Despite a late night negotiating session, labor leaders and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration were unable to reach an agreement, which means layoff notices will go out later today.
Union leaders said negotiations will continue Tuesday, “for at least one more day,” according to this post on the union’s web site.
The State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition said it “is disappointed the administration has decided to begin issuing layoff notices.”
Malloy sent out a statement Tuesday morning directing the Office of Policy and Management to send out the first 4,742 layoff notices to state employees. If a deal is reached, the layoffs would be rescinded.
“Those layoffs will result in savings of approximately $455 million. I’ve also directed OPM to begin the process necessary to cut an additional $545 million in spending; those cuts, many of them programmatic, will be spread across state government, and will, in all likelihood, result in additional layoffs,” Malloy said.
“I want to be clear that this is not the road I wanted to go down. I didn’t want to lay people off, and I didn’t want to make additional spending cuts beyond the $780 million in spending we’ve already cut. But I have no choice. I promised the people of Connecticut that I would change the way we do business in Hartford,” he added. Malloy’s budget office identified $1.67 billion in spending cuts last week as alternatives if a deal can’t be reached before May 31.
Using strong language, Malloy said “The state employee representatives have thus far not offered enough.”
He said the savings his administration was seeking were predicated on two principles: “we need to achieve the short-term savings necessary to balance this budget, and we need long-term, structural savings in order to make state government sustainable.”
“To do so, I am attempting to bring the benefits enjoyed by state employees—wages, healthcare, and pension benefits—more in line with those enjoyed by their counterparts in the private sector and in the federal workforce,” Malloy said.
“We have said time and again that laying off workers, whether in the public or private sector, and slashing vital public services will prove disastrous to our shared goal of creating jobs and rebuilding the middle class – especially at a time when our 9.1 percent unemployment rate is already higher than the national average,” Larry Dorman, SEBAC spokesman said in a statement.
Roy Occhigrosso, Malloy’s senior communications adviser, said Tuesday morning that from the very beginning of the process the governor “has said what he was trying to do was build a system that’s sustainable. This one is not.”
He said given the spending cuts and tax increases Malloy doesn’t think it’s unreasonable to ask more of state employees.