Sail Away, Yacht Commission, Sail Away

Council 4 and other labor organizations are making it clear it’s time for the Commission on Fiscal Stability Economic Growth to move on after its privately-funded attacks on working people and collective bargaining failed to gain legislative session in 2018.

The Commission, which is dominated by multi-millionaires and business executives, released a scaled down s et of recommendations on Nov. 29. Their report, known as Version 2.0 , again included tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy and a push to reopen the SEBAC 2017 concession and savings agreement.

“FIST Commission leaders continue to bark up the wrong tree,” Council 4 Executive Director Jody Barr commented. “Unionized state employees provided $1.59 billion in biennial savings and more than $24 billion over the next two decades when they voted in favor of the 2017 SEBAC agreement. These employees are giving up an average of $17,500 per worker over the next two years to help close the deficit and protect vital services.”

(Click here  to read one of the press accountss of labor's response to the Commission's recent recommendations.)

Alternatively described by Connecticut AFL-CIO Executive Vice President (and former Council 4 Executive Director) Sal Luciano as the “Let Them Eat Cake Commission" or "The Yacht Commission," FIST members have been on a nearly year-long offensive to weaken government services and diminish collective bargaining rights in the guise of “fixing” Connecticut’s economy.

(Click here for our previous story on the FIST Commission.)

Council 4 members were among the many who pushed back against the Commission recommendations.

Mark Krauchik (pictured at right), a Seymour school custodian and president of Local 1303-025 of Council 4, testified earlier this year about the misguided recommendations of the FIST Commission.

“I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I can’t shake the feeling that Commission members are not on my side when they made recommendations that benefit the wealthy and the corporations,” Krauchik told Connecticut lawmakers.

“If Connecticut is going to move forward; if Connecticut is going to be a better place for young people and the working class – then we need to have an honest discussion about asking the wealthy and big corporations to pay their fair share of taxes,” he added. 

Krauchik’s message was on point in March, and it’s on point now. As the General Assembly prepares to convene for a new session in January 2019, it’s time to stop blaming public service workers and to start charting a new path for economic growth. That path needs to be built on shared sacrifice, renewed public investment, and a commitment to rebuilding the middle class.