We Are Under Attack

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Less than 60 days until the November 2018 election of a new Connecticut governor, we as state employees, have a choice to make. Not just Republican or Democrat, not conservative or progressive, our choice should be a lot easier.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: We are under attack and fighting for our livelihood.

Ned Lamont and Bob Stefanowski are the names on the top of their tickets. They could not have more differing opinions on what to do with our state, our jobs and our livelihood.

Ned Lamont has said he believes in the right to collectiveli bargain. Bob Stefanowski has his now-infamous line about taking us out at the knees, “Thank God for the Janus decision... Scrap the SEBAC agreement.”

As a state employee this should be a simple question: What side are you on?

Mr. Stefanowski is coming right out and saying he is going to attack your pay, pension and health care. Are you carrying your wife’s or husband’s insurance because ours is better? Do they realize that is in jeopardy as well?

I don’t know when it became taboo to talk politics, but we need to have these discussions. To me this is a no-brainer, and if there is someone who would like to let me know why they think voting that way is the right thing for a state employee to do in the upcoming election, I’d be willing to have that discussion.

That’s the top line; let’s look a little deeper. Last year, because a few Democrats decided to side with Republicans in the budget battle, we are now being forced to look for a public-private partnership here at UConn Health. Whether you believe this is a good or bad thing, these partnerships are rarely good for the public side. Profits end up going to the private side while red ink ends up on the public side of the ledger. Where are those Senate Democrats who forced us into this position? Two of the three are not running for re-election this year. Senator Gayle Slossberg decided to retire, and Senator Paul Doyle was beaten in the attorney general primary. Joan Hartley is running for re-election. If you live in her district, you may want to give her a call and let her know who you are.

Connecticut, like many other states, had some surprises this primary season. We have more progressive candidates running for office against some longstanding incumbents. We should, each one of us, get to know who is running in our own districts. See what they feel about UConn Health and about questions you personally care about – you know, like pay, pension, and health care.

We need to engage with our elected officials and let them know, you are there to represent us, and if you do not we will work to replace you with someone who will represent us. Please post this newsletter. Leave it out for your non-UHP colleagues to read. We help do the research that moves us forward. We help educate the next generation of doctors, dentists, and nurses. We care for the sick, dying and underserved. We are the patient advocates. We need to ask our elected officials: What side are you on?

--In solidarity,
Bill Garrity
UHP President