I know the whole court case on the SEBAC agreement with state employee unions is very confusing, but in a nut shell let me highlight the events. Ten years ago in order to reduce a budget deficit my Administration went to the non-union employees and agreed to pay freezes and other “give-backs ” to reduce state spending. We then approached the state employee union leadership and requested concessions to reduce state spending offering a “early retirement plan” which the rank and file loved but the leadership did not want because they lose dues paying members to retirement. The union leadership refused and we said layoffs were the only other alternative, the same negotiation style the Malloy Administration used two years ago. So we moved forward with layoffs following all the collective bargaining processes. They lasted a month or two and then the unions agreed to the early retirement plan and other concessions and eventually the state employees that wanted their jobs back got them back. The union leadership then took us to court arguing that their Constitutional rights were violated. The federal court agreed with our position and then the unions appealed to the Second District Court and they disagreed with the lower court, so we have appealed to the US Supreme Court along with the state, until yesterday. The Attorney General wants to try and negotiate with the union leadership and I am continuing with our case to the US Supreme Court along with Marc Ryan my budget director. Here is the statement we issued yesterday…
“We continue to believe that the Second Circuit decision, if it stands, fundamentally hobbles public sector chief executives at all levels during the collective bargaining process. It will turn the collective bargaining process on its head and so favor unions in negotiations that public sector finances will be critically undermined in the future. We remain of the opinion that the ongoing appeal to the US Supreme Court is absolutely necessary to protect taxpayers in CT and potentially throughout the nation. “
The first we heard that the state was not pursuing the case to the US Supreme Court was a few hours ago. We thought the state was on the same page with us as to the importance of urging the US Supreme Court to hear this case given the far-reaching implications of the Second Circuit’s misguided decision. We are unaware of any details of a proposed settlement and doubt if such a deal could be consummated before the Supreme Court decision to hear the case. Thus, we are mystified about why the state would now relent on this case at this critical juncture.