March 9, 2016 -- Member-leaders of unions in the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) made the following remarks today in response to Governor Dannel P. Malloy's call for further public service cuts and workforce layoffs:
"Laying off thousands of state employees not only denies people the essential services they need; it damages Connecticut’s economy," said Merisa Williams, a secretary at Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) in Danbury. "It leads to more budget shortfalls in the future, continuing a race to the bottom for our state’s quality of life.
According to Nobel Prize-winning economists, the governor’s plan to reduce public spending will lead to 4,000 to 5,000 additional layoffs in the private sector. We could avoid all of this by asking the 1% to pay their fair share like the rest of us do," added Williams, a member of Council 4 AFSCME Local 562.
“It's time to stop with the false assumption that working people are the only ones who should step up to protect and preserve our quality of life," said AFT Connecticut President Jan Hochadel. "The reality is that Connecticut has a fairness problem. State workers have given back at 30 times the rate as CEOs and hedge fund managers. All working families contribute taxes at nearly twice the rate that that millionaires and billionaires do to fund vital services," added Hochadel, who taught physics and science in the Connecticut State Technical High School System (CTHSS).
"State employees are one of the most important resources that the state of Connecticut has," said Agnes Quiñones, who works in the Bureau of Health, Nutrition, Family Services and Adult Education in the state’s education department. "We want our state to be successful. But Governor Malloy's proposal to balance the budget at our expense, diminish or reduce state services and lay off thousands of employees will hurt both our economy and our most vulnerable residents," added Quiñones, the president of the P-3A Council in CSEA/SEIU Local 2001.
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.