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Will Union Workers ratify Dan Malloys Connecticut savings plan. Ask SEBAC

Connecticut union members, all 45,000 of them, from university professors to the police force to social workers to snow plow drivers have a state savings agreement to ratify with Connecticut and Dan Malloy.

SEBAC (State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition ) had posted a summary of the agreement on their website and reaction is strong. Wage increase freezes and no furlough days are some of the hot button topics.

But, the most astonishing piece of this agreement, to me anyway, is a step toward healthy preventative medicine. Employees must sign a commitment to have annual check-ups and take lifestyle and medical steps to improve their health. If they dont there will be a fine, and not a small one: $100 a month for those who refuse the commitment. Whether a watchdog will be checking all the check-ups is another thing. A new job as overseer doesn't seem to fit the idea of cost-savings that the administration is touting. But, the idea behind preventative health is sound, even if all the implementation bugs haven't been thought through.

The Governor was looking for $2 Billion in savings. This agreement as it is summarized today offers $1.6 Billion in savings from union workers. The private sector can expect the Governor to come back at them to make up the $400 Million difference. Although additional cost cutting measures have been discussed, don't lose sight of the fact that Governor Malloy, is increasing government spending 2% over the next two years, not cutting it. While it may seem to private sector professionals that the union member's resistance to this agreement is a point of view most heralded down the rabbit hole, the governor who is asking us all to sacrifice, public and private isn't tightening the belt of state government too tightly.

For details of the agreement, union spokesman Larry Dorman's comments, the details of no layoffs for four years, and end to longevity payments and the rest, click the link to hit up SEBAC.

May 17, 2011

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