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A Convenient Glitch?

At the Yankee Institute, we will stand alone when necessary, but this time lawmakers overwhelmingly joined our side.

Last week, the Yankee Institute was the only group to submit written testimony opposing a controversial UConn union contract, and our Policy Director Suzanne Bates was the only person to testify against it in person.

When we testified against this over-the-top contract, we led the fight and together we we won.

The five-year contract called for a 3 percent increase in the first year, with 4.5 percent increases in the remaining four years. This comes at a time when many private sector workers haven’t had a raise in – forever!

Amid Connecticut’s economic woes, with projected budget deficits of $266 million for this fiscal year and nearly $900 million next year, Senate Democratic leaders told the UConn Professional Employees Association, a bargaining unit of nearly 2,000 non-teaching professionals, that their “awful contract” was unsustainable and would be turned down.

And here’s another you-have-to-be-kidding-me fact: The Connecticut legislature has not rejected any union contracts since May 1997.

Friday, in the face of certain defeat, union leaders pulled their contract citing a technical glitch during the filing process. The bargaining unit will now ask its members if they want to renegotiate or re-file with the legislature.

We’re willing to stand alone, but we’re glad that more and more lawmakers are seeing the need for fiscal responsibility.

The UConn contract saga isn’t over yet, but thanks to your support, Yankee’s tenacity and hard work has once again informed, inspired and motivated decision-makers – and derailed a fiscal fiasco.

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Carol Platt Liebau

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