of a higher education” said Steve Cohen, the President of 4Cs/SEIU Local 1973. “That’s not government bloat, as the Governor calls it. It’s a vital service. And the only way to pay for it is to ask the wealthy and corporations to help out” Cohen continued. “How does tossing the estate tax bring in needed funds?” he asked rhetorically.
Legislative leaders were scheduled to go into Special Session on Thursday, which has been postponed until next week to review the Governor’s proposal. Each new month without a budget brings a new Executive Order from the Governor’s Office and with it, more cuts in services to Connecticut’s vulnerable and middle class families.
Council 4 and 4Cs are two of the unions in SEBAC, which serves to unite approximately 50,000 Connecticut State public service workers to address issues of common concern. To learn more about the coalition’s campaign for a fair budget and a livable state with great public services visit www.InThisTogetherCT.org.
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Today, the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute released new approval rating numbers for Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell. Now at a 65 percent approval rating, the Q-Poll notes that this is the first time in over five years that the Governor’s rating has dipped below 70 percent.
“I am not surprised that her approval numbers are beginning to drop,” said Ron McLellan, the President of CEUI/SEIU Local 511. “Until this economic crisis, Governor Rell could hide her allegiance to big corporations and Connecticut’s wealthiest citizens. But now, when the difficult decisions must be made, she has taken money from services that protect the middle-class and that support the most vulnerable among us — all so that the rich and big businesses don’t have to sacrifice.” (more…)