Letter: Compensation Plan being used for political gain

To the Editor:

While talking points and catch phrases make for good political theater, what Trumbull residents care about are the facts. When the Democratic candidate for first selectman spoke out against the Compensation Plan for town employees, she outlined her position with talking points, but failed to provide any substance. So as a member of the Town Council, let me provide you with what the Democrats failed to tell you.

The purpose of the Compensation Plan is to ensure that all of our town employees are compensated fairly, providing a pay scale going forward. Prior to this ordinance, Trumbull had no policy in place for how it compensated its non-union town employees, including elected officials such as the first selectman, town clerk and town treasurer. The town now has a policy in place that provides a five-year plan for salaries. After the five years are up, the Compensation Plan directs the Town Council to review the plan to ensure that it is: A) working as it had been designed, and B) still fair in terms of how we are compensating our employees. Any employee working for the Town of Trumbull who is a member of a union has built into their union contracts an agreed upon salary and pay structure. All those employees who are not part of the union do not get those built in bumps in pay.

Recently, the chairman of the Trumbull Democrats stated on social media that town employees should not have guaranteed increases because Trumbull residents have to pay for it and don’t get guaranteed increases themselves. Given that position, I anticipate that he along with his party’s candidate for first selectman will be formally requesting that the current union contracts with Trumbull police officers, teachers, and other town employees be rescinded and a new contract without built-in increases be executed. Failing that, it’s clear that the issue with the Compensation Plan is rooted in politics and not what is in the best interests of the town.

The Democrats’ assertion that there was no public input into the Compensation Plan could not be further from the truth. The Town Council held multiple meetings with public hearings and public comment available to taxpayers to voice any concerns. Prior to that, the Board of Finance unanimously passed a budget which included funding for raises. No Democrat, including the Democratic candidate for first selectman, ever motioned to reduce the budget to remove the funding.

The Compensation Plan provides an incremental five-year raise for the office of the first selectman, not Timothy Herbst. If our current first selectman, the 95th highest paid employee in Trumbull, is to receive the raise at all, he will have to earn your vote in two more elections. He has earned mine with his hard work and dedication to this town, and I hope he and the entire Herbst Team earns yours on Nov. 3.
Rick Costantini
Town Council Majority Leader, District 4