724 Political News
Keep it right here for
you latest Team 724 news and events.
Political Director Chuck Flynn will posting vital info to the campaign
and Team 724's next move..
know March is here and another baseball season is upon us when President
Todd Lynch starts his well deserved annual spring training vacation with
the Red Sox Nation at Jet Blue Park in Florida.
At our February meeting members were briefed on the arrival of our newest
police K9 to join the department next month. The Labrador Retriever will
be trained in drug detection and ready for duty by late spring. This is
the fourth dog purchased as a result of our K9 fundraising campaign last
year. Deployment of this dog brings our K9 unit to full strength.
Members were also presented the preliminary concept of an agency reorganization
proposed by Chief Richard. The primary goal is expected to increase command
level presence in the field and improve the quality of police response
with higher expectations and responsibilities for Captains, Lieutenants
Chief's plan calls for refilling the Deputy Chief position, downsizing
from three to two agency divisions, the elimination of one police captain,
elimination of a Records Section sergeant to be replaced by a civilian
supervisor, filling a vacant detective lieutenant as Commanding Officer
of Investigative Services, adding a sergeant to supervise the Vice and
Narcotics Unit and adding an investigator to the Detective Bureau to assist
with the increasing number of juvenile investigations.
Formal negotiations between the City and Union are expected within the
next few months. Like any proposal the devil is in the details. If both
sides can come to agreement on terms and conditions the membership must
vote to formally ratify the changes allowing for implementation sometime
after July 1, 2019.
At the same time the Union continues our fight protecting our members
against any disparate treatment or impact. Specifically treatment of any
of our members that is less favorable than treatment of others. As we
work towards an amicable agreement we also prepare to vigorously fight
our case for a right and just outcome.
to Anthony Nolan winner of the special election for the 39th District
State Representative by almost 2-1 margin over Mirna Martinez. We look
forward to working with Anthony on public safety and collective bargaining
issues protecting our pension, benefits and work place safety. We also
thank challengers Jason Catala and Kat Goulart for their tireless interest
in public service to New London.
New London recently announced a 9% increase in the grand list. Certainly
welcoming news for a cash strapped city to perhaps improve upon dismal
city services hamstrung by meager budgets especially the last decade.
But former mayor and socialist in residence Daryl Finizio, an activist
who wants free stuff for everybody by taxing the rich, yet when it comes
to his money he couldn’t wait to insist Mayor Passero use the grand
list increase announcement to call for an immediate lowering of city taxes.
would think the former mayor, who slashed city budgets and asked for many
layoffs during his term would understand the urgent need to improve upon
our abysmal city services to finally move the city forward. Could it be
that the former mayor, now a city homeowner and taxpayer only wants to
raise your taxes and not his? Daryl's recent attacks on Mayor Passero's
policies makes us wonder if he is consumed with sour grapes since losing
to Passero in 2015 or is he considering a future challenge against the
mayor in this fall's municipal elections.
We distinctly remember gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont at an AFSCME
get out the vote rally on November 2, when he declared, "We’re
going to be fighting for you for the next four years”. Now Governor
Lamont - who was endorsed and won on the backs of state labor unions and
just 5 weeks into his administration called for curtailing cost of living
adjustments for all state pensions in his State of the State address.
He then doubled down on his slap at public employees when he followed
up by submitting Governor's Bill #882 seeking changes to the Municipal
Employees Retirement System (MERS) which calls for a 400% increase in
employee contributions amounting to a 14.25% pay cut for our hard working
New London police officers. Is this his idea of fighting for us?
MERS is a public pension plan provided by the state for 80 participating
municipalities including New London, with nearly 9,400 active workers
and about 7,100 retirees which is one of the country's best funded at
85 percent of long term obligations because all municipalities in the
plan properly funded it with yearly contributions. This is how our new
governor thanks the people who got him elected.
Some quick calculations of our middle class family budgets reveals our
new potential tax burden: Federal tax rate 24%, State income tax rate
6%, Pension contributions 19%, Medical Plan cost share 2.75%, Local property
tax 4.25%, FICA tax 7.67%. That's almost 62% of salary in taxes. Begs
the question why work and why continue to live in Connecticut?
Hartford almost 28 years to the day since Governor Lowell Weicker became
the state's most infamous liar when he broke his campaign promise of no
state income tax, Governor Ned Lamont just earned a second place in the
Hall of Shame by breaking his campaign pledge of no tolls or only tolls
for trucks now wants to toll all vehicles as soon as possible.
The initial state electronic toll proposal calls for 82 gantries on all
of Connecticut's highways and 4 lane roads bringing in $800 million to
$1 billion in new revenue by 2023 with 40% of the vehicles from out of
state. These electronic gantries will be placed about 6.6 miles apart
with only one gantry per town on any given highway. Travel costs will
average between 4.4 and 5.3 cents per mile. Locally plans call for a toll
gantry along I-95 in Old Lyme, Waterford, Groton and Stonington. I-395
has ideas for a gantry in Waterford, Montville and Norwich.
also means the General Assembly is back in session with proposed Bills
on almost every subject you can think of. In keeping with each legislative
cycle of life, most of these proposals will never make it into a law.
On the heels of recent proposals to increase taxes on groceries, medications
Senate Bill 475 proposes to “increase revenue” by raising
the CT sales tax rate to 6.85% up from 6.35% which amounts to an extra
50 cents for every $100 dollars spent potentially realize over $350 million
in new revenue.
Besides tolls, legalizing marijuana, sports betting and taxing the rich
are also front and center issues also facing our elected leaders this
session. Each proposal is controversial, but in this day and age when
individual rights are more important than the greater good of the people
and a state desperate to find new money to fix old fiscal problems, common
sense will take a back seat to any potential increases in state revenues.
Connecticut's Office of Fiscal Analysis estimated that legal legalizing
recreational cannabis could generate more than $30 million in tax revenue for
the state in the first year of sales. Massachusetts began legal marijuana
sales just last month and is reported to have generated $2.2 million
in income during the first five days of legal sales; a huge incentive
for Connecticut lawmakers to follow suit.
Considering the facts the Democrats now hold the majority in the Connecticut
Senate, and Governor Lamont openly supports legalization, and legalizing
recreational cannabis may be the shot in the arm that Connecticut needs
to reduce their deficit, Connecticut may soon become the eleventh state
to allow legal, adult-use marijuana.
However in California another state craving more tax revenue from cannabis
sales has created the opposite effect of declining legal sales with most
people opting to buy their weed on the cheaper, more available black market.
They projected bringing in $185 million in taxes but got less than half
that. Over regulation, difficult local permitting process on where legal
markets could sell and a 45% tax on each purchase have cut into the weed
market where black markets can sell anywhere to anyone with no taxes.
Proponents of legalizing weed in California pointed to new tax revenues
and ending the black market as big selling points but high taxes have
all but strangled the golden goose voters were promised. Connecticut should
carefully consider these facts to formulate the right conclusion.
Why Political Action
THE DECISIONS that a legislative body makes, whether it is a school board,
city council, county board, state legislature, or the U.S. Congress, affect
AFSCME members and their families in dramatic ways.
Elected officials vote on budgets that affect employee wages, benefits,
working conditions and pensions. They vote on issues of particular concern
to AFSCME members, like privatization, and they vote on broader issues
of concern to all working families, such as health care reform and workers'
compensation. That's why working people need to have allies among elected
officials. And that's why working people need to work to elect these allies.
The Local 724 executive board has the collective responsibility to provide
vision and direction for the local. It is up to the leadership team to
look ahead, set goals and develop a plan to make strategic planning a
critical element to having a strong union which can only come about when
membership is informed, educated and active.
Unions can never hope to match the hundreds of millions of dollars big
business pours into every election. But working people have superior numbers,
so they can get out in the streets and work for candidates. And if members
pool their cash, unions can help make sure that their endorsed candidates
have enough funds to compete against business-backed opponents in the
ever-more important media ad wars.
Through the political process we can be involved in setting important
public policy. Through the political process public employees can elect
representatives who are sensitive to maintaining vital public services
and committed to dealing with workers fairly.
Local 724 accomplishes this through political action in conjunction with
the exercise of collective bargaining process, growth and community involvement
to produce a just and rewarding workplace.
724 gets recognized on the national level!
On January 28, 2011 at
the Council 4 Campaign for the Middle Class Seminar in Meriden The American
Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), AFL-CIO
thanked the New London Police Union- Local 724 for their efforts in the
Labor 2010 campaign.
Lee Saunders, International Secretary-Treasurer and AFSCME Council 4's
Sal Luciano who is also an International Vice President honored Local
724 with a certificate "In recognition of their tireless work and
commitment during the 2010 State of Connecticut general elections".
To this day labor leaders throughout the state continue to praise our
Malloy/Wyman Pre-Debate Rally as a new benchmark of what local labor can
achieve when committed to a goal.
Chuck Flynn was honored to accept the award on behalf of our entire membership
which will hang proudly in the 724 "Hall of Justice". I want
to personally thank everyone that participated in some way no matter how
big or small. Our election success was due to the collective efforts of
our TEAM-Together Everyone Accomplishes More.
724 helps East Lyme fight the cause
Why Political Action
Shooting from the lip
Political Director C Flynn
Crippling Leadership Mistakes