The Department of Motor Vehicles announced Thursday that it would hold off on some facility closures and layoffs around the state pending the results of a second vote by state employee unions on a negotiated labor agreement.
The delay is strictly a cost-saving maneuver, according to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s spokeswoman Colleen Flanagan. She said the decision is not a reflection of the administration’s confidence level that unions will chose to ratify the $1.6 billion concession agreement.
While the governor would prefer unionized state workers ratify the deal he is not speculating whether or not they will, she said.
The administration determined that if it followed through with the shut downs scheduled for Aug. 11 and unions did in fact approve the deal, the reopening process would be expensive.
Between facility relocation and leasing costs, payments made to employees for unused vacation and sick time, and unemployment costs, the state would be looking at a bill of about $500,000, a DMV press release said.
“Times are tight and no matter what $500,000 is a lot of money,” Flanagan said.
So the shutdowns have been deferred for the time being until Aug 19 and 20.
“While we await the outcome of the unions second vote, we have determined that closing and reopening will cost the state money that should be saved. So, we are delaying both of these actions for a few weeks,” said DMV Commissioner Melody A. Currey.
“At the time of announcing the closings, we did not know if a second vote would occur. Now that it is actually underway, we think it is prudent to put on hold these actions until the outcome of that vote is better known,” she went on.
Branch offices in Enfield, Danbury, Old Saybrook and New Britain would have been shut down as well as a satellite office in Putnam and photo license centers in Derby, Middletown and Milford.