Tactical, Schmactical

I just read an interesting, but I fear, off-base look at what tactical mistakes Governor Malloy may have made in the run up to the SEBAC 2011 ratification vote.  If my comment passes moderation you can see it under “Peter”, probably the third comment.

Here it is, for immediate perusal:

“The tactical mistake was trying to take the whole problem in one bite. The two tasks of wage concessions and reworking the 1997 master agreement are separate and require separate processes. Using a budget crisis as leverage to circumvent the complex process of revisiting the 1997 agreement was Malloy’s mistake. If he had asked for wage concessions now… along the lines of what was offered with a job security clause, and had come out with a joint press release with SEBAC stating that they would work on the 1997 agreement over the summer and look for passage in the fall or next spring, SEBAC 2011 would have passed in the same manner as the previous deals. Corrections officers would still have voted “no” because they continue to feel super-entitled, but you would have had the rest of AFSCME swamping their rejection, and maybe State Police pulling their usual abdication of solidarity, for 14/15 and well over 80%.

Malloy got greedy and dare I say LAZY. Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered… Malloy tried to be a hog.”

Further: Reworking the 1997 agreement is something that needs to happen with negotiations, feedback from membership and leadership, and incremental progress toward the best agreement possible.  That is in the best interests of both the State, and state employees.  Pushing through long term changes to a pension and health care package under the threat of layoffs, under the context of a 2-year budget shortfall, is just not going to fly.  Doing it the way SEBAC/OPM did it was the worst possible scenario.  I’m probably getting repetitive on this, so I’ll knock it off, but this could have been a win/win if Governor Malloy wasn’t showing off his impatient side.  This is a bad time to be impatient.  Remember, Jodi Rell had sky high approval ratings for doing *nothing*… and I mean absolutely nothing.  The people of the State of Connecticut *liked* that!  They ate it up!  Can Kicker in Chief… and they couldn’t get enough.  Now that the bill is due we have all kinds of opinioneers saying that Malloy is arrogant.  Well, he is arrogant.  But he needs to learn what most people need to learn when coming from the outside world into State Service:  The State is like an aircraft carrier: it goes in one direction very well but changes very slowly.  if you were assigned to a PT boat, and now want to turn the SS Connecticut on a dime, you will be taught a cruel lesson in physics.  Physics 1 – Malloy 0

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