After months of talks, Gov. Dannel Malloy’s administration and state employee union leaders reached a tentative deal on labor concessions today.
In order to fill a $2 billion gap in the state budget for the next two years, Malloy asked the state’s 45,000 employees to accept cost-saving changes to their health benefits, pensions, and wages. In an announcement today, Malloy announced that he has secured $1.6 billion of that gap in an agreement with union leaders, the remaining $400 million coming from additional spending cuts and existing revenues.
“This is the definition of structural savings: these savings are real, and they will provide relief to Connecticut taxpayers now and into the future for years to come,” Malloy said in an address to reporters in Hartford. “This agreement should serve as the foundation for affordable public services for a generation, and does not leave the bill for those services to the generations that follow.”
Because of structural changes to health and retirement benefits, the agreement is expected to save the state $21.5 billion over the next 20 years, Malloy said.
Malloy declined to reveal the exact details of the deal due to an understanding between the administration and the state employee unions. But he did announce that if the deal gets final approval, the more than 4,700 layoff notices he planned on issuing would be rescinded, there would be no furlough days, and the 40-hour work week would not be reduced.
The deal includes a wage freeze for all employees and managers and raises the retirement age by three years for employees retiring after 2017, the Hartford Courant reported.
The General Assembly and 13 of the 15 state employee unions must approve the agreement.