New contracts for 43,000 state workers sent to lawmakers
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration on Friday transmitted agreements reached on 35 labor contracts that cover 43,000 unionized state employees to the General Assembly for consideration.
The wage contracts, which were tentatively agreed upon in early March and ratified by the various unions this week, include 2.5% general wage increases and step increases retroactive to July 1, 2021. The workers will also receive additional 2.5% general wage increases and step increases beginning July 1 and July 1, 2023.
State and union officials are expected to meet again in the fourth year to negotiate wages. The agreement announced Friday also includes special lump sum payments of $2,500 for active employees who’ve been on the job since March 31 and $1,000 for those employed as of July 15, 2022. There’s a pro-rated bonus for part-time employees.
Lamont, a Democrat, called it a “responsible and fair deal for our unionized state employees.” He said it takes into account increased inflation and a state workforce that is bracing for a significant number of retirements by providing competitive wages.
“This agreement provides a clear message to our state employees that we value their contributions to our residents while also providing a solid platform from which to recruit the next generation of public servants to our rank,” Lamont said.
The State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition called the agreement “a vital step in resolving the current staffing crisis” facing state government.
The organization of state employee union leaders said the state’s workforce has shrunk by more than 20% since the recession of 2007-09, not including thousands more expected to retire by July 1.
It’s unclear when the General Assembly will vote on the agreement.