Report by Paula Antolini
July 28, 2017 1:43PM EDT
Rep. Duff Denounces ‘Another Bad Deal for Connecticut’ as SEBAC Labor Agreement Passes the House
Extends Current State Employees’ Union Contract Until 2027
HARTFORD – State Representative Will Duff (R-2) voiced his disappointment at Monday’s House approval of the state employees’ union concession package due to its insufficient savings and structural changes and its extension of the current union contract until 2027.
The concession package, negotiated by Governor Malloy and union leaders, was ratified by state employees earlier this month and now is tentatively scheduled to go before the Senate on July 31. Analysts have predicted the plan could save approximately $1.5 billion over the next two years by increasing pension contributions, creating a hybrid/defined contribution plan for future state employees, increasing healthcare co-payments, and realizing other labor savings. The deal also restricts the state’s ability to lay off workers until 2021.
House Republicans, including Rep. Duff highlighted some of the structural change in the concession package as “steps in the right direction” that they supported, but blasted the notion that the deal solved Connecticut’s fiscal crisis and indicated it could lead to funding cuts and tax increases in the future.
“Without having a two-year budget in place, this labor agreement provides a four year guarantee of no layoffs for state employees with the health care deductibles for a “Cadillac plan” continuing to be zero and still permits meal allowances and longevity pay, among other benefits, despite the fact that our state social service providers are being cut to the bone. This is unconscionable in light of the state of Connecticut’s poor financial affairs,” said Rep. Duff.
No action was taken Monday on passing a two-year budget for the State of Connecticut. House Republican attempts to call their fully-vetted, no tax-increase budget proposal were rebuffed by the majority Democrats. The first attempt took place in the form of a rules change, the second in the form of an amendment to the SEBAC agreement.
Rep. Will Duff represents the 2nd Assembly district communities of Bethel, Danbury, Newtown, and Redding.