The University of Connecticut made a number of excessive payments to staff who had either stepped down from management positions or left the university, according to a state audit released yesterday. In one instance a former manager - identified as vice provost for the university libraries, Brinley Franklin - was paid his full management salary of $202,829 to be an off-site, part-time consultant. The excessive payments were just part of the audit which faulted the public university for allocating $49.1 million of UConn 2000 funds to projects that were not authorized by state statute.
Marc E. Fitch
Group of assistant attorneys general cite “immediate threat to their rights,” file petition to force secret ballot
Five assistant attorneys general filed a petition with the Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations today in an effort to force a vote on unionization by secret ballot before the board recognizes a new union in the Attorney General’s Office. The AAGs claim that failure to hold a secret ballot would violate their “fundamental and statutory right to oppose unionization.” The petitioners claim that no other group, including their employer, would defend them on their stated issues they face “a substantial and immediate threat” to their rights to oppose unionization.
Over the past three years, the Connecticut Department of Labor has audited 95 youth sports leagues, limiting the programs they can offer or increasing the cost to families. The DOL audits focus on whether workers paid by the league, including referees, coaches and assistants, are properly classified as independent contractors. The attempts by the Connecticut DOL to change the classification of referees and clinicians for youth sports organizations has the potential to affect business throughout Connecticut. By changing the definitions of who constitutes an employee or contractor, businesses may find themselves having to put new workers on their payroll, even for one-time minor services.
The state’s constitutional spending cap should be “comprehensive” and cover all state spending except for debt service, Webster Bank CEO James C. Smith told members of the Spending Cap Commission this week. The spending cap is supposed to limit how much state lawmakers can spend – but in recent years money has been moved out from under the cap, weakening it. Smith powerfully made the argument that the state’s spending cap matters – read the rest of his testimony here.
The Connecticut Business and Industry Association and BlumShapiro released Friday their annual survey of businesses in Connecticut, showing state taxes and regulations are the biggest roadblocks to business growth and expansion. The three biggest challenges to growth cited by the businesses surveyed were costs associated with state regulations, taxes and “unpredictability surrounding legislative decision making.”
The American Federation of Teachers filed a petition with the state labor board on Monday in an attempt to unionize 196 assistant attorney generals. The petition will launch an investigation beginning with a preliminary conference on September 13 that will be closed to the public. In order to present a petition to the State Labor Relations Board, at least 30 percent of the employees must have signed union cards. The board checks the signatures on the cards for validation and to confirm they were not signed under pressure.