Saturday, February 17, 2018

SEBAC 2017-Ten More Long Hard Years For Connecticut Taxpayers

It is sort of like a prison term for those remaining legal taxpaying citizens of Connecticut.  Ten more long hard years of unbalanced budgets, more and higher taxes, more and higher short and long term debt.  It is the SEBAC 2017 agreement which was negotiated behind closed doors between the omnipotent Connecticut SEBAC Labor Union and pro Union Democrat Governor Malloy that should help bankrupt the state over the next four years.  An analysis by Conservative Republican State Senator Len Suzio of Meriden and confirmed by the nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA) shows a much bleaker side of this union agreement.
Let us look at the supposed savings in wages for the next four years.  The first two years of the agreement there are no wage increases. The state union employees will pay a 1% increase in their health care premiums over a three period raising their premiums from 12% to 15%.  The state still pays the rest of the ever increasing health care premium.  They will also increase their contribution rates to their pensions ending up paying a mere 2 to 4% in the third year of their agreement for their over generous and economically unsustainable pensions.  Union employees have to take three unpaid furlough days that may average a loss of $850 per employee that first year only. That is the end of their "concessions".  However there are "step increases" which are regular annual wage increases for every full-time employee that average 3% each year that are guaranteed.  Even though these increases are suspended for the first two years they increase on average between 6-7% in year 3 of the agreement and 13-14%. in year 4 of the agreement.  However the second year of the agreement each union employee gets a $2000 to $2850 one time payment obviously to make up for the the two year wage freeze and the three unpaid furlough days.  There are also annual longevity payments (I have never received one in any job that I have had since I started working many years ago, have any of my readers received one?) that are paid to state union employees with 10 to 15 years of service, they receive $1,000 each year and those with more than 15 years get $2,000 each year.  This agreement continues through the first two years of the supposed wage freeze thus the state still pays this money out. According to the analysis of the nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA) a union employee who earned $74,000 in the first year of the agreement will earn $84,000 by the fourth year of the agreement due to the step and wage increases.  How much was given back by the union employees?  In my analysis around $1000 at the most given all the wage increase and payments made during this four year period (an average of $250 per year).  Thus the $10,000 average salary increase adds a mere half-billion dollars to the state payroll over the coming years.  How is this wage agreement saving any taxpayers monies in the next four years?  It is impossible because the other part of this secret agreement is that there can not be any union employee layoffs over the next four years. 
Why is this agreement not the central focus of the Gubernatorial campaign?  Why was this agreement not voted upon by the State Legislature?  Connecticut State Employee Unions own the state government.  It is legal collusion in its purest sense that helps to continue the further economic decline of Connecticut's economy.  Connecticut Taxpayers and Legal Connecticut Voters need to wake up to this embarrassment that is our state government in this upcoming state election.  This supposed money saving agreement secretly negotiated between the Connecticut Democrat Party and SEBAC is a farce.  There is no credibility as far as I am concerned in our state government.  And the remaining legal Connecticut Taxpayers continue to be economically raped by the ruling political elite and corresponding state employee labor unions through agreements like this.  Enough is enough.

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