AFT Local 4200-B

"Winning a Better Future for More Working People"

Veteran labor activists in both the private and the public sectors will attest to significant challenges in winning initial and first successor union contracts. AFT Connecticut-affiliated locals secured such collective bargaining agreements, arbitration awards and memoranda of understanding over the past three months. We're highlighting two of these important victories, which demonstrated how member engagement and internal organizing can overcome steep obstacles and make meaningful gains.
 

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.
 

Expanding Our Power in Numbers

More than 100 professionals in Connecticut's Judicial Branch last week secured voluntary recognition of their free choice to unite with their colleagues for a voice on the job. Their victory was the fifth over the past year to expand collective bargaining rights to employees in the state's court system. To date, nearly 200 have become new members of our AFT Connecticut-affiliated Judicial Professional Employees (JPE) union, demonstrating the labor movement's capacity to rebound through organizing.
 
Click here for the recognition agreement with the branch.
 

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.
 

Winning on a "Labor is Your Neighbor" Platform

The state's labor movement had much to celebrate once all the votes in the November 7 municipal General Election were tallied in local communities across Connecticut. Seventy-two candidates endorsed by our federation's executive committee won races for offices ranging from mayor to town council to board of education. Most significantly, 21 were themselves members of AFT Connecticut-affiliated unions, demonstrating the resonance of the "labor is your neighbor" message developed earlier this year.
 
Click here for the full list of endorsements and final results.
 

Telling Hartford HealthCare Union Members Are Not "Pawns"

Countless Connecticut residents are currently caught in a power struggle between a health network and an insurer, restricting access to preferred doctors and spiking medical costs. In response, leaders of the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) took action on behalf of impacted union members and retirees. They are collectively demanding that Hartford HealthCare (HHC) immediately resolve its ongoing contract dispute with Anthem, Inc.
 
Click here for union leaders' letter to the network's CEO.
 

State Employees Vote to Secure Jobs, Extend Benefits & Protect Services

Union members gathered in Hartford earlier today to announce that a strong majority of their colleagues have ratified agreements to shield against layoffs and preserve their healthcare and retirement security. The news came at the conclusion of a three weeks-long period in which approximately 25,000 state employees voted by a 5 to 1 margin to accept negotiated cost savings. In addition to a master agreement covering pensions and health benefits, union members also ratified 33 individual five-year contracts, retroactive to July 1 of last year.
 
Click here for the master agreement approved in June by union leaders.
 

Working Hard to "Prevent an Economic Disaster"

News that layoff notices for as many as 1,100 state employees will be delivered this week is causing considerable anxiety and frustration for union members and the public they serve. Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced the job cuts in late April — despite ongoing efforts to urge better choices than slashing vital services or the workforce that delivers them. Since then his administration's budget officials have warned of worsening deficits, adding urgency to a deepening crisis.
 
Click here for our previous update on the layoffs announcement.
 

Cutting Jobs "No Way to Achieve Prosperity"

The Malloy Administration today announced contingency plans for possible workforce layoffs, despite ongoing informal discussions with leaders of the unions in the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC). The exploratory talks have since last fall focused on mutually beneficial solutions for closing current and future state budget shortfalls. The possibility of further job cuts adds urgency to collective efforts to demand better choices than failed policies that have already negatively impacted Connecticut's quality of life.
 

Spotlight: Judicial Branch Probation Officers

In honor of national Pretrial, Probation, and Parole Supervision (PPPS) Week, we're taking time to meet some of our own public employee union members who provide these vital criminal justice services. This month's spotlight comes at a time when Connecticut's court system professionals face tremendous challenges to accomplishing their collective mission; the implementation of an austerity state budget is risking their ability to keep our communities safe.
 
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