Fighting Attacks on Bargaining

WNPR's Jeff Cohen interviews Local 538 Dawn Tyson at the legislature.

More than 60 Council 4 members turned out for the special legislative session June 30 to stop efforts to weaken collective bargaining and prevent massive layoffs.

Gov. Dannel Malloy called the special session to fill a $1.6 billion budget gap in the wake of state employees rejecting the tentative agreement between the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) and the administration. His recission plan includes more than 6,600 layoffs of state public service workers.

Council 4 members who participated in the emergency lobbying efforts included Travis Cromack, President of AFSCME Local 2945 (Simsbury Public Works).

“I want to see collective bargaining protected for every worker, public or private sector. I don’t want to see any worker laid off, public or private. Layoffs don’t help the economy in any way. And I want to make sure that the legislature doesn’t cut aid to our cities and towns.”
Local 2945 President Travis Cromack and Council 4 Field Rep David Testa.

During the special session, the Senate passed legislation by 32-4 that would freeze longevity payments once bargaining unit contracts expire and would limit pensions to be calculated on base salary (once the current SEBAC agreement expires in 2017).

The House, under the leadership of Speaker Chris Donovan, granted Governor Malloy temporary authority to allow state layoffs, prevented cuts to municipal aid, and extended the deadline for SEBAC and the Governor to reach an agreement till Aug 31, but did not take up the bad labor bill. However, the bill is still on the calendar and can be acted on at anytime.

The bill that passed both chambers is HB 6701. The amended labor bill designed to weaken collective bargaining is SB 1301.

Council 4 members will continue the fight to stop mass layoffs and halt any efforts to weaken the very collective bargaining rights laws that created Connecticut’s middle class.

That’s why AFSCME Local 538 President Dawn Tyson (State Clerical) brought her children Joshua, 14, and Alexsys, 17, with her to the Capitol to meet legislators.

“My children are here to secure their future and to support their mom,” Tyson said.