Since state employee labor unions ratified the concessions deal with the Malloy administration, much has been made about labor’s “ruffled feathers” and the fact that there is some tension between the unions and Malloy. Combine that with the fact that state House Republican Leader Larry Cafero has been reduced to whining about how many victory laps Malloy has taken and all things seem right in state government—“right” in the sense that the employees can’t dictate to the boss how things will be done and the office crybaby has almost run out of things to snivel about.
Sometimes we all seem to lose sight of the big picture:
• Of course labor isn’t completely happy with how things turned out—that’s why they call them “concessions.” But they should still be thankful they aren’t New York or Wisconsin state employees or, God forbid for them, Tom Foley isn’t governor. In each case, tens of thousands of them would have lost their jobs and the state services would have been left unrecognizable. It was ugly for sure. But it could have been a lot worse.
• Of course the deal isn’t perfect—the state budget process never is. As The Shad said on NBC-Connecticut and FOX-Connecticut Friday, there is real question as to whether the deal will really produce $1.6 billion in savings. But that’s why Malloy has the 5-percent rescission (or further budget-cutting) authority. One way or another, he’ll get the savings or deal with yet another deficit.
• Of course Cafero, whose fingers-on-a-chalkboard speeches on the House floor leave once thankful he is simply giving interviews, wants to know how many times Malloy is going to celebrate the labor deal. The answer? As many damn times as he wants. It’s an historic deal and it took months to get. Cafero’s biggest challenge for the next session is to come up with some sort of cute, alliterate name for the number of representatives he leads in the chamber (“The Fightin’ Fourty-Four” was actually not bad) and how to poach printed, graphic artists’ ideas from other caucuses.
What doesn’t make a lot of sense is the state police union rejecting the concessions deal. All it accomplished was that its members lost their job security and they get to hold a big rally at the Capitol today. Everyone else in the bargaining unit coalition gets a four-year, no-layoff guarantee.