In recent contract negotiations between CSEA and the State of Connecticut, the administration proposed the elimination of Lincoln’s Birthday as a state holiday. CSC member Ida Terry sent this letter to the Governor’s office to voice her displeasure:
Governor Malloy & Lt Governor Wyman,
I am a loyal Democratic and I voted for your team because I believed in your ideals. However, I am still reeling with disbelief, when I read in Black and White your administration’s proposal to eliminate Lincoln’s Birthday as a State holiday. As an African American State employee and a correctional supervisor with 26 plus years of state service, such a proposal is at its very least insensitive, if not, inflammatory to African Americans.
President Lincoln was our greatest President prior to President Obama. In fact, President Barack Obama publicly expressed his admiration for Abraham Lincoln, invoking the great man’s name and accomplishments in his speech. Honoring President Lincoln’s birthday is honoring a man who was willing to divide our nation to eradicate our nation’s greatest sin, slavery. The irony of your proposal is that most frontline correctional employees will be working on Lincoln’s birthday, but that should not diminish the importance of this Holiday.
I remember when Governor Weicker made the same proposal more than twenty years ago. He made the proposal because this Holiday inconvenience some citizens that wished to do business with the State government. Governor Weicker immediately became aware of the hypocrisy of his proposal and withdrew it. Please follow Governor Weicker’s direction and withdraw your proposal. I believe President Obama would be in agreement with your withdrawal. Let the public be inconvenienced for one day and maybe they will remember President Lincoln and his legacy for all Americans.
Ida M. Terry
Counselor Supervisor of Addiction Services
On Thursday, January 28th, Governor Malloy held a series of events in support of a proposal to eliminate bail as a condition for release for some low-risk defendants charged with low-level crimes. CSEA SEIU Local 2001 fully agrees with the Governor’s proposal and encourages him to fully in-source the bail bonds system, so that payments are made directly to the State of Connecticut and not to private bail bond companies.
Julius Preston, a captain in the state’s Department of Corrections and President of CSEA’s Corrections Supervisors Council stated “The Governor’s proposal is similar to one that our union has made across the bargaining table at contract negotiations with the State of Connecticut as a way to help address the state’s budget shortfalls. CSEA is constantly looking for solutions to the State’s budget difficulties and front line workers remain among the most knowledgeable when it comes to finding ways to reduce unnecessary spending and finding sources of revenue.”
CSEA/SEIU Local 2001 represents 25,000 members covering active state, municipal, private sector workers and retirees.
Contract Update – #1
On December 16, 2015, our union bargaining team met with the State’s bargaining team for our first full bargaining session since we agreed to ground rules on October 8, 2015. We exchanged initial proposal for our successor agreement to begin on July 1, 2016. Additional proposals will made at the next two bargaining session after the first of the year. Based upon the State’s initial proposals, we are going to have to fight very hard for our contract. We also made cost savings and transformation proposals to the State as contemplated in the 2011 SEBAC agreement. Those specific proposals are included in this Update.
Savings and Transformation
In furtherance of the SEBAC 2011 agreement as it relates to savings and transformation, the parties shall consider and implement the following:
ii. Transmittal of electronic medical records to primary care provider
CSEA has begun negotiating successor agreements with the state of Connecticut over 7 state bargaining unit contracts that are set to expire on June 30, 2016. These negotiations follow months of listening sessions, contract surveys, and the formation of negotiating committees. We are facing a difficult bargaining environment due to budget uncertainty at the state and certain lawmakers are already calling for concessions. In order to win a fair contract we are going to need to be ready to mobilize to fight at the capitol in the coming months. Stay tuned.
This Job Doesn’t Have to Kill You
Nationally, the average life expectancy for a Correction Officer and Supervisor is 58 years. In Connecticut, the average age for death of Correctional Officers and Supervisors is 66 years. While Connecticut Correctional employees are living on average 8 years longer than the national norm, their life span is 15 years shorter than other Connecticut residents.
CSEA’s Correctional Supervisors Council (CSC) has partnered with the Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace and staff at the UConn Health Center to study and develop interventions to target our members’ health and wellness. The goal is simple, it is to live longer. Dr. Alicia Dugan, a professor at the UConn Health Center and Julius Preston, President of CSC, are leading our efforts on this project.
The first task was to develop an employee survey. The survey was designed to gather our members’ view of health and wellness at the Department of Correction. The survey provided an overall assessment of members’ attitudes related to health and wellness, as well as our members’ perceptions of their health behaviors. Click here to view the survey results
The results of the survey were a mix of good news and bad news. The bad news was most of our correctional supervisors (89%) recognized that they have a shorter life expectancy and two-thirds think they will die younger than workers in other jobs. Additional bad news were the high level of stress at work (82%); the lack of sleep (with most members getting less than 6 hours of sleep per night); and proper nutrition. Also of note, the average amount of overtime is 12.8 hours per week, which means a supervisor is in one of the most stressful work environments works more than 50 hours per week.
The good news is that our members want to change and work on activities that reducing stress (79.7%), improving quality and quantity of sleep(71.5%), having better eating habits (66.5%), increasing working out/physical activity (62%), and participating in weight loss (58.9%).
The next steps are to share the survey results with the membership and to develop participatory interventions to improve our members’ health and wellness. Click here to view the survey results
On final note is that State’s Health Enhancement Program, which is now finishing its fourth year, is viewed favorably by the majority of our CSC members. Nearly all our members are compliant with the requirements of the program, and almost all now have primary care doctors to manage their health care needs.
Participants for CSC are Preston, Danette Keel, Zandra Sheppard, Chuck Lemelin, Vinny Steele, and Paul DeFelice and for UConn Health Center, Dr. Dugan and graduate student Sara Namazi.
Date: Thursday, December 10, 2015
Place: Foxwoods Grand Pequot Hotel
INFO: Contact Capt. Preston, Capt. Lance, Lt. Steele, Lt. Keel, Lt. Lemelin, Lt. Defelice or Lt. Hicks
It’s that time again members. This year we will be having our holiday party at the Foxwoods Grand Pequot Hotel. We have booked a limited number of rooms at a discounted rate if you want to stay overnight. Last year rooms went very fast so we have made it available for you to book your room now with the code provided. More information to include the cost, food and alcohol will be coming in the upcoming weeks. Hope to see and your family there. For additional information, please contact one of your executive board members listed above.
Hotel Room Cost: $109.00 (Discount rate for December 10, 2015)
To reserve hotel room online go to: https://resweb.passkey.com/go/correctionalsupervisors2015