2011 SEBAC Agreement: 5th year 3% is a “bargaining chip”

Real quick as it’s getting late…. a quote from  the union president at tonight’s info session….”the last 3% (year 5) is a bargaining chip”…meaning that if you were slated to receive 2% or $2.5% next month as agreed in the 2009 Agreement, it was originally  only intended to give the union somewhere to start this negotiation round! The unions are adding the last 3% as a starting point for the next round! You are not necessarily meant to receive this increase! Do not be snowed by this deal!

Using this same logic ask yourself if you think the Healthcare Pooling Plan/HEP Plan is the bargaining chip for the next round of healthcare change….can you hear the Govenor saying  a few years (or sooner!) from now….’merge your healthcare pool with SustiNet Plan or I’ll have to lay off thousands!

and by the way……yes this Agreement will be opened again for sure  in 2015….or sooner….figure you are not voting on 0,0,3,3, ?…..but  -2.5 ( depends on your contract),0, 2.5,1.5,  then year 5…0 or -3

and one more thought…hey OFA…is the 3% an assumed savings in Malloy’s  long range budget?

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2011 SEBAC Agreement: You’ve got to be kidding…the numbers don’t add up? updated 6/7/11

Any state employees suprised by this?…check out these two articles…guess we’re not the only ones without enough information!  Read the link to the SEBAC _Chart.pdf …if you had questions that went unanswered by union reps …the  Ct.OFA is asking the same questions!

Legislative analysts lack details to confirm full concession savings

By Keith M. Phaneuf

http://www.ctmirror.org/story/12836/legislative-analysts-lack-details-confirm-full-concession-savings 

” With the legislature poised to effectively pre-ratify the tentative concession deal with state employees, their nonpartisan fiscal analysts say they are unable to verify that the $1.6 billion in projected savings is fully achievable.” 

OFA Drops Bomb On Lawmakers by Christine Stuart | Jun 6, 2011

http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/ctnj.php/archives/entry/ofa_drops_bomb_on_lawmakers/

http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/upload/SEBAC_Chart.pdf

“The fiscal note compiled by the Office of Fiscal Analysis says it can’t verify the savings and concessions estimated by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration because it doesn’t have enough information.”

If the legislature doesn’t have enough details to make an informed decision on their vote, how do we?

 Updates 6/7/11

Malloy Defends Labor Agreement Estimates; Warns Of Layoffs  by Christine Stuart

http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/ctnj.php/archives/entry/malloy_defends_labor_agreement_estimates_warns_of_layoffs/

“Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Tuesday morning that it doesn’t really matter what the Office of Fiscal Analysis says about the $1.6 billion union concession package”

Republicans Question Cost-Savings Estimates In Union Deal; Experts Cannot Verify Numbers

http://www.courant.com/news/politics/hc-senate-sebac-0608-20110607,0,3099592.story

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.”

 
 

2011 SEBAC AGREEMENT: More thoughts on voting (heck) NO ! ! !

2011 SEBAC AGREEMENT: More thoughts on voting NO!

So this week the Malloy Administration and Unions did their utmost to show State Employees that we are not getting a healthcare plan by the name of SustiNet. (you can read of the name changes in other entries in this blog) In a move to squelch the SustiNet information read about by State Employees on State Websites and other blogs. the House, on June 3rd, 2011 “recommitted” the SustiNet Bill HB 6305 to the Human Services Committee. This essentially takes the Bill “off the table” for the rest of this Legislative session(which ends June 8th….and thereby “technically” it’s out the picture during the SEBAC voting process. There is no word how quickly this can resurface next session

Read it here Journal of the House 06/03/2011

http://cga.ct.gov/2011/jnl/h/2011HJL00603-R00-JNL.htm
BUSINESS ON THE CALENDAR

MATTER RECOMMITTED

On motion of Representative Sharkey of the 88th District, the following matter was recommitted to the committee indicated:

HUMAN SERVICES. Substitute for H. B. No. 6305 (RAISED) (File No. 341) AN ACT CONCERNING IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SUSTINET PLAN.
… here .. http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/ctnj.php/archives/entry/wyman_seeks_to_clarify_sustinet_rumors/ http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/ctnj.php/archives/entry/wyman_seeks_to_clarify_sustinet_rumors/
and here…

 http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=6305&which_year=2011&SUBMIT1.x=0&SUBMIT1.y=0

http://www.cga.ct.gov/2011/TOB/H/2011HB-06305-R00-HB.htm

(In the meantime…while I write this ( on Sunday morning) ads sponsored by the Universal Healthcare Foundation of Ct. are running  every half hour on WTNH, encouraging people to contact their Legislators to support the SustiNet Bill.)

What are dealing with? HB6308 , which combines aspects of the former SustiNet bill with the Connecticut Healthcare Partnership Bill http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=6308&which_year=2011&SUBMIT1.x=7&SUBMIT1.y=6

 This is meant ” To allow nonstate public employers, municipal-related employers, small employers and nonprofit employers to join the state employee health plan.” according to the Bill Status Report

see also : Health Care a site from the House Democrats of Ct.

http://www.housedems.ct.gov/healthcare/index.asp

Bottom line….The healthcare partnership “pooling plan” needs pool of people to start with so others can dive in…. State Employees are it!

In other action this weekend not reported by Ct. TV News Channels:

CT News Junkie | House Gives Final Passage To Insurance Exchange Bill http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/ctnj.php/archives/entry/house_gives_final_passage_to_insurance_exchange_bill/

“The House on Saturday gave final passage to a bill to create a health insurance exchange that creates a quasi-public agency to develop and run an exchange where individuals and small businesses can buy health insurance.

Here is the Bill:  http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=921&which_year=2011&SUBMIT1.x=0&SUBMIT1.y=0

Now I’m not saying the media is “hiding this info”…but they did report on The change in the “possession of marijuana law” http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/ctnj.php/archive/entry/senate_votes_to_decriminalize_small_amounts_of_cannabis/

 and the mandatory sick leave law passage. http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/ctnj.php/archives/entry/paid_sick_days_passes_house_after_x_hours_of_debate/

…yet they reported nothing about the Health Insurance issues going on.  Why? or Why Not?

So nothing else has changed regarding my thoughts on Voting NO on this sham of a deal!

A mass meeting regarding the Agreement was held at the State Armory Saturday 6/4/11. From other blogs I have read …only preselected questions sent in beforehand were dealt with.  Many “answers” given were conflicting, or didn’t really answer the question asked. …I was not there myself and can not verify this information.

IMO…NOW is the time to hold the line! State employees have not broken the law…why are we being asked to accept a “plea deal”?

State Union members were never consulted or asked for what they might be willing to give up! Malloy is bullying the membership and essentially saying “my way, or the highway”. Threatening to lay off State employees and then scapegoating and projecting the fault onto us for program closures.  Malloy is spending over a billion on a useless busway, and an unnecessary NEW medical center in this economy, all while allowing huge tax breaks to corporations and banks,this is insane!
Some of what he is asking for yes, there are some good concepts….all of it …NO WAY!.

What will we be giving up next time when the State is “short of funds”? With the passage of the sick leave bill do we need to be concerned the next time we are asked for concessions we will be asked to give back some of our current sick leave to make our benefits the same as the private sector? …Just a thought…Just saying….

Holding the line this time isn’t just about this Agreement. it’s about future Agreements! Administrations will feel free a few years down the line to tap into “the State employee fund” with a yes vote this time around.

The State was supposed to make deposits into the pension fund for years and never deposited a dime., and SEBAC allowed this to happen through years of concessions. State Employees didn’t create the problem…why should the “cure”  be focused on our backs? VOTE NO!

fyi…For those who think this page might be the work of the “outside forces” claimed by SEBAC…I can assure you that it is not…. I am a state employee, and it is a compilation of research I have done on the issues surrounding the SEBAC Agreement.

2011 SEBAC Agreement: One year ago “Healthcare pooling” was called “European socialized Medicine”

 

 

 

 

Just one year ago:  “Healthcare pooling” was called “European socialized Medicine” by Sen. Dan Debicella

Senate Approves Two Controversial Healthcare Bills Saturday

The state Senate approved a highly controversial health “pooling” bill that would allow municipalities, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations to join the state employees’ gigantic healthcare pool.

In a rare Saturday session in the historic Senate chamber, the Senate voted 21 to 12, with three members absent, for the pool that has been opposed by Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell. Rell vetoed a similar bill last year, and her budget director has spoken against the bill this year.

Immediately after the pooling bill passed, the Senate began debating the controversial SustiNet universal health care bill. Democrats said that SustiNet is a progressive, forward-thinking system to vastly improve the healthcare system and will allow the state to become “Obama-ready” for the expected healthcare changes at the federal level. By contrast, Republicans derided the bill as the first step toward European-style socialized medicine.

Shortly before 3:30 p.m., the Senate voted 23 to 12 on strict party lines with 23 Democrats in favor and all 12 Republicans opposed.

Sen. Jonathan Harris, a West Hartford Democrat who summarized the bill on the Senate floor, said the current healthcare system needs to be improved because it is highly expensive. Every year, the current public and private health care systems spend $22 billion to cover the healthcare in Connecticut. The SustiNet plan, he said, will save $1.8 billion.

The bill, Harris said, covers the four biggest issues regarding healthcare – “cost, quality, access, and coverage.”

“We are picking a path,” Harris said on the Senate floor. “The final decision, or decisions, will be made by future General Assemblies.”

“SustiNet is a self-insured coverage system,” Harris said. “The delivery system is a very important piece of this. … Every individual in this state should be entitled to a primary care doctor.”

The bill calls for an expansion and improvement of electronic medical records “so we bring that country doctor with the bag from the 19th century into the 20th century,” Harris said. “SustiNet brings this to the table.”

HUSKY A and B and SAGA will be in a separate pool or silo, Harris said.

“This doesn’t push out the private market,” Harris said. “A level playing field will be established and there will be competition, which made this country great. … This bill does not implement SustiNet or any significant part of SustiNet. … The General Assembly must come back to the drawing board” to implement SustiNet.

“I want to be clear. Today, we are not legislating this to happen,” Harris said. “We will need to do more later. … We’re in this together, and we’re not going to succeed unless we work together.”

The bill sets up three task forces – on obesity, tobacco, and the workforce.

Obesity “is putting a major drag on the healthcare system,” Harris said.

But Sen. Dan Debicella, the ranking Senate Republican on the budget-writing appropriations committee, said the bill is both bad healthcare policy and bad fiscal policy. The measure would be a huge drain on taxpayers in the future that was not outlined in the bill, and plan would mirror “the gold-plated plan” that state employees currently have, he said.

“The bill before us today is not the answer,” Debicella said. “It is a path that will lead us to a bad policy” on government-run healthcare.

“This bill presupposes the answer,” he said. “The core of it is the wrong answer that we have presupposed. … The bad policy in this bill says that we are going to harm the 94 percent who have health insurance to help the 6 percent of us who do not have it. … It hurts one to help the other, and there’s a better way. The better is to focus on cost containment.”

Regarding how to pay for the plan, Harris said it will be decided by legislators in the future.

“The end-goal for the advocates is to have a European-style” socialized medicine, Debicella said.

Greenwich Republican Sen. L. Scott Frantz said that he applauds the concept of improving the healthcare, even though he opposed the bill.

“It’s a noble cause,” Frantz said. “The only question is: how do we get there?”

Three ways of reducing costs include medical malpractice reform, reducing tobacco use, and reducing obesity. If all tobacco use was eliminated, the system could save 40 percent to 60 percent of the entire healthcare bill, Frantz said. If obesity was eliminated, the system would save another 15 percent to 25 percent.

“I’m not sure government can take care of every need,” Frantz said on the Senate floor.

Sen. Edward Meyer, a Democrat, said he has “had issues” with SustiNet, but the plan makes improvements on cost, quality, and access – three important issues in health care.

“SustiNet will give us further choice,” Meyer said. “It is the major game in town. It’s something we have to consider.”

But Senate GOP leader John McKinney of Southport opposed the bill.

“The bill is much more than a study. The bill before us is clearly designed to implement the SustiNet plan,” McKinney said, adding that the SustiNet plan will likely cost $1 billion in 2012.

In Canada, the universal, single-payer system “has many shortcomings” in which individuals “are treated as expenses” who cannot get quick access to their doctors, McKinney said. “It’s not anecdotal. It’s true. … The system we have, for all its flaws, is much, much better. That’s why this is the wrong bill at the wrong time.”

Sen. Edith Prague, a Columbia Democrat, said, “The uninsured are not getting their healthcare free. Each and every one of us is paying for it.”

While Republicans trashed the plan, Sen. Joseph Crisco said, “It really is a brilliant piece of work.”

Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney, a New Haven Democrat, said the bill was “timely, patient-centered, and equitable. … By 2011, the board of directors that will be set up under this bill will have to make recommendations” on healthcare improvements.

Senate President Pro Tem Donald Williams, the leader of the 24-member Democratic caucus, said, “We know there can be vast improvements in the delivery of healthcare to everyone who needs it.”

Longtime healthcare advocate Tom Swan said, “People nationally understand that this is a very big deal in the national debate.”

Universal Health Care Foundation president Juan Figueroa, a former legislator from Hartford, hailed the passage of both SustiNet and the pooling bill.

“Together, these two reform bills set the state on a path of health care and economic recovery,” Figureroa said. Business, labor, clergy and health providers are all on board. Now, we need the governor to lead our state through its health care crisis.”

2011 SEBAC Agreement: Health Insurance “pooling” planned (originally sustinet) “long ago” & pensions will change again in 2022

Part 1

The health plan part of the 2011 SEBAC Agreement was planned long before union “talks”  began. This is not a new concept, just new to most of us! 

 …See the below links

http://www.ct.gov/malloy/lib/malloy/6-Health_Care.pdf

 This is a very long report but well worth a scan (on page 49 you’ll find a letter regarding Healthcare System Change by Executive director of CSEA SEIU Bob Rinker). See how much went on “when you weren’t  looking”  …read through it  it…and you will no longer wonder why the media fills our heads  with reality shows ,talk shows, and junk news.  This is going on nationwide..”for better, or worse”

other links:

http://www.progressivestates.org/news/dispatch/obama-ready-public-health-insurance-plans-approved-ct-house

http://www.housedems.ct.gov/olson/pubs/CHP_clips_4-24-08.pdf

http://www.cga.ct.gov/2011/JFR/H/2011HB-06308-R00INS-JFR.htm

 Part 2

Anyone in tier 2 needs to say ABSOLUTELY NO to this agreement. Forget paying  3% begining in 2 years ! They are going to at minimum raise the age in 2022, and in order to have the deal in this agreement you will have to “buy back” 3 years, but will have to start doing so by 2013. wtf! So now it’s 3% plus( retiree health benies…plus an amount to be determined to buy into your retirement age… unless you want to work until at least 63!? 

from the agreement 

 4.” Current employees who retire after July 1, 2022 – The following changes do not
apply to individuals who retire under the Hazardous duty provisions of the plan.
Normal Retirement eligibility increases from Age 60 and 25 Years of Benefit Service
or Age 62 and 10 Years of Benefit Service to Age 63 and 25 Years of Benefit Service
or Age 65 and 10 Years of Benefit Service. This change affects all years of benefit
service earned on or after July 1, 2011. By July 1, 2013, current employees may
make a one-time irrevocable election to begin paying the actuarial pension cost of
maintaining the normal retirement eligibility that exists in the present plan which is
scheduled to change effective July 1, 2022. The cost shall be established by the
Plan’s actuaries and shall be communicated to employees by the Retirement
Division. Such election shall be made on a form acceptable to the Retirement
Commission and shall indicate the employee’s election to participate or not to
participate. In the event the employee fails to make an election, he/she shall not be
eligible to participate. In the event the employee makes a successful claim to the
Retirement Commission of agency error, the employee shall make payments in
accordance with usual practice.
5. Tier II, MA and Tier III Breakpoint – The parties will meet and discuss a modification
to the Breakpoint that will be effective for service earned on and after July 1, 2013.
The revised breakpoint will be designed so that the pension amount for individuals
earning under the current breakpoint will be increased. The cost of such change in
Breakpoint shall not increase the Employer Normal Cost more than .5% of payroll in
any year. The formula change and costs shall be provided by the Plan’s Actuaries. In
the event the parties are unable to agree on the revised Breakpoint, the matter shall
be referred to the arbitrator appointed under the terms of the Pension Agreement
and governed by the provisions of CGS sec. 5-278a and the terms of this agreement”.

2011 SebacTentative Agreement: VOTE NO!

New State of Ct. Motto…Keeping you healthy, so you can work longer!

I will still be voting NO! Tier 2 Pensions are essentially gutted!

 here’s a link to the 2011 Tentative agreement from the inthistogetherct.org website….as typical they wait until the late Friday before a holiday weekend!

http://inthistogetherct.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/DEL_SEBAC_05_27_11_2.pdf

By the way the “health plan” was set up before “talks” began http://www.cga.ct.gov/2011/JFR/H/2011HB-06308-R00INS-JFR.htm