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No politician running for office today would openly advocate for more wealth inequality in our country, where the richest 1 percent of the population owns 40 percent of the wealth. Even candidate Donald Trump in 2016 promised to stand up for the “forgotten men and women of our country,” who feel betrayed by a rigged economic system that benefits a small minority at their expense. Yet every single day, President Trump and congressional leaders seem determined to do more to increase wealth inequality than to alleviate it; do more for corporations and the wealthy than for single parents working two or three jobs to make ends meet.

Like others around the world, I mourned the death last week of Aretha Franklin.

Roughly 1,500 miles separate Hartford, Connecticut from Angola, Louisiana, but if one Council 4 Corrections Officer’s journey is any indication, those areas are closer than you think – especially i

Public service workers across the country are losing their foothold in the middle class. So says an article in The New York Times this week that serves as a reminder of why labor unions are more needed now than ever.

Against a backdrop of legislative and judicial attacks aimed at destroying the rights and freedoms of unionized workers – including the forthcoming Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 – more than 200 members of affiliated local unions and chapters helped chart a path forward during Council 4’s biennial business convention on April 14 in Farmington, CT.

Convention highlights included keynote remarks by Danny Homan, President of AFSCME Council 61, which represents public sector workers in Iowa, Kansas and Missouri.

Less than three months after its inaugural meeting, the legislative Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth last Friday released its recommendations to the General Assembly. Considering the panel's domination by corporate executives, their proposals are unsurprisingly heavily tilted in favor of the ultra-rich. Still, their plan to silence the voices of Connecticut's working men and women are cause for genuine concern — and a call to action.

“Our union. Our choice. You’re not gonna take away our voice.”

That was the rallying cry of more than 200 union workers and community allies who rallied on the steps of New Haven City Hall today to protect the rights and freedom of workers to negotiate together and fight for decent and equitable pay, affordable health care, quality schools, and vibrant communities.

Leaders of Connecticut’s labor movement took a strong stand against attacks on working people in a wide-ranging presentation to the Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth, advocating an approach that invests in public services and structures, makes Connecticut's tax structure fairer, and provides workers with the security and purchasing power needed for sustainable growth.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
 

HARTFORD, Conn. – As the Connecticut General Assembly convenes today for the start of the 2018 session, unions representing thousands of Connecticut workers are standing together to demand the passage of bills that would support working people and strengthen communities in one of the most economically divided states in the nation. Together, union workers are supporting statewide bills that would provide:

Your AFSCME Local 1716/Council 4 AFSCME Negotiating Team has reached a Tentative Agreement (TA) with the City of Hartford.

The agreement is six years in length going back to July 1, 2015 and expiring June 30, 2021. It includes wage increases of 2% in 2018 and 2019, and transitions us to a high deductible health plan with 100% of in-network coverage after members meet their deductibles.

We urge you to vote “YES” on this agreement to protect our wages, our benefits and our futures as Hartford public service workers.

During this time of giving and reflection, a new opportunity has emerged to help move toward a more prosperous future for all. Most Connecticut politicians have for the past two years refused to ask millionaires and corporations to pay their fair share to protect and preserve our state's quality of life. But passage last week of massive, permanent federal tax cuts for the nation's rich and powerful offers hope in 2018 for reclaiming needed resources on behalf of working families.