Administration Missing Opportunity For Genuine Front Line State Worker Input

The Lamont administration has hired an outside consultant (Boston Consulting Group) to determine how the state can best generate revenues and cut costs. In the process, the administration is not simply bypassing SEBAC coalition but also missing the opportunity for genuine front line worker input on protecting and expanding public services. 

Click here or scroll down to read the letter SEBAC leadership is sharing with union members. (This project is related to Dept. of Administrative Services agencies only.)

December 4, 2020

Sisters and Brothers:

We have disappointing news to share concerning an initiative by the Lamont administration.    To prepare for what may be a greater number than usual of retirements in 2022, the administration contracted with the Boston Consulting Group to engage in a project that would:

[I]dentify and recommend efficiencies both in revenue maximization as well as cost savings by state agency; and develop and implement plans including but not limited to the evaluation and restructuring of state agencies in order to streamline processes and improve services…

Union leaders felt strongly that this expensive outside contract should not have happened – that there is more than adequate internal capacity among state employees to perform this work. And we pointed out that under the SEBAC Agreement these projects are required to be jointly directed by a labor-management committee.

A joint committee would recognize that state employees are state government’s greatest asset and that we must assure employees have accurate information about 2022’s changes so that employees don’t retire early and act against their own financial interest.

A joint committee would recognize that state agencies are already grossly understaffed, and that we must not only preserve current state service levels but expand those services. We must eliminate waiting lists on core services, but also act effectively to  fight the crippling wealth and income inequality on class and race which deprives so many Connecticut residents of real opportunity, leaves all but the very rich only a few paychecks away from poverty, and shackles any real chance for sustainable economic growth in our state. 

And a joint committee would place the ideas, energy, and wisdom of frontline state workers at the forefront of our efforts, including efforts to move our state government forward in these most challenging of times.

Sadly, the Lamont administration has apparently determined that a true joint effort was just too much to ask. They intend to move forward with their Boston Consulting Group project unilaterally, beginning with a survey which you likely have already received, and which we deem not only grossly inadequate but guilty of encouraging employees to retire. 

They have also threatened to unilaterally appoint “Bargaining Unit Champions” from each executive branch bargaining unit to somehow participate in their process.  This is a disservice to the employees of this state and the public we serve, a violation of the SEBAC Agreement, and of underlying state labor law. We will not be part of it.

We will file grievances and prohibited practice complaints in response. And we will engage our members in our own process, one driven by the voices of frontline workers and by our commitment to make our state a better place for all of its residents, not just the wealthiest 1%. 

In the meantime, we urge members not to participate in management’s unilateral and unlawful efforts.  If you receive a direct order to participate, please immediately contact your union steward or delegate. Absent such a direct order, you can safely ignore management’s unfortunate efforts.  

Ultimately, it will be the power and actions of our members that get the Lamont administration back on track. More importantly, it will be that power and those actions that move our state in the direction that the people of our state really need.

In solidarity,

SEBAC Leadership