February 26, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Hartford, CT – Connecticut union members traveled to the state capitol here Feb. 20 to protest a bill that would prohibit the government’s “recently hired and future employees” from bargaining over retirement benefits.
Council 4 AFSCME called the measure, House Bill 5552, the “most odious of more than 100 proposed bills attacking the rights of working people to have a public hearing, and among the most egregious.” The bill, sponsored by three Republicans from Greenwich, would also cover workers in local government. “We’re watching and we’re paying attention,” Lt. David Dobbs, vice president of Bridgeport Fire Fighters Local 834, told the Connecticut Post while on a bus filled with Fairfield County firefighters returning home after the House Labor and Public Employees Committee’s hearing. He called the bill part of a trend of “larger anti-union … bills coming out of Hartford.” House Minority Leader Themis Klarides and Republicans in the Senate recently proposed eliminating pensions for future state employees and putting them into a defined-contribution retirement plan. Read more