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Connecticut AFL-CIO 2023 Legislative Agenda

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The Connecticut AFL-CIO will lead efforts to:

  • Authorize unemployment benefits for striking workers.
  • Create one fair minimum wage in Connecticut by eliminating the subminimum wage.
  • Enact the remaining recommendations of the Paraeducator Advisory Council to:
    • Enact a living wage for paraeducators;
    • Provide affordable healthcare mandating use of the State Partnership Program;
    • Require school districts to inform parents they may request the participation of their child’s paraeducator in PPT meetings;
    • Require the State Department of Education to develop guidance for districts about the appropriate use and training of paraeducators; and
    • Secure funding to maintain and expand the delivery of professional development for paraeducators.
  • Advocate for a fair budget that robustly and equitably funds public services by asking the wealthy and mega-corporations to pay what they owe.
  • Restore employer penalties for violations of Section 31-51q of the General Statutes that do not involve violations of the captive audience statute.

The Connecticut AFL-CIO will stand ready to support affiliates in their efforts to:

  • Block all attempts to undermine collective bargaining rights, binding arbitration, prevailing wage standards and project labor agreements.
  • Defeat efforts to weaken occupational licensing standards.
  • Strengthen Connecticut’s Stop Work Order Law to include violations of prevailing wage standards and increase fines for non-compliant employers.
  • Defeat attempts to increase apprentice to journeyperson ratios pursued by non-union contractors who focus on cheap labor rather than providing the training required for apprentices to successfully complete their apprenticeships.
  • Fully fund and expand the Pandemic Pay Program to provide essential workers with up to $1,000 to recognize the risks they took to protect public health and serve our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Redefine the definition of “assault of a transit worker” to more accurately encompass the kinds of attacks these workers face.
  • Monitor implementation of recently enacted Indoor Air Quality standards in school buildings and the labor protections included in that statute.
  • Require that all broadband projects funded through the Office of Telecommunications and Broadband: (1) Be subject to the state’s prevailing wage requirements; (2) Require applicants to demonstrate the fiscal, technical, and operational capabilities required to complete the proposed work; (3) Prioritize the awarding of contracts to applicants with exemplary workplace safety and  compliance practices; and (4) Be made transparent with the publishing of grants, recipients, and locations of projects on the Department's website. 
  • Add exemptions to post-storm electricity restoration timelines to protect the health and safety of line crews and prevent PURA from outsourcing work to non-union utility operators.
  • Clarify the paid family and medical leave statute to ensure employers who provide short term disability benefits use them as the primary benefit, not vice versa.
  • Fill vacancies throughout state agencies to expand delivery of public services, defeat privatization of attempts, including outsourcing to non-profits and expanding the use of public-private partnerships that reduce the need for public employees, and defeating attempts to amend the State Personnel Act to bypass hiring language that may appear in state employee collective bargaining agreements.
  • Include labor peace agreements for grocery, retail development and warehouse distribution projects when the state provides tax credits, grants or loans to businesses that establish and retain new supermarkets/grocery stores in areas determined to be “food desert communities.”
  • Monitor efforts to establish protections for gig economy workers.
  • Monitor efforts to implement early voting in Connecticut and advocate that at least one weekend day be included in the early voting period to allow working families more flexibility to vote.
  • Require municipalities to provide a defined benefit pension that meets or exceeds the benefit level provided by Connecticut Municipal Employee Retirement System (CMERS) to all police officers and firefighters as a matter of public safety.
  •  Modify existing healthcare staffing laws by changing the mandatory overtime statute and addressing safe patient staffing in hospitals and long-term care facilities.
  • Enact legislation to strengthen the Certificate of Need process.
  • Secure workforce development funding and bonding for the Aviation High School Project.

The Connecticut AFL-CIO will support allies in their efforts to:

  • Enact the Carbon-Free and Healthy Schools Act which requires net-zero construction and renovation of school buildings while mandating the use of apprenticeship and job training programs, prevailing wage standards and project labor agreements for projects over $10 million.
  • Expand the paid sick days law to:
    • Cover all private-sector employees;
    • Broaden the range of family members for whom an employee may use leave; 
    • Increase the rate at which leave is accrued and remove the waiting period; and 
    • Allow leave to be used for a public health emergency and/or quarantines.
  • Limit and regulate egregious “on-call” scheduling practices in the retail and hospitality industries by passing “Fair Workweek” legislation.
  • Expand the False Claims Act to allow the Attorney General to bring an action against any case of government fraud, not just state-administered health, or human services programs.
  • Support the protection of tenants’ rights and the establishment of tenants’ unions.