Chief Negotiator’s Blog: 5.25.21
Attendees: K. Buffkin, K. Bannister, J. Wade, P. Diplock (part of the meeting), G Kersaint (part of the meeting)
As with all other state employee bargaining units who are negotiating a new contract, your negotiating team is attempting to secure an extension agreement with the administration. As in the 2017 and 2011 negotiations, the extension agreement that was reached also contained three permissive subjects of bargaining: Professional Development, Tuition reimbursement, and Child Care reimbursement. We have been proposing to include these three again in this years agreement and have met some resistance.
The administration has made proposals in these negotiations to modify the bargaining unit by proposing to exclude coaches and performance personnel. We adamantly oppose this modification as we think these employees should have the same protections and benefits as you have through a collective bargaining agreement.
There is another option for the administration to avail themselves of through a petition to the CT State Board of Labor Regulations for a “unit clarification.” But the regulations that cover this process state there is a window of opportunity to submit that petition, and the window closed last August 2020. The administration had made several proposals requesting us to “consent” to another window of opportunity this August 2021. We oppose this as we are not going to limit our rights under the law. The law allows for a request, although untimely, for special circumstances. The administration will have to make the case for an untimely request for special circumstances.