In what is a rare move the General Assembly recommitted the SustiNet bill in order to send a message to those trying to use it to defeat the $1.6 billion union concession package, which still needs to be ratified by the unions.
The State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition needs 80 percent of those voting and 14 of the 15 unions to ratify the package. An unorganized misinformation campaign regarding the details of the agreement has cropped up over the last few weeks and has gained some credibility with union members.
Lawmakers said Saturday that they didn’t want anything they were doing to interfere with the decision 45,000 union members will be asked to make about their health care and pension benefits. That’s why they recommitted the bill which means it can’t be raised before the General Assembly adjourns June 8.
On Friday Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman jumped into the fray by writing an email to all state employees telling them their health care insurance would still be offered through Anthem and Oxford and had nothing to do with SustiNet.
Wyman’s letter to state employees is below.
Dear Fellow State Employee:
Whether an employee chooses to support or oppose the pending SEBAC agreement is an individual decision, but it should be a decision based on correct and factual information. That is why I write to provide you with some facts and resources that may assist you in making that personal decision in the days ahead.
I first want to address an e-mail you may have received recently from someone claiming to be a state employee that contained many factual misstatements concerning the proposed SEBAC agreement. This email was not from the CT.gov domain and there is no state employee by that name.
Contrary to the information in the email, the proposed changes to our healthcare coverage are not in any way related to SustiNet, or to the federal healthcare reform that became law last year. Additionally, the legislation now pending in the General Assembly that links state employee healthcare to SustiNet will be vetoed by the Governor if it emerges from the General Assembly, which appears unlikely.
Also, the proposed changes absolutely will not result in our coverage becoming a version of Medicaid. Our benefits will continue to be provided by Anthem or Oxford under the plan we selected during open enrollment.
I urge you read the actual proposed agreement and make your decision based on the facts. You may do so by visiting a website that can be accessed by this link:
The website contains the full SEBAC agreement and a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document, which I hope will help address some of the questions you might have regarding the proposal. If you have other questions, you should contact your union representatives or leaders.
Thank you for taking the time to read this e-mail, and thank you for the good work you do every day. Governor Malloy and I are grateful for your service.