Just days before state lawmakers were expected to vote down on it, the union pulled the controversial University of Connecticut contract
Republicans and even Democrats balked at the contract, which included millions in raises.
The union said on Friday it was pulling the contract because of a technical glitch. But some are not buying that and they said it’s the public backlash that has forced this to happen.
Millions in raises for UConn employees are now on hold.
“Clearly I think they heard from democrats in both houses as to the concerns that were raised,” House Speaker State Rep. Brendan Sharkey said.
Sharkey said the unions are pulling their contract at least for now. He blames Gov. Dannel P. Malloy for not stepping in sooner.
"There were plenty of opportunities for the governor to step in and sound an alarm about this contract particularly just before the board of trustees of which he is an ex-officio member and makes appointments before the board was scheduled to vote,” Sharkey said.
The contract came under fire when the state's budget deficit erupted. The governor called for the contract to be rejected. Malloy was out of state on Friday. His spokesperson said this about the house speaker.
"Governor’s intervention is what lead to this contract being withdrawn. The Speaker should stop looking for other people to do his own heavy lifting,” the statement said.
As for the contract, UConn said it was $24 million, but state analysts said it was closer to $94 million.
The contract was negotiated months ago. The union said UConn workers have gone without raises in prior contracts and feel they're caught in a political crossfire.
“This wasn't just the union going in and saying we want all of this. This was both sides give and take and for a long period of time,” CT AFL-CIO President Lori Pelletier said. “So yeah we are saddened and disappointed."
The union blames a technical glitch for withdrawing the contract. Republicans said it's a convenient excuse for democrats who didn't want to vote on it.
“This is a bad contract given the financial fiscal realities he state is facing,” Minority Leader State Sen. Len Fasano said.
Now the contract goes back to members. They will decide whether or not to re-submit it. They will work under current conditions until an agreement is reached.
About 30 state contracts are now in negotiations and this could send a strong messages.
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