In Christopher Keating's article on CapitolWatch Blog, he examines some of what one union is discussing with their members in regards to Governor Malloy's proposed budget cuts.
The closed-door state union negotiations have been wrapped in a shroud of secrecy as Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is seeking $2 billion in savings from the state employee unions that have a benefit contract that does not expire until 2017.That's the big question here. Will union members agree to voluntary cutbacks in order to avoid painful, widespread, and possibly politically damaging layoffs?
But an internal questionnaire from one union provides a glimpse of the types of wage, benefit, and retirement issues that are being discussed behind closed doors.
The questionnaire asks employees from the Administrative and Residual Union to cite which concession would be so objectionable that it would prompt them to vote against an overall union concession agreement. The list of 11 possibilities includes similar points that have been mentioned publicly by Malloy and are likely to be crucial to the talks.
The first question asks, "Are you willing to make some concessions to avoid layoffs?''
Governor Malloy is faced with the daunting task of trying to balance a budget that is victim to both years of poor leadership and a major economic downturn. This is likely why former governor Jodi Rell chose not to run for reelection, despite enjoying unprecedented (and, in my opinion, undeserved) popularity that would have enabled her to almost definitely ease into another term.
But, when the going looked like it was gonna get tough, Rell decided to split.
Malloy deserves to be commended for his eagerness to take on this mess, and regardless of the outcome, we should all keep in mind that it's an impossible task to balance a budget of this magnitude while keeping everyone happy.
I sure as hell wouldn't want to be the guy having to make those decisions!