Late yesterday, Governor Lamont unveiled several proposals impacting pensions for teachers and state employees that are part of his first-ever legislative budget package. These so-called “structural reforms” were a significant focus of the speech he delivered this afternoon to the General Assembly.
We want to address the three of the greatest concern to union members like you.
First, the governor proposed changing how cost of living adjustments are calculated for retired members — both current and future — of public employee unions. Any such charge would require formal negotiations with the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC); leadership quickly and publicly refused to re-open the current contract.
Second, he has recommended shifting more of the state’s pension obligations for members of PreK-12 teachers’ unions to local municipalities. The share would be less than what his predecessor proposed; still, it’s an unfair approach that threatens fiscal instability for school districts across Connecticut.
Third, the governor embraced a plan to stabilize the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) by “smoothing out” future payments to the fund. That is what makes this approach good, not just for our union members, but for all taxpayers in Connecticut.
The bottom line; we’ll be calling on you in the coming days and weeks to add your voice to our collective efforts to stabilize and protect retirement security for all. We hope we can count on you to both support proposals that work — and resist policies that don’t — for working families like yours.
More to come, and in solidarity,
Vice President for Public Employees, AFT Connecticut
Vice-President for Pre-K-12 Teachers, AFT Connecticut
President, AFT Connecticut