MASHANTUCET, Conn ( Associated Press) — Organized workers for Democratic Governor Ned Lamont received much praise on Thursday at the opening day of the Connecticut AFL-CIO political convention, with activists asking him to help fill the many open positions in state government. urged to do and across the state.
Members of unions representing many professions, including mental health workers and custodians of government facilities and nurses in private hospitals, warned about the consequences of staffing shortages.
“There is a time limit for pilots, for truck drivers etc. We are working to put our nurses to death. They are working 16 hours a day, five to six days a week. They cannot keep it going,” said Jean Morningstar, president of University Health Professionals Local 3837 and vice president of AFCT.
Morningstar calls on Lamont to support staffing bill similar to California law This requires a specific number of patients in each hospital unit.
Tina Griffith, principal patron of the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion, Yukon’s on-campus Domed Athletic Facility, said she and her colleagues “can’t maintain our standard of what we need to do to care for our students.” , who are coming from here. Around the world, to keep them safe, to keep them healthy.”
He asked the governor: “What can we do to get some help?”
Lamont, who promised to use his “bullying pulpit” to encourage Yukon to address staffing issues at Gampel, insisted that his administration, from financial incentives to loan forgiveness programs, should be implemented by the state government. is working hard to entice workers to join.
“We are trying our best to hire more nurses. I am trying my best to appoint more state police. I am doing my best to hire more reformers (officers),” Lamont said. “We need more people to continue our government.”
Lamont said the “good news” is that the number of retirements anticipated from the state government is not as large as was first predicted and that the state is on track to end the fiscal year with the same number of employees it was a year ago. He said a new multi-year labor agreement could be due His administration reached out to state employees, including wage increases and bonuses for thousands of state employees.
The labor deal has been the subject of controversy in the 2022 gubernatorial race, despite being popular with many of the 257 delegates at Thursday’s convention. Lamont’s Republican challenger, businessman Bob Stefanowski, recently said a 2.5% wage increase for workers was reasonable given the inflation rate, but accused Lamont of playing “Santa Claus” in an election year with 3,500 in bonuses. dollars were given.
“You all know it — he’s buying 44,000 votes,” Stefanowski told reporters during a news conference last month.
Stefanowski did not attend the AFL-CIO conference held at Foxwoods Resort Casino on Thursday. A spokesman for the labor federation said Stefanowski did not fill out a required questionnaire. Previous Republican contenders for governor have appeared before delegates to request their political support, including businessman Tom Foley, in the 2014 gubernatorial election.
Lamont is expected to receive the group’s support on Friday.
First-term Democrats on Thursday slammed a “captive audience” bill into law to sign long-sought legislation alongside a labor deal. This generally prevents employers from disciplining an employee or threatening to do so because the worker refused to participate in certain employer-sponsored meetings.
Lamont was also credited with signing the legislation Thursday that created the state’s paid family medical leave program; penalizing employers who steal wages; And allow traumatic stress injuries to be covered for many first responders under the state’s Workers’ Compensation Benefit Program. However, some union members questioned why the administration has not yet distributed COVID-19 pandemic salaries to some frontline state employees and why some workers are not eligible for the additional money.