(Updated 11:27 a.m.) Katherine Brophy, a Humanities professor at the University of Connecticut, topped the list of longevity bonus recipients with a $9,166 bonus.
James Blake, an executive vice provost at Southern Connecticut State University, and Michael Pernal, an executive vice provost at Eastern Connecticut State University, who aren’t union employees like Brophy, followed with bonuses of $6,768.99 and $6,685.03
D’Ann Mazzocca, executive director of Legislative Management, is number four on the list with a $6,641.92 bonus. Only two other employees, Marc Herzog, chancellor of the Community College System, and Walter Bernstein, vice president of student affairs at Western Connecticut State University are receiving more than $6,000 this April.
Banking Commissioner Howard Pitkin will receive $4,800 and Correction Department Commissioner Leo Arnone will receive $5,600 and those are just two of a handful of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s appointees that will receive the bonus checks Friday.
In January Malloy signed an executive order eliminating the longevity payments for any of his new executive appointees some of whom were longtime lawmakers and would have qualified to receive a bonus this week. But the executive order did not cover employees already employed by the state even if they were joining the executive pay plan.
Asked in Meriden Wednesday morning about why some members of his administration still received the bonuses Malloy said, “Actually, I’ll look into it. I don’t know.”
Office of Policy and Management Undersecretary Mark Ojakian later explained.
Ojakian said all payments for executive employees were frozen at the Oct. 2010 level and taking it away from those already receiving it could have created legal issues for the administration. He said the governor wants the legislature to take up the issue and eliminate the payments for all non-union employees. The union longevity bonuses are collectively bargained.
Ojakian himself will receive a $4,800 bonus.
But Ojakian’s explanation isn’t good enough for some critics of the administration.
Democratic strategist, Jonathan Pelto, says Malloy could have made elimination of the bonuses to those already receiving them a condition of their appointment. Click here to read his blog post on the issue.
Thirty-six hundred bonuses totaling about $7 million will be doled out to non-union employees. About 28,639 unionized workers will receive a total of about $13.25 million in bonuses. Most of the union bonuses were under $1,000, according to information from state Comptroller Kevin Lembo’s office.
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. Legislative leaders from both parties have said the payments need to go, but have yet to take action on the measure.
Click here for our previous report.