UConn-AAUP Statement in Response to “State of the State” Address 1-4-17
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:
- 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 conversations 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Links to media coverage:
Hartford Courant: http://touch.courant.com/#section/4255/article/p2p-92253508/
House Democrats block legislation requiring a vote for collective bargaining contracts.
An attempt by House Republicans to change the rule and required a chamber vote on passage of state employee contracts was defeated yesterday in the House as members voted along party lines, 76 – 72. The longstanding practice of allowing contracts to be deemed approved if no action is taken 30 days after filing is still in place.
Link to media coverage: http://ctmirror.org/2017/01/04/house-democrats-block-gop-bid-to-require-votes-on-labor-deals/
As always, our union is willing to work with state elected leaders to find a way forward in a difficult economic environment. Our members do important work and are an economic asset.
Click below for the Economic Policy Institute Study on CT Public Sector Workers
But we are not willing to be scapegoats or political cover for legislators unwilling to make better choices. We are not willing to abandon our defense of public services — and the women and men who provide them — that make Connecticut a great place to live, work and raise a family.
Click below for the news article Connecticut a great place to do business
If millionaires and billionaires contributed a percentage of their income in taxes equivalent to that which working families already pay, lawmakers would have a $1 billion surplus at their disposal. According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), Connecticut’s state and local tax system is the 26th most regressive in the nation.
Click Below for more on our state’s unfair tax system.
That simple fact alone is reason enough to demand real tax fairness — and for an adequately-funded state government that is able to provide the services that everyday people need.
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.
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.