SEBAC Holds Press Conference to Demand Fair Contracts

SEBAC Unions Hold Press Conference at the State Capitol to Demand
Fair Contracts & Good Faith Negotiations from the Lamont’s Administration

The State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) held a press conference Tuesday on the North Steps of the State Capitol building to demand  fair contracts and good faith negotiations, collaboration on developing racial and economic justice policies and practices, job security and fair compensation as SEBAC unions continue to negotiate for contracts with the Lamont administration.

Hundreds of members from the 15 SEBAC unions, representing approximately 40,000 state workers across about 34 bargaining units joined with private sector workers, and community leaders including Senator Matt Lesser and Representative's Robyn Porter, Anne Hughes and Mike Winkler. Check out coverage for this event at the Hartford Courant, CT Mirror and Channel 8 by clicking the news outlet. 

 “Before and during the pandemic, professors have been a big part of my college life,” said Aleidy Dominguez Jorge, a recent graduate of Capital Community College, “I moved to the United States when I was 18 and the faculty, staff, and other students at Capital provided a safe and nurturing environment for me to learn English and study. A fair contract is what these workers need and deserve now, working 24/7 without complaining, giving the best of themselves, and providing their service in a friendly and helpful way.”

“Our environment must be protected and the state employees working under DEEP are paramount to this effort,” said Bianca Beland, an Environmental Analyst I with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and member of CSEA SEIU Local 2001, “But with underfunding and understaffing, we cannot achieve the goal of the agency to conserve, improve and protect our natural resources. Fair contracts are not only the right thing to do for state employees, but the public we serve.”

The group also heard from Cythia Johnson, a Home Care PCA, a member of SEIU District 1199, and part of a workforce of nearly 10,000 employees performing critical services under the state medicaid program that only recently earned the right to form a union.  “I am part of a workforce making poverty wages that is mostly female, Black and Latina. I care for people with physical disabilities. In many ways my work is my reward. But home care workers are people too,” said Ms. Johnson, “We are calling on Governor Lamont and the State of Connecticut to do away with a long-term care system that keeps me and my sister workers in poverty. We are calling on our state with urgency, right now, to make a real investment in these essential services to achieve racial and economic justice.” 

University of Connecticut Professor and UConn-AAUP member Lyle Scruggs, PhD reminded the group of the negative impacts budget cuts have on our future, “Over the last two decades, the state’s flagship university has been decimated by state budget austerity. UConn faculty and staff have seen in-state enrollment at UConn increase by 40% in the last 2 decades, while the state funding has cut support. Fair contracts incentivize tenure-track faculty members to stay at our state colleges and lift our entire higher education system to create a better future for the next generation.”

“This isn’t simply about raises or Hero Pay,” said Pat Davis, an Administrative Assistant with the Legal Affairs Department of the Department of Corrections in Wethersfield and President of AFSCME Council 4 Local 318, “It’s about the Administration seeing us as partners so we can expand services, provide good jobs in Connecticut’s cities and working class communities, and make Connecticut a state that leads other employers in providing a safe and equitable workplace for all of its employees, whatever their skin color.”

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