2011 SEBAC Agreement revised: CVS Caremark privacy violations and more bad news

 

 

 

http://alarmedaboutcvscaremark.org/index.php?id=52

Why We’re Alarmed About CVS Caremark

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2011 SEBAC Agreement: Near Death ! ! !

As reported this morning… the 2011 SEBAC Agreeement is near death!

See links below…

http://www.ctmirror.org/story/13028/afscme-unit-rejects-concessions-making-ratification-unlikely#comment-6806

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

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?

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: “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.”