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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..

 

FEBRUARY UPDATE


As we end begin February, New London public safety was strengthened this past month with 3 new police hires and 3 more new fire fighters and promoted a fire Lieutenant. City Hall has made it a focus to improve police staffing in 2020. We applaud this new pledge and wait for actual results to exceed net zero prior pledges over the past 5 years .
However in 2020 there is a real nationwide police recruitment and retention problem. A study by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Analysis Center which showed the attrition rate for police officers (14 percent) is higher than both nursing (12 percent) and teaching (13 percent). With so many officers retiring or resigning each year police departments are in a constant hiring cycle. Many law enforcement agencies have difficulty identifying and hiring qualified candidates a problem. With our recent hiring process we too are experiencing firsthand these same problems.
Many young people simply don't want to be police officers in this woke anti police erviroment or don’t like the relatively low wages or working conditions. Combine the small number of candidates that apply only not able to successfully complete the applicant process either failing to meet physical fitness standards, have unacceptable criminal/background drug use histories, voracity issues, and/or fail polygraph or psychological screening. These small pools of applicants means even less acceptable vetted candidates to send to the academy.
For those highly sought after candidates that posses all the skill sets required, they are in high demand and have the luxury of picking the police agency that best meets their needs and expectations. For everyone else we wonder 10-15 years from now just who will be next generation police officers.

As we gained staff we lost them too. Captain Larry Keating hastily retired without any fanfare on January 24 after 25 years of service. Larry served as a patrol officer assigned to the original Safe Neighborhood Program, youth services officer and detective before rising through the supervisory ranks ultimately becoming a Captain in 2015. He once said "he learned a lot from former Chief Peg Ackley rising up through the ranks", many members would agree she certainly was his mentor. According to a recent Day article he will be remembered for being direct and given to abbreviated philosophies, such as "Mess up, fess up." Larry was quiet on what plans he has but we wish him a long and healthy retirement and best of luck in whatever his future may hold.

The sudden captain vacancy has the City and Union leadership exploring the possibility of an agency re-organization. The goal is downsizing command level for an updated organizational chart with better flow of responsibilities to maximize available resources by collaborating supervisory staffing and responsibilities for more effective and efficient police services while creating future promotional opportunities for our members. The devil is always in the details but we enter negotiations prepared and optimistic.

As the Connecticut Legislature prepares for a new session this month, special interest groups are ready to submit new legislative proposals. Among them a new toll plan for heavy trucks only with 12 overhead toll gantries in the state including one in East Lyme and at the Gold Star Bridge. While Governor Lamont promises no tolls for cars.
The proposed plan only excludes cars until July 1, 2022. The proposal also includes all toll revenues will go the Special Transportation Fund(STF). While that sounds good, we have said all along if 10 cents on each dollar collected from tolls makes it to the STF it will be a lot. Lamont since taking office has been taking monies all along from the SFT to offset budget shortfalls. Nothing good happens in Hartford when the Legislature is in session.

There are other bills pending introduction this year by many special interest groups and activists. But many activists that are never satisfied as the old saying goes, If you give them an inch, they’ll take a yard. That is true in many areas, perhaps none more so than in the left’s never-ending list of demands.
Take for example the Juvenile Justice Policy and Oversight Committee (JJPOC). You may remember them as they were one of the groups screaming the phrase -school to prison pipeline - wanted School Resource Offices out of schools, successfully raised the age of juveniles in the criminal justice system from 16-18 and still seek to get it to 21 years old and perhaps even 24!

This session they have proposals seeking to limit the number of serious JV criminal cases eligible for mandatory and discretionary transfer to adult court with only Class A felonies as automatic transfer. Class A felonies are murder other than a capital felony or arson murder, felony murder, sexual assault in first degree, aggravated sexual assault of person who is under 16 years of age, kidnapping in first degree, kidnapping in first degree with a firearm, arson in the first degree.

But everything else, crimes such as: manslaughter in the first degree, manslaughter in the first degree with a firearm, assault in the first degree, assault of an elderly, blind, disabled, pregnant or mentally retarded person in first degree, sexual assault in first degree, kidnapping in the second degree, kidnapping in the second degree with a firearm, burglary in the first degree, arson in the second degree, larceny in the first degree, robbery in the first degree, deprivation of equal rights by death and manufacture of bombs to name just a few the folks from JJPOC want that Juvenile offender to be diverted away from criminal court entirely.

And if such a juvenile perpetrator was unlucky enough to be tried, convicted and sentenced to incarceration for a serious crime the JJPOC proposes they to have the right to a "second look" at sentence review upon their 18th birthday to determine the need for continued incarceration. Anyone else besides cops notice the spike in JV's who routinely defy authority not only at home but school, police and any other authority figure.

We believe it's all the result of no individual accountability and the need to blame someone - anyone - for their own errant behavior and criminal activity. Look no further than the epidemic of stolen cars by JV's statewide and the recent New London home invasion and recovered stolen cars all by JV suspects. Yes, JJPOC and other like minded reformists and excuse makers are never satisfied, let's hope some commons sense prevails this session on these far reaching proposals .

Ned Lamont is now into his second year as governor so why is he so disliked? Perhaps best explained from this recent commentary from Ct News Junkie. "New Lamont is a nice guy, piano player, and battle of the bands judge is about as unpopular as sewage in the state he governs. His approval rating, according to a Hartford Courant/Sacred Heart poll, is a measly 24%. That’s one of the lowest, if not the lowest, in the country. Imagine how bad it would be if he’d done anything to actually deserve it."
"Oh man, I can hear the comments coming in now. Tolls! New taxes! My precious plastic bags! Republicans despise the guy, and independents aren’t too hot on him either. But that doesn’t explain why only 40% of the people in his own party approve of him. After all, the plastic bag ban is a big-ish deal for the environment, and paid family leave — a longtime progressive goal — passed. There’s probably going to be some regional deal on marijuana before Lamont’s term is up. Even tolls are part of a badly-needed transportation plan that pretty much everyone agrees we desperately need. We only disagree on how to pay for it."
"The governor has done a lot to alienate people in his bumbling, pleasant way. Progressives have soured on him for not soaking the rich. Moderates and conservatives hate the taxes and the tolls proposal. He’s seemed inconsistent and wishy-washy." Yep that about sez it all.
Some would say he is a just a place holder for Republican Bob Stefanowski who hasn't stopped campaigning since he lost to Lamont on November 7, 2018 for the 2022 election. Honestly, Stefanowski has better qualifications with broad ideas to fix the state. If he hadn't alienated the biggest voting bloc - state employees and their families - with his campaign statement to demand union givebacks, threatening to take them to court to nullify the contracts he probably would have won.
In this prior story from CT-POST during the last gubernatorial race, "Connecticut’s pension liabilities are the second-highest, per capita, in the nation, nearly 16 percent of the two-year, $40 billion state budget. On an average state resident’s income tax bill of $4,885 this year, $767 went for teacher and unionized state employee pension contributions. The liabilities accumulated over decades, as governor after governor, empowered by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, ignored the problem. Even during times of robust, billion-dollar surpluses, state leaders did not address an underfunding so severe that it has now put Connecticut on desperate financial ground."
Bottom line is state employees did their part. They went to work, did their jobs, paid taxes and negotiated and upheld their labor contracts in good faith. For any politician to penalize them for the state's malfeasance flies in the face of integrity and fairness.
From a union perspective a harm to one is harm to all. We remember and we vote.




 

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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


Shooting from the lip
Political Director C Flynn

4 Crippling Leadership Mistakes