Later this month more than 30,000 state employees will receive a total of $19.9 million in bonuses just because they’ve worked for the state for more than 10 years.
“Many people might think these longevity payments to union and non-union state employees are an April Fool’s joke,” Senator Minority Leader McKinney said Thursday. “Unfortunately, the joke is on Connecticut taxpayers.”
The General Assembly failed to eliminate these longevity bonuses last year when they passed a budget despite broad bipartisan support for the measure.
Longevity payments, which date back to the 1960s, begin on an employee’s 10th anniversary and increase after 15, 20 and 25 years of service and are made in April and October each year.
Sen. Majority Leader Martin Looney, D-New Haven, recalled Wednesday that they sought to eliminate these payments to non-union state employees last year and is certain it will be part of the budget deliberations this year.
Looney said he’s confident the ones for non-union employees they will be eliminated this year, but it’s too late to do anything about the April payments scheduled to go out with the April 8 paychecks.
The state Comptroller’s office said it doesn’t yet have a list prepared of the names and amounts each of the more than 30,000 union and non-union employees will receive as part of their April pay check. The union longevity payments are capped at $1,000 and will have to be part of the package negoitated by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition.
Last October, 3,582 non-union employees and 28,175 union employees each received a longevity payments costing the state $19.7 million. That amount is expected to increase to $19.9 million this April, but not everyone who has worked for the state more than 10 years will be included on the list.
Early in his term Malloy decided “longevity payments shall only be made to those individuals that were eligible and received such payments in October 2010.”
That means all of the lawmakers who became part of Malloy’s administration will not be receiving this perk on top of their five and six-figure salaries and benefit packages.
“I have been critical of longevity payments for some time now,” Malloy said in a statement Thursday. “They are a luxury the state cannot afford. I think the legislature should take up the issue and send me a bill.”
Last April some of the state employees benefiting most from the longevity bonuses included now former Connecticut State University Chancellor David Carter who received more than $24,000, former Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s Chief of Staff M. Lisa Moody who received $9,968, and Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane who received $9,159.
Click here to read last year’s report on this issue.