Union Deals Blow to Concessions: Report

Malloy prepares should unions not agree to the deal.

Half of the state employee unions have approved Gov. Dannel Malloy's concessions deal, but one large union has delivered a blow by rejecting the deal, the union told the Hartford Courant

Now, the governor's budget director and his staff are preparing for the possibility that unionized state workers will not ratify the labor savings and concessions deal that's needed to balance the new, two-year $40.1 billion budget.

The large union to vote down the deal represents Department of Children and Families, Department of Social Services, and the state labor department rejected the deal, the Courant reports.

The blow comes after 200 members of the federation of technical college teachers signed off on the agreement on Tuesday night, making it the 17th bargaining unit to agree to the plan, the Courant reported.

The teachers unit agreed to a two-year wage freeze and the four-year, no-layoff provision that is a key part of the deal, which calls for an estimated $1.6 billion in savings over two years.

Union spokesmen are not saying the deal is now doomed.

"The math is that thousands of employees still have to vote. The thresholds have yet to be met," Larry Dorman said.

Of the 15 unions the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition represents, six have approved the pact, as have 17 individual bargaining units.

However,  80 percent of all voting union members must ratify the deal, as well as 14 of the 15 unions.

The entire voting process is expected to wrap up late Friday and Roy Occhiogrosso, the Democratic governor's senior adviser, said Malloy has directed Benjamin Barnes to continue working on a plan to present to the General Assembly on how to close a $700 million to $800 million gap in the first year of the budget, which begins on July 1.

Occhiogrosso said Malloy still hopes workers will ratify the deal, but has always understood the tentative agreement could be shot down.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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