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..
As the state budget process continues to implode in Hartford Gov. Dannel
Malloy wants to help Connecticut’s poorest communities stabilize
their local budgets. But he also wants all municipalities — including
the poorest — to begin paying one-third of teacher pension costs
set to explode over the next 15 years.
London ranks 164th in state wealth rank. Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz
said he doubts this Robin Hood proposal would pass, but if it did pass
it would provide $12.1 million in new revenue, less $2.2 million for FY
18 teacher retirement contribution leaving a net $10 million for city
coffers in the first year subject to further depreciation as future retirement
contributions increase. Even if such a plan were to pass would New London
use even 10% the new revenue to improve public safety and infrastructure
or just lower tax rates by the equivalent number of mills and continue
to stumble along.
More bleak economic news for Connecticut after financial experts disclosed
the state spends 30% of all its revenue on fixed costs -the highest in
the nation which could have a negative effect of its bond rating making
future borrowing costs even more expensive. Slow job and income growth
has led to an average of 575 people leaving the state for good every week.
Between July 1, 2015 and July 1, 2016 the resident population fell by
exception to the sour economy was General Dynamics Electric Boat announcement
to expand the 500 in-state supplier base as it prepares to build the new
Columbia class of submarines. The company's work force just topped 15,000.
To meet the demands of construction both Columbia and Virginia class submarines
as the same time the work force will peak around 22,000 . But because
of retirement and attrition EB expects to hire 14,000 additional skilled
labor, well paying local jobs.
Common sense prevailed at the Capitol a few weeks ago when the legislature’s
Judiciary Committee declined to report the legislation to the floor to
raise the age for juvenile criminals to 21 age. Every bill remaining in
the possession of the committee died at 5 p.m., the panel’s deadline
for acting on legislation. Malloy’s idea has been largely greeted
with indifference by Democrats and hostility by Republicans.
not to worry, progressive liberals like our governor never give up, especially
now that he won’t seek a third term and is looking for legacy legislation.
A spokesperson for the governor said they will try to revive the measure
as an amendment to another bill in the session. What that means is a Malloy
loyalist will attach the amendment late in the session on a must approve
bill - like the budget and shove it down our throats when we weren't looking.
House Bill 6662 which allows for police pensions to be reduced or revoked
upon conviction of any crime related to employment or use of force deservedly
and thankfully died in the Public Safety and Security committee on 4/11/17.
Mean while HB6663: proposes any police officer use of force or threatened
use of force incident the state's attorney must decide within five (5)
business days if the officer shall be suspended without pay based on preponderance
of the evidence (49/51) that the use of force was improper pending a full
complete investigation. Police can't stop people without reasonable suspicion,
can't arrest without probable and courts can't convict unless beyond a
reasonable doubt but activist legislative caucus members in Hartford are
more than willing to ignore a police officer's rights and throw out our
due process with the snap of a finger. When did being a cop mean we have
4/27/18 State Comptroller Kevin Lembo opened up his exploratory campaign
for Governor. Kevin has been a straight shooter on fiscal issues and a
self described data nerd that makes fact based decisions. He is determined
to fix the mess Connecticut finds itself in and he certainly possesses
the tools to make a change for "a better yet Connecticut".
Mayor Passero proposed his FY17-18 city budget offering a flat line budget
for police is now in the hands of city council to finalize. The police
dept continues to hobble along with severe staffing shortages. With warmer
weather and vacation season upon us combined with recent officer injuries-disabling
over 10& of patrol has only exacerbated a critical problem. Our officers
feel City Hall has ignored and marginalized our problems while serving
us an abundance of puffed up flowery platitudes that does nothing to improve
January 1st there have been over 456 overtime shifts filled just to put
5 cops each shift to cover the entire city. Our cops are tired of the
hectic pace, call volume and constant holdovers shift after shift. The
continual head in the sand solution by city leaders to our staffing crisis
suggests the public and this administration don’t value public safety
- until they themselves are the 911 caller.
In 2014 when Councilor Passero was formulating his run for mayor he and
fellow councilors passed a minimum 80 police officer staffing ordinance.
Mike the statesman stated then "public safety is the number one matter
to residents look to their government to provide …the current staffing
level is not sustainable".
In 2015 as mayoral candidate he introduced his seven point platform how
he would improve the city as mayor, " New London should not have
the nagging reputation of a blighted, dirty, unsafe city... I pledge to
you an end to the status quo of mediocrity, inefficiency and disappointment".
So we ask what changed since he was elected?
724 begins new contract talks with the city and we intend to out the best
interests of our overworked and frustrated members first. Negotiations
are never easy but in these times it agreements can be even harder to
find. Our members eagerly wait to see if the Passero administration will
offer more than just lip service to settle this contract.
This world is quickly changing filled with delicate snowflakes too emotionally
vulnerable to cope with views that challenge their own by shutting down
free speech under the guise of causing multiple micro-aggression issues.
Insisting on safe spaces everywhere for everyone should an alternate view
point be heard, a spike in anarchy groups and anti police movements relying
more on emotion rather than cold hard facts, a hostile press always quick
to post headlines suggesting the cop did something wrong and the now deliberate
underfunding of police forces by elected officials making it very difficult
to be a cop today and even harder recruiting new people willing to do
this job anymore. Frankly, who could blame them, the people certainly
have elected the government they deserve.
we don't often comment on national politics. It has become bothersome
how both Senators Murphy and Blumenthal are sock puppets for the daily
liberal Democrat talking points. These Senators are spending way too much
of their valuable time be activists attacking President Trump or boasting
about their newest meaningless letter or proposed bill about nothing as
long as it means media coverage ensuring their daily 15 seconds of their
face time in each news cycle.
Both have demonstrated zero effort to bridge any political differences
to find real compromise on important and move the country forward. Our
two puppets have offered no ideas how to settle middle east tensions,
improve Asia Pacific rim issues or create real jobs here at home with
much needed federally funded infrastructure projects.
We recall Richard Blumenthal's meet and greet in December 2011 where he
said “I’m very excited with the kind of energy and growth
I see here in New London …I’m so encouraged by what I’ve
seen. I want to help in any way I can". He must be blind and tone
deaf because we don't know what he saw that remotely showed progress in
the city or what actions he's done to improve New London. It's obvious
he did not see the all the empty distressed downtown buildings as he walked
through on his tour. We realize it's very difficult to unseat incumbents
but can we at least insist they spend some of their time representing
our concerns on interests here and abroad. Maybe it's time they consider
following Dan Malloy's lead.
good news to report at NLPD. Our cops have been very busy with many active
cases that have resulted in quick arrests due to their hard work and perseverance.
Also DPW has been busy fixing some long ignored physical plant issues.
The building has been cleaner of late and the renovation improvements
are under way and appreciated. Risk manager Paul Gills and DPW Director
Brian Sears have prioritized these projects and we look forward to seeing
the fruits of their labors. Thank you for the work to date. At the same
time janitorial services are improving and appreciated.
AFSCME Council 4 Convention held their convention in the heart of downtown
New Haven at the Omni Hotel. By accounts was a huge success attended by
over 225 union members. Executive Director Sal Luciano and his staff are
commended on a first class presentation.
The sour Connecticut economy and its effect on our union members was the
center point of concerns. With 96 bills heard in the Appropriations Committee,
77 of them directly stand to undermine health care, pension, and collective
bargaining rights of employees. Closer look at the bills show many are
copy cat bills by various legislators to show their constituents they
were hard on labor issues. Talks of potential layoffs, concessions and
doing more work with less staff for less money and benefits had everyone's
attention to resist the attacks and fight anti labor legislation.
SEBAC groups appear to be close with informal talks that will provide
$700 million in concessions for the state and in return give no layoff
protection to state workers. As for municipal workers participating in
CMERS appears to remain unchanged at this time.
Our members are reminded to attend our April 5 union meeting to hear first
hand from our AFSCME lobbyist on matters happening at the Capitol important
to all of us.
A sales tax and gas tax increase appears likely while tolls may be sidelined
this session. With an estimated $300-400 million in new sales tax revenue
it may offset the immediate need for municipalities to contribute to teacher
retirement contributions. Welcome news to local budgets but may only kick
the can down the street to buy more time.
Local 724 leadership had the chance to speak directly with Lt. Governor
Nancy Wyman, Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz. Comptroller Kevin Lembo
and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. Once the budget is passed all eyes will
focus on the upcoming 2018 statewide elections where a growing field of
interesting challengers to Governor Malloy are emerging from both sides
of the aisle. One astute prediction suggested if Malloy chooses to run
again a near certain outcome would be a House and Senate filled with Republicans.
April 1 means New London Mayor Mike Passero's proposed
annual budget is released to the public. The foreplay has been provided
with recent news articles laying out the gloomy story line of yet another
year with no money. The City has made clear its refusal to raises taxes,
has offers no new ideas on finding new revenue sources with hopes to solve
the newest budget crisis by more deep cuts to city agencies leaving them
impotent while feeding more precious city dollars to the always hungry
724 members are grateful for many resolved grievances with the City and
are enjoying a new cooperative attitude in the building as the new police
administration transitions over but are quietly seething that our critical
agency needs appear to be met with a deaf ear and blind eye by City administration
as we limp along with dangerously low staffing.
Union officials have a seat at the table and have been rather blunt making
our concerns known. We remain hopeful the City earnestly works with us
to find a positive outcome. We have worked too hard to improve labor relations
to see it undermined.
is some good news to report - our police department janitorial staffer
has been making some progress cleaning up the building after some intervention
to actually have him do the job he's being paid to do.
DPW has been finalizing plans on some long needed updates scheduled for
the lunch room, report room, and men's locker room bathroom. While members
are excited about the sudden turn of events, they cast a jaundiced eye
at the project since DPW has not provided a hard start date or projected
finish date because they don’t like timelines and are easily distracted.
State labor unions have been busy with informal talks with the Malloy
administration looking for a way to help close the budget gap with potentially
$700 million in concessions. SEBAC previously gave concessions in 2009
and 2011. Union leaders have rightly complained they did not cause the
state fiscal mess and certainly shouldn't responsible to solve the problems
on the backs of state workers.
Anonymous sources have exchanged proposals during discussions that involve
a six year deal with minor raises in first two years, followed by two
years of zeros ending with a wage opener for last two years to include
concessions increasing employee medical cost share and pension contributions
with no assurances of future layoffs but medical plans would be protected
Hartford politicians seems to be warming to the idea of raising the state
sales tax to 6.85%, raise gas tax 6 cents to 35 cents a gallon while many
are split on bringing back highway tolls. Tolls could raise as much as
$18 billion by 2040 which could be used exclusively for the Special Transportation
Fund towards Governor Malloy's aggressive $100 billion proposal for infrastructure
improvements, but the legislators would never be able keep their hands
off any lock box revenue stream, especially one with some may potential
zeros attached suggesting tolls won't pass this year.
Meanwhile at the General Assembly with support from entities like Connecticut
Conference of Municipalities (CCM) and Connecticut Business and Industry
Association (CBIA) have many anti labor bills pending set to attack and
smear municipal workers who have devoted their careers to the common good
and public interest. Funny how CBIA pushes an anti labor agenda while
their Chairman of the Board earns over $1.3 million a year in compensation
as President of Webster Financial in Stamford.
most harmful bills propose to eliminate wage hikes, remove pensions from
collective bargaining, reformulate pension calculations, reduce cost of
living benefits to pensioners, increase employee pension contributions,
eliminate defined pensions and replace with 401k type plans to name just
a few of the 96 bills aimed at labor. These attacks on public employees
who "Make America Happen", are also taxpayers, who are afraid
these bills only attack hard working families and create a race to the
bottom for all middle class workers.
AFSCME President Lee Saunders recently said, "Public employees don't
expect to get rich, but some basic respect for the important jobs they
do isn't too much to ask. Instead, in too many states and localities from
coast to coast -- and now more than ever at the federal level -- their
hard work is rewarded with pettiness and scorn. Not from their neighbors,
but from politicians with an agenda. When you attack public workers, entire
communities suffer -- their schools, hospitals, roads and more. To undermine
law enforcement, social workers and 911 dispatchers, and their counterparts
at every level of government, is to hurt the citizens who depend every
day on the services they provide." We at Local 724 couldn't say it
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.
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