“How can a governor and legislators in the wealthiest state in America decide that the only way to close a budget deficit is on the backs of 2,000 state workers and the people who depend on the services they provide?” asked Charles DellaRocco, a Connecticut State Supreme Court police officer. “In case our politicians haven’t noticed what most Connecticut residents have known for quite some time, the incomes of the middle class, including the workers they propose to lay off, have been under attack for decades while the one-percent, some of whose leading members live in Connecticut, have become wealthier even as their combined state and federal tax bills have declined,” added DellaRocco, who also serves as president of Council 4 AFSCME, Local 749.
“There are fairer and better alternatives to close the fiscal gap by ensuring that the wealthiest taxpayers in the nation’s wealthiest state pay their fair share,” said Travis Woodward, an inspector in the state’s transportation department. “The state could also spend less by doing without some of the high-priced outside consultants they use. All it takes is some political courage and an unwillingness to scapegoat workers targeted for layoffs,” added Woodward, who also serves as president of the P-4 Council in CSEA/SEIU Local 2001.
“In the end, the layoff route is penny-wise and pound foolish,” said Ivonne Hamm, RN, a nurse in the Electro Convulsive Therapy Department at UConn Health. “It creates more unemployment and reduces the incomes needed to stimulate the state’s economy. It slashes services for abused and neglected children, the unemployed and job seekers, and my patients who are in need of vital acute care. It threatens clean air, safe drinking water and safe roads and highways. In other words, layoffs will devastate Connecticut’s quality of life,” added Hamm, who was recently elected first vice president of University Health Professionals, AFT Local 3837.
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The State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) unites all 16 unions representing 45,000 Connecticut state public service workers together to address important issues to all its members and the people they serve.