Union leaders will meet at 9 a.m. today to discuss what to do now that a minority of their members defeated the two-year, $1.6 billion concession package and to figure out if there’s any way to avoid the 7,500 layoffs Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has promised.
“We don’t know what decisions they will make on Monday,” Matt O’Connor, spokesman for the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition, said Friday. But the 15 leaders of the 15 unions will cast their votes in accordance with the final votes.
As of Sunday evening 11 unions had voted in favor of the package, while four voted against it. The vote tallies for the IBPO Judicial Marshals and the CT State Police Union were not available Sunday evening, but before those two unions the vote was 21,171 in favor and 15,276 against, according to union sources.
“We’re well aware of what is happening around us and in this building and we’ve said we don’t want to see layoffs and economic dislocation,“ Larry Dorman, another SEBAC spokesman, said Friday. “We do have to respect the democratic will of our members, in accordance with the SEBAC rules.”
Union officials have refused to disclose where they are meeting to discuss their next steps, but they will hold a media availability at 3 p.m.
Voting unions only tally (11 YES & 4 NO):
– CT Federation of School Administrators, Local 61 – YES
– CT Association of Prosecutors – YES
– District 1199/SEIU – YES
– UConn Faculty, AAUP-UCONN – YES
– CT Police & Fire Union – YES
– AFT CT – YES
– UConn Health Center Faculty, AAUP – YES
– CSU Faculty, AAUP – YES
– Administrative and Residual Union, AFT CT – YES
– Congress of Community Colleges/SEIU Local 1973 – YES
– CSEA SEIU Local 2001 – YES
– CEUI SEIU Local 511 – NO
– Council 4 AFSCME – NO
– IBPO Judicial Marshals (SEIU Local 731) NO
– CT State Police Union (CSPU) NO
The Malloy administration has announced plans to issue layoff notices in about two weeks to approximately 7,500 state workers, according to Malloy’s Budget Director Ben Barnes. The legislature is preparing to convene a special session Thursday to address the budget shortfall. Malloy has asked them to give him enough rescission authority to allow him alone to make the necessary cuts.
The proposal didn’t sit well with lawmakers from either party.
Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Fairfield, said he doesn’t have a problem giving Malloy increased rescission authority after the legislature cuts $1.6 billion from the budget.
“Republicans continue to stand ready and willing to work with Governor Malloy and legislative Democrats to cut government spending and balance the budget,“ McKinney said. “However, it is not acceptable for the legislature to shirk its responsibility and cede constitutional authority to the Governor to make those decisions alone. Rescission powers exist to deal with fiscal emergencies that arise after a balanced budget has been passed, not before.”
Speaker of the House Chris Donovan, D-Meriden, said Friday that his members are concerned about municipal aid cuts, and has yet to discuss with them the governor’s request for increased rescission authority.
Sen. President Donald Williams, D-Brooklyn, who objected to giving former Gov. M. Jodi Rell increased rescission authority has continued to decline to comment on the matter.
Some Democratic lawmakers have privately said they don’t mind giving the governor increased rescission authority because he will also get the blame when inevitably the services people rely on are also cut.
Meanwhile, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has reached a five-year agreement with his state’s workforce that includes a three-year pay freeze with 2 percent salary increases in the fourth and fifth years, nine unpaid furlough days over the next two years, and higher healthcare premiums. In exchange, their governor promised just two years of job security for state employees, and their legislature reserves the right to change their retirement benefits.
A minority of SEBAC’s membership turned down a deal a five-year agreement that would have guaranteed state workers’ jobs for four years; frozen their wages for two years, followed by three annual 3 percent raises; promised no furloughs; shaved cost-of-living increases for pensions and raised the retirement age by two or three years, depending on which classification of employee, for those retiring after 2022; eliminated one of two longevity bonuses; and instituted new $35 co-pays for emergency room visits. (One employee used the emergency room 150 times in one year, according to the unions.)
Click here to read more about why they voted not.