STUMP » Articles » Connecticut: Day of Action for Higher Education! » 11 January 2017, 12:35

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Connecticut: Day of Action for Higher Education!  

by

11 January 2017, 12:35

Well, let’s take a look at the email I got from the union I’m not a member of, but I’m required to pay dues for as they bargain “on my behalf”.

The email they sent us (again, I am not a union member):

UConn-AAUP Membership:

I. Governor Malloy calls for state employee concessions, a smaller government, and adjusting the education funding formula to municipalities.

In his State of the State address yesterday, Governor Malloy outlined three main areas of which he plans to focus on when he submits his biennium budget next month:

1. Concessions from unions on pension and health care benefits. Although he would not expand on exactly what these concessions would be, the Governor applauded the informal discussions that his representatives and SEBAC (State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition) are undergoing. SEBAC is willing to work with the Governor and state elected leaders to find a way forward in this difficult economic environment, but if he thinks that a small minority of the population is going to resolve our fiscal challenges he is sadly mistaken. The reality is that the scope of the problems facing us all requires a broader, far more comprehensive approach.

2. Reducing the size of government. The Governor continued to call for a leaner and more efficient government in order to reduce its cost of operation. His plan is to continue to lay off state employees, in spite of the loss of services that will be provided to the most neediest of Connecticut’s residents.

3. Reducing the size of state aid for education to cities and towns. Governor Malloy stated that the state is no longer able to allocate more that one fifth of its overall budget to assisting municipalities with educating their students. He is calling for a new formula that will be based on the local property tax burden, student need, and student enrollment.

Well, if he actually does this, I’d be impressed. I don’t think it’s going to happen, though, but I guess we’ll see. I suppose the fun money is running out.

They link to two articles:

One from the Hartford Courant: Facing Big Deficit, Malloy Calls for Cuts, Concessions, Pension Reform and New Formula for Funding Public Schools

And the CT Mirror: Malloy warns of need for concessions, smaller government, new aid formulas

These weren’t the items I had in the prior post, but it’s essentially the same.

I’ll pass over the “contracts go into effect without legislative anything” part. Yeah, I know.

CALL TO ACTION

So here’s the meat:

IV. Day of Action planned for Public Higher Education: Thursday, January 26, 2017, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Members of the unions in the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) are already providing over $1 billion dollars annually in ongoing budget savings. Over the past eight years they have ratified two separate agreements to sacrifice wages and benefits in exchange for protecting the vital services they provide for residents.

http://www.ct.gov/opm/lib/opm/olr/notices/sebac_2011_tentative_agreement.pdf

While state employees and UConn-AAUP members have time and again been willing to do their part, Connecticut’s budget issues cannot be resolved on the backs of middle class families. Nor can they be fixed by passing the burden to local communities or by eliminating public health, safety and other vital services our citizens deserve.

Last year’s experience here in Connecticut proved that it is impossible to balance budgets — let alone improve the economy, create decent jobs or reduce inequality — through cuts alone. For an analysis of the failures of austerity policies please read the report by the Economic Policy Institute.http://www.epi.org/publication/mission-still-not-accomplished-to-reach-full-employment-we-need-to-move-fiscal-policy-from-austerity-to-stimulus/

In response, on Thursday, January 26, 2017, UConn-AAUP, together with Connecticut State Universities-AAUP and the 4C’s Congress of Connecticut Community Colleges, will be hosting a Day of Action at the State Capitol in Hartford from 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM. A full day of events are planned that will call on the legislators to fulfill their Constitutional obligation in providing “excellence in higher education” by properly funding operating budgets. Please join us on the day.

Well, I actually have a job to do that day, thanks. But I’m sure y’all will be gumming up my commute, so THANKS IN ADVANCE.

But let me address that $1 billion/year in savings. What exactly is the nature of those savings?

This item from 2011 indicates those ‘savings’ are merely not increasing their pay and doing something with health benefits.

Here was the 2011 agreement, it looks like

Let me pull out a few bits:

Wage increases for FY 2011-12 and FY 2012-13 – Except as provided below, no state
employee who is represented by a bargaining unit that is part of SEBAC will receive any
increase in salary or payments for either of the next two fiscal years deriving from a
General Wage, step increase, annual increment, payment for individuals who were at
their top step as a bonus, a merit increase or any similar payment for the FY 2011-12
and FY 2012-13.

…..
2. Wage increases for FY 2013-14, FY 2014-15 and FY 2015-16 – Provide a Three percent
(3%) increase plus step increases, annual increments or their equivalent in those units
that have them as part of their collective bargaining agreement. Non-increment units
will receive additional payments in accordance with the parties’ usual practice.
Correctional Supervisors (NP-8) shall receive an increase of three and one-half percent
(3-1/2%) for the FY 2013-14 as they had previously negotiated that amount in their
existing collective bargaining agreement.

Et cetera. And they get job security guarantees, yadda yadda.

Well, I go by zero budgeting, so guess what? None of these count as “savings” to me. It’s just less than what you wanted.

It happens all the time elsewhere. It’s not “savings” when I buy a $500 computer instead of a $700 computer, if I didn’t need the computer.

Anyway, enjoy the day of action, members-of-a-union-I’m-being-forced-to-pay-for-though-our-interests-aren’t-aligned.

And please be out of Hartford before 6pm, when I hit I-84.

Smooches,

meep

UPDATE: I forgot to add the very important image from the next email I got from them, which asked for RSVPs.

I assume if I showed up, they would have a preprinted sign for me. I’m not doing unpaid labor.

I hope the preprinted signs look better than that graphic, though.

Compilation of Connecticut posts