State Employee Unions Battle Public's Call For Shared Sacrifice

Full story: Hartford Courant

The black-and-white images of helpful civil servants fill the screen: a state trooper coming to the aid of a motorist, a teacher conferring with a young child, a stethoscope-wearing nurse checking a patient.
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Statie

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#1
Feb 24, 2009
 

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The party is over!!!! An economy of $15 an hour no defined benefit pension let alone a 401K match, cannot support the state beast. Not to fear, our entire economy is imploding before our eyes and none of these state retirees, will ever collect what they are due. Look at GM. Greed killed the USA.
Please Understand

Waterbury, CT

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#2
Feb 24, 2009
 

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It is not for the most part the union members that feel this way it is the entrenched union heads. They fear losing revenue from union dues. I am more than willing to have co-pays increased and willing to accept furloughs. The bums in charge of the union are greedy SOBs.
TKay

Granby, CT

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#4
Feb 24, 2009
 

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Let's not forget, it was not the state workers who put us in this mess. However, with that being said, state workers have to be ready to takes cuts and possible layoffs- we are all in this together
summer lovin

Coventry, CT

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#5
Feb 24, 2009
 

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The prison gaurds got raises, these guys can work an overtime any time they need a little exrta cash.
Shoreliner

Merrimack, NH

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#6
Feb 24, 2009
 

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Please Understand wrote:
It is not for the most part the union members that feel this way it is the entrenched union heads. They fear losing revenue from union dues. I am more than willing to have co-pays increased and willing to accept furloughs. The bums in charge of the union are greedy SOBs.
I understand completely. I suspect that this dynamic occurs in most unions. Unfortunately, you have made a deal with the devil whose interests are not align with most residents.

That said, if the Unions are not willing to sacrifice like the rest of us, my message to Governor Rell is simple

- cut fast,
- cut big, and
- keep cutting

The Unions do not run Connecticut, the taxpayers do. If the GA does not have the stomach to downsize state government, they all (including Speaker Donovan) must be voted out.
Snow White

Arlington, VT

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#7
Feb 24, 2009
 

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The problem is that any cuts in state goverment will not be where they need to cut it will be where ever her appointed folks at OPM want to cut. The lazy ass high paying folks who do nothing but smoke and hang out in the cafe and read there papers will stay on the job you will loose the ones that matter. Raise the Co pay on scripts and give furlough days to all..
By the way I do work for the state but its time to give back..
Peter

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#8
Feb 24, 2009
 

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Most State worker are feeding at the trough-lazy, arrogant and with a sense of entitlement. I know one in particular who works in the IT center in East Hartford. Dumb, lazy, arrogant-sneezes and take 2 days off with pay-4 weeks vacation a year, numerous paid holidays, paid up retirement (plus his trust funds)- Pays 10 dollars a month for the best health care- and whose ass is protected by the union- yep. All at the tax payers expense. He could not survive in the real world.
Simsbury_Grrl

Pleasanton, CA

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#9
Feb 24, 2009
 

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I don't hate the state worker. I think most of them are poor slobs just trying to support themselves and have a little money so they can have fun on the week-ends just like the private sector workers.
-
Unfortunately, I do think there is a lot of waste in the state budget and I think there is room for 10% cuts across the board and that is including the union's. I think there are many 6 figure, House Speaker, PR positions that could be cut without impacting the efficacy of state services. I think it is high-time to look at all political appointees and any job in the legislature and eliminate anyone who is not vital to running the state. That includes eliminating all special interest commissions and caucases. They are not needed, they should go.
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I also think this retirement package is a stupid idea. If we have to pay them, they might as well be working for us. Whenever there is a early retirement package, you lose the most experienced people and there is a need to hire replacements in the near future. This needs to be a surgical strike - eliminate the soft stuff.
Kay

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#10
Feb 24, 2009
 

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I work in a group home for the developmentally disabled that is run by a private agency.
I make about HALF as much as a state employee doing the SAME job in a state-run group home. No job security either.
been there

New Britain, CT

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#12
Feb 24, 2009
 

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I am self employed and these past 6 months have been the worst I have ever seen. Never mind taking a paycheck I just try to meet the overhead. State workers have no clue.
They don't work in the private sector
they don't understand what it is all about. They get protection from the union set pay increases, benefits up
the a-- and guaranteed retirement benefits that just kick in without giving it a thought. We can't all work for the goverment and it's time
that state workers get cut and make
concessions.
VtSon

Spring, TX

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#13
Feb 24, 2009
 

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I don't think that cutting jobs is the key issue here. It is the unions that are driving force behind this mess. Get them out of state e'ee issues. You need them any longer. Now they have this massive PR campaign going on with YOUR MONEY. This has to be costly to run this campaign. Raising fees for licenses isn't the answer either. Theses fee increases hurt the little business owner and low income folks who are already strapped with higher costs and reduced income. The answer is get rid of the unions, pare the salaries of state e'ees and benefits.
fair share

Westfield, MA

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#14
Feb 24, 2009
 

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Unions do not do a good job representing the rank and file. I think the majority of state workers would take furlough days and a raise in co-pays if the union leadership would bother to ask. They seem to be busy protecting the interests of those who are near the end of their careers as opposed to doing what's best for all.
Is there no legal way for the state to take charge? BTW-I am a state emplyee who took a cut in pay and vacation time to work for the state. The pay in some depts. is NOT comprable to other sectors. Some of us just want to do the work we love.
wallie dee

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Feb 24, 2009
 

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I am one of a rare breed. I have worked as a state employee, and also in the private sector, so I've seen both sides.

Where is the waste in state employment? It's at the managerial and appointee level. That's where you find the unqualified, unneeded, politically connected who got their job based on who they know. Cut from the top; not at the bottom. The"real" state employees are the cops, nurses, snow plow drivers, etc, who do real work that the public needs. If we need to get rid of state employees, let's start with the multitude of "Deputy Assistant" Commissioners at virtually every state agency, and half of the managers and do-nothing supervisors.

Secondly, why does the governor and the rest of the pols wring their hands and wail if a private sector employer closes up shop, and 100 jobs are lost, but they are filled with glee at the idea of laying off 1,000 underlings who work for the state? Those state workers also contribute to the economy with their purchases and taxes they pay. When they lose their jobs, they also cut back on their spending, and also collect unemployment.

Thirdly, enough already about the holidays. State employees get 12 holidays a year. The only "extra holidays they get that aren't given in the private sector are Lincoln's Birthday, Columbus Day, and Veteran's Day. Wow; 3 whole days all year. That's definitely what's bankrupting the state. How much money would we save if all the state employees worked on those 3 days? Nothing. Days off do not affect payroll cost; they affect labor productivity. When I was in the private sector, if you needed some time off to pick up a sick child at school, etc, the boss usually cuts you a break. Working for the state, every minute you take off for any reason has to be charged to your time off. The 3 "extra" holidays don't mean squat, so quit carping on an inconsequential matter.

You want to save big bucks? Get rid of all of the free cars (and gas), free junket trips, and free food all of the managers and political appointees get, at the state's expense, every day. That's real money.

“Born & raised in Connecticut”

Since: Aug 08

Grand Prairie, TX

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#16
Feb 24, 2009
 

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Shoreliner wrote:
<quoted text>
I understand completely. I suspect that this dynamic occurs in most unions. Unfortunately, you have made a deal with the devil whose interests are not align with most residents.
That said, if the Unions are not willing to sacrifice like the rest of us, my message to Governor Rell is simple
- cut fast,
- cut big, and
- keep cutting
The Unions do not run Connecticut, the taxpayers do. If the GA does not have the stomach to downsize state government, they all (including Speaker Donovan) must be voted out.
You're seriously fooling yourself if you think the taxpayers run the state.

And you're also fooling yourself if you think the union is just going to lay down and accept these big deep cuts you speak of.

Vested interests in Connecticut run the state and they do it full time too.

What do taxpayers do, step into a booth every so often and pull a couple levers?

Still, I'd just love to see the state employees get slapped down like the greedy little toads they are.

I've been told many times by state employees themselves that they can't believe how good they have it, and all at your expense too.

And now that times are tough, you want them to share the pain?

Where were you when they were building their publicly financed empire?
Citizen Joe

AOL

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#17
Feb 24, 2009
 

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I watched that comercial and got sick to my stomic:

The State Police is nothing but a Tax Collector for the State ! They have an Unofficial Quota of revenue they have to generate or they get their Jet Black Chargers taken away and find themselves patrolling in a early 2000 Crown Vic 40 miles from their home. Lay Em OFF !

And dont get me started about the lazy DOT Snow plowers, they do a lousey job on the highways !!!

Then tere are the bumbs from 1199 that cant even get a bed pan clean !

None of these bumbs will be missed
Imagine No Religion

Glastonbury, CT

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#18
Feb 24, 2009
 

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Wake up Connecticut. Of course state employees will have to take cuts, and equally obvious is the fact that taxes will have to be raised. This is not an either/or choice.
Bob

New London, CT

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#19
Feb 24, 2009
 

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Peter wrote:
Most State worker are feeding at the trough-lazy, arrogant and with a sense of entitlement. I know one in particular who works in the IT center in East Hartford. Dumb, lazy, arrogant-sneezes and take 2 days off with pay-4 weeks vacation a year, numerous paid holidays, paid up retirement (plus his trust funds)- Pays 10 dollars a month for the best health care- and whose **** is protected by the union- yep. All at the tax payers expense. He could not survive in the real world.
Yes, we all have examples of those types of employees in both private and the public sector. The vast majority of State employees however, are hardworking reasonable people. Don't let the few bad apples cloud your view. Also don't let the Union bosses cloud your view either, they are concerned with maximizing member dues, out-of-state conventions, and perks(meals/cars/etc..). They are the true cancer in this whole thing.
Lou

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#20
Feb 24, 2009
 

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Lost in this article as usual by the Courant is the revenue generator of Fairfield county. It's over-no money.
Forget 55,000 state employees taking eight unpaid days off. Try 42,000 taking a month off-that might work in the short term. That's why CA imploded,progressive tax tied to higher incomes. The top supports the bottom - just like us. Aren't we smart?
The Slave

Brooklyn, CT

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#21
Feb 24, 2009
 

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How that slave driver massa Jim Calhoony and his UNCONN millioners chipping in a bit.
Holidays

Waterford, CT

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#22
Feb 24, 2009
 

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Reality, still needs to be instilled. Most workers do not receive Washingtintons B-Day, Good Friday or MLK off. Never mind the number of illness days, and if state is closed early, no need to make up the time.
Just try a touch of reality.
wallie dee wrote:
I am one of a rare breed. I have worked as a state employee, and also in the private sector, so I've seen both sides.
Where is the waste in state employment? It's at the managerial and appointee level. That's where you find the unqualified, unneeded, politically connected who got their job based on who they know. Cut from the top; not at the bottom. The"real" state employees are the cops, nurses, snow plow drivers, etc, who do real work that the public needs. If we need to get rid of state employees, let's start with the multitude of "Deputy Assistant" Commissioners at virtually every state agency, and half of the managers and do-nothing supervisors.
Secondly, why does the governor and the rest of the pols wring their hands and wail if a private sector employer closes up shop, and 100 jobs are lost, but they are filled with glee at the idea of laying off 1,000 underlings who work for the state? Those state workers also contribute to the economy with their purchases and taxes they pay. When they lose their jobs, they also cut back on their spending, and also collect unemployment.
Thirdly, enough already about the holidays. State employees get 12 holidays a year. The only "extra holidays they get that aren't given in the private sector are Lincoln's Birthday, Columbus Day, and Veteran's Day. Wow; 3 whole days all year. That's definitely what's bankrupting the state. How much money would we save if all the state employees worked on those 3 days? Nothing. Days off do not affect payroll cost; they affect labor productivity. When I was in the private sector, if you needed some time off to pick up a sick child at school, etc, the boss usually cuts you a break. Working for the state, every minute you take off for any reason has to be charged to your time off. The 3 "extra" holidays don't mean squat, so quit carping on an inconsequential matter.
You want to save big bucks? Get rid of all of the free cars (and gas), free junket trips, and free food all of the managers and political appointees get, at the state's expense, every day. That's real money.

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