Agreement will continue efforts to protect and expand our communities’ access to stable, reliable public safety, health, education and additional services

[Hartford, CT] - The favorable votes by the General Assembly’s Appropriations Committee on the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) Reopener, Recruitment and Retention confirms lawmakers’ - from both parties - commitment to protecting the vital public services that all 3.6 million Connecticut residents rely on.  

The Committee was not fooled by the misinformation and distortions promoted by opponents who consistently reject anything that benefits working families in the private or public sectors. Reactionary special interests refuse to embrace minimum wages, paid family leave, discrimination protections and  empowering workers with a voice in collective bargaining.

Put simply, there’s a cost to not investing in the professionals who provide public services - the cost of not educating our students, not maintaining our roads and bridges, not providing mental  health and addiction services. No one wins in a race to the bottom. The majority of the legislature’s budget-writing committee understands the need to invest in our quality of life, and these contracts are a step in that direction.

“The court system depends heavily on us and the biggest challenge we have is retaining staff after recruitment and training,” said Lisa Reveruzzi, a family relations supervisor in the Judicial Branch’s Court Support Services Division. “When we don’t have enough counselors, the public faces delays in the resolution of their cases and may have to spend thousands to get the services we provide for free,” said Reveruzzi, a member of the Judicial Professional Employees (JPE) Union, AFT Local 4200-B.

“State workers represent all of us.”Sherwin LeGendre DOT Safety Patrol Driver and CEUI Local 511 Steward,  “The public sector provides public services that we all benefit from every day, even if we’re not always aware of it. The 2.5% general wage increase is less than private sector wage growth in Connecticut, which was 4.6% from February ‘23 to February ‘24. State workers like myself provide vital services to our state, and what we are asking for is fair.”

“One of my duties is to make recommendations for services that will help keep a child safely with their family.  The overarching lack of services and social work staff available to assist these families in crisis is a barrier that directly impacts my work.   I cannot make recommendations for mental health and substance abuse services that no longer exist.  And the programs that DO exist have waitlists from 6 months to a year.” said Ursula Moreshead, state employee for almost 29 years, an Advanced Clinical Social Worker with the Department of Children and Families in Norwich and member of SEIU District 1199 New England

“Our state employees are Connecticut residents too. They chose public service and community service, and they’re here to do a public good,” said Jody Barr, Executive Director of AFSCME Council 4. “These are your neighbors, constituents in your district, and people in your community. I urge the passage of this Tentative Agreement, to support those workers who make our state run every day.”

“The greatest challenge we face at the Department of Education is recruitment and retention of high quality staff with public school experience,” said Diane Murphy, an Education Consultant in the Performance Office at the Department of Education, “Districts are more likely to respond to state guidance from leaders that understand their jobs and the challenges they face in public schools. Recruiting experienced staff is a critical step to ensuring a successful collaborative relationship between district leadership and the Department.”

“Over the years at Western Connecticut State University we have struggled to meet the staffing needs in custodial and general trade services,” said Dave Lucente NP-2 HVAC Technician, CEUI Local 511  Steward and WSCU employee since 2014,  “Due to low starting wages, lost increases, benefits diminishing, hiring freezes and not replacing vital workforce positions have custodial, maintenance, grounds, and skilled trades staff at a long-time low. This directly puts a strain on the remaining staff. While there is still much work needed to meet that goal, these wage increases are fair and reasonable and help us continue on the path.”


The State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) represents about 45,000 state employees across 35 bargaining units. Members of the coalition’s individual unions work in a wide variety of State agencies, serving Connecticut residents  in many areas that affect all of our daily lives; public health, social services, education, public safety, environmental protection, criminal justice, transportation, corrections, and services for the blind, and developmentally disabled.