October 6, 2020: Letter to Rep. DeLauro

Local 12160 is reaching out to members of Congress asking them to tell RWA there should be no cuts to our hours or public service. See the letter we sent to Representative DeLauro below.

Dear Representative DeLauro,

United Steelworkers (USW) Local 12160 represents frontline workers at the South Central Regional Water Authority (RWA).   RWA is a public water company that serves 429,442 customers in 15 South Central Connecticut municipalities with over 1,700 miles of water mains. We are requesting your help in preserving public service in the face of cutbacks initiated by RWA management.

Our members perform vital work for our community every day. We enter homes and offices not knowing if the people we serve may be transmitting covid-19.  On a daily basis we interact with customers who are not wearing masks or observing basic safety protocols.  We do essential work which has the potential to sacrifice our health and lives.

With more people confined to home we’ve seen an increase in demand and usage from residential customers.  According to RWA’s COVID 19 Data Tracking report water consumption is up nearly 26% compared to consumption in 2019. Yet RWA management has chosen this moment to scale back our hours, reducing public service.

Water is an essential public service; any cuts impact the health and safety of our community.  Reduced hours for customer service representatives, for example, may make it more difficult and time-consuming for the public to report problems such as discolored water. It also places a greater burden on the remaining employees who struggle to keep up with the needs of the public.

In addition to these concerns, you should know that customers have already been paying a high cost for RWA’s actions by paying higher water rates compared to other Connecticut water companies. When comparing residential rates, meter size 5/8", with quarterly billing, RWA’s service charge is:

  • 95% higher than the eight investor owned water providers in CT with annual revenues above $500,000
  • 28.87% higher than one other public water system in CT that serves 400,000 or more customers

In the interest of public safety, the United Steelworkers, our members and their families urge you to contact RWA President and CEO Larry Bingaman at [email protected] or at 203-401-6720 and urge him to keep our members working at full capacity and hours so that we can fulfill our mission to serve the public. 

If you would like to discuss these issues in more detail, please contact Wanda Howard at 860-681-4641.

Thanks for your attention to these important issues.


Wanda Howard, President USW Local 12160