2011 SEBAC Agreement: CHALLENGED!!!!!!!



update 7/28/11


The state Board of Labor Relations has scheduled a preliminary meeting on Aug. 3 on a prosecutor’s complaint that union leaders’ efforts to strike a $1.6 billion concessions deal with the governor violated collective bargaining laws.

Lisa Herskowitz, a senior assistant state’s attorney in Manchester, filed the paperwork earlier this month.

In late June, members of the 15-union State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition failed to ratify $1.6 billion worth of givebacks Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the Legislature counted on to balance their new, two-year budget.

Fifty-seven percent of voting members and 11 unions — including Herskowitz’s, the Connecticut Association of Prosecutors — backed the givebacks, but not the supermajority required.

Although the governor has begun implementing layoffs and budget cuts, he and labor leaders clarified portions of the deal late last week and unions are scheduling a second-round of voting they hope will save jobs.

SEBAC leaders last week also amended their rules allowing ratification by a simple majority.

Herskowitz in her complaint to the labor board alleges SEBAC violated its own bylaws by agreeing to a two-year wage freeze, arguing the coalition’s negotiating authority is limited to pensions and health care.

She further argues SEBAC should not have reopened the existing pension and health-care agreement, which expires in 2017, without allowing union members to first vote to authorize SEBAC to renegotiate the deal. Rank-and-file approval should also have been sought in early July when SEBAC approached Malloy about reopening talks, Herskowitz said.

Herskowitz also called the SEBAC process of selling the negotiated terms “highly coercive.”

“SEBAC carried out the negotiations in secret without … input from union members,” she wrote. “SEBAC basically said, `Here it is. Take it or leave it. And if you leave it, there will be layoffs and the state will be economically devastated.”

SEBAC spokesman Eric Bailey said, “We are confident that SEBAC leadership have acted in the best interests of its members in reaching a tentative agreement with the state.”

Staff Writer Brian Lockhart can be reached at brian.lockhart@scni.com

Read more: http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Union-revote-challenged-1602748.php#ixzz1TGu7v64K

2011 SEBAC Agreement: A few final thoughts on voting NO ! ! !

If you haven’t voted yet…..Ask yourself this about the 2011 SEBAC Agreement…..If I knew for a fact that I wouldn’t be layed off would I vote for this package?
I believe that the total “Yes” count would be limited to that of those who knew they were getting layed off. So if 7500 were going to be layed off…there would be 7500 “yes” votes. The only factor in this is the FEAR FACTOR”…”will it be me”?
There aren’t too many ways to say this but the agreement “sucks”. There is nothing good in it for any State Employee apart from the “sort of” guaranteed job security for 4 years….layoffs can still happen by consolidation and department elimination.
My reasons for voting NO!
1. No established health care plan is present….a framework… but no actual plan. The only plans we’re lead  to go by expire July 1, 2011…open enrollment was canceled….there is not a plan booklet out for this year.  Anthem, United/Oxford ,or the State Comptrollers office can not give you a contract plan that actually states that it applies to after June of this year. Also…do not forget …contracts with Anthem and United/Oxford expire June 30, 2012. Premiums, copays can rise significantly, and treatments covered, and diagnostic tests (not preventative)  paid for  can  be changed…you’re really only guaranteed your plan won’t change at all this year. Voting Yes allows the State to get “very creative” with your benefits, and not necessarliy in a good way for you!
2. If you’re a tier 2  or 2A, retiring after 2022, and decide to pay into your pension to maintain “normal” retirement age….there is no legal protection or language built into the 2011 Agreement that says what happens to the money you invest should the State legislatively change (to a 401k type plan) or eliminate pensions altogether in 2022 ( or even before). Yes, we would be able to file a lawsuit if they did this….BUT…if you want to retire…. do you want to wait another 10 years for your money? Or have to agree to a settlement?
3. Will we get that last 3% salary increase? This Agreement has us agree to give back the increases bargained for in 2009….why should we believe that last 3% increase will be given, especially when Patrice Peterson called it a “Bargaining chip for next time”  in a union info session!
Finally…..this agreement was put together behind our backs and we had no input!  Several Union Leaders have deep connections to the push for Universal Healthcare … you can read that in another recent blog post here…https://wisdomovertime.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/2011-sebac-agreement-crisis-in-connecticut-the-sebac-scandal-wmv-vote-no/
….and I question how clear their motivations were in bargaining  our interests . Were they more interested in benefitting their philosophical/political alignments? and  forwarding the interests of the charitible organizations some represent?
again ask yourself…
Would I vote for this agreement if I knew I wasn’t going to get layed off? 
Good Luck…vote safely!

2011 SEBAC Agreement: Crisis in Connecticut- The SEBAC Scandal.wmv — VOTE NO!

 Info available  to all on line … get informed through your own research!…  Union leaders/execs have their own interests in all of this!  VOTE NO!!!!!!!


 we have Leo Canty’s Agenda here:


for info on Dan Livingston, Bob rinker and Sal Luciano see this blog post https://wisdomovertime.wordpress.com/2011/05/23/sebac-2011-and-possible-conflicts-of-interest-of-union-negotiators/



and other agendas here:



2011 SEBAC Agreement: Suddenly found $$$$$$$…wow…amazing!

New info from the Ct. Mirror…check it out!

“It almost sounds too good to be true: State budget officials, who already saw revenues surge by nearly $400 million over the past month, now say anticipated savings in retired worker health care costs have grown by some $100 million in the same period”

http://www.ctmirror.org/story/12733/last-minute-windfall-pops-retiree-health-care-account#comment-4783 by Keith M. Phaneuf

check out JonPelto’ Blog too. He agrees… we are “being had”


2011 SEBAC Agreement: SustiNet?/Pooling Plan?/ “The Plan with No Name”

You may hear in the coming days from your Union reps/Stewards claims that the insurance plan for State Employees they are trying to force on us is not  SustiNet. Ok then let’s call it.. “The Plan fomerly known as SustiNet. It’s being billed as a “value based plan” or “wellness plan”, or a “pooling option”. Yes, Husky, non Profits and Municiplaities will be invited to participate (Husky plans will be placed in it)

They cut the public option FOR NOW…and “renamed the concept”.   Union Leaders/ Negotiators are trying to separate themselves from their deeply held self interests in organizations and foundations involved in the creation of SustiNet and this SustiNet type plan.   See this —https://wisdomovertime.wordpress.com/2011/05/23/sebac-2011-and-possible-conflicts-of-interest-of-union-negotiators/

Of course there is NO ACTUAL Plan yet. The Tentative Agreement (when wwe get it) may show models, and what ideally the plan will look like, but without the ACTUAL Plan I would be paying for and be covered by infront of me in HARD COPY, I will not even give it a second thought!  Plans with United and Anthem are good until July 1, 2012….it’s after that we are being asked to accept  a “pooling option” with no name and we have no hard evidence to support the concept.

Remember…voting NO keeps your insurance plan and pension in tact until 2017 or until the next time the Administration screws with it!

VOTE NO !!!!!!! Here is a article that explains what happened with “The Plan Formerly Known As SustiNet”


SustiNet Name Lives On (Sans Public Option)

May 17, 2011- Posted by editor in Healthcare


Governor Malloy reached an agreement with the Universal Healthcare Foundation of Connecticut on the SustiNet proposal — at least for this year. It follows the recent announcement that the governor reached a similar agreement with legislative leaders on SustiNet.

SustiNet was originally envisioned to be a state-run health insurance public option, utilizing the state’s self-insured government health plans as the basis for the program that would have been open to every company and individual in Connecticut – eventually.

It would have been a very risky move since the state itself (and not an insurance company) would have had to pay for the medical bills of participating patients, without knowing the risk-profiles of these individuals.

However, things have apparently changed. The agreement now calls for replacing the original SustiNet proposal with a scaled-back version of the perennial “pooling” bill. Under the agreement, SustiNet would open the state employee health plan to municipalities and certain nonprofits.

Noticeably absent from the agreement is the creation of a public health insurance option. However, the agreement also creates the Governor’s SustiNet Healthcare Cabinet, which would evaluate, among other things, the viability of a public option.

We are greatly encouraged about the details of the agreement. And we are hopeful that the new Cabinet will truly evaluate the risks, costs and benefits of a public option, and not merely rubber-stamp the proposal.

Also in the agreement is a new Office of Health Reform and Innovation that would centralize Connecticut’s efforts to implement federal reform and create a federally required health insurance exchange.

Congratulations to all those involved in crafting what appears to be a rational alternative to the misguided public option concept and towards implementing real healthcare reform in our state. — Eric George

 also   http://www.ctmirror.com/story/12603/sustinet-backers-administration-reach-agreement-plan-forward

2011 SEBAC Agreement…bypassing collective bargaining???????

coax $1 billion from labor?

March 22, 2011

By Mark Pazniokas  http://www.ctmirror.org/story/11934/malloys-negotiator-can-friend-coax-1-billion-labor

Mark Ojakian threw back his head and laughed when asked how he became point man for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s efforts to wring $1 billion from state employees. “I don’t know,” Ojakian said. “I kept saying to the governor, ‘I thought you liked me.’ ”

Most people do, in fact, seem to like Ojakian, a fixture in state government and politics for 31 years, whether it’s his opposite number in the unions or a Republican legislator who says Malloy has chosen a negotiator without “an ounce of animus.”

“I always say it’s a long life in a small state,” Ojakian said. “You need to remember that in your dealings with people.”

Ojakian is negotiating with old allies from an ever-shifting, never-ending series of campaigns for Democratic friends and progressive issues, including gay marriage and health reform. He says he can promise them only straightforward conversation about what Malloy concedes is “a big ask.”

In the 57-year-old Ojakian, who was deputy comptroller for Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman’s entire 16 years as comptroller, the Malloy administration has given a seemingly impossible task to a career public employee with a reputation for lowering the temperature in heated discussions.

“Mark was obvious in my mind. I just think it was a great fit,” said Benjamin Barnes, the secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, which oversees budget and labor issues. “Mark has a really novel ability to get people to agree and bring them together.”

Barnes, who held top financial and operational posts in Stamford while Malloy was mayor, hired Ojakian as his deputy at OPM, giving him the services of a state government insider experienced in dealing with the legislature and bureaucracy.

Ojakian comes to the post with a deep background in public policy issues in and out of state government – he also was the chairman of the Hartford Housing Authority – but no experience in leading a major labor negotiation.

Ojakian is sitting across the table from a team led by Daniel Livingston, the experienced chief negotiator for the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition. They have known each other for years.

“I don’t know whether it’s harder or easier” to negotiate with old friends, Ojakian said. “I think I approach from a sense of respect for labor and the positive work that the unions have done.”

Respect is nice, but the administration is relying on concession and labor savings to erase nearly one-third of an estimate $3.2 billion deficit.  The $1 billion sought from labor is nearly 20 percent of the $5.4 billion the state now spends on wages and benefits. Apportioned among 46,000 state employees, $1 billion comes to more than $20,000 each.

“I don’t live in a dream world where I think we’re all going to sit around the table at the end without having some very difficult conversations that might not be as civil as they are right now,” Ojakian said. “I don’t have any illusions where the process may go.”

Observing the ground rules of the administration’s talks with labor, Ojakian is sharing little about the demands, other than saying not all the savings would come from wages and benefits. But he assures two things: the administration has a list of specific savings, and they do add up to $1 billion.

“There seems to be a sense that number was just thrown in there to fill a hole,” Ojakian said. “And actually it was not. There is a way to achieve a billion dollars. So, I don’t want anybody to think that’s a false number or that number cannot be achieved through a variety of savings, ideas and concessions. It can be.”

Technically, the talks are not collective bargaining. The unions have not taken the formal step of reopening any contracts, including 20-year deal on health and pension benefits reached with the administration of Gov. John G. Rowland in 1997.

If they had reopened a contract and begun formal collective bargaining, an impasse would automatically lead to binding arbitration. With these talks, failure would lead, in Malloy’s words, to “unimaginable consequences” of massive layoffs and cutbacks in state services.

The political context for these talks is far different than the unions’ white-hot battles with Rowland. In 2003, the unions filed a federal civil rights lawsuit accusing the Republican governor of ordering 3,000 layoffs in 2003 to punish defiant workers, not close a $650 million deficit.

In Malloy, the unions are dealing with the administration of a Democrat they helped elect by just half a percentage point last fall, giving Connecticut its first Democratic governor in 20 years. They realize a failure to resolve the concession talks would badly wound the new administration.

But many at the Capitol are openly skeptical that the talks can produce $1 billion in savings in each of the next two years.

While Ojakian comes to the task with no major experience in labor talks, he is leading a team that includes Linda Yelmini, the state’s director of labor relations.

His entrée to Malloy is Wyman. His friend and old boss laughs at the idea that her former deputy, who has interacted with legislators for three decades, is new to the art of negotiation.

“You’re always negotiating, wherever you go,” said Wyman, a former legislator. “You’re always negotiating. Everything you talk about here is negotiation in one way or another.”

Wyman met Ojakian in the early 1980s she was a legislative aide and he was a researcher and analyst with the non-partisan Office of Legislative Research.

“He’s a down to earth person, and he’s come up through the ranks,” Wyman said.

Ojakian, who grew up in West Hartford, graduated from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., then earned a graduate degree in international relations at American University in Washington D.C. He was working as a waiter at Carbone’s Restaurant in February 1980 when he was hired by the Office of Legislative Research.

To begin his career as a public employee, Ojakian took a pay cut. He continued to moonlight on weeks at Carbone’s for six months.

By the time Wyman was a state representative serving as co-chairwoman of the Education Committee, Ojakian was managing government affairs for the state Board of Higher Education.

In 1994, when Wyman decided to run for the statewide office of comptroller, Ojakian was struggling with the death of his partner in a car accident. She suggested he volunteer as a distraction.

“One day turned into two days turned into three days, then turned into every day,” Ojakian said. “It quickly became her and I on the road together.”

To celebrate her victory and to thank Ojakian for his help, Wyman offered to take Ojakian to dinner on the eve of her swearing in. He chose Carbone’s, the restaurant where he had waited on dozens of political figures.

Wyman said Ojakian was her obvious choice as deputy. When she became Malloy’s running mate, Ojakian joined the campaign as well. He became Barnes’ deputy with Malloy’s support.

And now Ojakian is handling one of the administration’s toughest jobs

“The trust I felt in Mark, I think the governor felt the same,” Wyman said. “He has the ability to talk, understanding this is not an all out war, that we have a problem to deal with, and how do we find the best solution for it.”

He has maybe a month or two to get to yes. Malloy is pushing to resolve the budget in May, and the legislature has no intention of approving a spending plan with $1 billion in to-be-named labor savings.

“I’m hopeful we re going to be able to work through this without a lot of rancor, I guess,” Ojakian said. “Is that optimistic? Maybe.”

see also



Closer to the truth about the SEBAC Agreement for Connecticut State Employees

Getting closer to the truth about the State Employee Concessions Agreement and one part of what we’re voting for????Read the below links…this is interesting,.educational and enlightening for the Taxpaying private sector and State Employees (who are Taxpayers, also! ) Wish I had seen these when they were originally published!
So it would seem that Governor Malloy wants to change State employee insurance so non profits can “buy in” at a more affordable rate…but not the public sector. Could explain the hard line stance on “compliance” in the union framework, as a healthy group of people would be needed to offset the expenses and claims of those not so. I would sure hope that those non profits proposing to”buy in” would be held to the same standards and premium penalties for non compliance as they would be asking State Employees to maintain, and be forced to sign a compliance agreement as well!
….and State Employees are being “threatened” with layoffs, punitive fines for non compliance,  and the public is being ” threatened” with cuts to programs and reduced state services ….all so this can occur?!
Doesn’t the State Employees Campaign for Charitable Giving already exist?
 (A reminder too that non profits do not pay taxes)
Are our benefits truly  “unsustainable”  or are they ” unsustainable ” in light of this proposed buy in, and the future public option?
Of course the 2017 agreement would need to be opened first…to allow any of this to take place….and I am hearing more and more “NO’s” everyday….mostly “NO’s” at this point.
VOTE NO! … if only for the displayed lack of transparency and dishonesty of this process by the Union Leaders  and the Malloy administration !
To SteveHC…. I don’t approve the comments of “online Trolls”…