The final days of the 2018 legislative session are upon us, and these last few hours are likely to be the most perilous for public employees. Later today the State Senate is expected to vote on the Senate Republican’s budget, which has become a catch-all for many of the bad ideas CSEA has been warning you about the past few weeks. We know that some members of the General Assembly think the only way to balance our state’s budget is on the backs of public employees. We cannot let them strip away, alter, or diminish our Collective Bargaining rights, nor the health care benefits and pensions we earned through our years of hard work and service to our state.
The Republican budget is advancing through the legislature as part of Senate Bill 370, which was initially about funding for higher education, but which had the original language gutted and replaced with the language of the Republican budget by Amendment 5157.
The Republican budget makes various changes to the scope of collective bargaining for state employees and the State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) in Sections 104 – 108 and 112, including:
- eliminating matters of retirement, overtime in pension calculations, and health care from collective bargaining,
- making various changes to the benefit formula for state pension members, including eliminating a COLA until the fund reaches 80% funded and the General Assembly approves a COLA (this would end COLAs for years), and
- eliminate overtime from pension benefit calculations, heavily impacting hazardous duty positions like correction and police where overtime is often mandated.
- And the legislation we warned you about earlier this year that could make it illegal to give municipal employees a raise is included in Sections 114 – 115.
Your state representative and state senator need to hear from you.
Call or email them today and tell them to not mess with your Collective Bargaining rights, health care benefits, or the ability of your union to negotiate over pension and health care issues.
If politicians do not hear from you, that means they are only hearing from right-wing extremist groups like the Yankee Institute. And, the folks at the Yankee Institute are telling them that your health care plan is too generous or your pension is unsustainable. Too many politicians will listen to this false propaganda. And if you have already spoken with your legislator this session, contact them again. Believe me, the anti-public employee lobbyists are speaking to your legislator every day.
Pick up your phone or turn on your computer and contact the General Assembly members who are supposed to represent you in the State Capitol.
If you do not know who your state legislators are you can look them up on the homepage of the general assembly. www.cga.ct.gov
- Senate Democrats Office: 860.240.8600
- Senate Republicans Office: 860.240.8800
- House Democrats Office: 860.240.8500
- House Republicans Office: 860.240.8700
Tell them that you, your family, and your community depend on your health care benefits and pensions. These things were not gifted to you, you earned them.
Together we will stop these attacks and protect what is ours.