Retirement Security

Comments on Proposals Impacting Public Employee Pension Funding and Benefits

AFT Connecticut leaders made the following remarks regarding Governor Ned Lamont’s 2019 legislative proposals released Tuesday impacting retirement security for public school teachers and state employees:
 

Working Together to Protect Retirement Security

A small group of leaders representing several public sector unions in mid January sat down with Governor Ned Lamont and members of his new administration. The purpose of the informal meeting was to explore potential efforts to further safeguard pensions for state employees and shore up retirement funding for teachers. The discussion followed Lamont's frequent assertions last year as a candidate to treat working people — particularly, union members — in Connecticut with "fairness, dignity and respect."
 

Standing Up to the State Employee "Blame Game"

Last month on Election Day the candidates for statewide office and the legislature who pledged to stand up for Connecticut's working families won big. Yet corporate lobbyists and their front groups continue pushing austerity policies that benefit big business and the ultra-rich ahead of the opening of the General Assembly's 2019 session. Union leaders are mobilizing to ensure the new Lamont Administration and incoming lawmakers make better choices than more middle-class givebacks or additional public service cuts.
 

"U & I in Union:" Protecting the Jobs of Our "Extended Family"

Little causes trepidation more than when, amid economic cutbacks, the human resources department calls for a meeting. That's when the value of both a strong collective bargaining agreement and co-workers with a commitment to solidarity becomes acutely clear. We're highlighting a higher education professional's personal experience in these precise circumstances to demonstrate that the “U and I in Union” is how members can effectively maintain job security.
 

Defending the "Future of Our Collective Bargaining Rights"

A Republican legislative leader last week launched a politically motivated media attack on gains made by state employee unions. At issue are contractual bonuses due later this month as part of a 2017 agreement to protect jobs, extend benefits and preserve services. In reality, the true targets are the collective bargaining rights that secured them — rights which face an uncertain future in the wake of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.
 
Click here for reporting on the state Senator's remarks.
 

Making Gains through the "Power of Solidarity"

On any given day of the year, leaders of one or more of AFT Connecticut’s 90 plus affiliates are exercising their fundamental collective bargaining rights. Whether negotiating contract terms or representing colleagues in a dispute with their employer, they're "at the table" to win better wages, benefits and working conditions. We're highlighting recent examples from the past three months demonstrating what the power of the "U and I in Union" can accomplish.
 

Gearing Up to Defeat a "Let Them Eat Cake" Approach

Less than three months after its inaugural meeting, the legislative Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth last Friday released its draft recommendations (below) to the General Assembly. Considering the panel's domination by corporate executives, their proposals are unsurprisingly heavily tilted in favor of the ultra-rich. Still, their plan to silence the voices of Connecticut's working men and women are cause for genuine concern — and a call to action.
 

Urging Business Leaders to "Take the High Road" to Achieve Growth

Leaders of Connecticut’s labor movement last week took a strong stand against attacks on working people in a wide-ranging presentation to the Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth. Together, they advocated an approach that invests in public services and structures, makes Connecticut's tax structure fairer, and provides workers with the security and purchasing power needed for sustainable growth.
 
Click here for the labor panel's full slideshow presentation.
 

Educators to Lawmakers: "Our Students Can't Wait"

Legislators today convened in Hartford to restore funds cut in last fall's compromise budget package for a program serving low-income senior citizens and people with disabilities. Their fix, however, relies on "savings" from decreased state contributions to the Teachers Retirement System (TRS); an occupational tax imposed on Connecticut educators. At the same time, the budget's failure to fully fund public schools, coupled with additional cuts proposed by the governor to mitigate ongoing shortfalls, threaten to shortchange students' futures.
 

New Year's Day - Or Groundhog Day?

During this time of giving and reflection, a new opportunity has emerged to help move toward a more prosperous future for all. Most Connecticut politicians have for the past two years refused to ask millionaires and corporations to pay their fair share to protect and preserve our state's quality of life. But passage last week of massive, permanent federal tax cuts for the nation's rich and powerful offers hope in 2018 for reclaiming needed resources on behalf of working families.
 
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