(Cross-posted from Pelto’s Point at the New Haven Advocate)
Once again Dan Malloy’s rhetoric seeks to scapegoat Connecticut’s public employees and trivialize the fact that they have already voted in favor (and are working to fully adopt) the largest concession package in state history.
From his budget announcement last February to his press statement last night Dan Malloy has consistently said the wrong thing at the wrong time.
At 10pm last night Governor Malloy released a statement that an agreement has been reached between his administration and SEBAC and that another vote would be taken on a concession package.
According to Malloy, “This agreement saves the same amount of money as the last agreement– $1.6 billion over 2 years, $21.5 billion over 20 years – and it contains all of the same cost-saving provisions as the last agreement.”
With that, the Governor then concludes;
“I hope state employees ratify this agreement, but I am assuming nothing. If they ratify it, the vast majority of layoffs and painful spending cuts can be undone. If this agreement fails, then we’ll unfortunately have to continue to lay people off and implement the spending cuts.”
And with that the Governor renews his familiar role of making this process as difficult as possible.
With the SEBAC by-law changes, 50% of state employees must now adopt this plan to fully authorize it. Originally 57% voted yes (when 80% was needed). The language related to the health care change that worried many state employees as been removed to ensure that no one thinks this agreement is part of SustiNet – the State’s comprehensive health care reform law.
Governor, continuing to lay people off pending the vote is mean-spirited, bad for the employees and the families of those being laid off, bad for the people who rely on the essential services these employees provide and bad for the state’s economy during the greatest recession of our lives.
Malloy could and should have suspended the layoffs pending the vote.
And yet again we see the double standard.
If a Republican governor was doing what this Governor is doing and if a Republican governor put out a press release like the one Malloy put out last night, Democratic elected officials would be condemning the action.
But regardless of whether Democratic legislators are silent, Malloy’s actions deserve to be criticized.
Thankfully, Connecticut’s state employees care more than this Governor when it comes to preserving vital
services and doing the right thing.