A diverse group of community, faith, civic and labor organizations on the weekend before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2016 came together to reclaim the great civil rights leader’s vision. Over 300 people gathered at the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Bloomfield for a forum design to promote greater democracy and end racial and economic inequality.
Attendees pledged to work together and hold elected and civic leaders accountable in five key policy areas. They include:
* good jobs and fair wages;
* universal access to quality public education;
* a vibrant and fairly funded public sector;
* racial, gender, and ethnic justice; and
* real democracy in our state and in our workplaces.
Follow Unity, Equality and Democracy Connecticut on Facebook to learn more and be part of the movement: https://www.facebook.com/UnityEqualit…
Music: Scotticesa Marks, https://www.youtube.com/user/sdmwassup
Videographer: Neal Thomassen, https://www.facebook.com/unionneal
jrojas January 27th, 2016
Tags: front recent
SAVE THE DATE for this SEBAC-organized event!
In Connecticut, where the middle class is shrinking, where huge corporations make billions in profits while paying workers less than $10 an hour, and Koch Brothers-funded front groups attack workers for having unions, where critical public services are repeatedly cut and the richest among us pay the lowest tax rates, and where unemployment for Black and Latino people is two to three times higher than for white people, there is a path forward.
More than 50 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. articulated a powerful vision for Unity, Equality & Democracy – a vision that challenged us to fight for genuine equality – for racial justice and economic equality – and to strengthen our democracy. We want to ignite this call for justice within the hearts and minds of families and communities across our state. Join us on the Saturday of Martin Luther King weekend, January 16th, at 10am as we celebrate that vision and talk about concrete ways to move it closer to reality. Labor and Civil Rights — one movement for a better tomorrow (location: Bethel AME Church, 1154 Blue Hills Ave., Bloomfield).
jrojas December 21st, 2015
Tags: front recent
You may have received an email recently from the State of Connecticut that reads as follows:
If you were an employee of the State of Connecticut as of November 17, 2002 and were a member of a bargaining unit designated as an exclusive bargaining representative pursuant to the State Employee Collective Bargaining Act, you could get a payment from a proposed class action settlement. Please read the Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement by clicking on the link below:
This e-mail is being sent from an unattended mailbox. Please do not reply. You may obtain a copy of the Settlement Agreement and any other documents relating to the proposed settlement by writing or calling Class Counsel at the contact information provided in Response 19 of the attached notice or by visiting the Class Counsel’s website www.sgtlaw.com/class-action-sebac-v-john-g-rowland or your state bargaining unit’s website.
Please also read this notice:
If 4Cs members have questions about this settlement, please refer to http://www.sgtlaw.com/class-action-sebac-v-john-g-rowland/ for contact information.
jrojas July 20th, 2015
Posted In: SEBAC
Tags: front recent
Our last e-news blast focused on the lengthy state budget process. Now, threats to our members’ employment exist, including the closing of the Meriden Center of Middlesex Community College. These threats are being made in response to the Governor’s PROPOSED budget. College Presidents are threatening our members because of instructions received from Dr. Gray.
Publicly, Dr. Gray and other system officials have blamed the cost of employees transferring from ARP to the Hybrid Plan as being a significant cost to the system. However, please read the attached letter from the SEBAC Attorney to the Chairs of the Appropriations Committee, explaining why this is NOT TRUE. The Comptroller reimburses the higher education institutions for the full cost of fringe benefits for employees paid out of the block grant (i.e. the Governor’s proposal).
We can feel neither comforted by, nor confident in, the leadership of President Gray. He remains focussed on his obviously failed Transform 2020 initiative. Further, we have learned that the System Office is withholding $40 million dollars of the Governor’s proposed block grant for the Community Colleges for itself. Dr. Gray is solving his own budget crisis – one that results from a bloated system office bureaucracy and his continued mismanagement – by forcing a budget crisis upon our colleges.
jrojas April 2nd, 2015
Recently the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) that effectively barred same-sex married couples from being recognized as “spouses” for purposes of federal law. State Comptroller Kevin Lembo announced a special open enrollment period for state employees and retirees who wish to add a same-sex spouse to the State’s health plan and explained immediate changes in the federal tax treatment of health benefits provided to same-sex married couples.
The Special Open Enrollment period will occur between July 9, 2013 and September 13, 2013 to give employees the opportunity to enroll a same-sex spouse for health benefit coverage. During this period, enrollment is limited to state employees and retirees who did not previously enroll their same sex spouse. Subscribers who fail to add a same-sex spouse partner during the Special Enrollment Period will not be permitted to add such persons until the annual Open Enrollment period for coverage effective July 1 of each year, or until a Qualifying Event such as a loss of coverage or life status change. The Subscriber must provide a copy of his or her marriage certificate at the time of enrollment.
For employees and retirees currently covering a same sex spouse under the state health plan, the Comptroller’s Office is working on adjusting premium shares from a post-tax to a pre-tax basis and modifying federal income and Social Security taxes year to date.
The IRS and the U.S. Department of Labor are expected to issue guidance concerning how the Supreme Court’s decision will affect the administration of some 1,000 federal laws. It is presently unclear how the ruling will impact federal income tax returns filed in prior years or whether the IRS will establish specific procedures for same-sex couples to seek refunds based on filing status or payment of federal income and Social Security taxes on the imputed value health benefits to a same-sex spouse.
jrojas July 11th, 2013
After nearly a decade, the Second Circuit Court’s opinion invalidating John Rowland’s layoff of nearly 3,000 state employees is a tremendous victory for the free speech rights of all Americans. The court held that when a governor punishes people because of the group to whom they belong – whether it’s a union or a political party, or a religion – he or she violates our Constitution’s most cherished provisions.
The case is now being remanded to the district court to craft appropriate equitable relief, and to consider the case for damages against the former governor.
The Second Circuit Court’s opinion shows that Rowland’s treatment of public service workers as the enemy is costly and destructive – to the workers and the vital public services they provide, and to every taxpayer.
Instead, it is mutual respect – for the law, for public service workers, and most importantly the public we all serve – which will move us forward towards a better future. Our country and state simply function better when top officials work with and for working families, instead of against them.
“It feels great to be vindicated by the appellate court,” said Denise Bouffard, a Support Enforcement Officer and plaintiff in the case who was illegally fired from the state in 2003. “I stepped forward because as a single parent I wanted to show my daughter that when you believe in something you have to stand up for what is right.” Denise is a member of Judicial Professional Employees Local 4200B.
“When John Rowland laid off nearly 3000 state workers it was a mean, vindictive act that was perpetuated by Jodi Rell, after Rowland went to prison,” said Marcelle Pichanick Groves, one of the named plaintiffs in the case. “Rell had many opportunities to make this right and thus mitigate the damages for our state’s tax payers. Instead she chose to waste millions of taxpayer dollars fighting this lawsuit. I thank the court for upholding the rights of workers.” Groves worked as a Management Analyst 2 for the Department of Environmental Protection when Rowland laid off 3,000 state employees including her. She now works for the State Department of Education as an Associate Account Examiner and is a member of A&R Local 4200.
Ultimately the Court’s decision is a welcome reminder to the John Rowlands of Connecticut, the Scott Walkers of Wisconsin and the Koch brothers of everywhere that in America it’s not just the powerful, the rich and the big corporations that have free speech rights. Ordinary Americans, whether they work for the government, private industry or their corner drug store, have rights, too.
A copy of the decision can be found here: http://www.ca2.uscourts.gov/decisions/isysquery/3829bb26-7573-4307-b014-149c3c3a1ed0/3/doc/11-3061_opn.pdf
jrojas June 4th, 2013
jrojas September 6th, 2012
Posted In: SEBAC