Date Posted

Unionized workers at the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority will picket outside the quasi-public utility's Sargent Drive headquarters Thursday as contract negotiations with management drag on.

A total of 127 Regional Water Authority workers who are members of United Steelworkers Local 12160 will be picketing outside the headquarters starting at 3 p.m. The picketing will overlap with the start of the Authority's regularly scheduled Representative Policy Board meeting.

The Representative Policy Board is the governing body of the Authority and is made up of individuals representing each of the 15 towns served by the utility. The agenda for the meeting includes a 7 p.m. public hearing on a proposed 6.7 percent increase that if approved would take effect on July 1.

Dan Doyle, a spokesman for the utility, said the proposed increase would add 12 cents per day to customers' bills.

Wanda Howard, president of the union local, questioned why the Authority is seeking a rate increase at a time when the utility's "financial position seems stable and employees have gone months without an acceptable contract offer." The workers that Howard represents are still working under the terms of a contract that expired in April of last year.

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