HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Malloy says he is no longer “very hopeful” of a concession deal with the state labor unions. And he says because of union rules, layoff notices will likely begin by the end of next week.
The one thing Republicans, Democrats, and the Governor agree on is that the state labor unions must make at least $700 million in concessions to solve the current budget crisis but the window for making a deal appears to be closing.
Today the Governor said that layoff notifications will begin soon.
We will be starting notifying people of layoffs very shortly in the coming days, that’s a reality.”
The Speaker of the House, Rep. Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin) who besides being a high school football coach, is also an employee of the ‘American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees,’ AFSCME, as it is known, is the union that represents the most state employees says, “I’m confident, in the end, as they’ve done before, they’re going to do whatever they can do to help us with this problem and take a financial hit for it.”
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But the unions are fighting back with a TV ad featuring state employees saying; “A month after Governor Malloy had a press conference.” “Calling Connecticut’s opioid epidemic a public health crisis.” “It was announced that the treatment center at Blue Hills Hospital would close.” In a web message another union is urging its members to contact state lawmakers with the message…
“workforce layoffs and service cuts threaten public health and safety, children’s education, and quality of life.”
The Governor says he is not as confident of a deal with the unions as he once was, “If we’re not going to have a deal then there are going to be far more layoffs and other cuts that are going to have to be made.”
On the possibilty of layoffs, Aresimowicz says, “We all know what 4,200 layoffs would do here in the state of Connecticut. It would decimate our services and they know that too.”
Democratic Senate President Martin Looney of New Haven summed it up earlier this week saying the 700 million in concessions is the minimum that’s needed, “That piece is even more essential now than it was before because as the overall deficit is larger, that piece of it is absolutely crucial.”
The Governor is planning to release a revised version of a state budget solution one week from tomorrow.