Assistant attorneys general voted by a nearly 2-to-1 margin in favor of being represented by a union.
The vote of 179 attorneys employed by the Office of the Attorney General were counted Tuesday following two weeks of voting by mail. The attorneys will be represented by AFT Connecticut.
“This is a historic day for us, not just as assistant attorneys general, but as state employees,” Nancy Brouillet, an assistant attorney general in the agency’s Employment Rights unit, said. “For years, we’ve been denied a voice and a seat at the table on issues impacting our families’ healthcare and retirement security. For us, this was never about dissatisfaction with Attorney General Jepsen — it was about equity with our colleagues represented by unions,” added Brouillet, a member of the organizing committee of AAGs that spearheaded the effort.”
Jepsen, who has been a labor advocate, steered clear of commenting on the unionization effort.
The group will be brought under the umbrella of the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition, which negotiates the health and pension benefits for 35 state bargaining groups. The contract for health and pension benefits doesn’t end until 2022.
“Choosing ‘union YES’ was as much about elevating our profession as securing the same negotiating rights as our colleagues,” Mildred Bauzá, another assistant attorney general, said. “We have always been committed to delivering quality legal services for the State of Connecticut. Until now, we’ve not had the same ability to advocate for the resources needed to fulfill our mission — an advantage of being union that benefits the public we serve.”
By uniting in AFT Connecticut, the attorneys are joining with professional state employees in six bargaining units.
“I am so proud to have stood with these dedicated state employees from the beginning,” AFT Connecticut President Jan Hochadel said. “Their journey to achieve parity with their colleagues and secure a voice in decisions impacting their profession has demonstrated what the labor movement is all about; that we are stronger together.”