Hundreds of Connecticut state troopers and their families held a rally on Monday morning in hopes of saving dozens of police jobs.
Last week, state troopers voted against part of the union concessions deal that other state employee unions ratified last week.
In July, 56 troopers from the latest class of cadets were laid off and whether those men and women will get their jobs back is not known. They said the state is taking a risk with public safety.
Andrew Matthews, president of the state police union, said those layoffs would be an unjustifiable risk to public safety and that the current force of 1,127 troopers is already more than 100 members short of the state mandate.
The union approved the health care and pension changes, but not the wage cuts and a spokesman said a history of salary sacrifices is likely why the wage concessions weren't approved.
Now, the police union will have to negotiate with the governor's office on future contracts.
Troopers also want to be separated from the state collective bargaining unit.
After the rally, Gov. Dannel Malloy released a statement.
“I’m sensitive to the troopers’ concerns. But I have to manage the entire workforce, and given the massive budget problems I inherited, I believe asking all state employees to take a two-year wage freeze – in return for job security – is fair,” Malloy said in a statement. “By rejecting that two-year wage freeze the state police have rejected the job security; therefore, they’re subject to layoffs.”
Malloy said he has “total confidence” in the leadership demonstrated by Commissioner Bradford and Col. Stebbins/
“I’m completely confident they will manage the State Police with the resources they have without jeopardizing public safety. As for whether or not the State Police Union should remain a member of SEBAC, I view that as an internal conversation between the State Police and other members of the coalition,” Malloy said.