Employees of Training School Get Layoff Notices

All but one firefighter have received pink slips.


Workers at Southbury Training School who were willing to talk about their layoff notices met with reporters on Tuesday afternoon as part of state workers unions' campaign to save their jobs.

"I was stunned, but we always knew there was a risk," said Barbara Rudolph, who has 13 years of state service, which was not long enough to avoid a layoff notice.

She's one of four BMPS, behavior modification program specialists who got pink slips at Southbury.

"Many of them have been here 60, 70, 80 years and we provide a pretty high level of service. It's really sad to get it to this point and then cut away at it," she said.

Most of the layoff notices that hang over the heads of state government workers will go away if their unions ratify contract concessions.

The notices distributed at Southbury become real layoffs on Aug. 25.

Union leaders expect the voting to be completed by Aug. 18, using the time to address members' concerns.

"It's gonna affect the economy," said Jose Hernandez, a cook at the facility who said he'll scramble to find work if he's actually laid off. "I'm gonna probably start collecting unemployment and looking for another job, hopefully. Hopefully not," he said.

Eight of the 13 firefighters at the Southbury Training School Fire Department got pink slips. Four of the others are eligible for retirement, leaving only the chief and a responsibility to serve the facility that would fall on the town of Southbury.

"I'm kinda disillusioned. I'm upset about it," said Bob Gleason, a firefighter who received a pink slip. "The population that I serve, I'm concerned that somebody could have problems because of it."

He said a response time of two to three minutes would approach 30 minutes if an ambulance had to respond from Waterbury.

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