State employee union members are receiving updates about the proposed settlement in the class action lawsuit against former Governor John Rowland at their homes and in their workplaces. Notices announcing a hearing on the settlement's final approval has been set for October 1 at the U.S. District Court in Hartford are being distributed to members employed since 2002.
The lawsuit was filed after more than 3,000 union members were fired in retaliation for their unions' refusal to give up contract rights protected under federal and state law. Attorneys representing the plaintiffs and the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC), which includes JPE & AFT CT, in April announced the settlement with the office of the Attorney General.
The proposed settlement in the class action lawsuit will not be final until after the October 1 hearing before the court presiding over the case. The purpose is to allow any objections, which can be made in writing in advance of or during the scheduled proceedings.
Key provisions of the settlement include compensation for "emotional stress and punitive damages" based upon when a state employee was laid off, "bumped" or transferred, or otherwise affected. They include:
Ten vacation days and five personal leave days for union members laid off as a result of Gov. Rowland's order and still employed by the state; $1,500 paid in two yearly installments for those who are no longer working for the state;
Four vacation days and three personal leave days for union members demoted to a lower paying position and still employed by the state; $700 paid in two yearly installments for those who are no longer working for the state; and
One and one-quarter personal days for union members not laid off or demoted and still employed by the state; $100 within 30 days after court approval of the settlement for those who are no longer working for the state