At least one of the 34 bargaining groups and one of the locals, which is part of the larger Correction Officer’s bargaining group, voted against the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition’s tentative agreement, according to sources.
The one bargaining group to vote against the $1.6 billion concession deal was AFSCME Local 749, which includes a variety of Judicial Branch employees. That AFSCME bargaining unit defeated the SEBAC agreement 513 to 763 and its individual contract 544 to 728, according to sources.
Union officials declined to confirm the votes because balloting will continue for other groups until June 24. As of Thursday afternoon, seven of the 34 bargaining groups had already voted in favor of the package, according to sources or statements on their websites.
Sources say Local 1565, a Correction Officer’s local, voted against the contract, but two other locals in that same bargaining group are still voting, so its impact on the overall SEBAC agreement is still unknown.
“We have three Locals — 1565, 387 and 391 — who comprise the NP-4 Corrections Bargaining Unit within AFSCME. Local 1565 voted and counted results. Local 387 is voting today. The third union within NP-4 Corrections, Local 391, doesn’t vote until June 22-23,“ Larry Dorman, a spokesman for both AFSCME and SEBAC said. “Therefore I’m not confirming any results out of respect for the fact that other correctional union members are voting today and next week. Statewide, the completed results show strong support for the agreement.”
Earlier in the day, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy told municipal officials he was optimistic about the early vote tallies.
Click here to read more about what he had to say.
In the end, if 14 of the 15 unions or 80 percent of the voting members ratify the agreement, then any of the bargaining units that didn’t approve it could be laid off regardless of the overall agreement. Any bargaining group that doesn’t approve it, won’t receive layoff protection.
This happened back in 2009 when the NP-4 Corrections bargaining unit and the NP-8 bargaining group representing Correction captains and lieutenants voted against, and in the case of NP-8 didn’t vote at all, on the wage package offered under former Gov. M. Jodi Rell. At that time NP-4’s arbitrated agreement was awaiting legislative approval, while NP-8 was fighting with the administration over a variety of issues they refused to detail at the time. It also was at a time when the prison population was bursting at the seams and their chances of getting laid off were slim to none, but Malloy’s approach to criminal justice has been much different than Rell’s.
The legislature just passed a series of criminal justice reforms which allow inmates to earn early release credits, seek accelerated rehabilitation, serve sentences at home, and other diversionary programs which are expected to further reduce the prison population. And before the end of the year, Malloy’s administration will decide which prison it will close, which has many in the Correction Department thinking long and hard about how they will vote.
At the moment, it was only one of the locals that voted against the package and not the entire bargaining group as a whole, so it’s still unclear whether NP-4 Corrections will receive the job security it declined in 2009.