House approves $1.9 billion raises for state employees and bonus deal |
On April 21, the Connecticut House approved the $1.87 billion wage and bonus agreement between the Lamont administration and state employees’ unions.
House lawmakers approved the deal on a 96-52 party-line vote after a four-hour debate. The state Senate is expected to follow suit when it acts on April 22.
The State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition contract reviews cover 46,237 state employees represented by 35 different unions. The agreement includes:
- General salary increases of 2.5% in each of fiscal years 2022, 2023 and 2024.
- A lump sum payment retroactive to 2021, with full-time employees receiving $2,500 and part-time employees receiving a pro-rated amount
- Lump sum payment of $1,000 starting in fiscal year 2023 and pro-rated for part-time employees
- Agreement to reopen wage negotiations in fiscal year 2025
Cost to taxpayer
The CBIA opposed the contractual agreement, citing impending state deficits and “the extraordinary cost to taxpayers.”
The Office of Fiscal Analysis projects state budget deficits of $931.9 million for fiscal year 2024, $670.3 million for fiscal year 2025, and $326.6 million for the financial year 2026.
“As we approach these significant budget shortfalls, rising recurring costs will not lead to a structurally sound budget and fiscal predictability when federal pandemic funding ends,” said the President and CEO. CBIA Executive, Chris DiPentima.
“The CBIA recognizes the need for the state to recruit the best talent to ensure continuity of services, as the tsunami of money is causing a brain drain from the state’s workforce, which can lead to a increased costs.
“However, using current surpluses bolstered by federal funding to provide one-time bonuses to individuals who have announced their retirement by June 30, 2022 is counterproductive to this mission.
“The state should use these funds to recruit future employees or continue the progress we have made by repaying our current long-term pension obligations.”
DiPentima said the state’s labor shortage crisis and fragile economy require the government to invest surplus fiscal funds and federal pandemic relief funds to support the country’s economic recovery. State.
“Let’s invest in our economic recovery through meaningful workforce development programs, paying down Unemployment Trust Fund debt, and wisely investing in technology to streamline labor market services.” ‘state,’ he said.
He added that the agreement “also misses the opportunity to enact long-term initiatives to streamline and modernize state government operations.”
The administration’s CREATES report identified 200 opportunities to reform state government, achieving between $600 million and $900 million in annual savings for taxpayers.
These recommendations included improved hiring processes, better management of overtime, absenteeism and worker compensation, increased centralization of shared services, and the use of technology to improve service delivery.
The report identified areas where staffing needs to be strengthened, such as state police and the Department of Corrections, while supporting reforms to restrict work rules, processing the $100 million in requests for annual workers’ compensation and reducing overtime costs, on track to reach a record high. $284 million this year.
“The report’s recommendations represent a blueprint for reinventing how state government works and delivering greater tax value to Connecticut residents and employers,” DiPentima said.
“Connecticut will lose a major opportunity to streamline state government and improve taxpayers’ return on investment if the CREATES report is relegated to a dusty shelf.
“Unfortunately, this SEBAC contract will continue to crowd out funding for other meaningful policies and programs and will only add to the liability of state taxpayers.”
For more information, contact AABC’s Ashley Zane (860.244.1169) | @AshleyZane9