Statement on Senate Republican Proposal to Eliminate Collective Bargaining Rights

The Connecticut AFL-CIO, AFSCME Council 4, and AFT Connecticut made the following statements in response to the Senate Republican proposal to eliminate certain collective bargaining rights:

Lori J. Pelletier, President of the Connecticut AFL-CIO:

“It’s shameful that the Senate Republicans are demanding more pain from Connecticut’s public service workers while at the same time working to protect the ultra-wealthy and CEOs.

“Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano is using the budget crisis to attempt to eliminate collective bargaining rights despite the fact that his pension and health care proposals will do absolutely nothing to resolve our deficit.

“State employees have already stepped up and are responsible for savings that will reduce the deficit by a third despite representing only about 1% of the population in Connecticut. Working people did not create our budget problems. So why are the Republicans insisting that the state’s nurses, teachers, fire fighters, police, and other public service workers continue to disproportionately resolve the problem?

“And to bring up the possible move of Aetna’s headquarters as a reason to pass this proposal is preposterous. Aetna is looking to move to a city with higher taxes on millionaires, a $15 minimum wage, paid family leave, and free college tuition for its residents. If that’s what Fasano wants Connecticut to look like, we may be able to work with him.”

Sal Luciano, Executive Director of AFSCME Council 4:

“State unions have arrived at a tentative framework agreement to help close the budget deficit and protect the vital services our members provide to the public. Yet, Senator Fasano and his caucus are recycling ideas that would balance the budget on the backs of working people and silence public employees’ voice on the job. These aren’t solutions. They are the same failed austerity policies that have damaged the economies of states like Wisconsin and Kansas.”

Jan Hochadel, President of AFT Connecticut:

“What was released today by State Senate Republican leaders wasn’t a real plan for addressing the state’s ongoing economic challenges. Instead, they unveiled what amounts to little more than an undemocratic power grab while, at the same time, they rejected good faith efforts to be part of the solution.

“At their press briefing today Senator Fasano himself said, ‘this is the power we have.’ The people they were elected to serve will no doubt recognize this shameful stunt for what it is.”

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