An email sent from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees asked for 25 people willing to be arrested as part of a “fight for $15” strike at McDonalds on Washington Avenue in Hartford on Tuesday, November 29. The email, sent by retired state employee Win Heimer, states “This is a planned arrest - with a promise to appear in court for community service. Police will have your Social Security number and do a background check in advance in coordination with Fight for 15 strike planners.”
Marc E. Fitch
Connecticut earned a “D” grade for its public-sector labor laws from the Commonwealth Foundation, a free-market think tank based in Pennsylvania. Connecticut was one of 22 states in the country that earned a grade lower than a C. The study cited Connecticut’s binding arbitration laws, lack of paycheck protection and closed-door union contract negotiations as contributing to its poor grade.
When Liz Wilson submitted her final test results to become a marriage and family therapist in early September, she thought she would be able to receive her license from the Department of Public Health within a couple weeks and move forward opening her own private practice. Six weeks later on October 21 she finally received notification that she was now officially licensed by the state but there was one last hold up - the DPH only prints licenses once a month.
A 2003 lawsuit by the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition against Gov. John Rowland has increased the Connecticut budget deficit by $18 million according to figures released by the Office of Fiscal Analysis. The OFA estimated a $20.8 million shortfall at the Office of the State Comptroller due to adjudicated claims. “Approximately $18 million of the projected deficiency is for estimated payments for the SEBAC v. Rowland Settlement.”
Regional coordinators for the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security are receiving municipal pensions while employed by the state of Connecticut and driving state vehicles, including Emergency Management Director William J. Hackett. Hackett retired as chief of the Branford Fire Department and president of the union local of the International Association of Firefighters before being appointed to the position in 2006. Hackett receives a disability pension in the amount of $45,175.80 per year.
The city of Danbury has been experiencing a renaissance in the past few years, which has the city moving in the opposite direction as the rest of the state. Although Connecticut has been experiencing a net loss of population, Danbury has increased its population by 8 percent since 2000; while Connecticut’s credit rating has decreased, Danbury recently earned a AAA rating; Connecticut’s state employee pension system is among the most underfunded in the nation, while Danbury’s is nearly fully funded into the foreseeable future.