Gov. Dannel Malloy has announced that the Office of Policy and Management has developed a state workforce reduction contingency plan that would be implemented if the state is unable to reach a comprehensive labor agreement with the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition.
As many as 4,200 state positions could ultimately be eliminated if the administration fails to achieve a saving target of $700 million in union concessions, the governor said during an April 20 news conference.
Collective bargaining units have received formal notification of the plan, thereby allowing the state to begin notification of impacted individuals in May, should such layoffs be necessary.
The contingency plan would reduce the state workforce by more than 1,000 in May as a first step toward resolving the budget shortfall for next year in the event that the state is unable to reach a comprehensive labor agreement, Malloy said. In addition to the positions that have been identified for elimination, the plan calls for elimination of more than 120 vacant positions that were in the process of being filled.
The impacted employees would include nonunion employees as well as members of various bargaining units. The governor said it is anticipated that most of the impacted employees would be required to work through their notice periods.
“Talks are ongoing and constructive,” Malloy said. “I am optimistic that we will be able to meet our budget challenges as I proposed in February – with labor concessions that reduce our long-term fixed costs related to pensions and benefits for our employees. I believe that the leadership and members of SEBAC are also committed to a negotiated solution. We all hope that our contingency plans will ultimately not be necessary and that the structural solutions Connecticut needs can be found at the bargaining table.”
“Cutting jobs is no way to achieve shared prosperity,” American Federation of Teachers Connecticut President Jan Hochadel said on the union website. “Layoffs hurt local economies in the short-term and will lead to an even deeper fiscal crisis for our state down the road. What we need is not more austerity, but a more balanced approach.”