Still no deal reached in concessions talks
HARTFORD -- Discussions on union concessions and savings continued Thursday between negotiators for state employees and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, following late-night rumors in the state Capitol on Wednesday that a deal was near.
As the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives continued an 11-hour debate on a labor bill that finally ended in a partisan vote shortly after 1 a.m. Thursday, rumors circulated that a deal was near to bridge a $2 billion gap in the two-year budget.
Officials from the Malloy administration and the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition dispelled the rumors Thursday, as talks resumed in attempt to save money and avoid the governor's planned 4,742 layoffs.
Malloy on Thursday afternoon was expected to release details of the agency and departmental breakdown of layoffs that could result if negotiations breakdown with the coalition.
"We are working hard to prevent nearly 5,000 layoffs and deep cuts to vital services and aid to our cities and towns," said Matt O'Connor, SEBAC spokesman. "SEBAC leadership remains committed to trying to reach a mutual agreement on cost savings and concessions that is fair to our members and good for Connecticut."
O'Connor said that some of the 43,000 state union members in 15 bargaining units have asked why SEBAC leadership has not informed them in writing on the details of negotiations. He said that 10 weeks ago, when discussions started, there was an agreement on both sides to keep details secret.
"While many members have shared ideas, attended union meetings, or been verbally briefed by stewards, delegates, or other union leaders, others have heard rumors or seen unofficial written accounts of the discussions," O'Connor said in a message to union member posted on SEBAC's website.
"Some of these so-called reports have been wildly inaccurate," he said. "We don't want to decrease our chances of success by negotiating through the press."