The COVID-19 pandemic arrived at a time when our nation’s health care workers were already experiencing burnout.

SEBAC leaders and Health Care Cost Containment Committee (HCCCC) members Jody Barr (Executive Director, AFSCME Council 4) and Carl Chisem (President, CEUI Local 511) joined Governor Ned Lamont and

May is Mental Health Awareness Month — a time to raise awareness and reduce the stigma around mental illness and conditions.

Social work encompasses a diverse range of careers. There are school personnel, mental health professionals, substance abuse specialists — all important roles that improve our communities and help people live safe, fulfilling lives.

Without the work social workers do, children and parents would have fewer resources, senior citizens would be more vulnerable to exploitation and the most downtrodden in our society wouldn’t have their basic needs met.

Currently, Council 4 AFSCME Local 2663 represents workers in 12 state agencies, four of which employ social workers.

CJ Alicandro (left) is pictured with a few of their colleagues. Photo credit: AFSCME Council 75.

CJ Alicandro (left) is pictured with a few of their colleagues. Photo credit: AFSCME Council 75.

Council 4 members and the political staff achieved significant gains during the Connecticut General Assembly's most recent legislative session, which ended May 4.

Several Council 4 members from a variety of job fields spoke during public hearings this session. Many more reached out to legislators through email, calls and letters.

Through the hard work of our Council 4 members and staff and our brothers and sisters in other unions, we won many victories that benefit working people across the state — not all of which were achieved through the bills that passed.

New Britain, CT - Frontline American Red Cross (ARC) employees in Connecticut represented by Local 3145 of AFSCME Council 4 rallied to demand a fair contract as they resume negotiations this week. The 160-member bargaining unit encompasses jobs including blood technicians, nurses, laboratory staff, and blood transportation workers.

Union solidarity produced positive results in Southington, when Town officials recently agreed to keep the current health insurance provider for town and Board of Education employees after four leaders from Council 4 AFSCME objected to the change.

The Southington Town Council, through its Self-Insurance Committee, adopted the recommendation to change plans from Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield to Cigna and was slated to vote on the motion during its regular meeting March 28.

The Council 4 union family is grieving the untimely death of Steve Curran, a beloved service representative who fought tenaciously for our members and dedicated an extraordinary amount of his time and energy to supporting military veterans and rehabilitating rescue dogs.

Steve died April 29 at Yale New Haven Hospital due to complications from a stroke that he suffered on April 10. He was 58.

Earlier this month, more than 1,000 public service workers in Bridgeport – including firefighters, police officers, teachers, clerical staff, public facilities staff, paraprofessionals, civilian detention officers, school administrators, nurses and telecommunications operators – received an extra $1,500 in their paychecks.

They collect, protect and deliver our nation’s blood supply, yet the almost 3,000 American Red Cross workers are not being paid what they deserve, lack the staff to do their jobs effectively, face cuts to their health care and, over the course of the pandemic, have often gone without pay and adequate personal protective equipment (PPE).