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Local 724 Political News
Keep it right here for you latest Team 724 news and events.
Political Director Chuck Flynn will posting vital info to the campaign
and Team 724's next move..

APRIL UPDATE

COVID-19 has taken the lead on all headlines recently. Fortunately our personnel have not been exposed as of this writing. In normal time we already face grueling work conditions even without the threat of a new novel virus. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics emergency personnel have among the highest rate of illness and injury of any job.
With virus confirmations now in New London our concerns are not only for individual officers getting sick by COVID-19 but also the gaps in the workforce potentially created in a time when their services may be in high demand. And our personnel may be gone for a substantial amount of time.

NYPD has 550 officers tested positive for COVID and 4,000 cops (12% of department) booked of sick at one time and 4 deaths -two civilian, one school safety agent and Detetcive Cedric Dixson. FDNY had 2,000 firefighters and paramedics out sick (17% of department) with 170 members of services testing positive for COVID. We hope for the best and prepare for the worst as our men and women remain vigilant on the front lines protecting and serving the citizens.

Let’s stay strong and fight the #COVID19 outbreak by taking all precautionary measures. Please stay home, save lives, stay safe, be vigilant and most importantly remember, prevention is better than cure.
We want to thank the many people who have sent cards of appreciation or expressed their concerns in person to our personnel during this crisis. Special thanks to Tom Bonelli from Jackson-Hewitt Tax Service of Groton, who sent over a stack of pizzas to the PD and Ozzie Ozkan from College Pizza on Pequot Avenue also sent two huge pizzas the following day. Thoughtful, delicious and appreciated!

President Lynch cancelled his Florida vacation, upon return called for a COVID 19 meeting with union leaders, city department heads and Mayor's office to ensure the health and well being of our members, During the meeting the mayor tried to toss a hand grenade when he tried to unilaterally eliminate a contract provision under the auspices of a city emergency. We respectfully reminded them the issue at hand was contractual and unilateral actions will be subject to a prohibited practice complaint.

Local 724's contract, it is set to expire on June 30. On January 3rd we notified the mayor's office with a notice to bargain and are ready to begin contact talks. However, with this COVID 19 crisis sucking all the air out of the room on any other pending city business combined with social distancing and working from home only complicates an already complicated mess. We will work to find a solution.
Union leadership remain extremely concerned that city and or police administration seems to be slow walking recruitment to increase staffing at the PD. We went from a high of 96 sworn officers in 2010 to an ordinance in 2014 for a minimum of 80 officers plus Chief and Deputy Chief to our current level of 68 which includes Chief and two rookies in the police academy. The city has funding in place but the candidate vetting process for lateral officers is inexplicably slow.

On March 26th President Lynch sent Mayor Passero a letter outlining our serious concerns on the lack of police manpower and the inability or perhaps unwillingness by City Hall and police administration to fix it year after year after year. While finding and training recruits is difficult and expensive in 2020 we have eight trained and experienced active duty police officers who have applied for lateral transfer to NLPD and still we can't hire anyone. We made it clear something is wrong and needs to change.

Shocked was the feeling when we learned last month city Risk Manager Paul Gills had abruptly resigned over internal issues with city administration. Paul had been with the city since 2014 with a full plate of risk/liability messes to manage and clean up. A thankless job, but one he enjoyed and good at while making a positive difference for the city and its employees.
Paul was instrumental bringing down the ridiculously high liability insurance deductable, demanded city infrastructure remediation be done the right way and provided employees with education and training courses on reducing individual and city risks. He oversaw some of our most recent building renovation projects, was a strong advocate for effective legal defense with many frivolous litigation cases and a champion cutting through red tape with workman's compensation issues involving our injured and disabled police officers.
We are grateful to Paul for his hard work doing things right rather than cheapest when it came to solving long ignored problems. New London's loss will be certainly be another municipalities gain. On behalf of all our members we say thank you Paul and wish him the best in where ever the future takes him.

As our renovations of our prisoner booking area continues it has not been uneventful. On March 6th less than a week after Paul left we needed to flash Paul Gills the bat signal when our freshly painted prisoner processing area with curing epoxy paint began to leak dangerous isocyanate fumes into the entire building requiring the fire department to respond and vent the building. Again on March 11 contractors were grinding metal without using ventilation causing buildup of smoke activating automatic fire alarms and another FD response. Just another day at NLPD.

We were saddened to learn former NLPD officer Jonathan Burbank died suddenly in early March. He served NLPD from 2007-2010 along with his brother Ben before they both choose to resign for other opportunities. Ben now serves as a Ledyard police officer. Jon was always cheerful and remembered for his whistling throughout the building. Jon also served over 17 years with the National Guard. We thank him for his service to country and the citizens of New London. Our sympathies and condolences to the entire Burbank family. RIP Jonathan Burbank #617.

The progressive mantra is never let a good crisis go to waste. A coalition of activist prisoner rights groups including the ACLU and three Yale graduate students seized the opportunity when they recently wrote an Op-Ed in CTMirror to exacerbate the COVID-19 scare. The groups hypothesis was social distancing is not possible in crowded dirty prisons thus created an unsafe risk for convicts serving their sentences at DOC facilities insisting prisoners rights are being encroached and all should just be released. Their conclusion of course had nothing to do with their hardened prison reform issues rather based on the guise of best public health practices.
While the ACLU and crew continue to worry about prisoners rights and the insult that any convicted criminal actually be in a prison we will continue to worry about victim's rights. Our practical advice is don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

 

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Why Political Action

THE DECISIONS that a legislative body makes, whether it is a school board, city council, county board, state legislature, or the U.S. Congress, affect AFSCME members and their families in dramatic ways.

Elected officials vote on budgets that affect employee wages, benefits, working conditions and pensions. They vote on issues of particular concern to AFSCME members, like privatization, and they vote on broader issues of concern to all working families, such as health care reform and workers' compensation. That's why working people need to have allies among elected officials. And that's why working people need to work to elect these allies.

The Local 724 executive board has the collective responsibility to provide vision and direction for the local. It is up to the leadership team to look ahead, set goals and develop a plan to make strategic planning a critical element to having a strong union which can only come about when membership is informed, educated and active.

Unions can never hope to match the hundreds of millions of dollars big business pours into every election. But working people have superior numbers, so they can get out in the streets and work for candidates. And if members pool their cash, unions can help make sure that their endorsed candidates have enough funds to compete against business-backed opponents in the ever-more important media ad wars.

Through the political process we can be involved in setting important public policy. Through the political process public employees can elect representatives who are sensitive to maintaining vital public services and committed to dealing with workers fairly.

Local 724 accomplishes this through political action in conjunction with the exercise of collective bargaining process, growth and community involvement to produce a just and rewarding workplace.

   

Local 724 gets recognized on the national level!

On January 28, 2011 at the Council 4 Campaign for the Middle Class Seminar in Meriden The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), AFL-CIO thanked the New London Police Union- Local 724 for their efforts in the Labor 2010 campaign.

Lee Saunders, International Secretary-Treasurer and AFSCME Council 4's Sal Luciano who is also an International Vice President honored Local 724 with a certificate "In recognition of their tireless work and commitment during the 2010 State of Connecticut general elections". To this day labor leaders throughout the state continue to praise our Malloy/Wyman Pre-Debate Rally as a new benchmark of what local labor can achieve when committed to a goal.

Chuck Flynn was honored to accept the award on behalf of our entire membership which will hang proudly in the 724 "Hall of Justice". I want to personally thank everyone that participated in some way no matter how big or small. Our election success was due to the collective efforts of our TEAM-Together Everyone Accomplishes More.

 


724 helps East Lyme fight the cause

Why Political Action


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Political Director C Flynn

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