4Cs members are committed to stick together in our union, despite today’s decision by the Supreme Court that makes it easier for anti-worker extremists to rig the economy further by dividing working people.

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We won’t let any court case stand in the way of our fight for the good, union jobs that our communities need. We know that when working people are united in a union, they have the power in numbers to raise wages, secure basic needs like healthcare coverage, improve their jobs, make life better for their families and build stronger communities.

Today’s ruling only makes 4Cs members even more determined to:

  1. Stick together with their co-workers in their union
  2. Unite more workers together in unions to turn poverty-wage jobs into good, union jobs
  3. Hold politicians accountable for doing everything in their power to help more workers join together in unions to create the most inclusive middle class in our nation’s history

4Cs members are joined by working people from across the nation who are showing their unity in the face of this decision by holding up signs with a simple message: UNION. Photos and videos of people holding UNION signs are being posted on social media using the hashtag #Union.

You are also invited to join us at a press conference in front of the Hartford Supreme Court at 4pm today. And if you have not yet, we hope you consider reaffirming your support for the 4Cs and sign a membership form here

Questions & Answers for 4Cs Members

What does this court case mean for our union? Will this destroy your union and permanently weaken the labor movement?

4Cs members are bound and determined to stick together in our union, no matter what. We’re not going to let any court case stop us from fighting for the good, union jobs our communities need.

We stand on the shoulders of public workers who fought for their union in the 60s and 70s, who faced much worse but were relentless in their efforts to join together in unions.

How many members will your union lose now? How much money will your union lose?

The power of our union comes from our members, not from money. Our money has always been dwarfed by corporate special interests. Our power is the people, and their determination to fight for their families and our communities.

I can tell you that 4Cs members are bound and determined to stick together in our union. We know from experience that we are stronger together. And we’re going to keep fighting and keep up our demand to make every job a good, union job that provides financial security for our families and strengthens our communities.

I’m confident that we will make the demand for good, union jobs and that our elected leaders will respond. We are driving a turnaround in this country that begins this year and will continue through 2020 by uniting working people to demand that elected officials do everything in their power to make it easier to join together in unions so we all have a fair shot at the middle class.

August 2nd, 2018

Posted In: Unions

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Powerful billionaires are using the Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME to further rig the economy against working families. We won’t let any court case stand in the way of our fight for the good union jobs our families, communities, and country need. (Learn more about the the Janus v. AFSCME case from this link provided by our sisters and brothers from SEIU Local 1199.)

One way to show you’re standing up for  your co-workers, your community, and yourself through your union is to take the “Union Challenge!” (also referred to as the Norma Rae Challenge).

Here’s what you can do:
1. Grab a piece of paper, cardboard, poster board, or anything you can write on, and write “UNION” on the sign!
2. Raise the sign above your head—you can stand on your desk or chair, or in your work place.
3. Have a friend take your photo.
4. Upload to your favorite social media site & share it using the hashtags #Union and #WeRise.

Take a look at a number of your fellow 4Cs sisters and brothers below who have already taken the challenge.

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Time for you to get into the action.  Click here to share your Union Challenge picture with us.YourPhotoHEre

June 1st, 2018

Posted In: Unions

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The 4Cs 2016-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement is now available online here. It is also available on the BOR website at http://www.ct.edu/hr/labor#unclassified.

Looking for the Part-Timers Agreement? Jump to page 122 of the Contract (or numbered page 116).

Looking for the salary grids? Jump to page 79 of the Contract (or numbered page 70).

Thank you for your patience throughout this year. As you see on the BOR page, many of the bargaining units still have not finalized their Contracts. Please note that while the Contract is available online, we are going to having a waiting period before printing in case any small errors were missed. If you note anything, please email Ellen Benson.

The 4Cs will also be further formatting the Contract to make the online-version more user-friendly with internal links and an index; we will notify the membership when the document is ready.

May 25th, 2018

Posted In: Contract Negotiations, Negotiations, Part-Timers

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The BOR May meeting is now available for viewing at http://ct-n.com/ctnplayer.asp?odID=15289.
A significant portion of the meeting was dedicated to discussion of the consolidation. As described by NBC Connecticut, “Despite some calling it a failure, Ojakian said he will continue to move forward with Student First.
He said he doesn’t believe the details in the plan were rejected but rather the timeline and path to implement the changes need work.
He admitted the path forward might take longer than expected.
He said he plans to meet with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges again and present the board with a more detailed proposal in June. He said that he expects work over the next year on ways to implement it and that students will not see any changes this fall” (https://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Faculty-Takes-Board-of-Regents-to-Task-Over-College-Consolidation-Plan-482299981.html).
More coverage of the meeting and the opposition to Students First can be found below.

Community Colleges: A Resource Worthy of State Investment (Opinion)

May 17th, 2018

Posted In: BOR, Consolidation

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BOR is meeting this morning for its May meeting. CT-N is scheduled to film the meeting, so it will be available for viewing later this week at http://ct-n.com. You can find the agenda here.
Late in the session, several amendments were filed by members of the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee, notably Rep. Haddad, Sen. Bye, and Sen. Flexor, requiring the Board of Regents to hold public hearings if they recommend closing any college and the General Assembly would retain the right to reject the closure plan (read amendment here). While the amendments did not go through, it is likely that they will return as legislation next session.

May 10th, 2018

Posted In: BOR, Consolidation

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As you may have heard, the 2018 legislative session ended at midnight. Democrats and Republicans were able to put forth a bipartisan $20.86 billion budget that was approved and is now on the Governor’s desk. The Senate passed the budget 36-0 and the House passed it 142-8.

Community Colleges

The Community Colleges are facing a $6 million cut to its block grant. The System was able to secure $16 million for the fringe benefits of its employees (of $22 million needed), but we do not know the effect yet of the $6 million cut on overall system operations. More information will be known in the days ahead.
There was some momentum on the part of the Higher Education Committee to restrict the Board of Regents rights to close colleges. (See next article on Consolidation for more information).
Collective Bargaining
The package does not include several major changes sought by Republicans to collective bargaining rules regarding state and municipal employees. But as stated below, they plan to raise these proposals again.
The collective bargaining rules sought “included:
  • Ending collective bargaining for retirement benefits after the current contract expires in mid-2027, leaving all of these matters to be resolved solely by the legislature.
  • Removing overtime from pension calculations.
  • Suspending cost-of-living adjustments to pensions for retirees who become vested after mid-2027 until the system holds enough assets to cover 80 percent of pension obligations. The funded ratio currently stands at less than 40 percent.
“We’re not going to let that be the deal-breaker” Fasano said during a press conference a few hours before the Senate’s budget debate. But he added that Republicans still feel strongly about these issues and expect to raise them again in future years” (CT Mirror).

May 10th, 2018

Posted In: Political Action, State Budget

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Early this morning we became aware that Republicans in the House and Senate are holding any potential budget deal hostage for legislation that would end portions of Connecticut’s collective bargaining laws and weaken others. (Click here to read this morning’s CT Mirror story.)  There is a fair deal available that would protect healthcare for seniors, and protect aid to and cities, but Republicans won’t support it unless it take rights away from working families.

Their proposals include a ban on collective bargaining on pensions and health care after 2027, removal of overtime from pension calculations after 2027 (especially bad for those workers doing hazardous duty), no COLA for retirees after 2027, and a new rule for cities and towns establishing  an “irrebuttable presumption” that 15% of a municipality’s operating budget “is not available for payment of the cost of any item subject to negotiation or arbitration.” Could your town provide raises or improvements in benefits if their budgets were effectively shrunk by 15%? Could the state implement a similar restriction?

The final hours of the 2018 legislative session are likely to be the most perilous for us.  Some members of the General Assembly think the only way to balance our state’s budget is on the backs of public employees. We cannot let them strip away, alter, or diminish our collective bargaining rights, nor the health care benefits and pensions we earned through our years of hard work and service to our state, our cities and our towns.

Click here to contact your legislators

What’s at stake? Anti-union legislators want to:

  • Eliminate matters of retirement, overtime in pension calculations, and health care from collective bargaining;
  • Change the benefit formula for state pensioners, including eliminating a COLA until the fund reaches 80% funded and the General Assembly approves a COLA (this would end COLAs for years);
  • Eliminate overtime from pension benefit calculations, heavily impacting hazardous duty positions like correction police and health care where overtime is often mandated.
  • Make it impossible to provide municipal employees a raise.

Call or email your legislators today.

If politicians do not hear from you, that means they are only hearing from right-wing extremist groups like the Yankee Institute. And, the folks at the Yankee Institute are telling them that your health care plan is too generous or your pension is unsustainable. Too many politicians will listen to this false propaganda. And if you have already spoken with your legislator this session, contact them again. Believe me, the anti-public employee lobbyists are speaking to your legislator every day.

Clearly, there is a fair agreement to be made that protects the services people need, but corporate conservatives at the legislature won’t vote for any agreement unless it hurts working people. So please pick up your phone or turn on your computer and contact the General Assembly members who are supposed to represent you in the State Capitol.

If you do not know who your state legislators are you can click here to find them. These are the caucus phone numbers:

  • Senate Democrats Office: 860.240.8600
  • Senate Republicans Office: 860.240.8800
  • House Democrats Office: 860.240.8500
  • House Republicans Office: 860.240.8700

Tell them to not take away our freedom to unite for a better life, and to improve our communities, through collective bargaining. Community Colleges are also facing MILLIONS in funding losses. 

Together we will stop these attacks and protect our rights and freedoms.

Thank you.

May 9th, 2018

Posted In: Political Action

Tags:

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As you heard last week, NEASC did not approve the CSCU plan to consolidate the community colleges. While many of you breathed a sigh of relief, others may be more fearful after President Ojakian threatened to close campuses if funding cannot be secured for the system. Regardless of how you felt about Students First, it is clear that the system needs money to continue to operate while determining next steps. As faculty and staff, we certainly hope to influence the next steps. But there is one thing we all need to do right now:
CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS and ask both your state representative and state senator to support increased funding for the community colleges. Calling is best, but email is better than nothing. 
There is one week left of the legislative session. You can find your legislators here. You can use this data to show your legislators how many Community College faculty, staff, and students live in the cities and towns they represent and why their investment is so critical. They cannot allow the BOR to double tuition for our students and state employees have done their part to save the state money by the SEBAC 2017 Agreement. (As you will see below, we also ask that you call legislators about not attaching any bad amendments regarding your collective bargaining rights to legislation).
Please take the time to do this one ask of calling your legislators. The more people they hear from, the more attention it will gain from legislators.
Your Rights Under the Contract
While we cannot predict what the state budget will bring next week, we want to assure you of the job security rights under the 4Cs Contract.
  • Job Security: There shall be no loss of employment for permanent employees hired prior to July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2021.
    • Protection from job loss does not apply to:
      • Expiration of a temporary or special appointment (in 1st year),
      • Nonrenewal of a non-tenured employee for performance-related reasons,
      • Termination of grant or other outside funding specified for a particular position; and,
      • Less than 20-hour per week part-time employees.
    • Employees in the 2nd or subsequent special appointment year on the effective date of this Agreement shall be covered by this provision.
    • It does not prevent the BOR from restructuring and eliminating positions provided that the affected employees shall be reassigned or transferred to an existing comparable job in the
      system for which the employee possesses the requisite qualifications and experience. Salary and tenure status shall be preserved. An employee who refuses an offered position shall not be considered a layoff.
What’s Next?
The General Assembly adjourns on Wednesday, May 9, so we will have an answer to whether the state is making this crucial investment in our state’s neediest students. More information to follow next week.
Please feel free to contact us if you are hearing anything about the consolidation. For example, a member heard this week that Goodwin College was buying Tunxis. The BOR cannot sell a campus; it is state-owned, not BOR-owned. The Department of Administrative Services is in charge of all state property. But the 4Cs was able to reach out to the BOR and get written confirmation that this was not true. Again, please feel free to contact the 4Cs office at 860.296.5172 with any questions or concerns during these uncertain times.

May 4th, 2018

Posted In: Political Action

Tags:

As our academic semester comes to a close, so is the legislative session. It is a busy time for legislators as they try to finish a state budget and pass legislation. During these chaotic last few days of the session, it is common for legislators to try to attach an amendment to the legislation, hoping it gets passed with little public scrutiny.
The 4Cs and other unions have been fighting all session against the recommendations of the Commission on Fiscal Stability and Growth – a panel dominated by ultra-wealthy Connecticut citizens and CEOs that issued austerity-style recommendations for the Connecticut legislature, including attacks on working and middle class people and tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations.
They know they don’t have the votes to pass the whole report, so they may try to slip through some of the worst pieces of the report — like billionaire tax cuts, or eliminating bargaining of pension and health care or slashing $1 billion from public services — as amendments to other legislation.
Please watch this video – which contains comments from a Capital professor and 4Cs member – about why the Commission’s recommendations would hurt Connecticut and working people.

You can use SEBAC’s action network to directly contact your legislators about this report. (While writing your legislators, why not also ask them to support funding for the community colleges? See article above).
Please contact your legislators today!

May 3rd, 2018

Posted In: Collective Bargaining, Political Action

Tags:

As you heard last week, NEASC did not approve the CSCU plan to consolidate the community colleges. While many of you breathed a sigh of relief, others may be more fearful after President Ojakian threatened to close campuses if funding cannot be secured for the system. Regardless of how you felt about Students First, it is clear that the system needs money to continue to operate while determining next steps. As faculty and staff, we certainly hope to influence the next steps. But there is one thing we all need to do right now:
CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS and ask both your state representative and state senator to support increased funding for the community colleges. Calling is best, but email is better than nothing. 
There is one week left of the legislative session. You can find your legislators here. You can use this data to show your legislators how many Community College faculty, staff, and students live in the cities and towns they represent and why their investment is so critical. They cannot allow the BOR to double tuition for our students and state employees have done their part to save the state money by the SEBAC 2017 Agreement. (As you will see below, we also ask that you call legislators about not attaching any bad amendments regarding your collective bargaining rights to legislation).
Please take the time to do this one ask of calling your legislators. The more people they hear from, the more attention it will gain from legislators.
Your Rights Under the Contract
While we cannot predict what the state budget will bring next week, we want to assure you of the job security rights under the 4Cs Contract.
  • Job Security: There shall be no loss of employment for permanent employees hired prior to July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2021.
    • Protection from job loss does not apply to:
      • Expiration of a temporary or special appointment (in 1st year),
      • Nonrenewal of a non-tenured employee for performance-related reasons,
      • Termination of grant or other outside funding specified for a particular position; and,
      • Less than 20-hour per week part-time employees.
    • Employees in the 2nd or subsequent special appointment year on the effective date of this Agreement shall be covered by this provision.
    • It does not prevent the BOR from restructuring and eliminating positions provided that the affected employees shall be reassigned or transferred to an existing comparable job in the
      system for which the employee possesses the requisite qualifications and experience. Salary and tenure status shall be preserved. An employee who refuses an offered position shall not be considered a layoff.
What’s Next?
The General Assembly adjourns on Wednesday, May 9, so we will have an answer to whether the state is making this crucial investment in our state’s neediest students. More information to follow next week.
Please feel free to contact us if you are hearing anything about the consolidation. For example, a member heard this week that Goodwin College was buying Tunxis. The BOR cannot sell a campus; it is state-owned, not BOR-owned. The Department of Administrative Services is in charge of all state property. But the 4Cs was able to reach out to the BOR and get written confirmation that this was not true. Again, please feel free to contact the 4Cs office at 860.296.5172 with any questions or concerns during these uncertain times.

May 3rd, 2018

Posted In: BOR, Consolidation, Contract, Political Action

Tags:

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