Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Workers Cite HIghway Scandal

August 8, 2007


Members of Connecticut public service union to testify at Thursday, August 9
public hearing by Governor's Commission on the Reorganization of the DOT

HARTFORD—Professionals working for the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) are proposing solutions for reforming the scandal-plagued agency in the wake of recent costly contracting-out crises. Members of CSEA/SEIU Local 2001 will present a five-point "Safety, Security, and Savings" plan to Governor M. Jodi Rell and members of her DOT Reform Panel that can begin restoring public trust in the agency, severely damaged in the past year by the "Little Dig" on I-84 and Q-Bridge Replacement outsourcing fiascos.

State public service workers will testify during the public hearing portion of the Governor's Commission on the Reorganization of the DOT meeting on Thursday. The hearing will be held in conference room 2B of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, located at 300 Capitol Ave, and follows the Commission's regular meeting, scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. Both the meeting and the hearing are open to the public.

"The 'Little Dig' is just one reason to change from top-to-bottom the culture at the DOT" Monique Burns, a Transportation Engineer in the agency's Highway Design Project Development Unit said of the need for front-line workers to speak out for change. Burns was one of several members of CSEA/SEIU Local 2001 to testify to members of the legislature's Transportation and Public Safety and Security Committees in July and provide solutions for reforming the agency.

Burns and fellow members have urged Governor M. Jodi Rell to appoint rank-and file engineers, inspectors, planners, safety professionals and others working within the department to the Commission she formed to reorganize the department. Among other proposals to be presented to the panel on Thursday is public project contracting reform, which two weeks ago the Governor urged legislative leaders call a special session to pass this summer.

"We need legislation that would require strict contract standards for all public projects, and improve contractor and consultant accountability" Burns continued. "I believe if a cost-benefit analysis had been performed prior to outsourcing the design of the 'Little Dig,' which the Clean Contracting bill our members support would require, it would have shown that we could have designed the project more cost-effectively" she added.

CSEA/SEIU Local 2001 represents 25,000 active and retired public sector workers across Connecticut. The union's membership also includes workers with non-profit organizations and private companies contracted to provide public services through state, and local government agencies. Visit online for more information about its members' efforts to protect the public interest by making clean contracting law in Connecticut.

Matt O'Connor
Communications Director
Local: 860/951-6614 ext. 129
Mobile: 860/221-5696

CSEA/SEIU, Local 2001
760 Capitol Ave.
Hartford, CT 06106
Main: 860/951-6614
FAX: 860/951-3526

  • Little Dig Background From CtNewsJunkie

  • JI Notes Death Of Clean Contracting Bill


    In Enfield said...

    Does anyone know if the state of connecticut provide their towns with a list of contractors with dubious records? Or is that part of the corruption?

    Matt O'Connor said...

    You are right -- that is part of the corporate corruption -- and government collusion at the heart of this problem.

    There is no such list available to towns -- or even state agencies -- at this time. The "Clean Contracting" bill that public sector union members have workers to pass over the past 4 years would create such a list, and real, meaningful private sector contract standards, for state agencies.

    So call Speaker Jim Amman at (800) 842-8267 and urge him to announce a date for a special session to pass "Clean Contracting" NOW!

    Then we can work to get contractor info to cities, towns, and Boards of Ed across the state.