Republicans Ask Union Leaders to Meet with Gov. Malloy, Democrats Refuse to Sign on to Request

March 24, 2016

Democrats Refuse to Sign on to Request

Hartford – Today Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) and House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby) sent a letter to seven union heads asking all unions to come to the negotiation table with Gov. Malloy to discuss concessions to avoid layoffs.

Republicans asked all four Democrat leaders to sign on to the letter with them to send a bipartisan, unified message to the unions, but all refused to do so.

“Rep. Klarides and I are supportive of the governor’s call for the unions to come to the table at this trying time. We wanted to make it clear to the unions that all legislative leaders agree with the governor’s call for talks. But Democrats were not willing to join us. It’s disingenuous for Democrat leaders to say they support union concessions, but then refuse to join Republicans in a bipartisan effort to send a unified message to the unions from the legislature. Union leadership is less likely to come to the table because they know the Democrats will protect them. But the reality is that failure to negotiate will directly result in layoffs, which are without a doubt more painful than any small change to pension contributions or benefits. The powerful union heads should not be making decisions that take advantage of the powerless,” said Sen. Fasano.

“Republicans have been calling for concessions for years. Last year, we outlined modest contract changes that would have a significant long-term impact on the budget. We shared these ideas again this session along with a plan for short-term furlough savings to avoid layoffs. It’s time for these specific ideas to be considered by the unions now, otherwise they are sentencing rank-and-file workers to thousands of layoffs this year and next,” said Rep. Klarides.

Text of the letter is below. Full letter is attached: Here

Dear Union Leaders:

We are writing to share our strong support for Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s request for the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) to come to the negotiation table with the state to discuss pension and health care benefit changes. As you know, SEBAC has said they are not authorized to negotiate health care and pensions on your behalf, although that is exactly what they were created to do to avoid piecemeal negotiations. Therefore, we are reaching out to you all directly. We ask that you act in the best interests of the thousands of employees you represent and come to the table immediately to begin discussions with the governor as requested. By not meeting with the governor, you would be guaranteeing unnecessary layoffs for thousands of employees who depend upon their paychecks and benefits to provide for their families.

Clearly, if you do not come to the negotiation table, the governor has indicated that he believes he will have no choice but to pursue future layoffs. You owe it to the workers you represent to meet with the governor and take every opportunity in your power to prevent layoffs, after all it would only cost a couple hours of time.

We urge you to meet with the governor immediately as requested.