State Unions Coalition Lauds Gov. Lamont’s Action to Protect Frontline Essential Workers

HARTFORD – The State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) today issued the following statement on Governor Ned Lamont’s executive order providing workers who contracted COVID-19 on the job with presumed worker’s compensation coverage: “We applaud Governor Lamont for listening to the collective voices of essential workers across Connecticut in both the public and private sectors on the frontlines of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) crisis.

They have served in many occupations; nurses, social workers, physicians, counselors, teachers, custodians, maintainers, professors, probation and correction officers, grocery and delivery workers, bus drivers and transit professionals and more. They are working people of every color; black, brown and white. “This courage and commitment did not come without enormous sacrifices. Just among state workers, hundreds have become ill with coronavirus, dozens brought the virus home to their families, and some have even lost their lives. We know our sisters and brothers working people in the municipal and private sectors are facing the same risks and are making similar sacrifices.

“SEBAC leaders thank the sacrifices that our members have continued to make each and every day. This executive order is one step towards paying the debt that Connecticut owes to essential workers who are keeping our communities running throughout this crisis.” Diane Logan, RN, is an outpatient staff nurse in the dermatology clinic at UConn Health in Farmington and a member of University Health Professionals, AFT Local 3837. She was stricken with coronavirus while at work and initially denied workers compensation coverage: “The governor’s executive order is an important step toward fairness for all of us who risked our lives during the pandemic. Caring for patients battling COVID-19 did not come without enormous sacrifice for those of us on the frontline. I appreciate the governor honoring mine by establishing the presumption that I contracted the virus on the job so others could ‘stay home and stay safe.’

“I further thank my union president, as well as labor leaders, attorneys and so many others behind the scenes who supported me during this difficult time.” Ginny Ligi, is a correction officer at the Cheshire Correctional Institution in Cheshire and a member of Council 4 AFSCME, Local 387. She also contracted the virus on the job and faced denial of workers compensation coverage: “Having suffered through job-related COVID-19 myself, I am grateful that Gov. Lamont is recognizing the essential effort and sacrifice of essential frontline workers. My fellow correctional officers and I know that by going to work, we are putting our loved ones at risk. That weighs heavily on us. “I hope the governor’s executive order will bring some relief, because COVID-19 remains a threat to frontline workers everywhere—whether you’re a correction officer like me, or a grocery store clerk, a bus driver or a hospital nurse.“

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The State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) unites approximately 45,000 Connecticut state workers in 15 unions to address issues of common concern. To learn more, visit ctstateemployees.org or follow the coalition on Facebook at facebook.com/connecticutSEBAC. Link – Office of Governor Ned Lamont – July 24 Executive Order No. 7JJJ

 

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