Opinion: Abusive DCF employees should be fired; will union protect them?

Suzanne Bates

Suzanne Bates

Suzanne Bates is the policy director for the Yankee Institute for Public Policy. She lives in South Windsor with her family. Follow her on Twitter @suzebates.

The children who enter the care of the state, overseen by the Department of Children and Families, are our most vulnerable children, and yet there are state workers who are allowed to continue to work with them even after allegations of abuse.

This is wrong. Any state employee involved in a substantiated case of abuse should be fired. There should be zero tolerance for this kind of behavior.

But, as Jeb Bush noted in a recent speech, “There are a lot of exemplary employees in the . . . government, but they’re treated no better than the bad ones,” he said. “And the bad ones are almost impossible to effectively discipline or remove.”

See the complete story at CT News Junkie.



Oldtimer August 16, 2015 at 8:58 am

Ms Bates seems to advocate summary firing whenever a public employee does something unacceptable, with no concern for due process. Without union representation, there is no limit on what the public employer can do when some politician feels it is justified.

If she really knew anything about union representation, she would know the unions defends the employees rights under a contract dealing with, among other things, dismissal. Certain benefits are earned over a long period instead of higher salaries and should not be taken away because some politician thinks that is a good idea. Actual guilt of alleged criminal behavior is the jurisdiction of the courts and not of some politically appointed local board. Earned employee benefits, guaranteed by a contract, should not be taken away as extra judicial punishment because some politician decides a particular case voids a contract. Only a union has the resources to defend a member against such extra judicial punishment.

Casey Smith August 16, 2015 at 2:21 pm

So, it’s perfectly okay, Oldtimer, for someone to shoot and kill two suspects, be dismissed, then have the union step in, have the officer RE-INSTATED with BACK PAY, after the municipality involved paid over half a million to the family in a settlement?

It’s okay for the union to allow the dismissal of a teacher but require that the reason for his dismissal be removed from the record because he was found guilty of having sexual relations with a student? I’m sure the second student he got involved with, the family of that student and the second school district involved all heartily agree that it was right for the union to withhold that information.

I’m sorry. The unions are all about covering their own rear ends, not about educating students or protecting the public.

John Hamlin August 17, 2015 at 7:23 am

The public employee unions have a corrupt bargain with Connecticut politicians. It’s time to eliminate public employee unions and the right to collective bargain against their fellow citizens. We allow these public unions to bargain not against a private employer (who is free to go out of business if it chooses) but against us! How stupid are we!

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