Malloy reaches tentative agreement with SEBAC over wages, layoff protections

Marco Green
June 27, 2017

The start to the new fiscal year is quickly approaching and lawmakers have yet to pass a budget agreement.

Meanwhile, long-simmering union givebacks reached a tentative conclusion with the governor's staff over the weekend and the concessions aimed at saving $24 billion in long-term savings will soon go to tens of thousands rank-and-file state employees.

Unions are expected to vote on the proposal over the next month, and for now the odds are looking good that it's going to be approved.

He says it's an austerity budget.

The state leaders made their comments after the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the Republican plan would result in 22 million more Americans losing coverage by the year 2026.

The tentative deal struck by Malloy and the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition would save $24.1 billion over the next two decades, according to analyses prepared by the administration, Connecticut's pension actuaries and its health care consultant. "There are still several steps remaining, but it is truly a credit to our partners that the rhetoric surrounding the deal did not stifle their willingness to help". Republicans have said the state needs to get more out of the agreement, because the legislature could achieve similar levels of savings through statute changes.

The concessions framework would freeze wages for each of the next two fiscal years.

The bulk of the savings over the upcoming two years comes is in the form of pay freezes through June 30, 2019. Workers would receive 3.5 percent increases in 2020 and in 2021, and also would be eligible for step increases.

Under the preliminary deal, state employees would be required to chip in more for retirement and health care. And union leadership "has answered the call".

It also extends a master agreement on health and pension benefits another five years to 2027 - another big point of contention with Republicans.

In recent weeks Malloy has attempted to stay above the partisan budget fray, but after separate appearances by first Democratic, then Republican leaders, with Capitol reporters, Malloy lowered the boom on both parties' budget plans.

Democrats have not said what they would consider, though, if unions fail to ratify the concessions plan.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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