Senate Republicans hired the former chief labor relations official who was reorganized out of a job by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration following his re-election in 2014 to a second term.
Linda Yelmini, who headed the labor relations office under Republican, Democratic, and independent governors, will become a part-time, hourly employee, according to Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano. In her new role, she will work as a labor relations advisor and legislative researcher for the Senate Republican caucus.
Yelmini, of Windsor, helped negotiate the most recent 2011 State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition contract when she worked at the Office of Policy and Management. She also negotiated many other labor contracts during her 18 year tenure as director of the Office of Labor Relations from 1987 to 2015.
Fasano’s decision to hire her may signal that the caucus will be putting pressure on the unions and the Malloy administration to reopen the health and pension benefits contract, which doesn’t expire until 2022. Malloy attempted to get the unions to reopen the contract last year, but the unions refused to negotiate and more than 1,600 state employees have been laid off.
“When facing challenging economic times and exploding budget deficits, Connecticut leaders need to consult with people who understand specific parts of the state budget inside and out. Linda Yelmini is one of those people,” Fasano said Monday.
The Malloy administration agreed to pay Yelmini $325,000 back in 2015 to end her appeal of her firing. Yelmini claimed the layoff was illegal.
Yelmini will be paid $30 an hour by Republicans, according to Fasano’s spokeswoman Nicole Rall. And her hours will be capped at 960 hours. None of the money earned will be allowed to count toward her pension.