Tentative Agreement to Save Jobs & Benefits, Protect Public Services Moves Forward
Yesterday, June 25, State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) union leaders approved a tentative agreement (TA) for protecting members’ jobs and stabilizing benefits in order to assist in resolving the financial issues currently facing the state of Connecticut. The approval of the SEBAC TA follows weeks of negotiations between individual bargaining units and state agency representatives, which have produced tentative agreements for 33 new contracts. These unit agreements are all tied to the SEBAC TA and members of unions in good standing will soon have the opportunity to cast their votes on both.
Coalition leaders are recommending a YES vote on both the SEBAC and individual bargaining unit TAs.
The SEBAC TA is based on the framework adopted last month and accomplishes three primary objectives union leaders adopted last November when informal discussions began with the Malloy Administration:
- protects vital public services that all residents and businesses in Connecticut depend on;
- shields against layoffs for four years, through 2021; &
- extends health and retirement benefits an additional five years, through 2027.
It is clear that the gains our unions have made in the past are at significant risk. These agreements provide a level of security for members, our families, co-workers and those we serve in a time of great uncertainty.
Be sure to reach out to your local union’s leadership with bargaining unit-specific questions or to request your individual unit’s TA.
Link to Monday’s Information Session Video: 6-6 Info Session Facebook Livestream
As an update to our communication dated May 24, 2017, I first want to remind you of the two informational meetings that have been scheduled:
Monday June 5, 2017, 1 pm – 3 pm in the Storrs Student Union Theatre
Tuesday June 6, 2017, 9 am – 11:00 am in the Storrs Student Union Theatre
Guest: Dan Livingston, Chief Negotiator, SEBAC
As you can see, we have scheduled Dan Livingston, Chief Negotiator for the SEBAC negotiations to be available for you to ask questions at the Tuesday meeting.
We also want to direct you to our website for a number of FAQ’s and documents that explain the modifications to the SEBAC agreement and their impact. Many of the questions you may have are already answered there. Please review those documents before attending the informational meetings.
When we scheduled our informational sessions, we thought our local negotiations would be settled. Unfortunately, those negotiations have slowed considerably, in what appears to be a strategy of the administration to withhold agreeing to as many proposals as possible for the last day of negotiations. This may make it very difficult to reach an agreement by the June 13th SEBAC Tentative Agreement deadline. Please see the Chief Negotiators Blog for more information.
Once our local negotiations are settled, we will hold informational meetings on that agreement.
Both meetings will be broadcast through Facebook Live. If a member wishes to watch through that medium, go to: https://www.facebook.com/UConnAAUPOrganizing. Here you will have to “friend” that account in order to view the live-stream. The meetings will also be recorded and uploaded to our Chapter website shortly after the events.
I look forward to seeing you at one of our informational meetings.
For a series of Q&A’s on this Framework Click Here
5/25/17 – The first statement below is from UConn-AAUP. The second statement below is from SEBAC.
May 24, 2017
In his budget address to the legislature last January, Governor Dannel Malloy asked state employees for $1.5 billion in concessions toward a $5 billion deficit for the biennium budget beginning July 1, 2017. After six months of informal discussions with the Governor, representatives of the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) have reached a “framework” to a potential Tentative Agreement (TA) to achieve the proposed savings. Details of the framework (not a Tentative Agreement) can be found by clicking here or by visiting the SEBAC website http://ctstateemployees.com/
We believe that preserving the fundamental structure of the pension and healthcare system along with appropriate salary increases in the out years of the deal, are the most critical aspects of this package. This agreement will provide a stable future for the University community in recruiting and retaining the most qualified scholars while allowing faculty members to focus on their professional work in teaching, research, and service.
If the savings through the SEBAC negotiations are not realized, the Governor and the Legislature will look for savings through other means including, but not limited to, employee layoffs and further rescissions to the UConn Block Grant. Ideas proposed by the Legislature have included increasing workloads and closing regional campuses.
Additionally, if the SEBAC Agreement is not extended beyond 2022, state employees will not have the ability to negotiate and have a say over healthcare and retirement benefits. This would allow the state to unilaterally make changes to your healthcare and retirement plans.
While exploratory conversations with the Governor were occurring, the UConn-AAUP negotiating team was meeting with the UConn Administration to reach agreement on our local collective bargaining agreement. Other state employee units were negotiating with their agency heads as well.
Per the terms of the “framework”, there will not be a SEBAC Tentative Agreement signed until all local agreements are finalized consistent with the structure and terms outlined in the framework. Once all local agreements have been determined, the SEBAC Tentative Agreement and individual local agreements will be sent to respective bargaining unit members for a vote. Before we do that, we will schedule informational meetings.
We have initially scheduled two informational sessions to present the proposed agreements and field any questions you may have.
- Monday, June 5, 2017, 1pm-3pm in the Storrs Student Union Theatre
- Tuesday, June 6, 2017, 9am-11am, in the Storrs Student Union Theatre
Please make every effort you can to attend and bring colleagues.
Shortly after that, we will be sending out a vote via email through Survey and Ballot Systems. Over the course of the next few weeks, you will be given the opportunity to make your voice heard and we encourage you to take advantage of that opportunity.
May 23, 2017 SEBAC Statement
The State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) voted this afternoon to open formal discussions with the Malloy administration around a framework that will save jobs and save costs to help address the ongoing revenue shortfalls that have caused Connecticut’s budget deficit.
Click here for union leaders’ framework.
This framework and potential savings are a clear example of why collective bargaining is so imperative for our state. Without collective bargaining, the billions of dollars in savings from years of agreed upon state worker concessions would not have been realized. This was an important first step as middle-class workers are doing their part to help solve the budget deficit. Now is the time for legislators to ask the same of the state’s most wealthy and billion dollar corporations.
A final SEBAC agreement will rescind the layoff notices that have been issued since April, provide four years of layoff protection and extend state health care and retiree health care benefits for five years.
Within this framework, the administration must complete all unit negotiations before SEBAC can move forward towards a membership vote.
There are critics who have already come out against this framework because they believe that it does not cause enough pain for working families. These critics would undoubtedly stand against any agreement with SEBAC. Those individuals need to be reminded of the fact that state employees continue to save the state $1 billion annually through concessions.
We have always been willing to do our part.