In January, hundreds of stewards, negotiating team members and leaders from all fifteen of the SEBAC unions met to discuss the anticipated challenges associated with 2022. The State has hired the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to study staffing issues with a statutorily mandated requirement of finding $500,00 million. Simultaneously the administration is claiming that up to 12,500 state workers could retire by mid-2022. Let us be clear: There are some in the Lamont administration and in the Legislature that view this as an opportunity to further shrink the workforce.
We must stand up against these opponents. We must demand major investment in the vital public services our communities need in order to meet this unique and challenging moment of crisis, but we also need strong contracts for the workers delivering these services. By championing the policies that reduce the extreme levels of economic and racial inequities while simultaneously establishing a fair and progressive tax structure, we can create a more equitable and stronger future for our state.
If we don’t choose a recovery for all and instead move towards an austerity approach, then we will continue to weaken the foundation of our State’s economy while undoubtedly worsening the income inequality, resulting in an unsustainable, K-shaped recovery that only benefits the ultra-wealthy. It’s time to choose a recovery that is truly for all so that our State can come back stronger, collectively.