Still no deal this morning between Dannel Malloy and state unions
HARTFORD -- One hundred and thirty six employees of the state prison system, including 80 guards, 17 counselors and three chaplains are among the first round of jobs targeted for possible layoffs.
A union official called the prison layoffs "a potential disaster."
Discussions on $2 billion in concessions continued into the early morning Friday without a deal between the Malloy administration and state unions.
In all, 182 employees have been notified, according to a list released Thursday afternoon by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. Twenty seven employees are targeted in the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, including 14 mental health assistants and three nurses.
Seven have received notice in the state Department of Information Technology.
As talks continued Thursday night, Dorman said "every indication" is that the closure would be included in Malloy's so-called Plan B budget contingency if active union talks are unsuccessful.
"It's no secret that the Department of Correction is looking to cut back," Dorman said late Thursday afternoon. "And it's no secret that we have concerns about closing facilities and releasing inmates back into the community without adequate treatment. It's a potential disaster."
Most of the prison workers are members of Local 1565 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Some 5,000 corrections officers and front-line prison employees work for the state.
With those notices as a backdrop, discussions on union concessions and savings continued Thursday between negotiators for state workers and Malloy.
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, speculation circulated among lawmakers 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, but talks resumed in an attempt to save money and avoid the governor's planned 4,742 layoffs.
"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."