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..
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
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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