Layoff notices have been going out to state employees as the state deals with an estimated $922 million budget deficit and employees of the judicial branch will begin receiving notices today of layoffs, which go into effect on June 24. Plans are also underway to close courthouses and offices.
A notice from the Judicial Branch says there will be 126 layoffs.
“As we are all painfully aware, the State budget crisis is very real and very severe. Although a State budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2016, has not yet been finalized, we have no reason to expect the approval of a final budget under which layoffs will not be necessary. The budget cuts we face are simply too large,” Chief Justice Chase Rogers said in a message sent to employees.
“Regrettably and unavoidably, we must now start the process of downsizing the Judicial Branch workforce,” Rogers wrote.
Rogers said the layoffs will “occur in a manner consistent with the 'seniority' definition in each of our four collective bargaining agreements and in accord with our existing practice and procedures.”
The layoffs will be in effect as of June 24 and no one will have to leave the workplace immediately after receiving a layoff notice.
This is the later round of layoffs and Gov. Dannel Malloy said that the state will eliminate 2,500 jobs through layoffs, retirements, attrition and hiring freezes.
Layoff notices went out to 165 state employees on Monday, including 106 employees of the state Department of Children and Families and 59 employees of the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
On Tuesday, 71 layoff notices went out, including to 43 staff members from the Department of Social Services, 24 to the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and four from the Department of Economic and Community Development received layoff notices.
Rogers said this is the “most difficult action that we have had to take as Chief Justice and Chief Court Administrator.”
“Each Judicial Branch employee was hired with the expectation that he or she would have a long and successful career within the Branch. We are truly sorry that these actions must now be taken, and we recognize that these layoffs will significantly affect the lives of our employees and their families,” she wrote.
He warned that the cuts in staff and the expected budget cuts will change how and where the Judicial Branch conducts its business.
“We are currently developing plans to close courthouses and offices, and to consolidate the staff and operations into other locations. To leverage our reduced workforce, we will be realigning and transferring the court business being conducted in some court locations to other court locations. We are also looking at reducing and eliminating programs that provide vital rehabilitative and treatment services to juvenile and adult offenders. We have no choice given the magnitude of the proposed budget cuts to the Branch,” Rogers wrote.