Layoff notices went out to 4,742 state employees today.
After negotiations between Gov. Dannel Malloy and union officials failed to produce an agreement over cost-saving labor concessions, Malloy said he was forced to resort to layoffs. For months now, Malloy’s administration has been in talks with state employee union officials to try to secure $1 billion in concessions to help plug the state’s $3.2 billion deficit.
“The state employee representatives have thus far not offered enough,” Malloy said in a statement.
The layoffs will result in $455 million in savings to the state, which is preparing to cut another $545 million in spending.
Members of the Malloy administration and the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) negotiated in to the early morning hours on Tuesday, and continued Tuesday despite the layoffs.
“I want to say to the people of Connecticut that this is not the road I want to go down,” Malloy said in the statement. “But I have no choice. I promised to deliver a budget that is balanced with no gimmicks, and I will.”
SEBAC is disappointed with the governor’s decision to begin layoffs, said spokesman Larry Dorman in a statement.
“We have said time and again that laying off workers, whether in the public or private sector, and slashing vital public services will prove disastrous to our shared goal of creating jobs and rebuilding the middle class — especially at a time when our 9.1% unemployment rate is already higher than the national average,” Dorman said.
Malloy said the additional spending cuts will be spread across state government and will likely result in further layoffs.