Central Connecticut State University – AAUP
HARTFORD – With chants of “Vote Them Out” and “We Will Fight,” nearly 1,500 public sector workers took over Minuteman Park in front of the Legislative Office Building Friday to stand against a series of proposed bills being heard by the legislature.
Of the 96 bills heard in the Appropriations Committee, 77 focus on health care, pension, and collective bargaining rights of employees.
“I just went through a six-month battle with cancer,” corrections officer and vice president of AFSCME 391 David Caron said in front of the committee. “If those copays had gone up I don’t know how I’d have survived cancer, let alone manage to support my wife and three daughters.”
Throughout the day, Appropriations Committee members heard an overriding theme: Connecticut is shrouded with the highest income inequality in the country and these bills threaten to set the state on a path to an even greater divide.
Also on Friday, a press conference held by faith leaders and the DUE Justice Coalition addressed the “immorality of legislation that puts workers’ families, health and wellbeing lives at risk.”
“I believe that working people should be able to buy a house, afford healthcare, and send their children to college,” Central Connecticut State University student Brian Becker said, speaking at the press conference. “Cutting funding for vital public services, slashing wages and undermining the rights to bargain collectively will not help workers. Our answers won’t be found in budget cuts or a race to the bottom. We should empower Connecticut’s workforce, not undermine it.”