2011 SEBAC Agreement: “Conflicts evident in deal between Malloy and unions”

This was reported in the Waterbury Republican-American Newspaper 6/6/11…no author was listed

“Conflicts evident in deal between Malloy and unions”

“The biennial budget fiasco that unravels every other year in Hartford is imploding on schedule this spring. One central facet of this mess is the “deal” that has been worked out between SEBAC, the state workers’ bargaining unit, and the governor’s office. Everyone directly involved in the negotiations is speaking confidently about the chances the rank-and-file members will sign off on this deal without fanfare. I’m not so confident.

One of the stickier issues in this morass is the activity of one Sal Luciano. Sal is the executive director of AFSCME Council 4, which represents more than 33,000 unionized state employees, including many of the people I work with in the judicial branch. Council 4 pays Mr. Luciano more than $151,000 annually for his services. Mr. Luciano is one of the negotiators ostensibly representing those he refers to as his brothers and sisters in Council 4. The problem is that Comrade Sal seems to be trying to serve two masters in this endeavor. Mr. Luciano is also one of the 11 members of the board of the not-yet-established Sustinet. Sustinet is charged with implementing health-insurance reform in this state. Many people, myself included, think Sustinet is meant to be a precursor to single-payer health care in Connecticut.

Channeling state employees into Sustinet is part of the deal union members are to vote on. There is a great deal of consternation over Mr. Luciano’s apparent conflict of interest. To understand his behavior, one need only follow the money.

In May 2010, the Sustinet board released a report on federal health-insurance reform. One hundred fifty thousand dollars of the funding came from the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut (UHCFC), which with three other foundations provided $615,000 to produce the report. UHCFC also gave $100,000 to Council 4 from 2009 to 2010.”

 
 
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