Families nervous as DDS layoffs are on the table again this year

NEWINGTON – Family members speak highly of the staff at the Newington Regional Center, a group home under the Department of Developmental Services.

They’re state workers whose jobs could be on the chopping block in order to balance the state budget. Governor Dannel Malloy said Thursday the layoffs are a possibility if other labor concessions can’t be made.

“We need to take care of the state workers here. There’s got to be other ways that we can cut the budget,” said Dora Ferraro, whose brother Pat lives at the Newington Regional Center.

Pat has Cerebral Palsy and developmental disabilities and relies on the workers to make sure he’s fed and gets to his doctor’s appointments.

Ferraro said, “We've already lost state workers so it’s already impacted Pat. Pat was in another facility and it had a great impact on him because he needs to have stability. He needs to know the people that he's dealing with and the change to him impacts him mentally. It takes a great deal to get Pat to a place where he has comfort and he has trust in the people that he deals with on a daily basis.”

DDS workers were affected by layoffs last year. This year that department and others are waiting to hear what will happen. Gov. Malloy told reporters Friday that union leadership met with his staff again Thursday night and he remains optimistic an agreement will be reached.

Governor Malloy said, “Obviously if those agreements don’t come about then we’ll have to address that in the remaining weeks of the session.”