Members Urge Gov. Lamont To Keep PFML In The Public Interest

Hartford, CT, April 22, 2019 – Members of Local 269 of Council 4 AFSCME who work at the Connecticut Department of Labor are urging Gov. Ned Lamont to reconsider contracting out a proposed paid family and medical leave program to a private company.

To emphasize their point that privatization is not in the public interest, local union leaders today presented the Governor with a petition signed within one day by hundreds of their fellow DOL employees. 

“Our union members fully support and believe in the need for paid family and medical leave for Connecticut workers,” said Local 269 President Xavier Gordon, a career development specialist at the state DOL. “But we also believe that privatization will compromise the integrity of a program so vitally important to working families. This is exactly the kind of initiative that the public should expect to be administered by an agency whose mission is to serve the public, not private shareholders.”

Gov. Lamont has previously said he favors allowing a private insurance company to administer a paid family and medical leave program that would be funded through payroll taxes. 

Local 269 members said they are excited and enthusiastic about a paid family and medical leave law being enacted, but also questioned whether outsourcing would be effective.

“Our agency crafted regulations for Connecticut’s current Family and Medical Leave Act,” said Local 269 Vice President Marsha Tulloch, an unemployment adjudications specialist at CT DOL. “We handle FMLA complaints and provide workshops and training on FMLA to employers. We are subject matter experts who have the training and the commitment to do the job right – and do it impartially, with full accountability to the public.”

Advocates of paid family and medical leave also affirmed their support for having public employees administer the program if it is created.

“Paid family and medical leave insurance should be administered by workers who, by career choice and training, are dedicated to protecting the public interest,” said CT Working Families Party State Director Lindsay Farrell. “We urge lawmakers to ensure that this fundamental worker protection program require public oversight and administration to be truly effective and protect taxpayer interests.”

“Connecticut residents have waited long enough for real paid family and medical leave that is inclusive of and accessible to all workers, no matter where they work, what they earn, or who they care for,” added  Maddie Granato, Policy Manager at the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF) and Campaign Director for the CT Campaign for Paid Family Leave. “The Campaign for Paid Family Leave urges lawmakers and Governor Lamont to pass a paid family and medical leave program this year that is publicly administered to protect transparency and workers’ privacy, without any sort of profit incentive.“