Feb. 3, 2016 - Front-line state employee leaders who are part of State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) made the following remarks today in response to state budget proposals released by Governor Dannel P. Malloy:
"The latest prescription for Connecticut's budget woes is a double-dose of arsenic," said Cindy Stretch, Southern Connecticut State University English professor. "We cut the budget for public services directly, and we threaten to further diminish public services by laying off thousands of state and municipal employees. Does anybody really think we help our struggling middle class by making sure we have fewer teachers, nurses and cops, and by making public higher education even less affordable than it is now?" added Stretch, the president of the SCSU-AAUP chapter.
"What's wrong with our state budget is what's wrong with our state economy -- wealth is increasing, but almost all of it is going to a tiny, privileged few," said Adult Probation Officer Carmen Roda. "State employees have sacrificed at more than 30 times the rate that millionaires have to balance the budget, and we're paying taxes at twice the rate they do. They need to start paying their fair share to support the vital public safety, health and education services we all count on," said Roda, the president of the Judicial Professional Employees (JPE) Union, AFT Local 4200-B.
"Political wisdom says politicians won't have the guts to ask the rich to pay their taxes during an election year," said Xavier Gordon, a career development specialist at the Department of Labor and president of Local 269 of Council 4 AFSCME. "But we think having the courage to do the right thing to move working families and the middle class forward is exactly what voters are looking for in a time of growing income inequality and a shrinking middle class."
The State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) unites all 16 unions representing 45,000 Connecticut state public service workers together to address important issues to all its members and the people they serve.
Click here for transcript and video of the governor's speech and related budget documents.