With their counterparts under fire in other states and national public opinion not exactly in their favor, Connecticut public employee union leaders sat down with Gov. Dannel Malloy’s people yesterday in an effort to find a way to come up with concessions to help solve the budget crises.

Malloy is looking for $1 billion a year for two years in givebacks to help balance the budget that is about $4 billion in the red. The alternatives are big layoffs and/or deep cuts in the state’s social safety net.

Malloy might be in a stronger position that he might not otherwise be. Unions in Wisconsin and Ohio are fighting for their very existence as far as collective bargaining and there is general agreement that union members have it far better than the private sector. That, of course, is the result of successful negotiating on the part of the unions. But that fact doesn’t help them now.