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House Bills 5060 and 5468

     Two bills which will significantly affect members of this Local, past and present, have worked through the Labor and Public Employees Committee of the General Assembly (state legislature), and may be considered by the entire General Assembly for passage. The bills are as follows:

     House Bill No. 5060 (Raised) - An Act Concerning Municipal Binding Arbitration in the City of Waterbury. This bill would remove key components of the current strong labor provision. In the event that the Local, the City, and the Oversight Board could not reach an agreement, the parties would be subject to binding and final arbitration by a three member neutral panel. This is a crucial step toward restoring the collective bargaining rights which the previous legislation stripped from Waterbury's municipal workers.

     House Bill No. 5468 (Raised) - An Act Concerning Municipal Pension Benefit Reductions. This bill would prohibit the City from diminishing or eliminating the rights and benefits granted to an employee or retiree under a municipal retirement or pension system through the collective bargaining process.

     Getting these bills through the Labor and Public Employees Committee proved to be a limited battle, getting the General Assembly to pass the bills must be seen as nothing short of a war effort. (5060 must still be voted out of the Planning and Development Committee). As with the state takeover bill, the General Assembly will be looking to the Waterbury Delegation for direction. The Waterbury Delegation must be made to understand that they have to support these bills. This understanding can only be achieved by members of this Local, their families, and friends seizing this opportunity to meet with, call, and e-mail members of the Waterbury Delegation, the Planning and Development Committee (for 5060), and/or the state legislators representing their hometown, as well as other members of the General Assembly.

     Please view the following 3 pages to copy and paste email addresses and sample letters. Simply click the 'Back' button on your browser to return to this page. Also, instructions on how to copy and paste are provided at the bottom of this page.

Email Addresses      Sample Letter 1      Sample Letter 2

     Impress on the legislators the importance of this legislation to you and to workers across the state who may be affected by the precedent of suspending worker rights in a financial crisis. You may cite some of the points from "Points to Insert into e-mails". Let them know, "Labor is watching, and Labor votes."

Only by making the collective voices of labor heard,
can we prevail. Act today for a better tomorrow.

     The following points can also be inserted into the e-mails:

  • Governor Rowland sought concessions on three issues: pensions, longevity pay, and medical benefits. The Waterbury Financial Planning and Assistance Board (WFPAB) created over 300 issues for the fire department alone. Many of these lacked a financial basis.
  • Members of the oversight board, WFPAB, have no experience in collective bargaining or arbitration.
  • Time limits set by the initial legislation were impossible to meet.
  • The chairman of the WFPAB established arbitrary and impossible deadlines for the completion of testimony.
  • Arbitration board members ,WFPAB, talked openly to the press. Their statements frequently reflected severe bias, not neutrality.
  • The burden of the City of Waterbury's financial problems were placed directly on municipal workers.
  • Employee contracts were negotiated in good faith. Politicians accepted no responsibility for financial mismanagement.
  • This legislation would be a step towards a fair negotiation process.
  • City employees have historically worked with the city during hard times. Unions have foregone pay raises, worked overtime for straight pay, and given up benefits.
  • The coalition of unions had formulated a plan of $14 million worth of concessions toward Mark Ryan's initial benchmark of $15 million.
  • The Fire Department contract of benefits and wages was in line with, if not below, that of fire departments in the state's four largest cities.
  • The initial legislation stripped all meaningful MERA protections leaving only time constraints.
  • The board is not bound to accept the last best offers, nor is it limited to deciding debated subjects of negotiation.
  • Unions are essentially coerced into accepting untenable city negotiated contracts lest they go before the unchecked WFPAB.
  • The legislation allowed the Governor alone to name the WFPAB, allowing for an unbalanced, biased panel.
  • There is no appeal process or system of checks and balances. The WFPAB operates without oversight.
  • Retirees fulfilled their obligation of service to the City. The City cannot be allowed to back away from its good faith obligation to them.

Copy and Paste Instructions

     Position your mouse cursor at the beginning of the text you would like to copy. Hold down the left mouse button and drag the mouse cursor to the end of the text you would like to copy and release the left mouse button. This will 'highlight' the selected text. Now hold down the 'Control' button on your keyboard and press 'c'. This will copy the selected text to the 'Clipboard'. Next open a New email message. For the email addresses, left click in the 'To:' box. Then hold down the 'Control' button on your keyboard and press 'v'. This will paste the contents of the 'Clipboard'. For the Sample letters and the sample Points, simply do the same thing, but only paste the text into the 'Body' of the email message.

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