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:
- 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.
- 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.
ebenson September 20th, 2017
Posted In: Political Action, Unions
Within the next year, the Supreme Court is likely to hear and rule on the latest threat to workers: Janus v. AFSCME Council 31. This case has the potential to make Right to Work law in all 50 states.
This case would likely overturn Abood v. Detroit, where the Supreme Court affirmed that it was constitutional for public sector unions to collect fair share fees (agency fees in CT) from employees who choose not to join a union, but who the union is legally required to represent in negotiations with the employer.
As all public employees enjoy the benefits, job security, and other protections the union negotiates, it is only fair that all employees contribute to the cost of securing those benefits and protections. Without this security, the union’s collective power can be seriously weakened as members can be divided when a “free rider” effect erodes the solidarity encouraged by a “fair share” approach.
Established in 1968 to destroy public and private sector unionism, this National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRTWLDF) has strong ties to the Koch network and other corporate special interests. The Janus case is their latest effort to use the judiciary to weaken the labor movement. In addition to Janus, there are six other ongoing cases brought by public sector workers with free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.
The Janus case is on track for the Supreme Court to decide whether to hear it at its first conference of the term beginning in the fall of 2017. If four justice agree, the Supreme Court could announce soon after its September 25, 2017 conference that it will hear the case.
Make no mistake that this is an attempt to starve unions of resources and power.
Together We Rise
To Build our 21st Century Union, SEIU has recently launched Together We Rise, an historic union-wide member outreach effort to recommit hundreds of thousands of SEIU members to stick together, to inspire leaders to organize and mobilize on an unprecedented scale, and to transform our union to a thriving, highly interconnected 21st century SEIU.
Some of the key elements of this effort is enhancing digital engagement, developing member organizers, and improving technology.
The 4Cs will be incorporating this SEIU initiative to fortify, mobilize, and transform our local!
ebenson September 7th, 2017
Posted In: Unions
For those of us in higher education, Labor Day marks the beginning of the semester. Labor Day often represents a long weekend where we can catch our breath after a hectic first week of the semester.
As Labor Day approaches this year, we hope you take a moment to reflect on why it’s crucial to maintain a strong union at the community colleges. Whether it’s working with the Administration to make sure that Students First really puts students first or maintaining our rights and benefits by not letting someone unilaterally change them, working together gives us a stronger voice than we would have individually.
Please note that you are also invited and encouraged to attend a joint Labor Day event (see the sidebar for more information).
ebenson August 31st, 2017
Posted In: Unions
Thank you to everyone who participated in the vote on the 4Cs and SEBAC Tentative Agreements.
All three tentative agreements – SEBAC, 4Cs full-time CBA, and 4Cs part-time CBA – were overwhelmingly approved by you. Please see the attached
for our CBA results.
In addition, all Connecticut SEBAC voting unit members unanimously approved the SEBAC tentative agreement. Please see the SEBAC press release here
The support of these agreements by our members sends an important message to every Connecticut citizen. Together, we have stated loud and clear that we are willing to do our part to assure Connecticut Community Colleges continue to deliver affordable, high quality education and excellent services into the future. This is what we do, and we do it extremely well!
Your support for these agreements is a reflection of how much 4Cs members care about protecting Connecticut Community Colleges, our students, and our communities.
Thank you for your dedication and sacrifice.
Bryan R. Bonina, President
Congress of CT Community Colleges
ebenson July 18th, 2017
Posted In: 4Cs President, SEBAC, Unions
During the last hours of the 2017 regular legislative session, Republicans threatened collective bargaining rights for all state employees. They have also voiced their opposition to the SEBAC Agreement, arguing that it doesn’t go far enough.
Many of the same individuals will be holding a public budget forum on Tuesday, July 11th at 2 PM in Room 2E of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.
The 4Cs is encouraging our members to come to the State Capitol on Tuesday afternoon to show our solidarity and support for collective bargaining.
If you are interested in participating, please email email@example.com for more details.
ebenson July 9th, 2017
Posted In: Collective Bargaining, SEBAC, Unions
The Yale University Graduate Students in Unite HERE are planning a massive action on Monday, May 22, beginning at 8:30am in New Haven.
As you may know, the Yale Graduate Students have formed a union and the Administration is delaying going to the bargaining table.
Unite HERE and the Yale Graduate Students have been supportive of the 4Cs organizing effort at the University of New Haven and in return, we have stopped by a number of their actions.
We encourage our members to attend on Monday! There will be buses from Hartford and Bridgeport, as well as local shuttles that will make it easier to park.
If you are interested in participating, please let Ellen Benson know and she will provide you with the details as they become available.
ebenson May 17th, 2017
Posted In: Unions
The University of Hartford adjuncts voted to join the Congress of Connecticut Community Colleges and SEIU Faculty Forward, marking the first successful effort by adjuncts at a private university in Connecticut!
ebenson January 5th, 2017
Posted In: Part-Timers, Uncategorized, Unions
Last week, CSCU was asked to submit to the Office of Policy & Management reduction options for a 10% cut, which painted a very bleak picture for the Community Colleges. You can read all about it in the following article: A 10 percent cut to state colleges would be “devastating”
Please keep in mind that these are not recommended cuts, nor are they being implemented. At this point, they are simply worst case scenarios. The Community Colleges will likely not be immune from any and all budget cuts or rescissions, but it would more likely be a mix of cuts and savings.
We will continue to keep you informed, but one event to keep in mind is a January 26th Higher Education Day of Action. The 4Cs, CSU-AAUP, and UConn-AAUP will be encouraging students, faculty, and staff to speak out on higher education issues at the Capitol. This will be an excellent opportunity for all to make their voices heard to the decision makers.
November 29th Actions
Low wage workers, including adjunct faculty and graduate students, are joining with child care, airport, and fast food workers to protest on November 29.
Locally, we will be standing up for living wage jobs, racial justice, and affordable child care with the following actions in Hartford:
Join us!! RSVP or acquire more information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about the actions planned across the country here
, including the following quote from a graduate student about why he’s planning to participate in this day of action:
Scott Barish, a research and teaching assistant in the biology department at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, said that although he led class discussions, mentored students and helped write grant proposals, his pay didn’t match his duties.
“When I started working at Duke, I was shocked to see that graduate assistants like me were treated as though our work was not valuable,” Barish told callers.
“We’re not paid enough to meet the rising cost of living, which is why many grad assistants are fighting for unions. so together we can have more power to speak out and create a better work environment. On Nov. 29, we will be out in the streets . . . for higher pay, union rights and respect for all Americans,” Barish said.
ebenson November 22nd, 2016
Posted In: Political Action, State Budget, Unions
Congratulations to the part-time faculty at the University of Hartford for filing for a union election last Thursday! Read all about it here
ebenson November 16th, 2016
Posted In: SEIU, Unions, University of Hartford
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ebenson October 20th, 2016
Posted In: Contract, Unions
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