4Cs Contract Negotiations: The Coalition Presidents and Attorney Eric Chester met with Steve Weinberger (BOR System Office Vice President of Human Resources) and Arbitrator Joseph Celentano on March 15 to sign a Joint Stipulation Agreement to engage in interest arbitration for a successor collective bargaining agreement. The agreement includes a series of dates for proceeding with arbitration.
The next evidentiary hearing dates are May 9, 16, 24, and June 7 of 2017. Final Last Best Offers shall be submitted within ten (10) calendar days of the final evidentiary hearing. The provisions of the Joint Stipulated Agreement may be modified by mutual agreement of the Parties, in writing.
A meeting with the 4Cs Negotiations Committee is being planned for early April to discuss Last Best Offers.
SEBAC Discussions: SEBAC leaders and Governor Malloy’s representatives from the Office of Policy & Management (OPM) and the Office of Legislative Research (OLR) met on March 10 to continue exploring ideas to save the State money to avoid mass layoffs of State employees. At this meeting a general agreement was reached on a timetable for arriving at a tentative agreement (if possible). The last week of April was suggested as an end point for discussions in order to have a decision – either an agreement or no agreement – before the Appropriations Committee deadline for a draft state budget.
A total of six dates were agreed to by the parties. SEBAC leaders made it clear to the OPM and OLR representatives that a tentative agreement would only be possible if individual CBAs were progressing in meaningful ways toward tentative agreements or settlement of outstanding issues. We received assurance from OPM and OLR representatives that Union leaders will be seeing progress toward this end.
On March 20 another meeting was held to review additional cost savings for potential health care benefit changes and to receive a progress report on individual collective bargaining agreements. Some progress was reported. We reiterated our contention that parallel track discussions – SEBAC talks along with CBA negotiations – are necessary.