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Bottled Water Is Back

by Thomas MacMillan | Dec 11, 2013 3:32 pm

(48) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: City Hall, Environment, Health, Labor

Uma Ramiah Photo Two years after they disappeared from City Hall, coolers are coming back, now that the state decided that the city lied to managers in order to convince them to give up bottled water.

The decision, from the Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations, came down last month. The board found that the city did not bargain in good faith with AFSCME Local 3144, which represents about 360 managers.

The ruling settles a complaint filed in 2011, shortly after the Board of Aldermen ordered the city to stop supplying bottled water to city workers, as a way to go green and save greenbacks. After the order, Local 3144 President Cherlyn Poindexter signed a waiver allowing the city to change her union’s work conditions by removing water coolers.

Thomas MacMillan Photo Then she found out that other unions hadn’t signed the same waiver, even though Craig Manemeit, then head of labor relations for the city, told Poindexter (pictured) they had, according to the board’s decision. Poindexter filed a complaint with the state, which resulted in last month’s decision in her favor.

The labor relations board has ordered the city to restore water coolers to work areas used by Local 3144 members. Click here to read the decision.

Contacted at his new job as a lawyer for the United Public Service Employees Union, Manemeit criticized the board decision’s account of what happened. He said he never told Poindexter that all other unions had signed the waiver.

Meanwhile, since the city stopped paying for bottled water, Poindexter and other city workers who don’t want to drink tap have been buying bottled water with their own money. Poindexter said she goes through a case of bottled water each week.

Cool, Refreshing

East Rock Alderman Justin Elicker, the engineer of the 2011 bottled-water ban, called the labor relations board decision “unfortunate.” Bottled water is less safe, more expensive, and worse for the environment than tap water, he said. Plus, its use send the false message that New Haven city tap water is unsafe and unpleasant.

Elicker made that same argument nearly three years ago, when he sought to convince his colleagues to end bottled water use in city buildings.

At the time, the city was spending nearly $32,000 per year on bottled water trucked in from Worcester, Mass. The water came in big blue 5-gallon jugs, dispensed through water coolers. Elicker said that was a waste of money and natural resources.

It’s also dangerous to drink out of plastic, Elicker said: The plastic leaches toxins into the water. He taste-tested water from the around the city and “found them all to be cool and refreshing,” he told an aldermanic committee in 2011.

Backed by community support, Elicker’s proposal was passed into law in March 2011, and water coolers disappeared from City Hall.

Elicker had sought to end bottled water use in public schools, but the Board of Aldermen didn’t have jurisdiction, according to city Corporation Counsel Victor Bolden. The city continues to buy bottled water for the Board of Ed.

Here’s what happened after the ban passed the Board of Aldermen, according to the labor relations decision:

On March 16, 2011, Manemeit, the labor relations director, sent a letter to “All Union Presidents” stating that the aldermen-ordered removal of bottled water would require a settlement agreement.

City union contracts don’t contain language on bottled water. But under the Municipal Employees Relations Act, any change in working conditions requires negotiation with the affected union.

Manemeit gave Poindexter, Local 3144’s president, a proposed settlement agreement stating that the union wouldn’t get bottled water anymore.

“After reviewing the draft settlement agreement, Poindexter raised a concern to Manemeit that unless all City and School Board bargaining units agreed to the City’s proposal, some members of the Union’s bargaining unit would have access to bottle water while other members would not,” the decision reads. “Manemeit assured Poindexter that the presidents of all other unions representing City and School Board employees had already signed similar settlement agreements.”

“For the record, at no time did I ever make any representations that were less than truthful to Ms. Poindexter or anyone else concerning this or any other issue during my tenure as the City’s Director of Labor Relations,” Manemeit said on Tuesday. “Further, and more specifically, I certainly did not ‘assure’ anyone that I had signed settlement agreements from all other City and Board unions or that layoffs would be avoided as a result of the nominal savings realized from the elimination of bottled water delivery.”

Poindexter signed the agreement on March 24, 2011. In July, her union learned that other unions hadn’t signed any such agreement, except for Local 71, part of UE Local 222, CILU/CIPU, which covers parks workers.

“The City made material misrepresentations of fact in order to induce the Union to enter into a settlement agreement,” the labor relations board found.

The board ordered the city to “restore all bottled water dispensers, as such existed immediately prior to March 16, 2011, to work areas frequented by members of the bargaining unit and equip such dispensers in a reasonable and regular basis.”

City spokeswoman Anna Mariotti said Monday that the city is “currently in the process of restoring bottled water.”

Bottles & Bottles

“There is overwhelming evidence that the plastic used in bottled water is detrimental to human health,” Elicker said. Tap water quality is more closely monitored and regulated than bottled water, he said. “I think it’s unfortunate, because the union leadership is advocating for something that’s actually not healthy for union members.”

“It’s a victory,” Poindexter said of the labor relations board decision. “It’s more about the city bargaining in bad faith than it was about the water itself. They didn’t tell the truth about the issue of water.”

Poindexter said the main issue is that the city lied, not that bottled water is better than tap water. Local 3144 is willing to work with the city to find ways to be more environmentally friendly, she said.

Some city employees have, since the bottled water ban, been pooling their money to keep the bottle deliveries coming. That’s the case for workers in the budget office, the chief administrator’s office, and the labor relations department, who share a water cooler stocked at their own expense.

Poindexter said she drinks bottled water—which she purchases—every day, rather than drink the tap water at fire department headquarters, where she works. It’s an expense that adds up, she said. But, “what other choice do I have?”

Local 3144 is willing to sit down and negotiation about ways the city can be greener, Poindexter said. “I’m not against that at all.”

The city still buys bottled water for some city workers who don’t have easy access to tap water, said Rob Smuts, chief administrative officer. Bridge tenders in the public works department, for instance, drink bottled water because they don’t have faucets nearby.

Jimmy Kottage, president of the firefighters union, said the water cooler ban didn’t affect firefighters much. “I thought it was a non-issue.” Kottage said some firehouses still have coolers, paid for by the firefighters in the house.

Dominic Magliochetti, member of Local 71’s executive board and former president of the union, said his union never discussed agreeing to give up bottled water, which happened under his predecessor, President Jack Mesner. He said he’d like to see the cooler return to the parks department shop. A lot of seasonal workers are paid only $9 an hour, he said. They don’t have the spare cash to buy a cold drink on a hot day. “It’d be nice to come in and get something cold.”

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posted by: William Kurtz on December 11, 2013  3:41pm

Wow. I understand the argument about bargaining in bad faith and sticking to the letter of the contract but Ms. Poindexter isn’t making herself, or her union, look good here:

Poindexter said she drinks bottled water—which she purchases—every day, rather than drink the tap water at fire department headquarters, where she works. It’s an expense that adds up, she said. But, “what other choice do I have?”

At least one jumps instantly to mind.

posted by: TheMadcap on December 11, 2013  3:45pm

“Poindexter said she drinks bottled water—which she purchases—every day, rather than drink the tap water at fire department headquarters, where she works. It’s an expense that adds up, she said. But, “what other choice do I have?”

How about drink the tap water that is actually regulated to have a much higher standard of safety than the bottled water? Heck, a lot of bottled water IS tap water that’s just been filtered again. Slap a brita filter onto the tap, you’ll essentially be getting bottled water at a severely reduced cost.

posted by: New Haven Taxpayer on December 11, 2013  3:48pm

Nothing in the contract about bottled water but we taxpayers still have to buy it. Unbelievable. And union members wonder why people like me want them reined in.

posted by: Bill Saunders on December 11, 2013  3:56pm

The union should create a new position to fill up the 5 gallon water ‘bottles’ with tap water.  Everybody wins!

posted by: David S Baker on December 11, 2013  4:11pm

A regularly maintained chemical and particulate filter at the potable water main for each structure grants the equivalent of bottled water at 1/20th the cost and benefits the plumbers union who are required to change them within commercial scale structures.  If we keep doing things that are wasteful and unnecessary to appease labor contracts, which should be void based solely on a lack of termination clauses and procurement policy violations, we will end up broke as Detroit and watering the crops with Mt. Dew.

posted by: Noteworthy on December 11, 2013  4:25pm

One word describes this issue and Pointdexter’s comments: Trifling.

posted by: OccupyTheClassroom on December 11, 2013  4:38pm

Please research OSHA regulation.

posted by: Threefifths on December 11, 2013  4:46pm

Keep drinking.You Need to read the report on Tap water.I would not touch tap water.

Look at this video.

http://www.nytimes.com/video/us/1247466144198/tainted-tap-water.html


That Tap Water Is Legal but May Be Unhealthy.


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/17/us/17water.html

Millions in U.S. Drink Dirty Water, Records Show

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/08/business/energy-environment/08water.html

Debating How Much Weed Killer Is Safe in Your Water Glass

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/23/us/23water.html


Clean Water Laws Are Neglected, at a Cost in Suffering

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/us/13water.html

Keep drinking and Keep voting them in.

posted by: NewHavenTaxTooHigh on December 11, 2013  5:34pm

One more reason why taxpayers are tired of the public unions.

posted by: 32knot on December 11, 2013  5:39pm

I am constantly amazed that we, the taxpayers of New Haven, treat our civil servents better than we are treated. the average taxpayer no longer has a defined pension, our health insurance is not nearly as good as a city worker’s and we drink the TAP WATER that the city provides us. If the tap water is not good enough to drink then the unions should be agitating to improve tap water’s quality to benifit the entire community!!! 

And the next time any city union says that they are just looking out for the benifit, safety and fiscal benifit of the city remember the ” Tap Water” incident. And yes I am going to start painting the unions with the same brush. When one says something outragious and crazy they all look outragious and crazy!  we could not make this stuff if we tried, nobody would believe it.

posted by: Jill_the_Pill on December 11, 2013  5:39pm

3/5 that is a great argument to fight fiercely to improve the public water system, rather than give up and let opt out those who can afford to.

posted by: FacChec on December 11, 2013  5:59pm

Caulk up another legal lost for the city, what is it now, zero wins in eleven court decisions?

In addition, there is no record that this ordinance amendment ever became law and posted to the ordinance bank from March 2011 to date.

Two words:

Trifling and pathetic!

posted by: Threefifths on December 11, 2013  6:02pm

posted by: Jill_the_Pill on December 11, 2013 4:39pm

3/5 that is a great argument to fight fiercely to improve the public water system, rather than give up and let opt out those who can afford to.


But in the mean time I will not touch tap water.In fact I have a whole house water filter system.

posted by: Threefifths on December 11, 2013  6:26pm

posted by: 32knot on December 11, 2013 4:39pm

I am constantly amazed that we, the taxpayers of New Haven, treat our civil servents better than we are treated. the average taxpayer no longer has a defined pension, our health insurance is not nearly as good as a city worker’s and we drink the TAP WATER that the city provides us. If the tap water is not good enough to drink then the unions should be agitating to improve tap water’s quality to benifit the entire community!!!

If you want the same benfits.Then how come you do not form a union on your Job.This way you can fight for the same benfits.In fact you have a lot of benfits won by the union that you are using every day that was paid for with union dues..You talk about the average taxpayer.Civil servents Pay taxes to!!!!.You say the average taxpayer no longer has a defined pension, our health insurance is not nearly as good as a city worker’s.Here is the solution.When the next civil service test comes out take it!!! or Form a union at your work place.

posted by: Gauss on December 11, 2013  7:10pm

“Poindexter and other city workers who don’t want to drink tap have been buying bottled water with their own money. Poindexter said she goes through a case of bottled water each week.”

This is absurd. If Ms. Poindexter wanted to drink something else - orange juice, cider, or beer - would the city be obligated to buy it? There is nothing wrong with tap water, and it’s the environmentally correct choice.

Glad to see my tax money “at work”.

posted by: NewHavenTaxTooHigh on December 11, 2013  7:36pm

I’d like to see the NHI poll the union leaders and see how many of them support the City paying for bottled water. After all, the union presidents are always claiming that they put the resident of New Haven first.

posted by: Westville voter on December 11, 2013  8:55pm

This petty, expensive fight exemplifies all that is wrong with New Haven. Pampered city employees exploiting their union status to ensue that they don’t have to drink tap water like the rest of us. I’m sure that our BOA will see this as a victory for workers’ rights and not say a word about it. After all, we know whom they serve. How much of our money has been spent on this frivolous fight? This is outrageous! I might add that, in my experience, workers who complains out such insignificant things are typically the most mediocre, unproductive employees. In a non-union environment with real employee evaluations, this crowd would be trying to figure out how to buy their Evian with their unemployment benefits. New Haven is starting to make Detroit look good. This is pathetic!

posted by: westvilleresident on December 11, 2013  10:18pm

Yep. That’s good ole “past practice” at work. Most people don’t realize the power it holds within Union-Management relations. No matter if it actually isn’t a GOOD practice for anyone.

posted by: Threefifths on December 11, 2013  11:52pm

posted by: Westville voter on December 11, 2013 7:55pm

This is outrageous! I might add that, in my experience, workers who complains out such insignificant things are typically the most mediocre, unproductive employees. In a non-union environment with real employee evaluations, this crowd would be trying to figure out how to buy their Evian with their unemployment benefits. New Haven is starting to make Detroit look good. This is pathetic!

And this is what happens in Non-Union environment.

You are an “employee at will.” Your employer can discipline or fire you at any time for any reason; you have no recourse.

Open door” policy means the employer will listen to you… and then do whatever he or she wants.

Employer determines wages, benefits and other terms and conditions of work. If you’re not satisfied, your only option is to get another job.

Wages, benefits and other terms and conditions can be changed by the employer at any time.

Hiring and promotion is up to the discretion of the employer.

if you join a union and have a contract

Discipline, up to and including discharge, is subject to a grievance procedure and binding arbitration, depending on the terms of your contract.

Contract negotiations require both sides — labor and management — to listen, and reach reasonable compromises acceptable to both sides.

Wages, benefits and working conditions are negotiated. If you are not satisfied, you can work for changes during contract negotiations

Neither labor nor management can make unilateral changes to a signed contract. If modifications are necessary during the life of a contract, both sides must agree.

Hiring and promotion is covered by contract. Seniority and other factors can be written into the agreement.

Take you pick which one would you have.

my bad blame The City who made material misrepresentations of fact in order to induce the Union to enter into a settlement agreement,” the labor relations board found.

posted by: beyonddiscussion on December 12, 2013  12:47am

Just another stupid, petty, elitist attack against the grunt workers at City Hall. You save $20,000 or $30,000 by taking away the bottled water option from the lowest paid workers for the city (and visitors to City Hall) and declare victory on reining in the budget! Give me a friggin’ break! These workers have made major concessions in recent contracts that have saved the city big money. Taking away their bottled water was just mean-spirited and a morale crusher. And why if you want to promote city worker health would you make it less likely that workers would drink water, the healthiest beverage available, as opposed to soda, coffee or almost any other drink?

posted by: Charl on December 12, 2013  1:39am

To those who think this subject is beyonddiscussion, I seriously wonder if my sarcasm meter is broken, or if you are a paid shill for the City.

Although, Poindexter does have a good point-  with the forced additives such as chlorine and flouride to tap water, if you do not want to ingest these toxic substances, what option do you have but to filter them out?

Oh, you think flouride is good for your teeth?

Then why do I have to deal with it when I want to….take a shower?  Shave?  Wash my vegetables?  Boil water to make rice?  Wash my car?  Water my garden?  The list goes on.

And, if Flouride is so beneficial, why are dentists’ offices always packed and why do people still get cavities?

I am not being sarcastic, I am being serious.  I would not ingest chlorine or flouride, and yes, it has cost be hundreds of dollars for two fillters for the shower and filters for drinking/cooking water.
I will not eat GMO food.  I will not eat inhumanely raised/treated/slaughtered animals.  I will not drink or breath fumes from hot shower water containing chlorine and flouride.  I also will not watch television.

Does it cost more?  Not really.  Especially when you feel as good as I do all the time, never being sick, ever.

You are what you eat.  And you are what you think.

posted by: Nashstreeter on December 12, 2013  1:46am

I am enjoying the concept being offered up in some of these comments of “pampered” public employees drinking bottled water, while all of us taxpayers are forced to drink the swill available from the tap. I myself am a fan of NH tap water, but I know some folks (maybe with more sensitive taste buds?) who don’t like it. And I will admit that it tastes a little chlorine-y in the summer. But if all of us taxpayers are so powerless in our water options, why does nearly every supermarket in the area stock something like 50 different brands of bottled water? And have buyers for them?

Taste aside, bottled water has at least one advantage: you can position it close to your work site so you don’t have to waste precious taxpayer-paid minutes traipsing down a long hallway to wet your whistle. And if your water cooler is also a water heater, you can make a quick cup of tea or instant cocoa or coffee without the need for a kitchen or hot plate or whatever.

I don’t understand why anyone would begrudge a person having a pleasant workplace. Working at a place where you feel good about being there not only enhances productivity but can put you in a better mood to deal with sour-mouthed members of the public who expect you to treat them with patience and respect but forego the minor comforts that make the job bearable.

3/5ths is right. If you want bottled water at your workplace, get yourself a union and quitcher bitchin.

posted by: robn on December 12, 2013  8:16am

There’s nothing wrong with New Haven tap water.
This is about power. Welcome to the UNITE administration.

posted by: 32knot on December 12, 2013  9:26am

It has been recommended that I join a union. Yes, if i joined i might be better off but that is beside the point. the point is the city/state unions are better off than the average cditizen who is payinig the way. Yes civil union members pay local taxes but they are a small part of the the tax payer population and a significant number do not live in New Haven as has been hashed out numerious times in this forum. I work in manufacturing which is a dying sector in this state and believe it or not the dwindling manufacturing sector are the people that pay the way. they are producing something that others buy to often produce something else. the eduction level of the readers of NHI means they don’t need an economics 101 lecture but suffice it say that if you pay the people that work for you better than you are paid sooner or later you are going to be unable to pay.

there is a union where i work and those members are getting hammered with increasing health costs and decreasing pay raises because the private sector is hurting and can not afford to pay. the leadership of the local recognizes that the more they demand the greater the chance the plant will lay off or even close. they are not being soft just realistic about the business climate. New Haven city unions do not produce anything that producdes more. they provice a service!! they are not creating wealth they are consuming wealth. and some appear to be so far out of touch with the reality of the situation they bring legal action to get bottled water back!!!!  the unions did not ruin Detriot but they played a part. here in New Haven where manufacturing is almost non-existant and most of the taxable property is untouchable the citystate and Yale unions will be the big reasons when the city approaches the courts for debt relief. Remeber the ” Tap Water incident” when that time comes because its approach is closer than some think.

posted by: Gretchen Pritchard on December 12, 2013  10:51am

The whole Bottled Water vogue (and the idiotic “drink eight glasses a day” rule that people have been brainwashed into, so that everybody is going around clutching a plastic bottle as if they were a baby) is an incredible triumph of marketing—the creation of a completely unnecessary “necessity.”

The genuine get-things-done progressive government of our great-grandparents built an enormous infrastructure of SAFE, PURE, AFFORDABLE drinking water in our cities.  New Haven’s drinking water is exceptionally good, because our reservoirs are way bigger than they need to be for our current population and level of industry.  New Haven was (relatively) an industrial giant at the time our water infrastructure was built, and we have far more capacity than we are currently using.  It costs us almost nothing.

And yet—big business and big advertising have convinced millions of people that their health is AT! RISK! if they don’t pay money for what is freely available from their own faucets.  And our environment is littered with the empty plastic bottles that result from this scam.  And now government is so starved and derided that in many places, the water infrastructure is being allowed to decay, resulting in genuinely poorer quality tap water, and more pressure to buy bottled water. 

GEE, YOU THINK THIS MIGHT BE THE ACTUAL AGENDA?  Privatize and monetize everything!!  Schools.  Transportation.  Water. 

If they can figure out a way to privatize and monetize air, so we have to pay to breathe, you bet they will do it.

Oh yeah, they have.  It’s called air conditioning and air filters for those who can afford it, and asthma and heat exhaustion for those who can’t, as the planet gets polluted and the temperature climbs.

Nice work, folks.

posted by: Bobbe Bellamy on December 12, 2013  11:01am

I don’t think the problem lies with giving up bottled water because for the past 2 years at least, our department collected $$$ from our staff so we can continue receiving water at our own expense.  I believe the “trouble” comes in to place when everyone / every department is not treated the same.  If they eliminate bottled water, they should eliminate bottled water city-wide and again, not certain unions or certain departments.  What’s good for one city department or one city union—- should be good for all.

posted by: Threefifths on December 12, 2013  11:40am

posted by: 32knot on December 12, 2013 8:26am

It has been recommended that I join a union. Yes, if i joined i might be better off but that is beside the point. the point is the city/state unions are better off than the average cditizen who is payinig the way.

Beside the point.The points is union workers do have good wages over non union workers.My question again to you is why have you not form a union on your job to get these same benfits.


Yes civil union members pay local taxes but they are a small part of the the tax payer population and a significant number do not live in New Haven as has been hashed out numerious times in this forum. I work in manufacturing which is a dying sector in this state and believe it or not the dwindling manufacturing sector are the people that pay the way. they are producing something that others buy to often produce something else. the eduction level of the readers of NHI means they don’t need an economics 101 lecture but suffice it say that if you pay the people that work for you better than you are paid sooner or later you are going to be unable to pay.

You need to go after NAFTA who was behind the lost of thousands of U.S.manufacturing sector jobs.How about the call center jobs lost.


There is a union where i work and those members are getting hammered with increasing health costs and decreasing pay raises because the private sector is hurting.

So you do have a union.As far as private sector hurting.Not true.Corporate Profits Have Hit Record High.In the third quarter of this year, “corporate earnings were $1.75 trillion, up 18.6% from a year ago.” Corporations are currently making more as a percentage of the economy than they ever have since such records were kept. But at the same time, wages as a percentage of the economy are at an all-time low.In fact it was the private sector that Destroy the Middle Class ENRON!!! Part One.

posted by: Threefifths on December 12, 2013  12:04pm

posted by: 32knot on December 12, 2013 8:26am

New Haven city unions do not produce anything that producdes more. they provice a service!! they are not creating wealth they are consuming wealth. and some appear to be so far out of touch with the reality of the situation they bring legal action to get bottled water back!!!!  the unions did not ruin Detriot but they played a part.

Union workers do produce.They are on the front lines.Ask police fire fighters teachers.How come you do not talk about the wealth going to the top.Have you look at the Board of Eduction pay out to those up top.Take a look.Second I can tell that you and other’s do not know what Collective Bargaining is.Collective bargaining is a process in which working people, through their unions, negotiate contracts with employers to determine their terms of employment, including pay, health care, pensions and other benefits, hours, leave, job health and safety policies, ways to balance work and family and more. Employees jointly decide their priorities for bargaining.So Blame the city who agreed under Collective Bargaining not the union.

“Ten thousand times has the labor movement stumbled and fallen and bruised itself, and risen again; been seized by the throat and choked into insensibility; enjoined by courts, assaulted by thugs, charged by the militia, shot down by regulars, traduced by the press, frowned upon by public opinion, deceived by politicians, threatened by priests, repudiated by renegades, preyed upon by grafters, infested by spies, deserted by cowards, betrayed by traitors, bled by leeches, and sold out by leaders, but, notwithstanding all this, and all these, it is today the most vital potential power this planet has ever known, and its historic mission of emancipating the workers of the world from the thralldom of the ages is as certain of ultimate realization as the setting of the sun.”

–Eugene V. Debs

posted by: robn on December 12, 2013  12:30pm

32KNOT,

Lucid rundown but I’ve got a better name for the “Tap Water Incident”...drum roll please…

“TapWatergGate”

badumpdump!(symbol crash!)

posted by: PH on December 12, 2013  5:46pm

Get a bottle (your choice!), fill with tap water, BOOM—BOTTLED WATER.

I love my New Haven tap water. And I am in a union!  The requirement for bottled water is the single stupidest dispute I have ever heard of.  This truly gives unions a bad name, which is an absolute shame because people really need unions for issues that matter, and they need the outside world to understand their importance in the labor-management-capital relationship.

posted by: Threefifths on December 12, 2013  6:20pm

posted by: PH on December 12, 2013 4:46pm

Get a bottle (your choice!), fill with tap water, BOOM—BOTTLED WATER.

I love my New Haven tap water. And I am in a union!  The requirement for bottled water is the single stupidest dispute I have ever heard of.  This truly gives unions a bad name, which is an absolute shame because people really need unions for issues that matter, and they need the outside world to understand their importance in the labor-management-capital relationship.

And if you are in the unions as you say.Then you should know what what Collective Bargaining is.Collective bargaining is a process in which working people, through their unions, negotiate contracts with employers to determine their terms of employment, including pay, health care, pensions and other benefits, hours, leave, job health and safety policies, ways to balance work and family and more. Employees jointly decide their priorities for bargaining.So Blame the city who agreed under Collective Bargaining not the union.

posted by: Threefifths on December 12, 2013  6:31pm

For those of you who keep thinking New haven Has good tap water.Read these reports.

And check out Regional Water Authority.

http://projects.nytimes.com/toxic-waters/contaminants/ct/new-haven/ct0930011-regional-water-authority#

Check out there E.P.A. Violations

http://oaspub.epa.gov/enviro/sdw_report_v2.first_table?pws_id=CT0930011&state=CT&source;=&population=389300&sys_num=0

54 Water Systems in New Haven County, Connecticut

http://projects.nytimes.com/toxic-waters/contaminants/ct/new-haven


Keep drinking.You better get one of these.

http://www.aquasanastore.com/aq-whole-house.html

posted by: robn on December 12, 2013  8:34pm

3/5,

Sorry but I’m gonna have to call BS on you. (you should read you own postings more often dude)

The EWG report on New Haven drinking water is sparkling (pun intended) . Out of testing for 71 contaminants, 59 weren’t found at all, 10 were within legal and health guidelines, and 2 were within legal limits but just slightly exceeded health guidelines (and even then the excesses were found in only 10% of the tests).
New Haven drinking water is excellent.

posted by: anonymous on December 12, 2013  9:48pm

Corporations and elite shareholders, who already own 90% of the nation’s wealth, are trying to privatize everything that remains so they can completely do away with public infrastructure and make even more money.  Water is an easy place to start. 

Once you have all city and state employees convinced they need costly, environmentally-apocalyptic bottles in order to stay hydrated, they’ll stop caring so much about what the general public has. That’s the first step to letting the public water system decay. Next we’ll have private security guards for city workers, because the NHPD isn’t good enough to protect them during the few hours they pop into New Haven from Branford or Westbrook.

Not surprisingly, our suburban-based municipal unions continue to line up behind wealthy corporate elites, not people who actually live here.  The Board of Aldermen is the only group that can reign them in.

Pretty much every infant, toddler, and child in the entire city drinks tap water, but somehow city workers are more important. We are cutting the textbook and school health budgets again this year, so we can keep buying those bottles for our suburban workforce.

posted by: Claudia Herrera on December 12, 2013  11:24pm

So much fuss about anything.

I work for the City of Stratford Health Department and everybody bring their OWN water bottled, if they wanted to have it cold we have a refrigerator!  OR we also have the tap water.

what is the BIG deal here?

posted by: TheMadcap on December 12, 2013  11:43pm

I’m not sure what the links about NH’s tap water are supposed to prove. All it proves is the fact that again, city tap water is actually tested and you can view the results, all US water municipal water is tested for over 100 contaminants(varies by state/locality) constantly. Bottled water isn’t. In fact, the links show New Haven’s water(well the entire Regional Water Authority) actually, there’s only been two contaminants found above health levels in the past decade(and 59 more tested for and not found at all), and the main one, lead, was only found 11 times out of a 140 tests, with only 8 above health limits. If you’re really concerned about water health, you’d get a filter for tap water.(which 1/2 of bottled water is, the other 1/2 is just taking their word that their spring is clean and their water tested)

posted by: Threefifths on December 13, 2013  9:35am

Let me get back on track.Wake up people.This is about Collective Bargaining!!!!!!!!.Again for those union haters who know nothing about Collective Bargaining. Collective bargaining is a process in which working people, through their unions, negotiate contracts with employers to determine their terms of employment, including pay, health care, pensions and other benefits, hours, leave, job health and safety policies, ways to balance work and family and more. Employees jointly decide their priorities for bargaining.So Blame the city who agreed under to have bottle water under Collective Bargaining.

posted by: robn on December 13, 2013  9:53am

3/5,

Yes it is about collective bargaining so stop lying about the quality of New Haven’s water. Its excellent.

posted by: Jack West on December 13, 2013  10:02am

The bottled water ban wouldn’t even have taken place if Alderman Elicker had the benefit of reading and understanding the following:
http://www.thefactsaboutwater.org/uploads/CSA_FINAL_09302013protected.pdf

Bottled water is safer and more tightly regulated than tap water.  J West

posted by: William Kurtz on December 13, 2013  10:45am

Mr. West,

Of course a bottled-water industry funded publicity agency would say so.

The Drinking Water Research Foundation (DWRF) is an independent, not-for-profit 501 (c) 3 foundation that was established in 1984 by several members of the bottled water and point of use drinking water filtration industries:

I question the report’s conclusion that 195 million illnesses are directly attributable to the public water supply.

posted by: robn on December 13, 2013  10:49am

JW,

If Nestle and other water corporations dropped millions of dollars into my department and paid me $72,000 to be on their board of directors, I’m sure I could manage to write a report spinning bottled water as safer than tap water as Dr.Edberg has done. The fact of the matter is that the report you posted describes nationwide averages and that has nothing to do with New Haven tap water which is proven by testing data to be in the top 1/3 of the nation’s best water.

posted by: robn on December 13, 2013  11:22am

WK,

Jack West chairs the board of “The Drinking Water Research Foundation” and also happens be the President of the Puro Filter Company.

posted by: cedarhillresident! on December 13, 2013  12:23pm

If we are being supplied with undrinkable water by the people our city government has chosen to manage the water supply.I am saving the recipients for the bottled water I now seem to need. If the water is not drinkable by city employees how could these very people allow the rest of us to drink it.I feel I should be able to get a refund on my taxes for now having to purchase this water and feel that the city needs to do something to make the water supply safe enough for city employees to drink again…were do we the citizen file a grievance to make get our drinking water safe enough for city employees and residents to drink again.

**this is sarcasm**

posted by: Threefifths on December 13, 2013  12:48pm

posted by: robn on December 13, 2013 8:53am

3/5,

Yes it is about collective bargaining so stop lying about the quality of New Haven’s water. Its excellent.

Safe to drink.Rember this.

http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/dirty_water_alert/

Also how about the Lead that enters drinking water from a building’s plumbing system.

Answer the question.Did not the city agree to give bottle water out.

posted by: smackfu on December 13, 2013  3:19pm

People seem to be ignoring that the union did give up bottled water, and they are only getting it back because management lied to them about everyone else giving it up.

Seems pretty fair to me.

posted by: Jack West on December 13, 2013  6:28pm

Mr. Kurtz and robn,

I, too, used to attack an author when I was disadvantaged by the truth.  No more.

The facts and statistics produced in the Review are from the EPA, CDC, and FDA—and they are irrefutable.  The conclusions are those of the author.  You deserve an A for passion but a D- for doing your homework.  Please read (thoroughly): http://www.thefactsaboutwater.org/uploads/CSA_FINAL_09302013protected.pdf

You, also, will then conclude, “Based on a review of existing research, it is clear that as a consequence of the differences in regulations, distribution systems, operating (manufacturing) practices, and microbial standards of quality, public drinking water supplies present a substantially higher human risk than do bottled waters for illness due to waterborne organisms.”

Jack West, Chmn DWRF,  http://www.dwrf.info

posted by: robn on December 16, 2013  10:20am

MRWEST,

The truth is, the paper you posted (published by your own “non-profit”) doesn’t include localized data; its nationwide data including some of the worst water authorities in the nation. Also, expert conclusions from the Yale symposium upon which this paper is based acknowledge common victims of waterborn illnesses are immunosuppressed people who need to take precautions that most people don’t need to take.

I stand by the irrefutable fact that New Haven’s tap water is excellent.

posted by: Jack West on December 17, 2013  2:46pm

Dear robn,

Back to Elicker and the bottle ban’s proponents.  They argued:
1.  Tap water’s cheaper than bottled water – YUP, TRUE.
2.  Unrecycled plastic packaging is bad – YOU BET.
3.  Tap water (including New Haven’s) is regulated more stringently than bottled water—FALSE.
4.  Tap water represents a lower risk for waterborne illness than bottled water – NO WAY, otherwise, as you point out, the CDC wouldn’t recommend bottled water vs tap water (including New Haven’s) for the immune compromised.  Us non-compromised folks just get the runs.  Not so for the immune-deficient when they get acute gastro-intestinal illness from any source, including a public water supply.
5.    The other unions had already caved in on bottled water.  FALSE.

Soooo, any time an elected official gives me five reasons for him doing something, three of which are false, I’ve gotta call him on it.

BTW, I admire your pleasure with and support of New Haven’s water authority.  I assume that, like me, you don’t have a choice of what comes out of your tap.

Once again, here’s the truth: http://www.thefactsaboutwater.org/uploads/CSA_FINAL_09302013protected.pdf

Jack West, Chmn DWRF   http://www.dwrf.info

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