Connecticut - Corrections Officers Win Wage Hike Fight
Fighting For A Contract: Connecticut corrections employees won their battle for a new contract. Pictured (left to right) are Local 1565 members Brett Owen, Tonia McCown and Ken Sharkey at a recent House Appropriations Committee hearing.
Five-thousand Connecticut state corrections employees—members of Council 4—will get a wage hike totaling 8 percent over three years because the General Assembly in February disregarded Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s appeal to reject an arbitrated contract award.
Rell asserted that a projected $6 billion budget deficit over the next two years justified cancelling the wage increase due this January to members of three locals.
“Instead of rolling over, we used the economic crisis as an opportunity to mobilize prison employees to stand up for their rights,” says Local 387 Pres. David Moffa.
Members attended legislative hearings, made phone calls and even launched a television ad campaign. In the end, Republican efforts to table the award failed.
“Legislators saw that acknowledging the critical importance of our work on one hand, and trying to kill the contract on the other, was duplicitous and wrong,” says Jon Pepe, president of Local 391.
“It is a great victory for union solidarity,” adds Luke Leone, president of Local 1565.