2011 SEBAC Agreement :WTF? Voo-doo?

Why do we need unions  if an entity like SEBAC can simply change the rules, and act as a legislative extension of the Malloy administration???

As I wrote in my last blog…the 2011 Agreement  is Dead in the land of OZ…but watch for the possibility of reincarnation! Or perhaps voo-doo!  Check this link:

http://www.wtnh.com/dpp/news/politics/state-union-leaders-press-conference

Anyone who watches the above news video please pay attention to the deflection and non answers by SEBAC union leaders to reporters questions…this is very similar to responses ( or lack of responses) union members received in the union information sessions about the 2011 Agreement!

When you were a kid did you ever “not play with someone'” any longer because every time you played a game they changed the rules when they were losing midway through the game? We called them “cheaters’.

It seems that the SEBAC leadership thinks that when you lose you just change the rules of the game so you win.

Bottom line…The current SEBAC Union By-Laws are the Union By-Laws and were the rules of the game when  Union members voted. End of Game! 80% approval is required to protect union members interests when negotiating for health and pension benefits under the current ByLaws. 14 of 15 unions needed to vote yes to ratify the agreement…only 11 of 15 did…the vote fell far short of the 80% requirement!

Should SEBAC “cheat” and attempt to change the bylaws to suit their needs…they will lose ALL credibility with ALL union members regardless whether they  individually voted yes or NO! IF the current unions are not decertified, any  negotiations on future agreements will be met with a 99.9% NO VOTE!

Again….why do we even need unions if an entity like SEBAC can simply change the rules, and act as a legislative extension of the Malloy administration???

 Here’s a  fun clip from  “Weekend at Bernies” that reminds me of this whole deal!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRMlvBfSBYQ

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: “Power to the People”

Black Eyed Peas, Mary J Blige, and John Legend perform “Power to the People.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUbvYMweQy0

or if you prefer John Lennon’s  original…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppCt-ZwEN1s

you have the  freedom to choose!

2011 SEBAC Agreement: Thoughts on Voting (heck) No ! ! !

Maybe it’s time for “the stuff to hit the fan” for everyone…not just State Employees. The economy of this state will  not change until the whole picture is taken in and analyzed. Specialized long term donations from 45000 will not resolve the problems Connecticut faces….but only placate a public that already has a negative perception of State Employees. No matter which way the vote goes the public view of State Employees will remain the same, and in fact, a yes vote could make it worse by having the public thinking that we don’t even deserve our jobs. That’s the consequence of public service for everyone involved!  
Carefully made cuts  to programs where money is wasted  are what is needed. Please …did anyone know that one of the plan B cuts at DSS is the continued elimination of the “casino bus run” see here (http://www.andr.org/New_Folder/News/MallCuts050611.pdf) . (think your own thoughts on that!)
 
IMO…Special Interest Groups like the Universal Health Care Foundation of Ct. should not be allowed to influence State Policy (SustiNet/Healthcare Pooling), whether SEBAC considers this a conflict of interest or not, from my perspective it is. 
SEBAC apparently doesn’t see having Dan Livingston, Chairman of the Board of CHART ( The parent organization of the Universal Healthcare Foundation of Ct.) performing State Employee Union negotiations on our health benefits  as a conflict of interest, as unions in SEBAC support Universal Healthcare, and have received grants to support the education and promotion of universal healthcare   through “Organizing and Advocacy Grants”  http://www.universalhealthct.org/grants-grants.php  to”Inform and engage individuals, small businesses, health care providers, and communities of faith, advocates, labor, and other key constituencies to participate in a collective call for quality, affordable health care for every Connecticut resident. The main focus of these groups was on state health reform, with some grantees also providing education and mobilizing individuals and groups regarding federal health care reform” from their website.
 
However….As individual union members,you or I may not think that way or support universal healthcare, or any other organizations with political motivations that may be supported by SEBAC. So specifically applied to this scenario….SEBAC’s interests might clash directly with the interests of many union members!
 
Real “concessions” are temporary…. meaning  jobs cut by lay offs, that later can be refilled, furlough days assigned, that can be removed and a 35 hour work week, that can be extended and funds restored to programs that are cut  … when (and if) the economy improves.
 The long term structural changes requested to our pensions and health benefits have resulted  from the “borrowing” by the past administrations who did not make the required deposits into our pension funds, in order to replace money from tax breaks handed out to banks and corporations, this money was never replaced  
Do not open the 2017 Agreement! It is  extremely unlikely ( I don’t like the word “impossible” but… ) that any Governor or adminstration will come in and offer us “more” in the future.
We may get hammered in 2017, or perhaps by then we will have less impulsive administration, but that is 6 years from now. I see no rational reason to give that up now.
 While my heart goes out to those who may suffer (including us!)…this decision has to be made on business level, using a logical thinking process….the Governor is making his decisions based on that model…you might want to do so as well.
 
I will be voting no … heck NO!
see update 6/5/11
https://wisdomovertime.wordpress.com/2011/06/05/1431/  for  more thoughts on voting heck NO!

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.”

Connecticut State Employees…it’s like SustiNet, but it’s not, but it sort of is, with a different name

Here’s the latest on the proposed State employee health care plan that will also allow the joining in by nonprofits and municipalities.   According  of the article…a public option is and is not planned….may or may not happen….you try figure it out!

http://www.ctmirror.org/story/12743/sustinet-compromise-bill-passes-house

                                              https://www.facebook.com/pages/Connecticut-Center-for-a-New-Economy/27935807063

http://www.ctneweconomy.org/

and the associated bill hB 6308 called: AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE CONNECTICUT HEALTHCARE PARTNERSHIPhttp://www.cga.ct.gov/2011/TOB/H/2011HB-06308-R06-HB.htm

http://www.cga.ct.gov/2011/FC/2011HB-06308-R000868-FC.htm

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