The managers were expected to get their raises this week, but Ben Barnes, Malloy’s budget director, and Brian Durand, his chief of staff, sent a letter to state agency heads Monday telling them to cancel the raises.
“We have a responsibility to the taxpayers of Connecticut not to move forward with managerial raises at a time when so many state programs will see a reduction and while many state jobs are likely to be eliminated,” Barnes wrote.
Barnes said the raises would have given the managers parity with the raises received by unionized employees in July.
“This is in no way a reflection on their excellent and valuable work for the people of Connecticut, but the increases are no longer feasible,” Barnes said.
The raises would have cost about $2.7 million in 2016 and $10 million in 2017.
The raises were supposed to be delivered in November 2015, but the administration sought some flexibility as it worked with the legislature close a deficit. They eliminated about $350 million in spending in December 2015 during a special session, but last week nonpartisan legislative analysts estimated the deficit at $1.2 billion over the next 18 months.
Malloy is currently negotiating wages and working conditions with about 30 bargaining units and has called for an unspecified number of layoffs as part of his budget proposal.
In response to the state’s ongoing budget situation, SEIU 1199 released a television ad Monday that highlights the work the state employees do for the state.
The ad features a handful of state employees talking about what they do for the state.
“I am not a budget cut,” Vivian Riera Llantin, who oversees the HIV prevention program at the Department of Public Health, says. “Not a line item,” Darnell Ford from Department of Children and Families says. “Not a political football,” Dennis Bystrek, head nurse at the Department of Veterans Affairs, says.
“I take care of veterans when they come home from war. I do important work that needs to be done,” Bystrek said in a press release. “Legislators are dealing with difficult problems but workers like me are what make Connecticut strong.”