Political Action

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


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


The budget passed by the House and Senate over the weekend hurts our students and our colleges. In President Ojakian’s words, “Early Saturday morning the Connecticut General Assembly passed a budget that intends to cut approximately $93M from the CSCU system over the next two years. Funding for developmental education is completely eliminated, while the Roberta Willis scholarship fund is phased out…This amounts to an unprecedented denial of access and support to public higher education students in Connecticut.” Read the full statement here.

The budget would also dismantle our fundamental collective bargaining rights by:

  • Removing funding for cost-of-living increases for retired state employees;
  • Unilaterally changing how pensions are calculated– even for years already worked, and for all years through 2027;
  • And increasing pension contributions for ALL state employees to 7%.
If this budget were passed into law, SEBAC would be forced to litigate and defend our contractual and contract rights.
The Governor has pledged to veto the budget, but the Yankee Institute is encouraging people to contact the Governor and ask him to sign the budget.
We are asking you to do two things:
  1. Please contact your legislators to demand restoration of funding to the Community Colleges and the Willis Scholarship. You can locate your legislators and view our template email by visiting this link.
  2. Please email Governor Malloy to ask him to stand by his pledge to veto this budget and to restore funding for CSCU and the Willis Scholarship in the budget compromise. You can email him here.


September 20th, 2017

Posted In: Political Action, Unions


We Need YOUR Participation

Our members are facing many challenges and need YOU to help. The time is now to resist and protect our system of higher education. 

The 4Cs will be holding a joint Lobby Day with CSU-AAUP and UConn-AAUP to Reclaim Public Higher Education on Friday, March 31 from 9am-1pm. Sign up here!

It is crucial that we have a strong showing at the Legislative Office Building on March 31 – including faculty, staff, and students. It’s time to Reclaim Public Higher Education!


March 8th, 2017

Posted In: Political Action


Sign up here!

See the full agenda here!


Sign up here.

January 9th, 2017

Posted In: Events, Political Action

District Office Name Towns
001 House Matt Ritter Hartford (part)
008 House Tom Currier Columbia, Coventry, Tolland (part), Vernon (part)
014 House Saud Anwar South Windsor (part)
015 House David Baram Bloomfield, Windsor (part)
022 House Betty Boukus New Britain (part), Plainville
024 House Rick Lopes New Britain (part), Newington (part)
026 House Peter Tercyak New Britain (part)
027 House Joshua Shulman Newington (part)
028 House Russ Morin Wethersfield (part)
030 House Joe Aresimowicz Berlin (part), Southington (part)
038 House Sharon Palmer Montville (part), Waterford
039 House Chris Soto New London (part)
040 House Christine Conley Groton (part), Ledyard (part)
041 House Joe de la Cruz Groton (part), New London (part)
044 House Christine Randall Killingly (part), Plainfield (part)
047 House Kate Donnelly Canterbury, Chaplin, Franklin, Hampton, Lisbon (part), Lebanon (part), Norwich (part), Scotland, Sprague
049 House Susan Johnson Windham (part)
053 House Susan Eastwood Ashford, Tolland (part), Willington
056 House Mike Winkler Vernon (part)
059 House Tony DiPace East Windsor (part), Enfield (part)
060 House Tim Curtis Windsor (part), Windsor Locks
065 House Michelle Cook Torrington (part)
072 House Larry Butler Waterbury (part)
073 House Jeff Berger Waterbury (part)
076 House Myrna Watanabe Burlington, Harwinton, Litchfield (part), Thomaston
077 House Laura Bartok Bristol (part)
088 House Josh Elliott Hamden (part)
090 House Patrick Reynolds Cheshire (part), Wallingford (part)
099 House James Albis East Haven (part)
100 House Matt Lesser Middletown (part)
103 House Liz Linehan Cheshire (part), Southington (part), Wallingford (part)
105 House Theresa Conroy Beacon Falls, Derby (part), Seymour
106 House Eva Bermudez Zimmerman Newtown (part)
110 House Bob Godfrey Danbury (part)
117 House Sean Ronan Milford (part), Orange (part), West Haven (part)
118 House Kim Rose Milford (part)
137 House Chris Perone Norwalk (part)
138 House Jeff Tomchik Danbury (part), New Fairfield (part), Ridgefield (part)
146 House Terry Adams Stamford (part)
S06 Senate Terry Gerratana Berlin, Farmington (part), New Britain
S11 Senate Martin Looney Hamden (part), New Haven (part), North Haven (part)
S13 Senate Dante Bartolomeo Cheshire (part), Meriden, Middlefield, Middletown (part)
S16 Senate Ryan Rogers Cheshire (part), Prospect, Southington, Waterbury (part), Wolcott
S17 Senate Joe Crisco Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Derby, Hamden (part), Naugatuck (part), Woodbridge (part)
S18 Senate Tim Bowles Griswold, Groton, North Stonington, Plainfield, Preston, Sterling, Stonington, Voluntown
S19 Senate Cathy Osten Columbia, Franklin, Hebron, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Marlborough, Montville (part), Norwich, Sprague
S20 Senate Ryan Henowitz Bozrah, East Lyme, Montville (part), New London, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook (part), Salem, Waterford
S22 Senate Marilyn Moore Bridgeport (part), Monroe (part), Trumbull
S23 Senate Ed Gomes Bridgeport (part), Stratford (part)
S24 Senate Kenneth Gucker Bethel (part), Danbury, New Fairfield, Sherman
S29 Senate Mae Flexer Brooklyn, Canterbury, Killingly, Mansfield, Putnam, Scotland, Thompson, Windham
S35 Senate Arlene Avery Ashford, Chaplin, Coventry, Eastford, Ellington (part), Hampton, Pomfret, Stafford, Tolland, Union, Vernon, Willington, Woodstock

“Paid for by the Congress of Community Colleges (the 4Cs).  This message was made independent of any candidate or political party. Information about the 4Cs may be found on the State Elections Enforcement Commission’s Internet web site.”


October 25th, 2016

Posted In: Political Action


The semester is back in gear, pumpkin spice is all around you, and it’s officially election season! Higher education has traditionally received minimal attention during campaign season but this election cycle has witnessed sweeping proposals; higher ed has become a leading issue on campaign trails this year.

Candidates are out to earn YOUR vote, so it’s an important time to have legislators hear your priorities. When you meet legislators at events or they have knocked on your door, it’s an opportunity to ask them about the issues you care about like community college funding or debt-free higher education.

4Cs Bryan Bonina signs the pledge to be a Higher Education Voter!

Our parent union, SEIU, is launching GOTV U, led by higher education employees organizing under the banner Faculty Forward to bring faculty, staff, and students to the polls. Historically, campus turnout has been critical to candidates’ ability to win, with many crediting President Obama’s 2012 win to college turnout.

Join the 4Cs and other faculty, staff, students, and parents across the nation in pledging to be a higher education voter. What does it mean to #VoteHigher? We’re standing together and voting for candidates who will join the fight for quality, accessible higher education; help students graduate free of debt; and pay campus staff a minimum of $15/hour.


4Cs organizers will have pledge cards at chapter meetings and at other chapter events through elections. But you don’t have to wait to see one of the organizers in person; you can sign the pledge online here.

If you are active in politics, you know that GOTV stands for Get Out the Vote and the U signifies universities or colleges. (But also everything becomes an acronym now because of Twitter so you can Tweet #GOTVU and still have 134 characters left).

Join us in making higher education a powerful voice in this year’s elections, from local and state elections to the race for President!

September 15th, 2016

Posted In: Blog, Political Action, SEIU


This Thursday, September 8, the 4Cs and our D.U.E. Justice –D.U.E. stands for Democracy, Unity, and Equality– partners are joining together to hear Rev. Dr. Barber of the North Carolina NAACP and founder of the Moral Monday Movement. The D.U.E. Justice is calling for collective action on 5 key issue areas needed to turn our state around, and to hold our political leaders accountable for their efforts and commitments in those areas. Those 5 issue areas are:

  • Good Jobs and Fair Wages
  • Universal Access to Quality Public Education, Preschool to Grad School,
  • A Vibrant and Fairly Funded Public Sector,
  • Racial, Gender, and Ethnic Justice,
  • Democracy in our State and in Our Work Places.

Rev. Dr. Barber is an inspiring speaker who has given speeches at some high profile labor and democratic events in the past few months. I witnessed him firsthand speaking at the SEIU Convention, heard him on television at the DNC, and saw video of his speech at the Fight for $15 Convention.


Rev., Dr. Barber speaks at the Democratic National Convention

While I’m excited to be inspired again by Rev. Dr. Barber, I’m not just going to hear him speak.

I’m attending on Thursday because of an incident that really bothered me over the summer. I was a passenger with my sister and a close friend in a taxi coming home at the beginning of the summer. An irate driver not only tried to drive our cab off the road, but when he stopped next to us at a red light, he called our taxi driver the N word and physically started punching the cab with his fist. This happened in my town, less than two miles from my house.


It’s been several months since this incident took place but it still bothers me. It bothers me that someone who likely lives in my town used this hateful language against another human being. It bothers me that my taxi driver was able to remain calm, most likely because this was not the first time this hateful language was thrown at him and sadly because he didn’t want to risk losing his tip. But more than anything, it bothered me that I stayed silent during the exchange.

I am a white woman raised in liberal Massachusetts. I understand that racism still exists, but despite being 40 years old, this is the first time someone used the N-word in my presence.

Yes, the man who used the hateful word was bigger than me, angry, and clearly prone to violence. I did not want to escalate the situation. After the incident, we apologized to our taxi driver – embarrassed and angry that someone would use such hateful language towards him. He appreciated our kindness but simply shrugged off the incident.

I cannot shrug off the incident. Rather that trying to find peace or solace in the excuse of not wanting to escalate things, I’m going to use this incident as motivation to break my silence and use my voice. Therefore, I’m not just going to listen to Rev. Dr. Barber speak – I’m going to join with the thousand others to speak out on the issues important to us.

Whether your issue is fair wages for adjuncts and EAs, fairly funded public higher education, Black Lives Matters, women’s equality, all of the above, or other issues, I hope you consider joining me on Thursday, September 8 at Take Back CT! The event is taking place in the Welte Theatre at Central Connecticut State University (directions here; campus map here) at 6:30pm. Join us and use your voice for change!

September 6th, 2016

Posted In: Blog, D.U.E. Justice, Events, Political Action, Uncategorized


It is imperative that we make our voices heard to protect students and working people throughout the state of Connecticut. Though the fiscal crisis impacts all Connecticut residents, state workers have been singled out by Governor Malloy and the Legislature to absorb the cuts. 

On March 31, the 4Cs and AFT memberships, students, and other community college supporters will go to the Legislative Office Building in Hartford to let our elected representatives know that Connecticut’s community colleges are essential to the future of the state. 

Date: Thursday, March 31
Location: Legislative Office Building
Time: 10am-3pm

Register to attend here! Encourage colleagues, students, and community members to attend. If you cannot attend, please be sure to sign the postcard.

March 12th, 2016

Posted In: Political Action


The 4Cs received over fifty applications for the Political Organizer position advertised in July. The field was narrowed to eight by the Search Committee. Following all eight interviews, four candidates were forwarded to President Bryan Bonina for a second interview.  After a week of discussion, deliberation, and reference checks, Bryan offered Bob Fernandez the position, which he accepted. Please join us in congratulating and welcomingBob to the 4Cs team!
“Bob is clearly the best person for this position. I’m convinced his institutional knowledge, direct experience in the CSCU system, and political aptitude make him the best choice,” stated Bryan. “Bob is well known at the Legislative Office Building, throughout Connecticut, and within the labor movement, both locally and nationally. He knows our stakeholders and their needs extremely well. I’m looking forward to continuing our work with Bob to collectively represent the best interests of SEIU Local 1973 and its members.”
Bob worked for many years at Quinebaug Valley Community College in different roles, including Director of the Willimantic Center and Director of Financial Aid. Bob also has taught as an adjunct faculty member in American Government and History. Bob also worked at Capital Community College as the Director of the Center for Professional Advancement. During his tenure at the colleges, Bob served the 4Cs as its Legislative Director. He also has volunteered on behalf of numerous political campaigns and community groups, including serving on the Latino Puerto Rican Affair Commission (LPRAC) and the Board of Directors for the Windham United Way.
Thank you to the members of the 4Cs Political Organizer Search Committee for all your hard work: Seth Freeman (Capital), Merja Lehtinen (Asnuntuck), William Army (Quinebaug Valley), Lorraine Li (Gateway), Minati Roychoudhuri (Capital), and Ellen Benson (4Cs Staff).

October 15th, 2015

Posted In: Political Action


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