A Governor has the truly difficult job of being the CEO of a state and doing everything in his or her power to make it better for everyone living in it. Sometimes that means making decisions that might be bad for a small portion of the population while benefitting the greater good. In Governor Malloy’s case, it seems he has made some decisions that benefit a select few but are not good for the greater good of the state.
Malloy has made it no secret that he is a champion of organized labor. The unions, some argue, are what put him over the top in his narrow election victory over Tom Foley. So it might come as no surprise that Malloy has repeatedly gone out of his way to appease union leadership.
The first move was the “concession package” that Malloy offered the unions as a way to close the budget gap. The package included suspicious accounting of savings that the non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis could not verify. It also included a four year no-layoffs clause and scheduled pay raises- things the private sector would kill to have.
Next let’s consider the $850 million UConn Health Center expansion that was bonded earlier this year. While not without merit, this expensive project comes at a time when the state of Connecticut can barely afford to keep the lights on. Now we learn that they are considering an exclusive agreement with union contractors for the construction of the project. This means non-union contractors will not even be able to bid on the projects. This anti-competition, anti-small business move is only made to benefit one group- the unions.
Most recently we learned of the Governor’s executive orders that could result in day care providers and home health care workers being forced to unionize. This concept was raised during the 2011 legislative session but received such fierce opposition from workers and clients alike that it never made it for a full vote in either chamber of the legislature.
So the question is if the workers don’t want this and the disabled and sick don’t want this, then why do it? To answer that question you only need to look at who the executive orders would benefit. If these workers unionize, the workers would have to pay $21.80 a month in union dues representing a windfall into the union coffers. Money that, perhaps, will help Malloy during his reelection bid a few years from now.
Connecticut is going through some rough times and has been for years now. We need a leader that will make the necessary decisions to help our state recover, not someone that is going to placate the unions. Hopefully at this point Governor Malloy has now repaid his debts to organized labor and can start acting like he’s the Governor for everyone in this state.
In the upcoming October jobs session I will focus my energy on creating a pro-business environment where the private industry can succeed. The unemployment rate in Bristol, Plymouth and Terryville is close to 10%, those people need jobs and union work isn’t the answer. Until we get serious about encouraging growth in the private sector Connecticut cannot and will not recover.