Myths Buster

Profiles Archive

Cecilia Lynch

September 24th

“I’ve always liked watching kids grow up,” reflects Cecilia Lynch, who has spent nearly nine years working for the state as a Youth Service Officer at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School (CJTS) in Middletown. CJTS is the state’s only secure facility for nearly 200 adjudicated boys aged 12-17.

Lynch is a member of AFSCME 2663 and sits on the union executive board and helps represent the 200 AFSCME members who work at CJTS, which has a school, medical facilities, a basketball court and a cafeteria – all part of a plan to create a sense of community for the boys.

Tina James

September 24th

Tina James had a good paying job in the private sector for 15 years. She had seniority as a healthcare worker, she was good at her job and she liked it. But she had a difficult decision to make. Her husband was self-employed and she had two children, one a disabled child. If her husband got sick, her healthcare benefits would not cover her family. So she made a really difficult choice. She left her job for a position with the State of Connecticut as a custodian at UConn Storrs. She took a pay cut to ensure that her family had the coverage it needed. Does she regret that decision?

Sheila Hall

September 21st

Sheila HallSheila Hall is the wife of Ken Hall, a Connecticut State Trooper killed in the line of duty in 2010.

Connecticut State Trooper First Class Kenneth Ray Hall, 57, of Hartford, beloved husband of Sheila Lorraine (Ramsey) Hall, died in the line of duty on Thursday, September 2, 2010. Born in West Palm Beach, Florida on August 15, 1953, son of Rosa Lee (Murray) Hall of Willingboro, New Jersey and the late Curly B. Hall, he was raised in Alabama and New Jersey and graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in Willingboro, New Jersey. (more…)

Mike Lucas, Jr.

September 21st

Mike Lucas, Jr.Nearly 70 years after joining the military, Mike Lucas, Jr. is still demonstrating his commitment to service through his advocacy on behalf of fellow retired public workers and their families.

“We’ve still got to look out for each other,” Lucas said when asked about his continuing union activism two decades after he retired from the Connecticut Department of Transportation. “I learned that lesson when I was just a kid fighting in the fields of France.” (more…)

Bernie Vignali, Occupational Safety Consultant

March 6th
Bernie Vignali, Occupational Safety Consultant

Bernie Vignali, Occupational Safety Consultant

I’ve worked in the Occupational Health and Safety Administration in the Connecticut Department of Labor for 25 years.

As a safety and health consultant I provide on site safety and health services to small businesses in manufacturing, medical facilities, contactors. I cover issues concerning OSHA regulations and how the company provides employees with a safe work environment. Helping companies reduce long term safety and health costs.

Barbara Dempsey, Retired Nurse

March 6th
Retired RN on Call Back

Barbara Dempsey, Retired RN on Call Back

I’m a retired RN on Call Back, working for the Department of Developmental Services. I worked for 33 years before retirement, and have worked for 6 more since being called back.

I work with 67 citizens who have mental and physical disabilities needing nursing services along with physical therapy and occupational therapy.

Cutting public services would cut the care citizens need.

And now, with the economy getting worse and worse, the timing couldn’t be worse — more people than ever will be using public services to keep themselves and their families healthy.

Lorraine Li, Assistant Professor

February 24th

“Connecticut’s public higher education, especially its community colleges, are a great value and have incredible benefits for students, employers and the community. We prepare students for jobs, which feed back into the state and community.”

-Lorraine Li

Lorraine Li, Assistant Professor, Gateway Community College

Lorraine Li, Assistant Professor, Gateway Community College

Lorraine Li is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Gateway Community College.

Education is a key component to keeping our state on track during this economic crisis. People don’t stop depending on public services just because the Governor is cutting back. In fact, cutting public services is the worst thing that can be done in this economy.

Cutting public services will lead to a downward economic spiral that will take much longer to recover from if we cannot keep our heads above water. It’s time for Governor Rell and the state legislature to throw people a life preserver, not an anchor.

Thomas O’Neill, Probation Officer

February 24th

“Supporting public services is essential because these services help everyone. In my particular job as a probation officer if cuts are made, it affects community protection. Less employees equals less community supervision of offenders which leads to more crime and victimization of the community.”

-Thomas O’Neill

Tom O'Neill, Probation Officer, Hartford Adult Probation

Tom O'Neill, Probation Officer, Hartford Adult Probation

Thomas O’Neill is a probation officer working
in Hartford Adult Probation.

He supervises individuals sentenced by the court to probation. Thomas monitors their criminal activity, therapy, counseling, community service and employment. Community protection is a vital part of his job.

Public safety is a core service provided by Connecticut’s public employees. Let’s work to insure it continues.

Susan McKinley, Social Worker

January 31st

“I appreciate the Governor being so concerned about the welfare of the people of our state and I hope that translates to taking care of all our state’s citizens. But how do we take care of our citizens if government is cutting the services they depend on us to provide?”

-Susan McKinley

Susan McKinley, Social Worker, Connecticut Valley Hospital

Susan McKinley, Social Worker, Connecticut Valley Hospital

Susan McKinley is a social worker in the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, working at Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown.

Everyone agrees we have an obligation to provide proper care for our state’s most vulnerable populations — young children, senior citizens, the disabled and the mentally ill. Even when they economy is tough, we can’t ask those groups to fend for themselves.

But if we’re really as committed to our children, to our parents and granparents, and to the disabled as as we say, we shouldn’t allow the programs they depend on to disappear.

They’re too important.

Michele Ganon, Associate Professor

January 30th

“Many of our students are returning to update their skills or change fields and it’s important for us to have a skilled, trained workforce that’s ready when the economy improves.”

- Michele Ganon

Michele Ganon, Associate Professor-Western CT State University

Michele Ganon, Associate Professor, Western CT State University

Michele is an Associate Professor at Western Connecticut State University where she teaches classes in accounting, taxes and finance. She has taught there for seventeen years.

A strong higher education system is even more crucial during hard times like these — and not just for kids right out of high school. People who lose their jobs can often go back to school and learn new skills so that when the economy picks up again, they can get back on their feet.

If we want our state to have the kind of highly skilled, flexible workforce, and to be the kind of place where employers know they can find the right kind of employees, we need to protect and support higher education.