“The governor in his comments said that our members’ new agreement with UConn ‘was negotiated in good faith.’ On this point he is not only correct, but he speaks directly to a central tenet of the labor movement; the collective bargaining process.
“If elected leaders truly value and support the collaboration between labor and management that produced this agreement they should honor this negotiated settlement. Failing to do so would not just disrespect collective bargaining; it threatens to upturn the labor-management relationship in state service going forward.
“The choice that state lawmakers make will demonstrate where they stand when it comes to respecting the voices of working people. It’s an opportunity to begin to reverse the downward spiral that has left our middle class shrinking and income inequality growing.
“It’s also important to understand that UCPEA members accomplished exactly what the governor and many legislators from both parties have asked for; structural changes in the way UConn operates. Specifically, our union members signed on to a longer workweek to help create greater efficiency in this difficult economic climate.
“This is the latest in a series of agreements over the past decade in which state employees have offered cost savings to help close ongoing budget shortfalls.
“Despite the governor’s claim, this is not a ‘new economic reality;’ middle class families like our members’ have been feeling the squeeze for years. It’s long past time for the top one percent to step up and do their part to help protect and preserve Connecticut’s quality of life.”