Layoff notices given to Connecticut State Police troopers Tuesday

HARTFORD — There were layoff notices given out to Connecticut State Police troopers on Tuesday.

They were given out to four lieutenants, two sergeants, five troopers, and a class of 79 cadets – who are not formally state troopers – are being deferred and will not be joining the ranks.

The Connecticut State Police Union has been working with state auditors to try to figure out ways to mitigate spending and save jobs. Union leadership said the potential layoffs come at a time when the ranks are already thin and, if enacted, could endanger public safety.

CSP Union President Andrew Matthews said 169 members are eligible to retire and within six months there could be 70 more.

“The governor should be concerned, the taxpayers in Connecticut should be concerned,” CSP Union President Andrew Matthews said listing his own concerns: “The membership, the ones that have families that are trying to pay their bills, feed their families, the unknown, the stress they’re feeling, also the morale for the troopers, most importantly the safety of our members in the field and the public safety.”

The CSP union says that the total number of layoffs is 86 but the Governor’s office disputes that, saying the cadets are not currently hired.

“If we don’t get another class in it will affect not only the capabilities of the state police but public safety in general throughout the state,” Matthews said.

He said the union has yet to hear from the governor’s office about a list of a dozen alternatives to layoffs. It includes discontinuing the use of temporary retired workers.

“The state of Connecticut actually has retired troopers that work for the agency who collect a pension and they’re allowed to work up to 960 hours a year,” Matthews said. “They do investigative work and they make about 34-dollars an hour so that’s roughly about 32-thousand dollars a year.”

Matthews believes that work can go to existing employees or those getting laid off, like a female trooper and new mother that was given a pink slip, Tuesday.
Matthews said a similar list of recommendations was given to Gov. Malloy’s office in 2011 after 56 state troopers received layoff notices. Those troopers were back on the job after fellow troopers retired and a lawsuit.

Officials announced Monday afternoon that over 100 state employees have received layoff notices in the fallout of the state’s budget shortfall.

The Office of Policy and Management announced 113 people have received layoff notices at The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Department of Social Services and  the Office of Policy and Management.