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Resisting “More Calls for Austerity, Year After Year”

The coalition’s broader goals include: 
  • Reducing income inequality that impedes economic growth; 
  • Fairly updating Connecticut’s tax code to raise $3 billion in new progressive revenue; 
  • Investing in education, workforce development, healthcare, housing and other vital public services; and 
  • Building a strong economy where each one of us can thrive. 
Click here for the coalition’s letter sent to Governor Ned Lamont ahead of his proposed budget announcement.
Union members in our State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) the day before the governor’s economic blueprint was released gathered to discuss their expectations for Connecticut’s economic recovery. 
“When politicians talk about austerity budgets, they talk about numbers,” said Julie Trzaski, a health technology instructor at W.F. Kaynor Technical High School in Waterbury. “Those numbers reflect actual people, however; they represent the real needs of our residents. Demands for austerity only lead to more calls for austerity, year after year,” added Trzaski, a member of our AFT Connecticut-affiliated State Vocational Federation of Teachers. 
The governor’s framework ultimately looked far more like previous budget proposals than the fair-minded, forward-thinking policies Trzaski and her colleagues hoped for. Coalition leaders that afternoon convened a press conference to urge lawmakers choose a better approach than the Lamont Administration’s disinvestment scheme.
Click here for the Connecticut AFL-CIO’s report-back on the Recovery for All response.
The coalition has since ramped-up efforts to demand the kind of “people’s budget” that would set Connecticut communities on course for achieving truly shared prosperity. 
Members of affiliated local unions in late February joined fellow labor activists for the first mass mobilization action aimed at moving the needle forward. Along with social justice advocates, faith leaders and fair taxation reformers, nearly 400 participated in a car caravan protest that literally drove our collective message right to the governor’s mansion in Hartford (in photo, above).
Click here for additional photos from the mass demonstration.
Planning for additional actions is already underway, with at least three in the works for the month of March. Members interested in being part of these efforts should today reach out to their local union president or our state federation legislative advocates to be kept informed.
Click here to sign-up for future actions by sending e-mail to AFT Connecticut staff.

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